MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Three days after a 68-year-old woman was murdered in her north Minneapolis home, friends and neighbors came out Sunday evening to take back their streets.

The outrage over Susan Spiller’s senseless killing is being channeled for greater good. They want to show how Spiller changed her Lind-Bohanon neighborhood for the better.

Spiller was instrumental in creating the Lind Community Garden, just a short walk from her north Minneapolis home.  On this gorgeous summer evening there was grass to mow and at the nearby sandlot, games to play. Both are images of what’s normal in Susan Spiller’s neighborhood.

“I’m so proud of you people showing up and helping us get through the hard times,” David Boyd, association treasurer, said.

But Thursday’s senseless killing of Spiller inside her home graced by gardens, has tapped outrage. After signing condolences to Spiller’s family, a crowd both young and old, black and white, took to the streets.

“We’re a diverse community. We’re here showing that no matter what happened we’re going to bounce back and we’re going to do it for the love of Susan for what she was trying to show everybody else,” Boyd said.

Mourners marched through the neighborhood to make a statement. The first stop was the once troubled street corner of 52nd and Bryant Avenue North.

“She (Spiller) helped out to make sure this was getting done and what we ended up with was this camera here,” friend Sheila Scott said.

Spiller made certain the city installed a security camera. Just one example of the influence Spiller had as a community activist.

Then it was on to Spiller’s DuPont Avenue home and the scene of her killing. That’s where the crowd of 150 mourners paid tribute in silence. A silence punctuated only by the sweet sounds of an evening cardinal.

There on the sidewalk outside Spiller’s home, the group grasped hands and listened to a prayer asking for strength.

“Whoever the perpetrators are, we’ve got to get the word out, and whether white or black, got to come together because all lives do matter, and we’re showing that today,” V.J. Smith, the leader of Minneapolis Mad Dads, said.

And to show the victories of someone so committed to community by overcoming the ugliness of crime, with the beauty that one woman left behind.


Bill Hudson