The bi-coastal killings were eerily similar: A lone gunman, dressed as a FedEx deliveryman, bringing death to his victims’ doorsteps.
Attorney Marc Angelucci was shot and killed at his California home eight days before an ambush at the suburban New Jersey residence of a federal judge whose 20-year-old son was gunned down by male chauvinist attorney Roy Den Hollander. Now authorities are investigating possible links between the West Coast killing and the North Brunswick, N.J., execution by the deranged anti-feminist lawyer.
A possible motive emerged for the Angelucci killing: The lawyer and Den Hollander butted heads back in 2013, when the Los Angeles attorney filed a lawsuit against the Selective Service System for drafting only men into the military — a case the irate Jersey attorney wanted in on.
“Mr. Hollander then called me up one day and said he was going to come to California to kick my ass,” recalled Harry Crouch, president of the plaintiff National Coalition for Men, in a Tuesday interview with the Daily News. “He was angry and threatening. I told him he was out of the organization.
“Marc called Roy back and told him not to come back here, and not to call us and make threats.”
The San Bernardino Sheriff’s Office referred Tuesday calls about the investigation to the Newark office of the FBI as news reports linked the July 11 killing in Crestline, Calif., to the fatal shooting of Newark Federal Court Judge Esther Salas’ only child.
Den Hollander — who drove two hours north to Sullivan County, N.Y., and took his own life — was described by former neighbors, a fellow attorney and court documents as a deranged and menacing man who appeared capable of anything.
“He would literally stare at you and glare at you as if he wanted to kill you,” recalled attorney Nicholas Mundy, who represented the killer’s ex-wife Alina Shipilina in a contentious divorce. “His whole demeanor, the whole thing … such an undertone of hatred and anger.
“I looked over my shoulder more than once in my life, especially back then, to see if he was standing there.”
A former neighbor of Den Hollander, 72, described a mean-spirited loner who relentlessly harassed an ailing upstairs neighbor in Stuyvesant Town. The man became emotionally distraught and eventually passed away, with the venomous Den Hollander then targeting the next tenant, recalled neighbor Fritz Favorule, 66, who lived in the same building with the killer.
“He was the kind of guy I wanted to go up to and ask, ‘What the hell are you doing?‘” recalled Favorule, who instead wisely kept his distance.
“I suddenly feel I’m in a newscast where they say the mass murderer lived next door and seemed like a quiet guy,” continued the neighbor. “I thought of him as obnoxious. I never spoke with the man. I thought the guy was rude and crazy.”
Divorce papers indicated Den Hollander and his wife were married in March 2000 after meeting in Russia at a party filled with models. Once back in Manhattan, the new husband allegedly forced his bride to work at the Times Square strip club “Flash Dancers” and paid for her to dance topless in front of his friends, the papers alleged.
The marriage collapsed within months, with a divorce granted the next year. Once the union was legally dissolved, the angry ex-husband fought to get Shipilina deported and alleged that she used the strip club job as a front to work as a prostitute.
Den Hollander even accused her of drugging his food “to deter him from learning about her hidden Russian and Chechen mafia connections,” according to one vitriolic 20-page court filing.
“A very dark and scary person,” recalled Mundy. “He was a seemingly very well-spoken, well-presenting attorney. But he’d use his skill and his knowledge for bad things.”
As the murder probe continued, Gov. Cuomo said New York State Chief Judge Janet DiFiore remained under the protection of state police Tuesday after her photo and address were found inside Den Hollander’s car. The killer’s body was discovered Monday in a grassy area off the shoulder of a road in Rockland, N.Y., with a single gunshot to the head, cops said.
In one of many writings left behind by Den Hollander, the gunman revealed he was dying of cancer.
The killings on both coasts were committed by a shooter dressed as a FedEx delivery man, according to a report by CBS-TV Los Angeles.
Den Hollander, who filed several lawsuits on behalf of the “men’s rights movement,” showed up at Salas’ suburban New Jersey home around 5 p.m. Sunday. He held a bizarre fascination with Salas, once denouncing her as “a lazy and incompetent Latina judge appointed by Obama” and on another occasion describing the jurist as “this hot Latina judge.”
The judge’s son Daniel, a student at Catholic University in Washington, D.C., was shot and killed, while his father Mark Anderl was shot but survived. Salas was in the basement when the gunfire erupted in the quiet Central Jersey town and escaped without injury.