A prominent activist and Detroit synagogue president was killed outside her home on Saturday. Samantha Woll was found stabbed to death, the murder remains under investigation, with Detroit’s police chief saying there was no evidence the crime was “motivated by antisemitism.”
“We don’t feel, as of this press conference, that we think there is evidence to support anyone evidence of anyone else being at risk,” police officials said.
The chief did lay out a timeline of events for Woll’s death and said that she got home from a wedding around 12:30 Saturday morning. Six hours later, police were called to a report of someone lying on the sidewalk near her home.
Per Detroit police, Woll was likely attacked inside her home, then stumbled outside where she collapsed and died.
Project Green Light camera footage is being reviewed, as are neighbor’s home surveillance equipment nearby. Chief White said they’re reviewing Woll’s track from the wedding back to her home and see if there were any cars that were spotted near her multiple times, for example.
“When we look at the case, there are certain tracks that these types of cases take when we talk about hate crimes. there are certain tracks that they take,” White said. “We are confident with the information that we have that this is not (a hate crime)….with what we have right now.”
White also said they are not ruling out anything and will go where the information and evidence takes them.
“Right now, the evidence has not taken us there (to a hate crime),” he said.
At this time no new information on the case has been revealed.
Chief White urged anyone who lives near Woll’s home to check their video cameras and, if they saw anything, to contact police.
Woll was the board president at Isaac Agree Downtown and also worked as the Deputy District Director for Rep. Elissa Slotkin. She also was an artist and a painter who loved learning languages and listening to opera, teaching her nieces and nephews with markers, books and stickers, her sister Monica Woll Rosen said.
As president of the synagogue, a revitalized congregation in the heart of Detroit, Woll helped lead its fundraising campaign and “grand re-opening” just two months ago. She was involved with several interfaith organizations in Metro Detroit and was the embodiment of “tikkun olam,” making the world a better place and pursuing justice for all, her family and friends said Sunday during a service, according to Detroit News.