U.S. Woman Who Killed and Stuffed Her Mother’s Body in a Suitcase at Bali Resort Is Coming Home…She Only Served 7 Years

kittirat roekburi/shutterstock.com
kittirat roekburi/shutterstock.com

When one of the mothers of a young Chicago couple decided to tag along on their romantic trip to a resort island in Bali in 2014, she had the final trip of a lifetime. The boyfriend got upset when the couple couldn’t get enough alone time, so the girlfriend, not wanting to enrage him any further, did the only reasonable thing anyone would do. She helped him kill her mother and stuff her limp body in a suitcase. Problem solved. 

Being so young and all, they lacked experience in hiding dead bodies so they stupidly pried open the trunk of a parked taxi, tossed in the suitcase, and slammed it shut. It gets hot in Bali so upon the taxi driver getting back in his cab, his nose was assaulted with an unrecognizable stench for which he soon located the source. 

The suitcase contained the body of Sheila Heather-Mack, the mother of 18-year-old Heather Mack. Kerobokan Female Prison chief, Lili, has announced that Mack will receive an early release and be deported to the U.S. at the end of October.

Only going by the single name of Lili, the chief said Mack has been a good girl and has earned a total of 34 months off of her original sentence. “She has shown to be a good person, she was entitled to the sentence reduction,” she said. “She looked happy when she learned this…and began to pack excitedly.”

Mack’s former boyfriend, obviously, Tommy Schaefer, is still serving his 18-year sentence. The sentence seems light for murder, but remember, murders in Indonesia are comparable to jaywalking in NYC. They’re commonplace. 

Now that Mack will be freed, she hopes to be reunited with the couple’s daughter she gave birth to prior to her incarceration. The now 6-year-old girl has been living with an Indonesian foster family.

But this may not be so easy for Mack who, due to coronavirus restrictions, has not seen her daughter in 20 months. Prison visits were canceled. In addition, to avoid a media explosion, Indonesian authorities have recommended that the daughter remain where she is.

Mack’s attorney, Yulius Benyamin Seran, said this could present a devastating trauma for her. Under Indonesian law, once deported, Mack cannot return to Indonesia for six months. Add pandemic travel restrictions on top of this and who knows when she’ll be able to return for the daughter she barely knows outside of prison visits. 

The story gets deeper, but of course, Indonesian authorities were unaware. Prior to the Bali trip, police were dispatched dozens of times to the home of Mack and her mother in Oak Park, Illinois due to their troubled and highly toxic relationship.

Things were so bad that in 2016, one of Schaefer’s cousins, Robert Bibbs, was convicted in a plot to kill Mack’s mother for the full inheritance of $50,000 Mack would have received once mommy dearest’s name was scribed on a death certificate. Bibbs got nine years while she and Schaefer somehow skated free.

Nonetheless, because Indonesia was the chosen country in which to off her mom, she got off easy. Even with still serving his 18-year sentence, so did Schaefer. So, with child or not, when Mack lands in the U.S. she’ll be a free woman. Hmmm… We wonder if she still stands to ironically collect that 50k…