Sam survived an home invasion , but her guardians claimed it was car accident that orphaned her. She is both anti-social and sarcastic, also reluctant to trust anyone. Her parent's are deceased due to murder. Her parent's moved around a lot and changed her last name multiple times to protect her.
Sam Russo came to live in Salmon Creek when her parents died. The entire town thinks they died in a car crash, but they were actually murdered in home invasion during which Sam survived. She now lives with the Tillsons. Even though she has no resemblance to any of the Tillsons, she is their second cousin. She has dark hair, freckles,blue eyes and is about 5'6". She is an outsider and prefers to stay that way. She gets along with Maya but they are not really friends. The only persons she likes is Daniel, but Maya suspects it's not as a friend. However, it is revealed in The Calling that Sam is an open lesbian but does not mention it to people because she thinks it should be obvious since she is a "walking stereotype."
In The Calling, Sam is the one who tells Maya about Nicole being insane, and her own suspicions that she killed Serena and roofied Maya. Sam is also revealed to be a benandanti, like Daniel, however her powers are not as strong as his. Also, she is not really the Tillson's relative, and has no relation to them whatsoever. It was just a coverup to get her to Salmon Creek. Sam was taken by the Nasts while they were fleeing from them.
In The Rising, Maya meets Sam again after she is captured by the Nasts, and is happy to see her, but doesn't hug her (wisely). When Nicole comes in, Sam is the one to inform the others that she killed Serena. This results in denials and more accusations, until Sam insinuates that Maya had sex with Daniel after the helicopter crash, provoking Nicole into attacking her. Sam is berated for provoking her, as Maya could've been hurt, and she admits she didn't think it all the way through. Sam is later taken away in the van with Nicole and Annie when the facility is evacuated. She doesn't manage to escape, but moves into Badger Lake with the Tillson's after Maya, Kit, and Antone broker the deal with the Nasts.
Sam is a benandanti but some skills have not yet been developed.
"As Rafe stopped, Sam Russo appeared behind him and walked past, shouldering Rafe aside with a smirk, then switched to a genuine smile as she said something to Daniel. Sam is our second newest student. Her parents died two years ago, and she'd come to live with the Tillsons, who were her second cousins or something like that. If there was any resemblance between Sam and Nicole, though, I couldn't see it.
Sam is an inch taller than me, kind of stocky, with dark hair and wide-set blue eyes. She has freckles, too, and the only time I've seen her wear makeup is when Corey teased that her freckles were "cute" and she tried to cover them up.
When she first arrived in Salmon Creek, we'd all tried to make her feel welcome. Serena and I tried harder than anyone, because we thought she was cool, in a smart-mouth, big-city way. But Sam wielded her outsider status like a shield, so we'd given up."