Woman Whose Beau Stuffed Mom in Suitcase Alters Story

Heather Mack discusses the 2014 murder in series of YouTube videos
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 5, 2017 1:31 PM CST

A Chicago woman imprisoned in Indonesia for the 2014 killing of her mother says in videos posted on YouTube that she acted alone and her boyfriend only helped her cover it up because she threatened him. In a series of three videos that were posted last week, 21-year-old Heather Mack says her then-boyfriend Tommy Schaefer falsely confessed to striking her 62-year-old mother, Sheila von Wiese-Mack, in the head with a metal fruit bowl during their trip to Bali. She says he only helped her stuff the body in a suitcase and clean up because she threatened to tell police that he committed the crime. Authorities have said that the two discussed killing von Wiese-Mack in text messages, but in the videos Mack says that she took his phone when he was asleep and exchanged text messages with herself to make it appear the two were texting each other.

She says when she asked Schaefer to help her find someone who would kill her mother for $50,000 he refused. "Tommy's an innocent man," says Mack, who has cellphone and internet access in prison. She says one reason she framed Schaefer was because she knew there was a chance she would be arrested after she killed her mother and "I didn't want to get arrested by myself in a different country." Schaefer was in 2015 sentenced to 18 years in prison and Mack received a 10-year prison sentence, reports the AP. The motive for killing von Wiese-Mack was revenge, suggests Mack in the videos: The Chicago Tribune reports she says "two weeks before I came to Bali, I found out that [my mother] killed my father" in a hotel in Athens. Mack gives no additional detail; her father, well-known jazz composer James L. Mack, died on vacation in 2006. (Read more Heather Mack stories.)

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