Revisiting Brooklyn Paper’s 2011 interview with suspect in killing of NJ judge’s family

Roy Den Hollander outside the Brazen Head on Atlantic Avenue in 2011.
Photo by Celeste Hunt

Roy Den Hollander, the now-deceased “men’s rights activist” suspected of killing the son of a New Jersey federal judge, had a long history of bringing bizarre lawsuits to support his anti-feminist agenda — and some of his more outlandish antics appeared in this very paper, when he brought his curious crusade to Brooklyn. 

Brooklyn Paper sat down with Den Hollander in 2011 after the anti-feminist filed a class-action lawsuit in federal court to end the practice of so-called “ladies’ nights” — wherein women are offered discounts on drinks at bars and clubs.

After paying more for alcohol than his female counterparts, the accused future-killer argued that his guarantees of equal rights under the 14th amendment were being violated — leading to a series of retrospectively ominous proclamations.

“Men these days are treated like second class citizens,” Den Hollander told Brooklyn Paper in 2011. “Even a dog has more rights.”

The Paper interviewed a number of Brooklyn club owners at the time, who pointed out that the discount serves to benefit men by increasing the amount of women in the bar.

“It’s common sense,” Junior, a bar manager at Club Temptations in Flatbush told this newspaper nine years ago. “If there are women at a club, it’s good for guys.”

But Den Hollander’s passion for the men’s rights cause turned out to be more than a whimsical sideshow, which saw him featured on The Colbert Show and Fox News, and provoked this paper to label him a harmless ‘knucklehead.’ 

Years after the oft-mocked ladies’ night case, Den Hollander filed another frivolous lawsuit which came before Judge Esther Salas — whom he later called “a lazy and incompetent Latina judge appointed by Obama.”

Authorities believe Den Hollander approached Salas’ New Brunswick dressed as a FedEx driver, and fired multiple shots — killing Salas’ son and wounding her husband. 

The next day, authorities recovered Den Hollander’s body in the Hudson Valley, after an apparent suicide.

Upon realizing that the prime suspect in the grisly murder was a man she once interviewed, former Brooklyn Paper scribe Natalie O’Neill recalled her once-thought-to-be humerous encounter with Den Hollander nine years earlier. 

“This guy took himself really seriously on our phone call,” O’Neill, now a freelance reporter based out of Portland, Oregon remembers. “He came off really intense.”

But, O’Neill said she never imagined Den Hollander’s intense antifeminist bent translating into violence — despite an undercurrent of hostility to their conversation.

“There was some hostility in the things he was saying, but not something that I thought clearly indicated that he would be violent,” she said. 

One particular comment of Den Hollander’s stands out to O’Neill following his alleged rampage. 

“He said something to the effect of ‘I don’t want to trash women, I don’t hate women, women are people too — except for feminists,’” O’Neill said. “I was like ‘s—-, I guess I’m not a human.’”

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