NewsNational NewsScripps News


Detroit synagogue president found stabbed to death outside her home

Police have not determined a motive and have assigned the case to their homicide unit for investigation.
Detroit synagogue president found stabbed to death at her home
Posted at 4:06 PM, Oct 21, 2023

Samantha Woll, the president of Isaac Agree Downtown Detroit Synagogue, was found dead outside her home early Saturday morning.

A spokesperson for the Detroit Police Department says they were notified of the body in the 1300 block of Joliet Place at 6:30 a.m. First responders found the body outside the home when they arrived.

Police say Woll's body had been stabbed multiple times.

"We are shocked and saddened to learn of the unexpected death of Samantha Woll, our Board President," the Synagogue said in a statement posted to Facebook. "At this point we do not have more information, but will share more when it becomes available. May her memory be a blessing."

Detroit Police Chief James White urged people to remain patient as the investigation continues, and said DPD has mobilzed many resources and leveraged every law enforcement resource it has in the investigation.

"Understandably, this crime leaves many unanswered questions. This matter is under investigation, and I am asking that everyone remain patient while investigators carefully examine every aspect of the available evidence. It is important that no conclusions be drawn until all of the available facts are reviewed," White said.

He said an update on the investigation is expected Monday.

Woll was on the board of the Jewish Community Relations Council and the American Jewish Committee.

“She truly believed in repairing the world around her, making the world a better place... Detroit is better, the world is better because Sam Woll was in it," said Sam Dubin, assistant director at JCRC/AJC.

According to her LinkedIn profile, Woll worked as a Political Director for Attorney General Dana Nessel during her re-election campaign and worked as Deputy District Director for Rep. Elissa Slotkin for two years (2019-2021).

“I am shocked, saddened and horrified to learn of Sam’s brutal murder,” Nessel said in a statement posted to X, formerly known as Twitter. “Sam was as kind a person as I’ve ever known. She was driven by her sincere love of her community, state and country. Sam truly used her faith and activism to create a better place for everyone.”

"I and all of Team Slotkin is heartbroken at this news," Slotkin said on X. "Sam worked for me from nearly the moment I became a Congresswoman, helping us set up the office & helping to lead it for my full first term. She did for our team as Deputy District Director what came so naturally to her: helping others & serving constituents. Separately, in politics & in the Jewish community, she dedicated her short life to building understanding across faiths, bringing light in the face of darkness. My heart aches that we have lost someone so dedicated to serving others in such a senseless act. I’ll miss her relentless desire to serve & her bright smile seemingly everywhere across the Detroit area. Team Slotkin shares in the deep grief of her family & her greater community."

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan also sent a statement on Woll's passing to 7 Action News Saturday afternoon.

"I was devastated today to learn of the loss of one of Detroit’s great young leaders - Samantha Woll," Duggan said. "Just weeks ago, I shared a day of joy with Sam at the dedication of the newly renovated Downtown Synagogue. It was a project she successfully led with great pride and enthusiasm. Sam’s loss has left a huge hole in the Detroit community. This entire city joins with her family and friends in mourning her tragic death."

DPD's Homicide Section is investigating the incident. Anyone with information on this is asked to contact them at 313-596-2260.

This story was originally published by Kellen Voss at Scripps News Detroit.

Trending stories at