Detroit Synagogue Leader’s Murder Unravelled, Michael Jackson-Bolanos Charged Amidst Initial Hate Crime Fears

Detroit Synagogue Leader’s Murder Solved: Stranger Charged, Antisemitism Ruled Out

Samantha Woll, 40, was stabbed to death in her home in October.

Police initially suspected a hate crime, but a suspect arrested Sunday has been charged with murder and unrelated offenses.

Stranger Accused:

Michael Jackson-Bolanos, 28, has been charged with Woll’s murder, breaking and entering, and lying to police.

Authorities say he attacked Woll inside her home before she stumbled outside, leaving a trail of blood.

Hate Crime Concerns Dispelled:

Prosecutor Kym Worthy stressed there is “not a shred of evidence” the murder was motivated by antisemitism or any hate crime.

Woll was a board president for a local synagogue, but investigators found no link between her faith and the attack.

Investigation Timeline:

  • October 21: Woll is murdered.
  • November 8: An unidentified man arrested, released without charges due to lack of evidence.
  • December 4: Initial arrest of a person of interest, later released.
  • December 11: Jackson-Bolanos identified, investigated for larcenies near Woll’s home.
  • December 13: Jackson-Bolanos arrested and charged.

Police Chief Reassures Community:

Detroit Police Chief James White stated no one was ever at risk, and Woll’s family has been informed of the arrest.

Unanswered Questions Remain:

  • The specific connection between Jackson-Bolanos and Woll remains unclear.
  • Police declined to discuss details linking Jackson-Bolanos to the crime.
  • Motive for the attack remains unknown.

Community Seeks Closure:

Woll’s death sparked fears of anti-Semitism amidst national tensions.

Rabbi Asher Lopatin of the Jewish Community Relations Council expressed hope for closure for Woll’s loved ones and the community.

Legal Representation:

The Wayne County Public Defender’s office has not yet responded to inquiries regarding Jackson-Bolanos’ representation.

Woll’s Legacy:

Woll was actively involved in politics and the Jewish community.

Her death serves as a reminder of the importance of fighting against violence and prejudice.


A stranger has been charged with the murder of Samantha Woll.

Antisemitism was ruled out as a motive.

The investigation spanned two months and involved multiple arrests.

Police declined to discuss details linking the suspect to the victim.

Woll’s family and the community seek answers and closure.

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