The Chicago woman previously served seven years in an Indonesian prison for her part in the 2014 murder
Heather Mack, the Chicago woman who helped kill her mother and stuffed her body in a suitcase during a luxury family vacation in Bali, was sentenced to 26 years in prison on Wednesday, CBS News, The Chicago Tribune and The Chicago Sun-Times report.
Mack, 27, pleaded guilty last June to aiding the 2014 murder of her mother, Sheila von Wiese-Mack.
She and then-boyfriend Tommy Schaefer were previously found guilty for killing her 62-year-old mother by a court in Indonesia in 2015 before they were later charged by a U.S. Federal Court in Chicago in 2017 on charges of conspiracy to kill Mack’s mother.
Schaefer admitted to the killing during his trial in Indonesia, saying he bludgeoned Mack’s mother to death with a metal fruit bowl.
She was deported back to the United States and quickly arrested by the FBI at a Chicago airport. This past summer, Mack pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit murder, leading to Wednesday’s sentencing.
Fox 32 Chicago reported that prosecutors initially wanted Mack to receive a 28-year prison sentence. Mack’s attorneys had sought a 15-year sentence, with nine years credit served for her seven years in the Indonesian prison and two more in custody in Chicago.
Dubbed the “Suitcase Killer,” Mack had a tempestuous relationship that only became more strained when Mack’s father, renowned musician and composer James Mack, left behind a $1.5 million trust for his daughter.
Interviews with Mack, family, and friends revealed that the mother and daughter had a co-dependent, dysfunctional relationship. “She never wanted to be separated from me, and yet she also hated everything about me,” Mack once told PEOPLE in a jailhouse interview. “It was complicated.”
A family friend told PEOPLE Mack’s relationship with her mother “was like a disaster waiting to happen.”
Mack helped Schaefer murder her mother after the trio got into a vicious early morning argument at their hotel. Schaefer claimed that when Mack’s mother found out she was pregnant, the mother became very angry and threatened to kill the couple’s unborn baby. He also claimed Mack’s mother tried to strangle him for nearly 30 seconds.
The couple then allegedly stuffed Mack’s mother’s body into a suitcase and placed it in the trunk of a taxi before fleeing the hotel. The driver called the police after he noticed spotted blood leaking from the luggage.
In 2017, Mack gave birth to her and Schaerfer’s daughter Stella while behind bars. She was forced to give up custody of the child, first to a friend in Indonesia and later to a cousin after being extradited back to the U.S.
“She is everything,” Mack had told PEOPLE from jail. “She has taught me what love is.”
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