A Chicago woman serving prison time in Bali after being convicted of murdering her mother and stuffing the body in a suitcase spent part of Monday smiling and dancing with prison staff as inmates celebrated Indonesia’s independence holiday.
DailyMail.com filmed Heather Mack, 20, among a group of female inmates performing a choreographed dance routine in front of male inmates and guards. Mack and the other dancers traded in their prison garb for matching casual tops and white pants. Mack also wore make-up, including bright lipstick and eye shadow.
Mack even danced with a guard at the once-a-year occasion, according to a report by DailyMail.com.
Mack is serving ten years in prison for killing her mother, Sheila von Wiese-Mack in August, 2014. She is raising her five month old baby, Stella, behind bars for the next nineteen months, before she plans to hand over Stella to another family.
But she told reporters she hopes to leave prison early.
“Maybe appeal again,” Mack said. “Hope the years will go down.”
Mack’s boyfriend, Tommy Schaefer, attended the celebration but kept a distance. He was seen holding his daughter, Stella.
Schaefer was also convicted of the same murder and is serving an eighteen year prison sentence in Bali.
Northwestern University’s Dr. Jeffrey Winters is an expert on the Indonesian prison system and called the video of Mack dancing “appalling”. Winters said Mack is viewed as a wealthy American socialite because of the money she has tapped into from a contested trust fund for her defense.
“She’s quite a remarkable figure in the midst of a bunch of much poorer criminals who have stolen, raped, murdered, but were never able to hire a legal team,” Winters said.
Winters also said Indonesia is a society with weak institutions of law and violent acts of revenge may be seen by large segments of the population as being justifiable in some instances.
“Her murder victim wasn’t an Indonesian, so not a lot of the folks surrounding Heather really care about the killing part,” Winters said. “ They may even be receptive to the alleged backstory about how the mother rejected the teens’ love and baby, made racist comments about the boyfriend, and thus the killers had cause (however twisted) for their actions,” Winters said.
DailyMail.com is also reporting the male prisoners have made no secret about their attraction to Mack. The prisoners are reported to have reached out to her during Mack’s family visits with Schaefer and have whistled at her and asked for a kiss.
Monday’s celebration did not last forever, however. Mack, Schaefer and the other inmates were eventually ordered back to their cells.