Sports

Heather Mack news updates: Suitcase killer to plead guilty over murder of socialite mom Sheila von Wiese-Mack


Woman’s body found in suitcase

“Suitcase killer” Heather Mack is expected to plead guilty in Chicago court on Friday over the 2014 murder of her socialite mother in Bali, bringing some sort of conclusion to the shocking case.

In August 2014, Mack, then 18 and pregnant, and her boyfriend Tommy Schaefer, then 21, bludgeoned Sheila von Weise-Mack, 62, to death with a metal fruit stand while on vacation at the luxury 5-star St. Regis resort on the Indonesian island.

The couple, who described themselves as “Bonnie and Clyde” in chilling text messages, then stuffed her body in a suitcase and left it in the trunk of a taxi.

They were both convicted of premeditated murder in Indonesia – narrowly escaping firing squad.

After serving seven years in a Bali jail (where her daughter was born), Mack was extradited to the US where she was arrested on arrival in Chicago and hit with fresh charges of conspiracy to murder in a foreign country in November 2021.

Since then, she has been behind bars fighting the charges.

On 16 June, Mack is expected to appear for a plea hearing in Illinois court where she has revealed her intentions to take a plea bargain.

1686846601

ICYMI: FBI arrests ‘suitcase killer’ as she arrives back in US after release from Bali jail

The FBI has arrested “suitcase killer” Heather Mack as she arrived back in the United States following her release from a Bail prison.

Mack was taken into custody at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport as she and boyfriend, Tommy Schaefer, were indicted in Illinois on charges of conspiracy to kill in a foreign country, one count of conspiracy to commit foreign murder of a US national, and one count of obstruction.

Mack and Schaefer were convicted in Indonesia of killing her socialite mother in 2014 and stuffing her body into a suitcase at a luxurious Bali resort in an plot to access her trust fund.

Rachel Sharp15 June 2023 17:30

1686839401

Heather Mack’s US criminal case:

Heather Mack was released from prison in Bali in October 2021 after serving seven years – three years early due to good behaviour – and was briefly reunited with her daughter Stella, then six, who she planned to begin a new life with. But her newfound freedom was short-lived.

Five days later, the then 26-year-old was deported from the Indonesian island back to the US and was arrested as soon as she touched down on American soil.

The convicted killer and her young daughterwere greeted by waiting FBI agents at the gate at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport and was immediately taken into US federal custody.

She was indicted on two counts of conspiring to commit murder in a foreign country and one count of obstruction of justice. The indictment, which was filed in 2017 but remained sealed while she remained in Indonesian prison, also charged Schaefer with the same counts.

In the more than two years since Mack has been behind bars in the US, she has fought against the charges, arguing that she paid for her crime during her prison time in Bali.

The case was set to go to trial on 1 August in Chicago before Mack revealed her intentions for a change of plea.

Rachel Sharp15 June 2023 15:30

1686833401

Heather Mack’s criminal case in Indonesia:

In 2014, Heather Mack and Tommy Schaefer were both charged with premeditated murder and faced the death penalty by firing squad in Indonesia.

While Schaefer ultimately pleaded guilty, Mack did not. Schaefer testified at trial that he killed the 62-year-old because she attacked him when she found out her daughter was pregnant. Meanwhile, Mack was allegedly motivated by a desire to be free from her controlling mother.

In March 2015, in the middle of her trial, Mack gave birth to the couple’s daughter Stella (who she raised in prison for the first two years of her life when she was placed in the care of an Australian woman living in Indonesia who Mack had befriended behind bars).

Both Mack and Schaefer were convicted of premeditated murder and – after prosecutors asked for the death penalty be taken off the table – Mack was sentenced to 10 years in prison while Schaefer was sentenced to 18 years in April 2015.

In 2017, Schaefer’s cousin Ryan Bibbs, then 24, was also convicted of conspiracy to kill von Wiese-Mack and sentenced to nine years in prison after it emerged that he had coached the two killers in different murder methods.

Rachel Sharp15 June 2023 13:50

1686832201

Heather Mack’s conviction in Indonesia didn’t stop her facing charges in the US. Here’s why

The filing of US charges against a Chicago woman convicted of killing her wealthy mother during a luxury vacation in Bali raised questions about how someone who has spent time in an overseas prison can be hauled into an American court on similar charges.

The US Constitution prohibits prosecuting someone twice for the same acts, commonly known as double jeopardy. But the allegations in von Wiese-Mack’s death involve two countries with their own laws and their own claims to jurisdiction, an expert said.

It’s a federal crime to kill a US citizen abroad, Barbara McQuade, a University of Michigan law professor and former US attorney in Detroit, told The AP in 2021.

“The United States government is a different sovereign than the government of Indonesia ” she explained.

The US must believe “there is some substantial federal interest that was not vindicated by the prior case,” McQuade said. “I don’t know what all the reasons are. But this appears to be a very premeditated plot. This could be the kind of thing where they say: ‘Seven years? That is just not enough.’”

The 2017 grand jury indictment publicly revealed this week in Chicago was sealed while Mack and Tommy Schaefer were imprisoned overseas. The US Justice Department has always had discretion to dismiss the case or stick with it.

“If the new administration had wanted to put the brakes on it, they certainly could have done that,” McQuade said Thursday.

Rachel Sharp15 June 2023 13:30

1686831001

Illinois police records reveal years of abuse before murder

Heather Mack was the daughter of socialite von Wiese-Mack and famed musician James L Mack and had a privileged upbringing in the Oak Park suburb of Chicago.

But, following James L Mack’s 2006 death, von Wiese-Mack called the police to their home dozens of times due to incidents of domestic violence.

Oak Park Police records reveal at least 35 interactions with officers since 2008 including accusations that Mack broke her mother’s arm, bit and punched her.

In 2012, she was convicted of battery in juvenile court for an attack on her mother.

In 2013 – just over one year before her murder – von Wiese-Mack confided in a detective that she feared Mack was going to kill her.

Rachel Sharp15 June 2023 13:10

1686829801

Heather Mack reveals plans to plead guilty

After years of fighting for her freedom – and blaming her mother for her own senseless killing – Heather Mack, 27, has now revealed her intentions to change her plea at a hearing in Illinois court on Thursday.

Speaking to The New York Post last week, Mack said she believed she had served her time in Indonesian prison and didn’t think she should be facing charges in the US.

“I have served nearly 10 years in prison. I felt that I had done my time, so I was gung-ho for trial,” she said.

“Now, after sitting for so long, I know what I have to do.

“I’m going to be a felon in America, and that is fine. I understand from [the US government’s] perspective that, if I don’t plead guilty and they didn’t indict me, I wouldn’t be a felon.”

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

The exact terms of the plea deal remain unclear, but Mack said she is looking at a sentence of zero to 25 years, including time served.

Rachel Sharp15 June 2023 12:50

1686828601

ICYMI: Heather Mack denied bond

A judge declined to ease bond conditions Thursday and release a Chicago woman who is charged with conspiracy in the 2014 death of her wealthy mother during a luxury vacation in Bali.

The decision means Heather Mack, 27, will remain in custody without bond while awaiting a July trial in federal court in Chicago.

Mack was arrested in Chicago in November 2021 after serving more than seven years in an Indonesian prison for murder. The body of her socialite mother, Sheila von Wiese-Mack, was stuffed in a suitcase and left in a taxi outside a hotel on the island of Bali.

Rachel Sharp15 June 2023 12:30

1686828001

IN PICTURES: The case of the ‘suitcase killer’

The bloody suitcase pictured outside the luxury Bali resort in August 2014

(AP)

Sheila von Weise-Mack, 62, was found stuffed in a suitcase in Bali

(Provided/Caxton Club)

Heather Mack and her boyfriend Tommy Schaefer after their arrest for murder in Indonesia

(AP)

Heather Mack with her newborn baby behind bars in Bali in 2015

(AP)

Mack escorted by Indonesian immigration workers in November 2021 after her release from Bali prison

(Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Rachel Sharp15 June 2023 12:20

1686827401

What happened to Sheila von Wiese-Mack?

In August 2014, wealthy Illinois socialite Sheila von Wiese-Mack took her troubled 18-year-old daughter on vacation to the 5-star St. Regis hotel in Bali.

After they arrived at the luxury resort, Mack used her mother’s credit card to buy a $12,000 business-class ticket for her then-boyfriend Tommy Schaefer to join them and a single night’s stay at the hotel.

In the early hours of the morning on 12 August 2014 – hours after Schaefer arrived – Mack, von Wiese-Mack and Schaefer were captured on hotel surveillance footage arguing in the lobby of the hotel.

Sometime after that, Schaefer bludgeoned von Wiese-Mack to death with the metal handle of a fruit stand.

Schaefer and Mack then stuffed her body into a suitcase and wheeled it down into the hotel lobby.

They hailed a taxi, loaded the suitcase into the trunk of the car and tried to check out of the luxury resort.

But, because von Weise-Mack had told the hotel not to let her daughter use her credit card, they were prevented from doing so and fled the scene.

The taxi driver – suspicious of the bloodied suitcase wrapped in hotel sheets – called the police who made the grim discovery of what was inside. The couple was soon tracked down to a budget motel and arrested on suspicion of murder.

Rachel Sharp15 June 2023 12:10

1686826801

Heather Mack to appear in court today

“Suitcase killer” Heather Mack is expected to appear in court today where she will plead guilty in Chicago court today over the 2014 murder of her socialite mother in Bali.

In August 2014, Mack, then 18 and pregnant, and her boyfriend Tommy Schaefer, then 21, bludgeoned Sheila von Weise-Mack, 62, to death with a metal fruit stand while on vacation at the luxury 5-star St. Regis resort on the Indonesian island.

The couple, who described themselves as “Bonnie and Clyde” in chilling text messages, then stuffed her body in a suitcase and left it in the trunk of a taxi.

They were both convicted of premeditated murder in Indonesia – narrowly escaping firing squad.

After serving seven years in a Bali jail (where her daughter was born), Mack was extradited to the US where she was arrested on arrival in Chicago and hit with fresh charges of conspiracy to murder in a foreign country in November 2021.

Since then, she has been behind bars fighting the charges.

On Thursday, Mack is expected to appear for a plea hearing in Illinois court where she has revealed her intentions to take a plea bargain.

Rachel Sharp15 June 2023 12:00


Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button