The men’s rights activist who opened fire on a New Jersey federal judge’s husband and son had terminal cancer and a long history of failed anti-feminist lawsuits.
Roy Den Hollander is suspected of posing as a FedEx deliveryman before fatally shooting the 20-year-old son of Judge Esther Salas and wounding her defense attorney husband at their North Brunswick home. He fatally shot himself near Liberty, New York, after the ambush, according to reports.
Hollander, 72, garnered media attention since 2007 for his quixotic lawsuits challenging ladies’ nights at nightclubs and funding for Columbia University’s feminist studies program, among other fights for “men’s rights.” Salas was presiding over an ongoing suit filed by Hollander over the U.S. military’s men-only draft.
He flaunted his misogyny in interviews.
“If I’m hitting on some young girl at the club — and I won’t be hitting on an older one because they don’t look as good — if she knows how old I am I’m not going to be able to exploit her infinite capacity to delude herself into thinking I’m younger,” he told the New York Daily News in 2013, explaining why he wouldn’t share his age.
Beneath the absurdity of his losing legal battles and attempts to get into nightclubs was bitterness and hatred of women.
“I’m beginning to think it’s time for vigilante justice — civil disobedience,” he said in 2013, adding that he “may pull a Carrie Nation on the ladies’ nights clubs.”
Carrie Nation, who died in 1911, was a radical member of the temperance movement who vandalized bars with a hatchet.
Hollander’s website rails against “Feminazism” and features a bizarre, conspiratorial screed against a Russian woman he married in 2000. He wrote that he met her while managing a Moscow detective agency, Kroll Associates. Hollander claimed in a lawsuit seething with anti-immigrant sentiment that the woman began working at the strip club FlashDancers and used him only in an effort to obtain citizenship.
In January, he announced a new lawsuit against a New York hospital for treatment of his metastasized cancer. The news release was titled “How not to treat a dying man.”
He had nothing to lose.
“They want to fight, fine. I’ll fight them to my last dollar, my last breath and if there is anything after death — for eternity. They should have shown a little more respect for a dying man,” he wrote in the release.
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