In her first public comments since a lawyer known for his misogynistic screeds shot and killed her son and seriously injured her husband at their home, a federal judge in New Jersey called for more privacy and protections for people in her field in the face of mounting cyberthreats.
In a video statement released Monday, U.S. District Judge Esther Salas noted that serving as a judge involves “making tough calls” that sometimes leave people angry and upset. But she said judges should not have to “live in fear for our lives” because personal information, such as home addresses, can be easily obtained by anyone seeking to cause them or their families harm.
“There are companies that will sell your personal details that can be leveraged for nefarious purposes,” Justice Salas said in the video. “In my case, the monster knew where I lived and what church we attended, and had a complete dossier on me and my family. At the moment, there is nothing we can do to stop it, and that is unacceptable.”
Authorities have said Roy Den Hollander, a men’s rights lawyer whose anti-feminist writings dated back more than two decades, posed as a FedEx delivery person and fatally shot 20-year-old Daniel Anderl and wounded his 63-year-old father, Mark Anderl, on July 19.
Justice Salas, who was in another part of the home at the time and was not injured, referred to Mr. Den Hollander as “a madman” in her statement.
“Daniel being Daniel, protected his father and he took the shooter’s first bullet directly to the chest,” Justice Salas said in the video. “The monster then turned his attention to my husband and began to shoot at my husband, one shot after another.”
Mark Anderl was shot three times and remains hospitalized. He was hit in the right chest, left abdomen and right forearm, and has undergone several surgeries.
Mr. Den Hollander, 72, was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound on July 20, the day after the ambush. Authorities believe he also shot and killed a fellow lawyer in California in the days before the attack at Justice Salas’s home.
Mr. Den Hollander had a document with information about a dozen female judges from across the country – half of whom are Latina, including Justice Salas – with him when he was found dead, two people with knowledge of the investigation told the Associated Press. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the case.
Mr. Den Hollander’s website contained vitriolic rants against women and occasionally violent imagery. Among his targets were his late mother, his ex-wife, friends from childhood and “feminazi” judges.
In the aftermath of the shootings, some legal experts have said it’s time for the U.S. Marshals Service, which primarily provides protection for judges in and around courthouses, to be more aggressive in monitoring online hate speech. The service said it monitored more than one million derogatory social-media posts aimed at people it protects during the last fiscal year.
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