FBI investigates whether suspect in judge family attack is behind California lawyer’s slaying
The FBI is investigating whether the slaying of a well-known men’s rights attorney in the mountains of San Bernardino County earlier this month is connected to the shooting of a federal judge’s son and husband in New Jersey, according to law enforcement sources familiar with the inquiry.
Self-described anti-feminist attorney Roy Den Hollander was the prime suspect in the killing of the judge’s 20-year-old son and the wounding of the judge’s husband Sunday. Den Hollander, who was found dead following the attack, is now the focus of a federal investigation into the July 11 fatal shooting of lawyer Marc Angelucci at his Crestline, Calif., home, according to those sources, who requested anonymity because they are not authorized to discuss the ongoing investigation.
In both deadly attacks, the killer posed as a delivery driver, according to a law enforcement source. San Bernardino County sheriff’s detectives investigating the killing said Tuesday that the FBI’s Newark, N.J., office is now taking the lead on the investigation. A spokesman for the Sheriff’s Department on Tuesday referred a reporter to the team handling the attack Sunday at the home of U.S. District Judge Esther Salas in North Brunswick, N.J., where 20-year-old Daniel Anderl was killed and his father, Mark Anderl, was wounded.
Salas survived the attack because she was in another part of the house at the time the gunman, dressed in a FedEx-like outfit, came to the door.
FBI investigators are examining Den Hollander’s travel records and finances in the weeks before the deadly incident Sunday. His body was found in Sullivan County, N.Y., late Sunday. A package addressed to Salas was recovered with Den Hollander, along with another for a New York judge.
Den Hollander was known for handling lawsuits challenging what he saw as unfair treatment of men, with some of his work garnering attention that saw him featured on “The Colbert Report” and MSNBC.
It was one of those lawsuits that in 2015 landed Den Hollander in Salas’ courtroom. A woman filed suit because she wanted to register with the U.S. Selective Service System for the military draft, which is for men only. Den Hollander, upset at Salas’ delaying of the case, derided the judge’s Latino heritage and complained that she allowed the Department of Justice to file its fourth motion to dismiss the case, suggesting she was “trying to keep this case in her court until a weatherman showed her which way the legal winds were blowing.”
In more than 2,000 pages of his online postings, investigators are examining a reference to Den Hollander previously posing as a FedEx delivery driver, a move that seemingly mirrored Sunday’s attack and the one in the mountains of San Bernardino.
Den Hollander claimed to have suffered from cancer, but in an ominous declaration warned: “The only problem with a life lived too long under Feminazi rule is that a man ends up with so many enemies he can’t even the score with all of them. But law school and the media taught me how to prioritize,” he wrote.
Others had already felt Den Hollander’s wrath, including the National Coalition for Men, where Angelucci had been a star legal player for two decades. Harry Crouch, president of the group, told the Associated Press that Angelucci had previously received death threats but didn’t discuss them in detail. He said Den Hollander had been furious that he had not been involved in a federal Selective Service System case that he filed with Angelucci.
Angelucci, a UC Berkeley- and UCLA-educated lawyer who won landmark cases and was honored by the Southern Poverty Law Center, was found shortly after 4 p.m. on July 12 at his home in Cedar Pines Park in Crestline. Someone nearby reported hearing shots fired. Deputies found the attorney “unresponsive and suffering from apparent gunshot wounds.” Angelucci was pronounced deceased at the scene.
Angelucci was the vice president and board member of the National Coalition for Men and the founder of the group’s Los Angeles chapter, where he served as president for several years.
“Marc Angelucci compiled a truly legendary set of legal achievements, including recently winning an equal protection case against the Selective Service Administration overturning male-only draft registration,” said a statement from the National Coalition for Men.
Michael Conzachi, a private investigator who worked with Angelucci on cases and is a retired homicide detective, said he was interviewed July 14 by San Bernardino County investigators.
“Marc was an exceptionally qualified, dedicated attorney with an outstanding reputation. ... Most of what he did was pro bono as a civil rights lawyer,” Conzachi said.
At the time of his killing, Angelucci was co-counsel on a high-profile case in Mariposa County. The case involved a rape allegation against a man, which was subsequently dropped. But authorities had seized a large ranch of the accused.
Angelucci’s co-counsel Ronda Kennedy tweeted about his killing: “My co-counsel on two cases Marc Angelucci was murdered last night. Just did an interview with detectives. If you have any information please contact the San Bernardino detectives.”
While authorities investigate connections among Angelucci, Den Hollander and Salas, they share a legal battle over the military use of selective service and a requirement that only men be required to register once they turn 18. Salas heard a case beginning in 2015 in which Den Hollander challenged that requirement but was replaced as the lawyer in 2018 after becoming ill.
Angelucci represented a Texas man, with the support of the National Coalition for Men, fighting the constitutionality of the men-only requirement. In February 2019, Angelucci garnered the national legal spotlight when a judge declared that exempting women from that registration requirement violates the Constitution’s equal protection principles. The judge, however, did not order the government to include women in the registration requirement.
Get breaking news, investigations, analysis and more signature journalism from the Los Angeles Times in your inbox.
You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.