Heather Mack

‘None of This Makes Any Sense:' Mother's Siblings React to Heather Mack's Prison Release

An Indonesian court sentenced Mack to 10 years in prison for assisting her boyfriend in her mother’s murder and stuffing the body in a suitcase.

SONNY TUMBELAKA / AFP via Getty Images

Heather Mack, the Chicago woman who garnered international headlines for helping to kill her mother and stuffing her body into a suitcase, was released from an Indonesian prison Friday after serving seven years, but some relatives continue to assert the sentence wasn't harsh enough.

Bill Wiese and Debbi Curran, siblings of Mack's mother, Sheila Von Wiese Mack, released a statement Friday saying they're "still in disbelief and shock about the horrific and calculated way" Sheila died.

The 62-year-old Chicago socialite's badly-beaten body was found inside the trunk of a taxi parked at the upscale St. Regis Bali Resort in August 2014.

Heather Mack, who was almost 19 and a few weeks pregnant, and her then-21-year-old boyfriend, Tommy Schaefer, were arrested a day later after they were found at a hotel about 10 kilometers (6 miles) from the St. Regis.

An Indonesian court sentenced Mack to 10 years in prison for assisting Schaefer in her mother’s murder and stuffing the body in a suitcase, but only served approximately 7 years. Schaefer received an 18-year sentence.

In 2016, Robert Bibbs, a cousin of Schaefer, pleaded guilty to helping to plan the killing in exchange for $50,000 that Mack was expected to inherit, and was sentenced the next year to nine years in prison.

Wiese and Curran said they, along with all of Sheila's nieces and nephews, are in shock with the light sentence Mack received, explaining text messages released at Bibbs' trial "clearly show that she was the mastermind of this ruthless murder."

"Does this make sense to anyone that the mastermind of Sheila’s ruthless and deliberate murder would receive the lightest sentence of all of them and would be set free prior to the others?" the statement continued.

Mack's sentence was shortened by a total of 34 months due to reductions that are often granted to prisoners on major holidays because of their good conduct, including a six-month remission of sentence awarded during Indonesia's Independence Day in August, prison officials said.

Mack will have to stay for a few days at the Immigration Detention Center while waiting for flight tickets and travel documents to be ready, according to the Ministry of Law and Human Rights in Indonesia.

Sheila's siblings believe the "atrocious and premediated murder was really about money."

"We deeply miss our charismatic and beautiful sister Sheila," they stated. "None of this makes any sense to our family and Sheila’s friends."

NBC Chicago/Associated Press
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