Suitcase Killer Heather Mack is about to be released in October 2021 from Kerobokan prison and will be immediately deported to the Unites States. I am fearful and nervous of returning to Chicago. I’m not worried about the idea that people cannot understand the tragedy for my sake. But I’m nervous for [my daughter] Stella,” Heather said she scared that if she comes back to the States and to be exposed to what happened.Stella was born in prison during the sensational trial of her parents, Mack and Tommy Schaefer, in March 2015. The two were convicted by an Indonesian court of killing Mack’s mother, Chicago socialite Sheila von Wiese-Mack, 62, in August 2014. Schaefer, then 21, bludgeoned Sheila to death with a metal fruit bowl in a room at Bali’s five-star St. Regis resort. He and Heather, then 18, stuffed the body into a suitcase, loaded the bloody bag into a taxi, and fled the scene. After the cabdriver alerted police, the couple was arrested at a budget hotel a few miles away.
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Both were found guilty of murder in the first degree and locked up in Bali’s Kerobokan prison, with Schaefer sentenced to 18 years and Heather to 10. But Indonesian President Joko Widodo last week decided she will be released in October — nearly three years early — for good behavior. Heather, who grew up in the well-heeled Chicago suburb of Oak Park, Ill., will be immediately deported to the US. Yet she is considering leaving Stella, now six, temporarily with the Bali foster family who has raised her since she was two years old “I do not want anyone shoving a camera into Stella’s face. I know that it will happen to me but I will do my best to protect Stella from that trauma,
I absolutely regret what happened. I loved my mom and I still do,” Heather said. “She wasn’t evil, and she didn’t deserve to die the way she did. I didn’t kill her for money. It was for my freedom and Stella’s freedom, or so I thought at the time. I think of her a thousand times a day.” Heather was raised in a $1.5 million Italian Renaissance-style home in Oak Park by her mother and her father, famed jazz arranger and composer James L. Mack. A guest conductor for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, he also worked with the London Philharmonic and jazz legends like singer Nancy Wilson and pianist Ramsey Lewis. In 1996, James, then 66, married Sheila von Wiese, 22 years his junior. A political-science grad, Sheila told a publication she had once worked as a researcher for Sen. Ted Kennedy, adding, “I even poured tea for Rose Kennedy a time or two.
Parties at the family home were a hot ticket among musicians, literary-types and Oak Park high society. But police were called to the home in 2004 when James’ ex accused Sheila of preventing a visit from James’ son. (He has another son and four daughters from previous relationships.) The ex claimed that Sheila would turn off the lights and pretend not to be home when they came to see James, who was ill and confined to bed.
In 2006, James who was suffering from Stage IV colon cancer and had been wheelchair-bound since 2000 died of a pulmonary embolism while on vacation with Sheila and Heather in Athens, Greece. Sheila left her husband’s body in a Greek morgue to continue her holiday, cruising off to Santorini with 10-year-old Heather. It was in Santorini that my anger at my mother started, It never really stopped. It grew.”