Months before the gruesome murder of her mother on the beautiful island of Bali, Heather Mack apparently had a request for Tommy Schaefer.
So the troubled Chicago teenager sent her boyfriend a Facebook note riddled with grammatical errors on May 26, 2014, records show.
It began simply: “Can you not tell people i asked you to kill my mom.”
“Cause i was so f—ed up tommy and i really didnt mean it,” it read. “Ive been regretting ever saying that so much and ive paid for it, shes almpst died like 5 times and ive been so petrified and scared.”
That dispatch — typos and all — is contained in a document that reveals the Aug. 12, 2014, murder of Sheila von Wiese-Mack prompted a federal investigation into the foreign murder of a United States national and the conspiracy around it.
Now unsealed and obtained by the Chicago Sun-Times, the record also sheds some new light on the case. The slaying of the 62-year-old Chicagoan generated international headlines after her body was discovered in a bloody suitcase left in the trunk of a taxi outside the St. Regis Bali Resort.
But it’s not clear where the federal investigation stands today. Mack and Schaefer, now the young parents of a baby girl named Stella, were convicted in Indonesia of killing von Wiese-Mack. Schaefer, 22, is serving an 18-year prison sentence for battering von Wiese-Mack to death. Mack, 19, is serving a 10-year sentence for helping.
A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office declined to comment last week. So did a spokeswoman for the FBI, as well as Schaefer’s mother. Mack has an attorney in Chicago who could not be reached for comment.
Mack is also the daughter of the highly regarded jazz and classical composer James Mack, who died at age 76 in 2006. After Mack’s arrest, she revealed in Cook County court records she had a $1.56 million trust fund she hoped to tap for her legal bills.
That’s likely why Schaefer referred to Mack as a “millionaire,” according to the feds. And on July 25, 2014, they said he sent Mack a Facebook note that read, “F— your mom.”
“Just take your money take that b—- to court and leave her on the street with 30%.”
The next day, he allegedly told Mack her mother “doesn’t want you to realize that you’re 18 and can do whatever you want now.” He told her she could become emancipated from her mother, apparently referencing the terms of James Mack’s will.
“When you do that, whatever the will says from your dad is yours . . .” Schaefer allegedly wrote. “So you mom is freaking out . . . Cause you have the power . . . She’s trying to contain you no [now] more than ever.”
The details are contained in a court document filed by prosecutors as the FBI sought a judge’s permission to search data from an iPhone and MacBook recovered by Indonesian authorities when they arrested Mack and Schaefer. It lays out a timeline of the events in Bali, noting that Mack and her mother arrived there Aug. 4, 2014.
Von Wiese-Mack had said the point of their trip was to get Mack away from Schaefer. Mack was already pregnant with Schaefer’s baby, though. And Schaefer followed them to the resort, arriving in the early morning of Aug. 12, the feds wrote. Von Wiese-Mack’s credit card was used two days earlier to pay for his airfare, which cost more than $12,000 — something her family said she would never allow.
Meanwhile, von Wiese-Mack sent an email from Indonesia in which she said she was “always so very worried about what Heather will do.” She wrote in another that Mack fraudulently used her name and room number to put her hands on prescription pain meds.
“She secured quite a supply it seems,” von Wiese-Mack wrote. “I am more frightened than ever.”
Mack and Schaefer had been in touch before his arrival on the island, according to the feds. On Aug. 11, Mack sent screen shots of text messages through Facebook to Schaefer. One said, “Its very important that you text me when you can ill answer if im any where near wifi.”
Another read, “Just facebook message me when you get wifi baby Ill come to your room when youre settled in i have to talk to you in person.”
Schaefer arrived at the resort at 12:43 a.m. Aug. 12. Surveillance cameras allegedly caught Mack and her mother arguing later in the hotel lobby around 3:37 a.m. They were spotted at 3:47 a.m. near an elevator on the third floor, where they had been staying. That was the last time von Wiese-Mack was spotted alive on surveillance footage, the feds wrote.
But von Wiese-Mack is thought to have asked for a wake-up call at 6:30 a.m. Two hours later, surveillance cameras allegedly spotted Mack and Schaefer repeatedly using the elevators and stairwells. Schaefer had been staying on the sixth floor.
When a resort employee placed the wake-up call at 10:30 a.m., the feds believe Mack answered the phone. They said she declined an offer of coffee or tea, saying: “I think we’re going to go down to breakfast.”
A short time later, the couple began moving luggage, the record shows. Around 11:30 a.m., they were seen pushing a luggage cart out of the hotel and loading bags in the trunk of a taxi. But they returned to the hotel and slipped out another door just before noon.
Mack and Schaefer were arrested the next day in Indonesia. But the feds wrote that Mack called the doorman at her Chicago condo from overseas that day to ask if anyone “weird” had stopped by. She told the doorman “we were kidnapped, but we escaped.”
The doorman inquired about the vacation with her mother, and she told him they had been kidnapped in Zimbabwe, the feds wrote. She allegedly told the doorman her mother was “talking with the people who kidnapped us, and she is arguing with them.”
The doorman told authorities Mack did not come across as hysterical. Instead, she seemed calm.