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Daughter held in Bali slaying abused mother, files show

AP
Heather Mack, stands at the police district headquarters after she was brought in for questioning in relation to the death of her mother, in Bali, Indonesia, Thursday, Aug. 14, 2014. The body of Sheila von Wiese-Mack, a 62-year-old American woman, was found stuffed inside a suitcase on the Indonesian resort island of Bali, and authorities on Wednesday arrested her daughter and her daughter's boyfriend in relation to the death, police said. The suitcase containing Mack's body was found Tuesday inside the trunk of a taxi parked in front of the St. Regis Bali Resort in the island's upscale Nusa Dua area, said Col. Djoko Hari Utomo, the police chief in Bali's capital, Denpasar. (AP Photo/Firdia Lisnawati)

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By Chicago Tribune
Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2014, 4:54 p.m.
 

In the years before she would be implicated in the beating death of her mother on the resort island of Bali, Heather Mack was accused of locking her mother in a closet, stealing thousands of dollars from her, punching and biting her repeatedly, and once pushing her to the ground so hard that she broke her arm, according to newly released police reports.

Yet Sheila von Wiese-Mack remained reluctant to press charges or have her daughter admitted to a hospital for mental health treatment, according to Oak Park, Ill., police reports, which date from 2008 to 2013.

Indeed, in late 2012, von Wiese-Mack refused to allow a police officer to photograph a bruise on her wrist that she said was from her daughter biting her. She told an officer that, while she knew her daughter needed help, she didn't want her arrested because she didn't think jailing her ultimately would help.

The police reports offer details of a fractious relationship that friends have suggested over the past week deeply frustrated von Wiese-Mack. Although the reports suggest that Mack was receiving counseling and had even been hospitalized at least twice, in the end they portray a mother at her wit's end to control her troubled young daughter.

Last Tuesday, von Wiese-Mack's badly beaten body was found stuffed in a suitcase that had been left in the trunk of a taxi at a luxury hotel in Bali. Heather Mack, 18, and her 21-year-old boyfriend, Tommy Schaefer, were arrested the next day and will stand trial in her death, according to Indonesian authorities. The two have not been formally charged under Indonesian law.

The police reports show that von Wiese-Mack and her daughter argued and fought over typical parent-child issues, though their dealings often escalated.

Von Wiese-Mack tried to limit her daughter's time on her phone and computer, discovered her daughter skipping school and sometimes running away from home, according to the reports. At the same time, some incidents were far more serious. Von Wiese-Mack told police that she found Mack taking nude photos of herself and sometimes even stealing her money, credit cards and jewelry.

At times, Mack allegedly struck, bit or shoved her mother.

In January of 2010, what began as a verbal altercation quickly turned violent when Mack allegedly punched her mother in a broken left ankle.

 

 
 


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