Detroit Police announced Wednesday they made an arrest in the stabbing death of Jewish community leader Samantha Woll but have refused to provide any details, including the suspect’s name.
Experts told Fox News Digital it’s unusual to withhold the name of a suspect after that person has been taken into custody, adding another layer of mystery to an already puzzling case.
“There are a host of possible reasons to withhold the name. I can think of many. Does it happen often? As often as a lunar eclipse,” said former senior Manhattan prosecutor Joan Illuzzi-Orbon.
Aside from juveniles, she has never tried a case in which a suspect’s name was withheld after an arrest in 33 years of prosecuting serious crimes.
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Woll, the president of the Isaac Agree Downtown Synagogue and an avid supporter of Israel, was attacked Oct. 21 inside her Lafayette Park home before stumbling outside and collapsing on her front lawn, according to police.
At about 6:30 a.m., a person found her unresponsive and called 911. There were no signs of forced entry, and she had her phone and ID with her.
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Many speculate Woll had been the victim of a hate crime amid tensions over the Israel-Hamas war. The Detroit area has the largest Arabic-speaking population in the U.S.
Two days after the slaying, Detroit Police Chief James E. White held a press conference and told reporters very little.
“We believe this incident was not motivated by antisemitism, and this suspect acted alone,” he said, declining to comment on a possible motive.
In announcing the arrest on X, White wrote that details of the investigation “will remain confidential.”
Illuzzi-Orbon, who secured a rape conviction against Harvey Weinstein in 2020, pointed to Woll’s political connections.
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In addition to her Jewish activism, she had worked for Michigan State Sen. Stephanie Chang, Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin and Attorney General Dana Nessel, all Democrats.
“It could be someone in law enforcement or someone who is an informant for the government, and it could endanger him or the people the suspect was involved with. Maybe the victim was a government informant,” she said.
The prosecutor added that police might protect the name of a suspect if releasing it would pose a legitimate threat to the suspect’s family.
Fox News Digital submitted a public records request for all police reports related to Woll, her synagogue or her home in the last year, and the request was denied.
Retired NYPD Lt. John Macari, host of “The Finest Unfiltered” podcast, suspects a political motive is at play.
“I’ve never seen this before. If he’s already been arrested, what are you protecting?” Macari wondered. “Maybe this was actually a hate crime, and they don’t want to ignite a powder keg if that information came out.”
Retired NYPD Det. Joseph Giacalone said he thinks it’s a “bad move” by police that will only fuel the speculation they’re trying to prevent.
“Police could easily come forward and say it was an act of random violence, an intimate relationship gone bad or a burglary, but they aren’t,” he said. “It’s a cloak and dagger game that creates suspicion and mistrust.”
A spokeswoman for the Detroit Police Department didn’t immediately return a request for comment.