Judge Whose Son Was Gunned Down Makes Chilling Revelation

Esther Salas says killer Roy Den Hollander also had his sights set on SCOTUS' Sonia Sotomayor
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 19, 2021 10:49 AM CST
Updated Feb 21, 2021 7:41 AM CST
Judge Whose Son Was Gunned Down Makes Chilling Revelation
This undated file photo shows US District Judge Esther Salas during a conference at the Rutgers Law School in Newark, NJ.   (Rutgers Law School via AP, File)

Last July, Daniel Anderl, the 20-year-old son of US District Court Judge Esther Salas, was murdered at their North Brunswick, NJ, home by Roy Den Hollander, a lawyer who'd posed as a FedEx deliveryman. Now, in a 60 Minutes episode set to air in full Sunday on CBS, Salas reveals that Hollander also had another, more high-profile target in mind. Details:

  • Salas tells Bill Whitaker that the FBI found a locker that Hollander had used before he died of an apparent suicide, containing another firearm and ammo. "But the most troubling thing they found was a manila folder with a workup on [Supreme Court] Justice Sonia Sotomayor," Salas says. "Who knows what could have happened?"
  • Salas uses this new piece of information to underscore that "judges are at risk, that we put ourselves in great danger every day for doing our jobs." CBS News backs that up with a disturbing statistic: Over the past five years, threats to federal judges have spiked 400%, with more than 4,000 incidents.

  • NPR notes Salas has been on a "crusade" since her son's murder, advocating for laws that would protect judges from being targeted by getting rid of their identifiable info online, such as home addresses, contact details, vehicle and home photos, and where immediate family members work and go to school.
  • In December, Salas penned a New York Times op-ed detailing her push for bipartisan legislation named after her son that would offer federal judges further protections. Senior District Court Judge James Robart also appears on 60 Minutes, telling Whitaker he received 40,000 messages—including 100-plus death threats—after he temporarily blocked then-President Trump's travel ban and Trump mocked him.
  • Meanwhile, CentralJersey.com notes that a 48 Hours airing Saturday on CBS will look at the ties between Anderl's murder and that of attorney Marc Angelucci, killed in California days before Anderl by someone—possibly Hollander—also posing as a deliveryman.
(More Sonia Sotomayor stories.)

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