Suspect in Bali Suitcase Murder Says Slur Sparked Anger - NBC Chicago

Suspect in Bali Suitcase Murder Says Slur Sparked Anger

Police also said a surveillance camera video from the Bali hotel where the three stayed suggests that Sheila von Wiese-Mack, the 62-year-old victim, was attacked with an iron grip of a fruit bowl

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    Police: Couple Confessed to Bali Suitcase Killing

    09/19/14: Heather Mack and her boyfriend, Tommy Schaefer, were arrested in Bali on Aug. 13, a day after the body of Mack's mother was found in a suitcase inside the trunk of a taxi at the St. Regis Bali Resort. NBC Chicago's Regina Waldroup reports at midday. (Published Friday, Sept. 19, 2014)

    Indonesian police investigating the death of a Chicago woman whose body was found stuffed in a suitcase say the woman's daughter told them her boyfriend killed her mother after she used a racial slur against him.

    Police also said a surveillance camera video from the Bali hotel where the three stayed suggests that Sheila von Wiese-Mack, the 62-year-old victim, was attacked with an iron grip of a fruit bowl.

    Heather Mack, 19, and her boyfriend Tommy Schaefer, 21, are being held as suspects in the killing of von Wiese-Mack but have not been formally charged.

    Capt. Nengah Sadiarta, police detective chief for Denpasar, Bali's capital, said Thursday that Mack told police Schaefer became angry when von Wiese-Mack called him the N-word, and killed her while Mack watched in von Wiese-Mack's hotel room.

    Legal Expert Says Bali Suspects Face Uphill Climb

    [CHI] Legal Expert Says Bali Suspects Face Uphill Climb
    8/14/2014: Heather Mack hires a Chicago attorney after her mother is found murdered in Bali. NBC 5's Chris Coffey reports.
    (Published Tuesday, Aug. 26, 2014)

    Schaefer is black, as was Mack's father, James L. Mack, a highly regarded jazz and classical composer who died in 2006. Sadiarta said Mack told them that when Schaefer brought up her late husband's race, von Wiese-Mack, who was white, used the N-word again, but added that James Mack was also rich.

    The badly beaten body of von Wiese-Mack, 62, was found stuffed in a suitcase inside the trunk of a taxi at the St. Regis Bali Resort in August.

    Sadiarta said police filed their dossiers at the Denpasar prosecutor's office on Monday but are continuing to investigate.

    Raja Nasution, an Indonesian lawyer for Mack, said he and her U.S. lawyer accompanied her during questioning. He confirmed the police account of the racial slur being used, but added that Mack did not specifically say she saw Schaefer kill her mother.

    "She did not mention murder, but she told investigators that Tommy did the beating," Nasution said. "Our client did not mention that the beating was intended to kill her mother or not. She just confessed to the police that Tommy beat her mother."

    Nasution also said Mack told police she did not kill von Wiese-Mack or help stuff her body into the suitcase.

    Chicago Tourist Killed, Stuffed in Suitcase in Bali

    [NATL-CHI] Chicago Tourist Killed, Stuffed in Suitcase in Bali
    08/13/14: The body of 62-year-old Sheila von Wiese-Mack was discovered on Tuesday in a suitcase in the back of a taxi, parked at the prestigious St. Regis Hotel in Denpasar. NBC Chicago's Lauren Petty reports at 5:30 a.m.
    (Published Tuesday, Aug. 26, 2014)

    Haposan Sihombing, a lawyer who has represented Schaefer, said Friday that he could not comment because Schaefer replaced him a day earlier. He refused to give the name of Schaefer's new lawyer.

    Sihombing, however, denied that Schaefer had confessed to killing von Wiese-Mack, as Denpasar's police chief, Col. Djoko Hari Utomo, said last month. Utomo has since said he intended to say that Mack told police that Schaefer was responsible.

    Sadiarta said the hotel's surveillance camera video shows that Schaefer took a piece of iron from his room and hid it under his shirt as he went to von Wiese-Mack's room. He said the iron appeared to be the grip of a fruit bowl provided by the hotel in his room, and investigators found bits of iron matching the piece in the victim's wound.

    The captain said the surveillance video shows that no one but Mack and Schaefer went in and out of von Wiese-Mack's room in the hours surrounding her death. He said Mack was seen in the video bringing a cart to von Wiese-Mack's room to transport the suitcase that contained her mother's body.

    Police have said that Mack and Schaefer hired a taxi, placed the suitcase in its trunk and disappeared. Hotel staff noticed spots of blood on the suitcase and told the driver to go to a police station, where officers opened the suitcase and discovered the body.

    Sadiarta also said police found a jacket belonging to Schaefer with blood spots when police caught him at another Bali hotel. Lab results showed that the blood matched von Wiese-Mack's blood.

    Complete Coverage: Bali Suitcase Murder

    04/21/15: Couple Found Guilty 

    04/14/15: Lawyers Seek Leniency for  Couple

    04/09/15: Prosecutors Insist Murder Was Planned

    03/31/15: Prosecutors Seek 18-Year Sentences

    03/27/15: Baby Stella Sick With Jaundice

    03/25/15: Baby Stella Rushed to Hospital: Report

    03/20/15: Mack "Ecstatic" to be a Mom, Lawyer Says

    03/19/15: Emails Show Concern Months Before Bali Slaying

    03/18/15: Mack's Baby Could Stay Behind Bars

    03/17/15: Heather Mack Gives Birth

    03/12/15: Schaefer Says von Wiese-Mack Attacked Him, Threatened Baby

    03/11/15: Mack Says Schaefer Killed Her Mother

    02/27/15: Teen Charged in Bali Murder is Suicidal, Attorney Says

    02/26/15: Bell Boy, Police Testify in Tommy Schaefer Trial

    02/06/15: Heather Mack Hospitalized

    02/04/15: Heather Mack: "I Loved My Mom"

    02/02/15: Trial of Chicago Couple Charged in Bali Murder Ordered to Proceed

    01/20/15: Judge Approves Release of $150K From Trust Fund

    01/16/15: Murder Suspect Sues Slain Mother's Estate to Pay For Defense

    01/14/15: Bali Suitcase Murder Trial Begins in Indonesia

    10/03/14: Suspect in Bali Suitcase Murder Says Slur Sparked Anger

    09/23/14: Lawyer: Unborn Child of Bali Murder Suspect is "Well-Formed"

    09/22/14: Lawyer Refutes Reports That Bali Murder Suspect Confessed

    09/19/14: Chicago Suspect Confesses in Bali Killing, Police Say

    08/27/14: Mother of Bali Murder Suspect Raises Money for Legal Defense

    08/26/14: Will of Chicago Woman Killed in Bali Filed in Court

    08/21/14: Police Say Disagreement Preceded Bali Suitcase Death

    08/20/14: Report: Chicago Woman Slain in Bali Received Over $800K

    08/20/14: Attorney: Couple Held in Bali Death Under Suicide Watch

    08/19/14: Police Reports Show History of Oak Park Teen Attacking Mom

    08/18/14: Pregnant Bali Murder Suspect Alleges Sexual Assault in Jail

    08/18/14: Body of Mom Slain in Bali En Route to U.S.

    08/16/14: Autopsy: Chicago Woman Killed in Bali Was Hit by "Blunt Object"

    08/16/14: Bali Murder Suspects Refuse to Cooperate, Police Say

    08/15/14: Teen Charged in Bali Murder May Be Pregnant

    08/15/14: Daughter, Boyfriend Charged With Murder in Bali Suitcase Killing

    08/14/14: Pair Held in Suitcase Death Have Had Psychiatric Examinations

    08/14/14: Bali Murder Suspect Hires Chicago Attorney

    08/13/14: Bali Murder Suspects Refuse to Cooperate: Police

    08/13/14: Chicago Tourist Killed, Stuffed in Suitcase in Indonesia



    News breaks at inconvenient times.  
    Download one of the NBCChicago mobile apps and have the news come to you. Watch live streaming newscasts, receive critical push notifications on the go and stay in touch with your city around the clock.