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Afternoon Edition: Nov. 3, 2021

Today’s update is a 5-minute read that will brief you on the day’s biggest stories.

Heather Mack of Chicago, Ill. reacts inside a cell at Denpasar district court during her hearing objections trial in Bali, Indonesia, Wednesday, Jan. 21, 2015. Mack and her boyfriend Tommy Schaefer are accused of murdering Sheila von-Wiese Mack, her mother, who was found stuffed inside a suitcase last August. (AP Photo/Firdia Lisnawati)
Heather Mack, seen here in January 2015, returned to Chicago today.
Firdia Lisnawati/AP

Good afternoon. Here’s the latest news you need to know in Chicago. It’s about a 5-minute read that will brief you on today’s biggest stories.

This afternoon will be mostly sunny with a high near 45 degrees. Tonight will be mostly clear with a low around 32. Tomorrow will be partly sunny with a high near 47.

Top story

Heather Mack, Tommy Schaefer charged in U.S. indictment with conspiring to kill Mack’s mother

Heather Mack and Tommy Schaefer are charged with conspiring to kill Mack’s mother, Sheila von Wiese-Mack, in a federal indictment filed in 2017 and unsealed today in Chicago’s federal court.

Mack and Schaefer are also charged with an obstruction of justice count in the three-count indictment, which became public as Mack was expected to arrive this morning at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport.

Mack was arrested this morning at the airport, according to the Justice Department.

The five-page indictment lists a series of overt acts by Mack and Schaefer, including Mack’s boarding of an airplane at O’Hare on Aug. 2, 2014, her arranging for Schaefer to travel from Chicago to Bali, their exchanging of messages discussing how to kill von Wiese-Mack, and the actual killing of von Wiese-Mack.

Mack, 26, and Schaefer, 28, are charged with two conspiracy counts. They also face a charge alleging they “destroyed, mutilated and concealed objects” to impair its availability for an official proceeding “by forcing the body of [von Wiese-Mack] into a suitcase after she had been killed and removing the suitcase from the place of the murder; and by removing linens and items of clothing worn during the killing … from the place of the murder.”

The pair face a maximum sentence of life in prison if convicted on the conspiracy counts.

The highly anticipated charges signal a new chapter in an international legal drama that has lasted more than seven years, beginning when the body of Mack’s mother was discovered inside a suitcase left in a taxi outside the St. Regis Bali Resort on Aug. 12, 2014.

Jon Seidel and Stefano Esposito have the latest on Mack here.

More news you need

  1. Two days after a judge handed the police union a partial victory in its lawsuit against the city’s vaccine mandate, FOP president John Catanzara today urged officers to take their resistance of the policy to another level. Fran Spielman has more on comments made by the police union leader in a video posted online this morning.
  2. A Senate committee today approved former Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel to be the next U.S. ambassador to Japan, paving the way for his confirmation. Emanuel’s prospects remain solid even without the support of Democratic Sens. Jeff Merkley of Oregon and Edward Markey of Massachusetts, who each opposed his nomination.
  3. An off-duty Chicago police officer fatally shot her husband, also an officer, while the two struggled over a gun in their home near O’Hare Airport last night. No charges have been announced, but the wife will be placed on routine administrative duties for 30 days, police said.
  4. Friends are appealing to the public for help finding a man last seen crossing DuSable Lake Shore Drive after parking his car at 31st Street Beach last month. Oribi Zachary Kontein, 26, has been missing since Oct. 26, according to Chicago police.
  5. Defrocked priest and convicted child molester Daniel McCormack has been released from custody, officials confirmed yesterday. McCormack, who pleaded guilty to sexually abusing five children while he was a priest at St. Agatha’s parish, has since registered as a sex offender and is listed as living in a Near North neighborhood.
  6. Former state Rep. Luis Arroyo pleaded guilty today in his federal corruption case, admitting to many of the allegations that ended his political career. His sentencing hearing is set for Feb. 18, more than two years after prosecutors first charged him with bribery.
  7. Whether you’re ready for it or not, Christmas music will be back on Chicago’s airwaves starting this afternoon, thanks to WLIT-FM. The non-stop extravaganza of jingles kicks off at 4 p.m. on 93.9 F.M., marking 21 consecutive years of what’s become a holiday tradition.

A bright one

New mural looks to show the good in Englewood

Jerrold Anderson always thought of himself as an artist.

From sketching to rapping, creativity has always been among his strengths. It helped give him his street name — Just Flo. And now, that creativity is on display across the South Side.

Anderson’s newest piece, unveiled yesterday, is splashed across Englewood’s Planned Parenthood, 6059 S. Ashland Ave.

“There’s so much good in Englewood that goes unseen,” said Anderson, 41, to a crowd gathered for the festivities. “I wanted to try to show our community coming together. Englewood has had a lot of ups and downs through the years, it’s no secret. But I don’t want us to forget the light that shines in all of us that this community is reflecting.”

Englewood Arts Collective artist Jerrold “Just Flo” Anderson stands in front of his mural after its unveiling outside Planned Parenthood’s Englewood Health Center yesterday.
Pat Nabong/Sun-Times

Anderson’s mural, commissioned by Planned Parenthood through the Englewood Arts Collective, is part of the #GoodInEnglewood campaign, started by Rashanah Baldwin 12 years ago to change public perception of the neighborhood.

It took a month of sketching, revising and listening to community input to complete the mural.

Anderson, who’s lived in Englewood for 10 years, said it was a “humble blessing … to see so many different people — young, old — driving past and showing love” as the mural came together. It showed him people in Englewood just want “an opportunity to communicate.”

Cheyanne M. Daniels has more on the mural here.

From the press box

Your daily question ☕

It’s National Sandwich Day, so we want to know: What is the quintessential Chicago sandwich and best place to find it?

Email us (please include your first name and where you live) and we might include your answer in the next Afternoon Edition.

Yesterday we asked you: How do you feel about Scottie Pippen taking shots at Michael Jordan and the Bulls in his new memoir?

Here’s what some of you said…

“I think he’s longed to be the star and face of the Bulls and get the respect (money) he never got. But he’s damaging any legacy by putting himself above the team.” — Linda Crabtree

“Good for him. If not for Pippen, Jordan would be considered an average player.” — Shawn Doak

“Unacceptable. Whatever Scottie’s going thru or dealing with, he should handle and by no means involve MJ.” — Kirk James

“He’s not wrong, so good for him, telling the truth as he experienced it.” — Mary Jo Kerber

“I’m not surprised. The truth is Scottie always felt this way. It’s just he’s in the position to speak his true feelings.” — Keith R. King

“Lost all respect for him when he refused to go into that playoff game that [Toni] Kukoč hit the winning shot.” — Keith Holland

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