Miscellaneous Mental Musings of an Emerging Artist
Last night, federal judge Esther Salas and her family were at home when a man now identified as Roy Den Hollander allegedly knocked on her front door dressed as a FedEx delivery driver, and then proceeded to shoot her husband and son before running away, and later being found dead in his car of an allegedly self-inflicted gunshot wound.
I find myself horrified on multiple levels here, and when I say multiple levels I mean I’m currently trapped in an elevator that travels between them of its own volition, which has no buttons that I can press, and which has a door that only seems to open now and again upon a blank and howling void.
On the most basic level I am horrified as a husband and father, and am only able to imagine an iota of the suffering Judge Salas is feeling to know her partner is critically injured and her only child is dead in a sudden, senseless act of violence occurring during what was otherwise a peaceful evening at home.
On another level I am horrified to read about how yet another long-stewing kettle of testosterone-centered ego has boiled over and left behind death and mayhem in its wake. Alleged murderer Roy Den Hollander’s website was still active when his name was identified and I would not have recommended diving too deeply into his psychosis — my own relatively shallow exploration is going to leave me in a foul mood for the rest of the evening.
On yet another level I am horrified by the tension that comes with seeing one too many coincidences; having read and remembered one too many familiar stories. I am trying very hard to navigate the spaces between things that are true, things that are connected, things that are reasonably speculated and things that require either acts of faith or leaps of logic to believe.
It’s true that Hollander had previously been involved in a case in front of Judge Salas and that he had another one pending. It’s true that he viewed Salas — indeed, all women in positions of power — with utmost contempt and that Salas being Latina was another bone of contention in his diseased ethos. It’s true that he was fighting cancer, expected to die, and that his resentment extended to his physicians with as much vitriol as it was expressed towards the perceived injustice of Ladies Night promotions.
It’s also true that Salas, an Obama appointee to the federal bench, had recently been assigned a case involving the activities of Deutsche Bank in relation to deceased serial child molester Jeffrey Epstein.
Deutsche Bank has been named as a linchpin in a $20 billion dollar Russian money-laundering scheme, and is also notoriously the only major bank willing to take a risk on Donald Trump’s businesses after he had run every other one of his schemes into the ground. Jeffrey Epstein’s vile dealings have involved several of the world’s most powerful people, including Trump himself, who used to call Epstein a very good and close friend of his until he began pretending he had never met the guy. Epstein’s assumed jail cell suicide, of course, remains suspicious and the apprehension of his alleged procurer Ghislaine Maxwell has prompted many to assume that she’s one unmonitored hallway from meeting a similar fate.
A startling number of Russian journalists, attorneys and bureaucrats during the long reign of Vladimir Putin have also expired under mysterious circumstances — some fatally ill with radiation poisoning, some falling out of windows before delivering arguments or testimony in courts, some of them shot to death on the front steps of their own home by a disguised gunman who then escaped in a nearby vehicle. I don’t have data on how many of these gunmen were later found dead in these cars due to self-inflicted wounds. In Russia it seems more customary to quickly arrest a random group of Chechens and find them guilty at trial.
Roy Den Hollander listed on his resume a decade spent as a practicing attorney in Moscow, along with several clippings of his opinions on economics and world affairs that had appeared in Russian newspapers and magazines. That decade, 1990 – 2000, was particularly fraught in Russia as the nation navigated the collapse of its economy and government, and proved to be the sort of environment in which a man like Putin could rise from being the Mayor of St. Petersburg’s advisor on international affairs to the effective president-for-life of the country. The last two year’s of Hollander’s tenure also saw him managing a Moscow detective agency called Kroll Associates, these were also the two years in which Putin rose to be Boris Yeltsin’s Prime Minister and then Acting President when Yeltsin himself suddenly resigned.
Putin had, of course, also been a former KGB officer before entering bureaucracy. His known activities during that career had included recruiting agents and assets, including overseeing Soviet support for the Red Army Faction terrorist group in West Germany.
I could very easily slip further into this vortex, but I want to be clear about where I currently stand, before that happens. I refuse to say, without direct evidence, that Roy Den Hollander was working consciously for Russian interests related to Deutsche Bank or Trump’s administration, or Trump’s interests related to Deutsche or Epstein, when he knocked on the door of the Salas home and attacked her family.
I will say that he’s exactly the sort of guy a canny intelligence officer would cultivate and then press upon in an opportune moment; the sort of guy who has been teetering on the edge of material violence for a very long time, and who now feels he has nothing left to lose, who could be very responsive to a trusted voice pointing him in the direction of an inconvenient judge and naming her as the source of all his life’s disappointments.
And I say this because Russian support for the NRA, documented extensively throughout the last two years as an FSB intelligence operation, was built on the notion of empowering an entity that sowed chaos in a nation already targeted for destabilization. Doing as such for one angry “men’s rights” advocate is the same principle in a more precise form.