An Illinois teen and her boyfriend, a struggle rapper, were charged Friday (Aug. 15) with murdering her mother in Bali. The body of Sheila von Wiese-Mack was found stuffed inside a suitcase earlier in the week.
Wiese-Mack, 62, took her daughter, Heather Lois Mack, 19, and the boyfriend, 21-year-old Tommy Schaefer, on a trip to the Indonesian island. Her remains were in the trunk of a taxi at the St. Regis Bali Resort.
The couple put the suitcase in the trunk of a waiting taxi, and said they were going back inside to check out. When they didn’t’ return, the driver informed security, who noticed blood stains on the suitcase and instructed him to take it to police. Authorities opened the suitcase and discovered the remains.
Mack and Schaefer assert that Wise-Mack was killed by robbers. Mack’s lawyer in Chicago said that she denies involvement in the murder. Apart from acknowledging her death, neither suspects have been cooperating with cops.
Indonesian police found the couple at another hotel roughly six miles from the St. Regis. They were charged based on witness accounts, and physical evidence. Hotel surveillance footage shows Schaefer and Wiese-Mack arguing in the lobby, hours before she was found dead. “We found scars on both forearms and the broken left-hand fingernail,” said Ida Bagus Putu Alit, head of forensics at a hospital in Denpasar, Bali. “That indicated a resistance in a fight.”
Wiese-Mack is the widow of classical composer James L. Mack, who died in 2006. She and her daughter had a strained relationship. They lived in an upscale Chicago neighborhood, where police had been called to their home more than 80 times in the last several years.
They arrived for the 10-day getaway on Aug. 2, in spite of friends warning Wiese-Mack not to go on vacation with her daughter. “At least four or five of us would say to kick her out,” friend Mark Bacharach said. “She was hanging out with a bad crowd. But Sheila always took her back. [Heather] could be as charming and self-effacingly sweet one minute, and then a vicious little monster the next.”
Schaffer was an area of contention between the two. Less than a month before the murder, the couple stole Wiese-Mack’s credit card to go on a shopping spree and post up at a local hotel.
If found guilty, they face death — via firing squad.
Photo: CBS Chicago/Instagram