An American heiress who was convicted of murdering her mother in Bali, Indonesia and stuffing her body in a suitcase has pleaded guilty to conspiracy in federal court.
Heather Mack, the ‘Suitcase Killer’ who was already convicted in Indonesia for being an accessory to her mother’s murder, changed her plea to guilty after federal investigators charged her with planning the killing in the United States.
Mack, 27, appeared before District Judge Matthew Kennelly in Chicago on Friday, June 16.
She answered ‘Yes, your honor,’ when Kennelly asked her if she understood her charges of conspiracy to kill a US citizen.
Mack, the heiress daughter of jazz musician James Mack, became notorious in 2014 after the murder of her mother, Sheila von Wiese-Mack, while on vacation in Bali.
Mack, then 19, had a reportedly troubled relationship with her 62-year-old mother.
Between 2004 and 2013, police in Chicago responded to their home a total of 86 times for calls of domestic violence and theft between mother and daughter.
Mack and her mother arrived at the St Regis Hotel in Bali in August 2014.
Once they were there, Mack used her mother’s credit card to purchase a business class plane ticket for her then-boyfriend, Tommy Schaefer.
Mack allegedly claimed she flew Schaefer out to Indonesia so they could explain to her mother that she was pregnant. But after investigation, police later determined this was a lie.
Before the flight, Schaefer had texted Mack about different ways to kill her mother, and spoke about getting rich after inheriting Mack’s $1.5million trust fund.
The couple referred to themselves as ‘Bonnie and Clyde.’
After getting into an argument with von Weise-Mack in the lobby of the St Regis that was caught on hotel security footage, Mack and Schaefer went back to their room and killed her.
Prosecutors in Indonesia allege that Mack held her mother down and covered her mouth, while Schaefer beat her to death with a metal object.
The couple then stuffed her body inside a small suitcase, which they left in the trunk of a taxi cab at the hotel.
Mack was convicted of accessory in 2014. She served seven years of her 10-year sentence in Indonesia. She was deported in 2021, and arrested by the FBI after landing in Chicago.
Her now six-year-old daughter was alongside her at the airport, and is now in another family member’s custody.
Schaefer is still in prison in Indonesia, where he is serving an 18-year sentence for murder. He also faces conspiracy charges in the United States.
Her sentencing hearing has now been scheduled for December 18. She faces a maximum sentence of 28 years in prison.