A failed assassination attempt on United States District Judge Esther Salas left her 20 year old son dead and her husband in critical condition. Not much is known about the gunman beyond the fact that he was disguised as a fake Federal Express deliveryman. The shooter has not been apprehended and has not released a manifesto as far as we know. Why did this happen? We have theories as to motive and facts as to how it was possible.
We don't know why this shooter wanted to kill Judge Salas. Our theory is that he or someone employing him had their Constitutional rights violated by her at some point in the past and probably felt that they were being patriotic by eliminating a threat to the Constitutional rights of the people. Those tend to be the more honorable motives for removing government officials from office using such means, but again we don't know who the shooter is or why he really did this. He could have easily been a schizophrenic that thought she was a demon conspiring against him, a vindictive ex-con on a personal vendetta with no political motivations, or a white supremacist that just did not like seeing person of color sitting on the bench. We do not know. All we know is that the gunman missed his target miserably, shot people that did not deserve to be shot, and killed someone. Whatever his motives, he has discredited himself with this epic fail. Who goes to all the trouble to arm up, get a disguise, go the the target location, and leave the target untouched in the basement?
When we advocate that people protest the actions of government officials, including judges, we always ask that they leave their families alone should they choose to protests at their homes. Shooting their family members is not a protest and not something that we would ever support for any reason. We would support someone dressing up as a delivery man to deliver a piece of their mind, but that is it. We support knocking on their doors and saying what you think, but we do not support hurting anyone.
How could this have happened? It happened because people working for the U.S. Marshals Office of Protective Intelligence (OPI) are incompetent. The OPI is in charge of judicial security and they fail to keep home addresses of federal judges out of public records. We were able to obtain Judge Salas' home address just a few minutes ago by typing her name into an online background check service that we subscribe to. Had the OPI done their jobs we would not be able to do that. There are ways to keep that information away from people like this shooter. Have the judge purchase property through a trust so that it is not in their name and use a P.O. box for all mail. Then have someone at OPI periodically check public records sites for personal information belonging to court staff. That would probably keep people like this shooter from finding their targets.
We speak from personal experience. This author once sent a letter to the home of U.S. District Judge Marco Hernandez from jail asking him to recuse himself from his case and it worked. How easy it was to find his address was shocking and Judge Salas' address is just as easy to find. That is why when we dox law enforcement personnel we point out that any psycho that really wants to hurt them can and will do it anyway without our help. Our limited doxxing is intended to support peaceful protesters looking for places to make their voices heard. Doing that does not make it more likely for someone to harm the person being doxxed because they are being doxxed by public records sites anyway and their enemies know that. We just identify people involved with evil deeds and make it easier for everyday people to find those evil doers as long as we think their intentions are most likely peaceful. That is why our doxxing is usually just temporary while people are holding demonstrations to protest their behavior.
We are not displaying Judge Salas' home address with this article because we are not aware of her perpetrating evil acts and we are not aware of any people that are peacefully protesting anything she has done.
Finally, we ask that you take our word for it when we say that people looking for her don't even have to pay to find her information. When we Google'd her address and name together there were a whole bunch of public records sites listing her name with her address for free.
UPDATE: The suspect in this case was found dead according to the FBI. They say his name was Roy Den Hollander. We are researching him right now and will provide more information about him later.
Roy Den Hollander was an attorney who had argued a case before Judge Salas. Hollander describes himself on his website as a "Anti-Feminist Lawyer" and a men's rights attorney. The case he argued involved the all male military draft laws. On his website he left a message that said "Now is the time for all good men to fight for their rights before they have no rights left." That statement is followed by what he called a "TRILOGY of ANTI-FEMINIST CASES" which you can read at http://www.roydenhollander.com/main/index.htm
According to The Daily Beast, Hollander was holding a package addressed to Judge Salas when his body was found and that the package contained information about another men's right lawyer that was murdered last week (https://www.thedailybeast.com/gunman-ambushes-nj-federal-judge-esther-salas-husband-mark-anderl-and-son-at-home). Also, it was clean up crews that found his body and NOT law enforcement, which further supports the theory that Hollander was not known as any sort of threat before.
Hollander was part of an organization of lawyers known as the National Coalition for Men (NCFM) who challenge laws they believe enable feminine privilege.
We now believe that because Hollander was a lawyer that even if the OPI had done their due diligence and removed her address from online public records brokers, that he would have been able to find her anyway. Lawyers user investigators to find people all the time and few people are better at finding people than lawyers and those that work for them.
UPDATE (8/3/2020): Judge Esther Salas released a video on YouTube describing exactly what happened to her and her family that horrible day. We believe every word of her description and we are updating the video embedded with this article to include her statement.
Unfortunately, Judge Salas is using her tragedy to advocate against the First Amendment. She is advocating for laws that would prohibit people from disclosing addresses of judges. The home addresses of most government officials are public record and everyone has a First Amendment right to accurately state that a judge lives at a specific location. The only exception on the books is 18 U.S.C. 119 (https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/119) which prohibits knowingly making publicly available the home address of a protected person "with the intent and knowledge that the restricted personal information will be used to threaten, intimidate, or facilitate the commission of a crime of violence against that covered person, or a member of the immediate family of that covered person," that makes sense when you think about it because that law is similar to a lot of anti-harassment laws that prohibit harassment in general. Unfortunately for Judge Salas, 18 U.S.C. 119 does nothing to keep people like Roy Den Hollander from finding her address the way he probably found it. He probably found it online through a public records website that may or may not have charged him a small fee. Her address, like that of most judges, can be found for free on some public records sites, but she probably could have opted out of that and paid premium background check websites that also sell her information. We are not aware of any public records site that does not have some way for anyone (judges included) to get their address taken down. We have previously posted how government officials like DHS Secretary Wolf and CBP Commissioner Morgan could have kept us from getting their information and we posted recommendations to help them keep themselves from being found in the future (https://copblaster.com/blast/25849/federal-complaint-regarding-posted-addresses-indicates-bigger-problems). We recommend the same for Judge Salas. If she really wants to know how to legally hide her next address from public view she should talk to Attorney General Bill Barr because we could not find any personal information about him online. We believe that Barr or people in charge of his personal security did things for him that are similar to what we have recommended.
New laws are not needed to suppress personal information about government officials. They just need the people watching their backs to be competent enough to exercise due diligence and use the methods already available to them to suppress that information online. As far as we can tell there are no people employed to do that by the federal government when it comes to anyone in positions lower than that of Bill Barr unless they have special circumstances like Jenny Durkan did. (https://copblaster.com/blast/25820/seattle-police-department-command-staff-roster-with-mayor-jenny-durkan). In Durkan's case it looked like she lived in a law office according to public records, but she was really living in a mansion, the location of which was outed by someone she knew for the purpose of encouraging protests at that location. The result was a newsworthy protest that anyone has the right to write about and when they write about it they have the right to say where the protest took place. If it could be shown that the person who outed Durkan did it with intent to harass then they could make a case there. Otherwise, it is always a defense to a charge of making information publicly available that it was already publicly available and your just copied it.
Due to the First Amendment and limits on the suppression of personal information about government officials, it is not possible to ban the disclosure of that information without violating the First Amendment. It would require making it a general intent crime to knowingly disclose that information regardless of intent. So, if I had her address and wanted to make it publicly available because I sell public records, then I would be committing a crime if I knew she was a judge. Even then, it would have to be a defense that the person making a disclosure did not know that the address belonged to a judge because penalizing the disclosure without a knowing element would lack the basic mens rea necessary to criminalize the act.
The government loves to use extreme cases as examples to support taking our rights away. Judge Salas should use this case to justify reforming the Office or Protective Intelligence (OPI) at the United States Marshals Service so that they suppress that information using means already available. She should not seek laws that would violate the First Amendment because only Enemies of Liberty go down that path.