Esther Salas case: Judge Salas calls for protecting judges’ privacy3 min read

-Greeshma Joy T

The US District Court judge, Esther Salas, whose son was killed and whose husband was shot at their New Jersey home in July, revealed her son’s final moments in her first public comments about the shooting.

The federal judge said the shooting came just after her son Daniel Anderl celebrated his 20th birthday at their home with friends from the Catholic University, where he was a rising junior. She made the emotional video statement in a video posted to YouTube on Monday.

The incident of shooting took place last month where Roy Den Hollander, dressed as a FedEx delivery man, shot Judge Esther Salas’ son and husband in New Jersey before taking his own life. Authorities believe the target was Judge Salas over her role as a federal judge. According to reports, Hollander was found dead two hours north of the judge’s home and the police discovered names of several others, including another judge, he planned to target.

The US District Judge Esther Salas is the first Hispanic woman to serve as a federal judge in New Jersey. Daniel, who was the only son of the Salas- Anderl couple, would have returned to study at the Catholic University of America in Washington this autumn.

Den Hollander, who was a self-described “anti-feminist” lawyer, was reportedly upset with Judge Salas over her handling of a court case challenging the male-only military draft. He who had sued nightclubs over ladies’ night discounts, a university over women’s studies courses. He has also sued the federal government over a law protecting women from violence. US media also reported that Hollander is also a suspect in the murder of another lawyer in California. In a memoir published online, Den Hollander had said that he wanted to ask Judge Salas out but didn’t as he thought she might hold him in contempt. He had also written that nothing in life matters anymore when he was diagnosed with melanoma cancer two years ago.

The judge, in the video released, described how Den Hollander had allegedly opened fire with a FedEx package in hand, and how her husband was protected by her son by taking the first bullet to the chest. Her son, Daniel had just celebrated his 20th birthday with the family that weekend. She said her husband, Mark Anderl, who was shot three times, is recovering in hospital from multiple surgeries.

She also noted that the addresses and other personal information of federal judges are readily available online, which helped Hollander knew where she lived and what church she and her family attended and had a complete dossier on her and her family.

The US Marshals Service which holds the task of protection of more than 2,700 judges, has reported a significant increase in threats to judges in the past five years. Reports and findings show that the threats and inappropriate comments made to the judiciary have nearly doubled to about 4,500 last year, since. In 2011, the last killing of a federal judge happened when John Roll, along with five others, was killed at a public event for US Rep., Gabby Giffords in Arizona.

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