Heather Mack hearing today: Suitcase killer pleads guilty over Bali murder of Sheila von Wiese-Mack

Woman’s body found in suitcase

“Suit case” Heather Mack pleaded guilty to the 2014 killing of her celebrity mother in Bali in a Chicago court today, bringing a kind of closure to the shocking case.

In August 2014, Mack, then 18 and pregnant, and her boyfriend Tommy Schaefer, then 21, fatally assaulted Sheila von Weise-Mack, 62, with a metal fruit stand while vacationing at the luxurious 5-star St. Regis resort on the West Coast Death Indonesian island.

The couple, who referred to each other as “Bonnie and Clyde” in chilling text messages, then stuffed her body into a suitcase and left it in the trunk of a taxi.

They were both convicted of first degree murder in Indonesia – narrowly escaping death by firing squad.

After spending seven years in a Bali prison (where her daughter was born), Mack was extradited to the United States, where she was arrested upon arrival in Chicago and charged again in November 2021 with conspiracy to murder in a foreign country.

Since then, she has been behind bars and fighting charges, but changed her mind and decided to strike a deal.


As with all plea deals, this is a bit of a gamble for the defendant. It states that Mack’s sentence will not exceed 28 years (taking into account time served in Indonesia), but Judge Kennelly also tells Mack that the sentencing guidelines are not binding on him, reports Dave Byrnes.

“I have to make up my own mind,” he says, noting that he may have a worse verdict on her than she had hoped.

He will only decide when the verdict is announced.

Oliver O’ConnellJune 16, 2023 21:15


Judge Kennelly said if Mack was sentenced to less than life imprisonment, he would be paroled for up to five years.

She also faces a fee of up to $250,000 plus court costs and compensation to her mother’s family.

He also tells prosecutors that they will not read the full “factual basis” of the objection agreement in court.

Jon Seidel notes, “That probably means Mack’s confessions are long and detailed.”

Oliver O’ConnellJune 16, 2023 8:45 p.m


Earlier in court…

A tense situation arose between Mack’s defense attorney and Judge Kennelly early in the court. Here’s what happened:

Jon Seidel from The Sun Times reports that Mack tells the judge that as a teenager she believed she was diagnosed with depression and post-traumatic stress disorder and was “hospitalized a few times.”

It turns out that Mack was only read the consent form over the phone.

According to Dave Byrnes, there is an “outburst of anger” from Judge Kennelly court news when he wants to know why she hasn’t seen a physical copy of the agreement.

Mack’s attorney, Jeffrey Steinback, says the consent form has been revised several times and he was unable to get a final version of the agreement to the Chicago federal prison last night.

This seems to satisfy the judge and Mack confirms that she understands everything in the agreement.

Oliver O’ConnellJune 16, 2023 8:15 p.m


In Detail: Heather Mack’s Mom Feared Her Daughter Would Kill Her The police were powerless to prevent this

The story of American teenager Heather Mack and her mother Sheila von Wiese-Mack first came to the world when the 62-year-old’s body was found in a suitcase in Indonesia.

But the story actually begins many years earlier.

Behind the headlines about the so-called “Suitcase Murderer” lies the tragic story of a mother who endured years of domestic violence at the hands of her child in their home in the Chicago suburb of Oak Park.

Oliver O’ConnellJune 16, 2023 7:15 p.m


Mack’s family reacts to ‘Mastermind’ killer’s guilty plea

William Wiese and Debbi Curran, the Wiese-Macks siblings, released a statement on Friday after Mack finally pleaded guilty to their involvement in their mother’s murder, more than eight years after the 62-year-old’s body was found stuffed in a suitcase a luxury 5 star resort in Bali.

Oliver O’ConnellJune 16, 2023 6:45 p.m


Speak with The New York Post Last week, Mack said, “I’ve spent almost ten years in prison. I felt like I had done my time, so I was excited for the process,” she said.

“Now after sitting for so long I know what to do. I’m going to be a felon in America, and that’s okay. I understand from [the US government’s] If I don’t plead guilty and they don’t charge me, I wouldn’t be a felon.”

She added, “I could be a police officer and work for the government … I could carry a firearm on the street.”

The exact terms of the plea deal were unclear, but Mack said she was considering a sentence of zero to 25 years, including time served.

“So if they gave me 15 or even 18 years. Because of the time served, I wouldn’t even have that much time left,” she said Business Insider.

“The good thing about my plea is that the maximum supervised release used to be ten years and is now five years. If I got the full five-year supervised release, with good behavior I could be out in a year and a half or two.”

Oliver O’ConnellJune 16, 2023 6:15 p.m


After spending seven years in an Indonesian prison, Mack was extradited to the US, where she was arrested in November 2021 on conspiracy to murder in a foreign country.

Since then she has been behind bars in Illinois awaiting trial. She resists the charges and insists that she served her sentence for her crime in Indonesia.

Then, earlier this month, she announced her intention to reach an agreement in the case.

Oliver O’ConnellJune 16, 2023 5:45 p.m


Prosecutors revealed that she had flown out her lover just hours earlier on a $12,000 business class ticket that had been charged to her mother’s credit card. Surveillance footage later showed the trio arguing after arriving in the hotel lobby.

Mack was dead less than 12 hours after he flew in.

Horrifying text messages later surfaced showing the pair comparing themselves to the notorious duo Bonnie & Clyde and plotting murder methods with the help of Schafer’s cousin.

Both were convicted of premeditated murder in Indonesia and narrowly escaped being shot.

Oliver O’ConnellJune 16, 2023 5:15 p.m


On August 12, 2014, Mack, then 18, and her then-boyfriend Tommy Schaefer (21) von Wiese-Mack shot dead with the metal handle of a fruit stand at the luxurious 5-star St. Regis resort in Bali.

They then stuffed her body in a suitcase, called a cab, and loaded it in the trunk of the car.

When they were unable to check out of the luxury resort using their mother’s credit card, the couple fled the scene, leaving the blood-stained suitcase behind.

They were soon tracked down to a budget motel and arrested on suspicion of murder.

At the time of the murder, Mack — the daughter of von Wiese-Mack socialite and famed musician James L. Mack — was pregnant with Schaefer’s child.

Prosecutors revealed that she had flown out her lover just hours earlier on a $12,000 business class ticket that had been charged to her mother’s credit card. Surveillance footage later showed the trio arguing after arriving in the hotel lobby.

Mack was dead less than 12 hours after he flew in.

Oliver O’ConnellJune 16, 2023 4:45 p.m


Jon Seidel from The Sun Times writes, “Sheila von Wiese-Mack’s siblings have also told reporters that they hope Judge Kennelly will accept Mack’s plea deal. Support from the victim’s family tends to increase the likelihood that the judge will agree.”

Oliver O’ConnellJune 16, 2023 4:33 p.m

Russell Falcon

Russell Falcon is a USTimesPost U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Russell Falcon joined USTimesPost in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing russellfalcon@ustimespost.com.

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