Heather L. Mack, a 28-year-old Illinois woman, has been handed a formidable 26-year sentence for her role in plotting the murder of her mother during a 2014 vacation in Bali, Indonesia.
In a plea agreement, Mack admitted to conspiring with her boyfriend, Tommy Schaefer, using her mother’s credit card to fund Schaefer’s travel to Bali and meticulously planning the grisly killing.
The chilling plot unfolded on August 12, 2014, when Schaefer entered the hotel room and brutally beat Mack’s mother to death, with Mack as a horrific spectator. The duo attempted to dispose of the body in a suitcase but failed to transport it from the scene in a taxi, leading to their escape and the abandonment of the suitcase.
Acting Assistant Attorney General Nicole M. Argentieri described the crime as Mack planning to violently murder her own mother while on vacation, emphasizing the heinous nature of the act.
Acting U.S. Attorney Morris Pasqual highlighted international cooperation in bringing Mack to justice, emphasizing that the sentence serves as a warning that the U.S. justice system will pursue and punish those who harm American citizens, regardless of the crime’s location.
FBI Assistant Director Michael Nordwall underlined the FBI’s commitment to investigating violent crime, regardless of distance or time, while Special Agent in Charge Robert W. “Wes” Wheeler Jr. from the FBI Chicago Field Office echoed a dedication to justice for Americans abroad.
Mack and Schaefer previously faced Indonesian justice in 2015, with Mack serving seven years of a 10-year sentence. Following her early release, Mack was arrested on U.S. federal charges upon returning to the U.S. in November 2021. Schaefer is also indicted in the U.S., awaiting further legal proceedings.