By Sandy . . . In mid-July of this year, the son and the husband of a New Jersey federal judge were gunned down when they opened the door to a man wearing a FedEx delivery uniform. Daniel, Judge Esther Salas’ son, was killed instantly. Her husband was seriously wounded but is recovering.
The shooter, who ultimately took his own life, is described as a “hate-filled men’s rights attorney” who had previously argued a case before Judge Salas.
In the aftermath of the horrible tragedy, Judge Salas is appealing for improved privacy protections from those who would seek to do harm to judges. She said, “In my case, the monster knew where I lived and what church we attended and had a complete dossier on me and my family. At the moment, there is nothing we can do to stop it, and that is unacceptable . . . this is a matter of life and death. And we can’t just sit back and wait for another tragedy to strike.”
In July of 2013, a man named Charles Parker, along with his wife Gretchen, were shot and stabbed to death by a couple who feigned car trouble outside of the Parker’s home and then managed to get invited inside.
The killers, Jeremy and Christine Moody, did not know the Parkers. They targeted Charles Parker because he was listed on the South Carolina sex offense registry. They murdered his wife just because she was there.
A surveillance video had captured the Moodys outside the Parker home, and they were identified and soon arrested.
Jeremy Moody used the public, online sex offender registry as a road map to the Parker’s home, and he had already targeted more individuals from the registry that he intended to kill in the upcoming days. The county sheriff revealed how Moody was choosing victims. “He indicated he was going on our website looking at sex offenders and randomly targeting individuals off that website.”
Roy Hollander, the man who murdered Daniel Salas, would have had to do a bit of research to gather the information described by Judge Salas as a “complete dossier” on her.
Jeremy Moody found everything he needed in one place. Those who are required to register in South Carolina must list home address; employer’s address; a complete physical description, including scars and tattoos; a complete description of vehicles, including license plate number; and boats. This information is listed online to be found by anyone with a few mouse clicks. All other states’ registries are similar.
Whatever grievance Ray Hollander may have had against Judge Salas, her son and her husband were totally innocent bystanders.
Jeremy Moody did not even know Charles Parker and could have had no grievance against him and certainly none against Mrs. Parker, who was also a totally innocent bystander.
Judges, both federal and others, have been murdered over the years by those with personal grievances against them.
Those on the registry for crimes long paid for, their family members, and totally innocent people mistaken for a registered person have been murdered over the years by those, generally, with no personal grievance at all but with a vigilante-sense of indignation that anyone with a sexual crime conviction, no matter how trivial and no matter how long ago, is alive.
People deserve to feel safe – to be safe – in their homes. This includes judges. This includes you. This includes me. This includes people listed on sexual offense registries. Judge Salas, rightly so, wants greater protection of information for judges. As long as on-line sex offender registry information is available to the public, there will be no protection of information for the persons listed on these registries.
I have been criticized for writing about negative and depressing topics such as this. I will be criticized for writing about this one.
I will stop writing about them when they stop occurring — when people stop murdering judges and persons required to register.
Sandy, a NARSOL board member, is communications director for NARSOL, editor-in-chief of the Digest, and a writer for the Digest and the NARSOL website. Additionally, she participates in updating and managing the website and assisting with a variety of organizational tasks.