Suspect in death of judge’s son is linked to California killing

A New York State trooper near the location where the lawyer Roy Den Hollander was found dead on Monday.

By Nicole Hong, William K. Rashbaum, Mihir Zaveri and Katherine Rosman

The two killings on opposite sides of the country were strikingly similar. A gunman showed up at the front door, posing as a delivery man, and opened fire.

One of the victims was Marc Angelucci, 52, a men’s rights lawyer who was killed July 11 outside his home in San Bernardino County, California. Eight days later, a shooter approached the New Jersey home of Esther Salas, a federal judge, killing the judge’s son and leaving her husband seriously injured.

On Wednesday, the FBI office in Newark, New Jersey, said in a statement that agents had uncovered evidence linking Angelucci’s killing to Roy Den Hollander, who is also the primary suspect in the New Jersey shooting.

It was the first time that authorities had publicly connected the two killings.

Den Hollander, 72, was found dead in the Catskills in New York on Monday in an apparent suicide, hours after the shooting at Salas’ home. He was a self-described anti-feminist lawyer who wrote thousands of pages in online screeds denouncing women, including female judges.

On Wednesday, the FBI did not publicly say what evidence had been uncovered. But authorities investigating Den Hollander’s apparent suicide found a semi-automatic Walther pistol that was of the same caliber as the weapon used in both the California shooting and the New Jersey shooting, according to a law enforcement official briefed on the matter.

Investigators were conducting ballistics tests to determine whether that weapon was used in both attacks, according to law enforcement officials.

Authorities are investigating whether Den Hollander was seeking revenge against his enemies after receiving a terminal cancer diagnosis, according to a different law enforcement official. In a self-published book last year, Den Hollander said he learned in late 2018 he had a rare form of melanoma.

Although Den Hollander detailed extensive grievances against judges and others in his online writings, it was not clear whether he was planning more violent attacks.

The FBI has contacted New York state’s chief judge, Janet DiFiore, to notify her that Den Hollander had her name and photo in his car, according to her spokesman, Lucian Chalfen.

The name of another female state judge who presided over a case that Den Hollander was involved in was also found in his car, Chalfen said. He declined to name the judge.

Den Hollander’s connection to Salas and Angelucci revolved around the same case.

In 2015, Den Hollander brought a legal challenge to the male-only military draft that was assigned to Salas in Newark federal court. Two years earlier, Angelucci had filed a similar lawsuit in a different jurisdiction.

In February 2019, a federal court in Houston ruled in Angelucci’s favor, finding that the exclusion of women from the draft was unconstitutional. The case is now on appeal.

In his online writings, Den Hollander was well aware of Angelucci’s legal victory and complained that Salas was moving too slowly with his lawsuit.

“The only difference in the Texas case was that two guys were the plaintiffs and a white 70-year-old man was the judge,” Den Hollander wrote. “Just unbelievable, by now we should have been knocking on the U.S. Supreme Court’s door, but lady unluck stuck us with an Obama appointee.”

Salas, 51, was nominated to the court by President Barack Obama in 2010. She is the first Hispanic woman to serve as a federal judge in New Jersey.

In 2018, she had allowed Den Hollander’s lawsuit to proceed, a ruling in his favor, but he still ranted about her in his online writings, insulting her and claiming that she was a beneficiary of affirmative action.

Angelucci was the vice president of the National Coalition for Men, a men’s rights group. About a decade ago, Den Hollander had approached the coalition and asked its support for his causes and lawsuits, but he was turned away, according to the group’s members.

In his online writings, Den Hollander criticized the men’s rights movement, suggesting its advocates did not go far enough.

“I don’t belong to that group of wimps and whiners,” he wrote. “They’re trying to win back their rights by acting like girls instead of men.”

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