Daniel Anderl, the son of U.S. federal Judge Esther Salas and attorney Mark Anderl, was shot dead while trying to save his parents from a man who went to the door of their North Brunswick home armed with a gun posing as a deliveryman last summer.
Correspondent Tracy Smith and 48 HOURS investigate the connection between the murder of Anderl and Marc Angelucci, who died 2,800 miles away in the mountains of San Bernardino days prior, in “The Deliveryman Murders” to be broadcast Saturday, Feb. 20 at 10 p.m. on the CBS Television Network.
“I have direct evidence that he died heroically, that he had a holy death,” David Oakley, Daniel Anderl’s Godfather and a family friend, says in the interview. “And, so, I have no hesitation about praying to Daniel. And I have been.”
The two murders captured the nation’s attention because they involved the family of a federal judge and a high-profile attorney and each involved a killer impersonating a deliveryman, according to information provided by CBS. The murders happened just eight days apart.
Smith and 48 HOURS report on the murders through interviews with friends of Daniel Anderl and a close friend of Angelucci, investigators and more. The broadcast also pieces together the events of the weekend of Daniel Anderl’s death, when he celebrated his birthday with his family and close friends.
“There is nobody else I know that would do something like that, except for Dan, to sacrifice his own life to save someone else,” says Kat Haley, one of Anderl’s friends. “I have never met a kid who speaks more highly of his parents. He, his mom and his dad, were his best friends in the world and he would let you know that.”
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the friends didn’t get a chance to see each other in person that often. But the weekend of his 20th birthday bought them together.
“We were just so happy to all finally see each other. It was incredible,” says Haley.
They had no sense how bittersweet that time together – and their goodbyes – would become.
“He was like, ‘I love you,’” says friend Matthew Zeigler. “I said, ‘I love you, too.’ And that was kind of the last conversation we ended up having.”
Salas, in a video she released online, said the weekend was a glorious one.
“We were chatting, as we always do,” Salas says in the video. “And Daniel said, ‘Mom, let’s keep talking. I love talking to you, Mom.’ It was that exact moment that the doorbell rang.”
What happened next ended Daniel Anderl’s life. The gunman shot his father Mark Anderl multiple times.
Investigators would later link the two crimes to one killer: Roy Den Hollander, a 72-year-old attorney with extreme views on men’s rights. Investigators say he held grievances against Angelucci and Judge Salas. Den Hollander was later found in the Catskill Mountains of New York with a fatal, self-inflicted gunshot wound to his head.
Salas believes the free flow of information on the Internet made it easy to find her personal details. She pushed for legislation to change that and in November 2020 Daniel’s Law was signed by Gov. Phil Murphy. A similar bill was introduced in Congress last year.
“I am profoundly moved by seeing how Mark and Esther are dealing with this unspeakable event,” says Oakley. “They’ve turned this into something positive for others. These guys are unbroken.”
48 HOURS: “The Deliveryman Murders” is produced by Gail Zimmerman and Chuck Stevenson. Sara Ely Hulse, Michelle Fanucci and Jonathan Leach are the development producers. Gabriella Demirdjian is the associate producer. Marlon Disla, Marcus Balsam, Richard Barber, Michelle Harris and James Taylor are the editors. Anthony Batson is the senior broadcast producer. Nancy Kramer is the executive story editor. Judy Tygard is the executive producer.