After losing their son in 2020, federal Judge Esther Salas and attorney Mark Anderl crusaded for federal legislation to remove judges’ personal information from the internet.
In July 2020, a gunman shot Daniel Anderl dead outside the front door of the family’s New Jersey home. Anderl, 20, took a bullet to his chest trying to protect his parents. Attorney Anderl was wounded when Judge Salas arrived at the door – the killer then disappeared. Daniel died on the way to the hospital, whilst attorney Anderl went into surgery after suffering from three gunshot wounds.
The gunman arrived posing as a deliveryman, bringing a package to Judge Salas’ door. A seemingly similar incident took place in California eight days prior to Anderl’s murder. A gunman shot attorney Marc Angelucci whilst he came to his door to sign for a package. It was only after the death of Anderl that the FBI linked these two events.
The shooter Roy Den Hollander, 72, was a lawyer who accused Judge Salas of being a “lazy Latina” according to CBS. Police found his body the next day, after he shot himself. At the time of the shooting, Judge Salas oversaw Den Hollander’s proposed case concerning the men-only military draft. Investigators state that the shooter was racist and sexist towards Salas in his personal writings.
According to Fox News, Den Hollander did not harm anyone other than the known victims. However, the FBI found papers in his car which listed the names of several judges and medical workers.
In the last five years, threats towards federal judges increased 400%. In 2020, judges received 4,000 threats throughout the whole year. Judge Salas’ proposed legislation seeks more than $250 million for home security and 1,000 more deputy marshals. It aims to erase personal data online, such as the home addresses and IDs of all judges. Salas believes the free flow of information is responsible for the death of her son. The new bill is titled Daniel’s Law.