On Sunday, the family of murdered Detroit synagogue leader Samantha Woll revealed her final text message was a heart sent to a friend, “just because,” as police continue to investigate the brutal stabbing.
While speaking at Woll’s funeral service, her sister, Monica Woll Rosen, told attendees stories about her late sister, saying, “You sent hearts to cheer people up and let them know you’re thinking of them — because you cared.”
Rosen also told a story about a friend who received birthday flowers sent by Woll on the day she was killed, which she had signed as being from her and 10 others.
“Happy birthday! Wishing you many, many, many more. You are the greatest gift of all. Love always and forever,” read the attached card, which was read aloud by Rosen at the service.
“That was you, Sam,” Rosen said. “You didn’t even ask. You just sent flowers and signed 10 other people’s names because you knew it would make the receiver happy — and the others would have wanted to say happy birthday if they knew it was your birthday.”
Many of Woll’s family, friends, and colleagues spoke at her funeral, telling of her selfless nature, unending positivity and love for her fellow people.
Woll’s body was found at about 6:30 a.m. on Saturday by police officers, responding to a call about an unresponsive person outside her home in the city’s Lafayette Park neighborhood. A trail of blood was reportedly found which led from the suspected crime scene to her residence.
Two days after the murder, there is little information about the perpetrator of the crime nor a motive for the killing.
Woll was a politically connected activist who worked on the campaigns of several politicians, and was Jewish, and an active member at her synagogue. She had led the Isaac Agree Downtown Detroit Synagogue since 2022 and previously worked for Democratic Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin and on the reelection campaign of Attorney General Dana Nessel, also a Democrat, according to the Detroit Free Press.
However, authorities have warned about jumping to conclusions for the murder and assuming that the killing had anything to do with the conflict between Israel and Hamas.
Police released an update on Monday evening, in which Detroit Police Chief James E. White issued a statement on the investigation.
“A cloud of grief looms over our city whenever a life is tragically and abruptly taken. Our hearts and thoughts remain with Ms. Woll’s family and loved ones during this difficult time. The relentless pursuit of the violent suspect responsible for this heinous act is ongoing,” White’s statement began. “Our dedicated law enforcement officers are working tirelessly around the clock. I have unwavering faith in Detroit’s finest, knowing they will bring justice to our community.”
I want to assure our community and media partners that I am committed to maintaining transparency throughout this investigation,” White continued. “Keeping you informed is my priority, and I will continue to provide updates as we progress in our efforts to bring closure and justice to Ms. Woll’s grieving family and our entire city.”
Updates to the case state that on the evening of Friday, October, 20, 2023, Woll was at an event, but left, returning home at approximately 12:30 a.m. on Saturday morning.
“She was discovered deceased outside her home at approximately 6:30 a.m. Saturday morning. At this time, no evidence has surfaced suggesting that this crime was motivated by antisemitism,” the X account for the Detroit police department wrote. “The DPD believes that no groups or other individuals are at risk. The DPD is working with our partners including the Michigan State Police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation in this investigation. The DPD has identified several persons of interest.”
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