When police found the body of a 62-year-old woman stuffed into a suitcase and left in front of the St. Regis Bali Resort in Indonesia, the case obtained national attention since it involved U.S. citizens. However, for those in Chicago, the story creates added interest since it involves Illinois residents.
Sheila von Wiese-Mack was on a family vacation with her 19-year-old daughter Heather Mack, and her daughter’s boyfriend 21-year-old Tommy Schaefer. When details of the case first started to emerge, there were conflicting feelings regarding the guilt or innocence of the two accused.
While reports of pictures with a smiling and laughing Tommy Schaefer seemed to sway the public as to the guilt of the young couple, others couldn’t help but compare the case to that of Amanda Knox. Portrayed as the seductress American who committed a heinous crime in Italy, Knox gained American sympathy when details emerged about the nature of her arrest.
However, new details behind the relationship between Sheila and her daughter Heather are starting to further incriminate the young couple. The reports surrounding the fight about the hotel tab seem to coincide with the extremely volatile relationship between mother and daughter. The Daily News reported, “Between 2004 and 2013, police in Oak Park, Ill., were called to the family's house 86 times. Many of those calls involved violent domestic disputes between the Mack and von Wiese-Mack. According to a police report from 2011, Mack hit her mom so hard that von Weise-Mack broke her arm. Then the teen allegedly unplugged the phone so her mother couldn't dial 911. Other calls reported instances of Mack biting, pushing and stealing from her mother.”
As the young couple are being held in Indonesia in connection to the murder, reports are coming in on their mental state. As the case unfolds, more coverage will be released on the details of this heinous murder.