Samantha Woll, 40, the president of a Detroit synagogue, was stabbed to death on Oct. 21. Thirteen days later, police have yet to announce a motive or a suspect, but the Detroit Police Department has been emphatic that there is no evidence that the killer was motivated by antisemitism.
Abe Greenwald, executive editor of Commentary magazine, wrote that the Detroit police chief’s logic was specious when stating that he was “confident” that there wasn’t an indication of antisemitism.
“Absence of evidence, as Carl Sagan said, isn’t evidence of absence. If the police don’t see the ‘tracks’ of a hate crime, it doesn’t mean a hate crime can be ruled out,” Greenwald wrote. “It could mean that they’ve missed the tracks or that this is a hate crime that just happens not to bear the telltale signs.”
“Without knowing who killed Samantha Woll or the killer’s motivation, police were confident it wasn’t an antisemitic event,” Greenwald added. “It’s the one theory they were somehow able to rule out.”
WDIV Local 4 in Detroit reported that there were no signs of forced entry at the home of Woll, who was found with her wallet and phone.
“Police previously said there was a large Israeli flag in Woll’s home that was left untouched, which indicated to them that this likely wasn’t an antisemitic-driven attack,” it reported. “Officials hinted at having more evidence to point them in that direction, but did not share that evidence in their last news briefing.”