The 20-year-old son of Federal Judge Esther Salas, Daniel Anderl, was shot dead by a man dressed in FedEx uniform. The incident took place on Sunday, July 19th, four days after Salas was assigned the Epstein case.
How did the incident unfold?
Daniel Anderl was a single child, the only son of Esther and Mark. He was a student at the Catholic University in Washington, D.C.
At around 5 PM, a FedEx vehicle pulled up outside Judge Salas’ family home in Brunswick, New Jersey. Esther’s son, Daniel, answered the door. As soon as the door opened, gunfire rained on him. One of the bullets pierced his heart and killed him on the spot.
Mark Anderl, an established defense attorney, and Esther’s husband was standing right next to his son. Mark was injured with multiple gunshots and was admitted to Robert Wood Johnson Hospital, New Brunswick. Although he has survived the incident, his condition is critical.
The gunfire was supposedly planned for Judge Esther Salas herself, who was in the basement during the incident. Salas has been reported to be unharmed.
The gunman fled the scene right after the gunfire. Although he was dressed as a FedEx employee, it is doubtful that he actually worked at FedEx. He was most likely using the get-up to avoid identification. The FedEx spokesman, Johnathan Lyons, stated that they were cooperating with the investigation to catch the killer.
Phil Murphy, the Governor of New Jersey, talked about the ongoing crisis of gun violence. He also stated that they were a long way from making the communities safer.
Judge Esther Salas’ career as a Lawyer
Born in Los Angeles, Esther Salas pursued her Bachelor’s degree from Rutgers University. After receiving her Law degree from the same University, Salas worked as a federal public defender in New Jersey for ten years. Soon after, she became the first Hispanic Magistrate of the state of New Jersey.
In 2010, Bob Menendez, the New Jersey Senator, recommended her nomination to the federal branch.
In her career as a lawyer, Salas had worked on many high-profile cases, including the case of financial fraud involving Teresa and Joe Giudice. Teresa was a star in the reality TV show “Real Housewives of New Jersey”. The Giudice couple was found guilty in the case and received a staggering prison sentence.
Senator Menendez, a good friend of the Salas family, expressed his grief at the horrendous act and assured that its perpetrator would be apprehended and brought to justice.
Salas assigned the Epstein Case four days before the incident
In June 2020, Ghislaine Maxwell, an ally of Jeffrey Epstein, was arrested for recruiting 14-year-old girls to Epstein for abuse. Jeffrey Epstein, an alleged child trafficker, had opened an account at the Deutsche Bank and used it for all his illegal transactions.
Charges were pressed against the Deutsche Bank for turning a blind eye towards transactions of millions of dollars. The Bank was also accused of oversight in dealing with its client banks, FBME Bank and Danske Bank Estonia.
Earlier in July, the New York state financial regulators announced that Deutsche Bank was ready to pay a penalty of $150 million.
Four days before the gunfire at Judge Salas’ home, she was assigned to oversee the ongoing lawsuit against the Deutsche Bank.
Francis M. Womack, the Mayor of North Brunswick, is a close friend to the Salas family. In his statement, Womack admitted that Salas had received threats frequently in the past. However, he had not heard from her about any recent threat.
The suspect of the gunfire
In a statement from the New Jersey district attorney’s office, Roy Den Hollander was reported as the suspect of the gunfire at Judge Salas’ home in Brunswick.
Den Hollander described himself as an anti-feminist lawyer. Two years ago, he was diagnosed with Melanoma Cancer.
Hollander had a long-standing beef with Judge Salas. In 2015, she brought a lawsuit challenging the male-only military draft, which is still pending. In a memoir he had published online, Hollander wrote that he wanted to ask the Judge out, but thought that she might hold him in contempt for it. He also wrote on his website about Salas being a lazy and incompetent Latina judge appointed by Obama.
On the morning following the gunfire, Hollander was found dead from a gunshot wound in Sullivan County.