Daughter held in Bali slaying abused mother, files show
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.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Ohio dairy farmers cashing in on gas well boom
- Boy with fake gun shot by officer dies
- Florida man who ambushed police held anti-government beliefs
- Nevada speaker-elect steps down amid criticism
- Under pressure, Hagel steps down as Pentagon chief
- E-cigarettes cut cravings, study finds
- Former Pa. state worker charged with stealing 610 helmets
- D.C. charges woman over armed protest
- Tufts center study: It costs $2.6B to get drug to market