'Tumultuous' but not murderous

Lawyer describes Mack's relationship with her mother


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By Timothy Inklebarger

Staff Reporter

Michael Elkin, the Chicago-based attorney for Heather Mack, repeatedly maintained Mack's innocence in an extended Monday interview with Wednesday Journal. The former OPRF high school student is currently being held in a Bali jail as a suspect in the murder of her mother, Sheila von Wiese-Mack.

Elkin said Mack and her mother "were friends" but had a "tumultuous" relationship. He said that despite 86 telephone calls from the Mack home to Oak Park police over nine years – many for domestic violence between Heather and Sheila – she did not kill her mother.

"She was a normal 18-year-old kid who had trouble with parts of her youth – who doesn't?" Elkin said, adding, "Getting into a verbal or physical altercation with your mother is not the same thing as murdering your mother."

Elkin said Mack has been denied regular access to legal counsel.

Elkin said he and his legal team were denied access to Mack for four days, prior to a 15-minute conversation with the 18-year-old Sunday.

Elkin, who remains in Chicago, said that in his brief conversation Mack told him that it would be the last phone call she would be allowed to make.

"She said, 'I don't know how much more of this I can take,'" Elkin said. "I said, 'Be strong, and there is someone who is going to be seeing you.'"

Elkin, who maintains his client's innocence, said he is not licensed to practice law in Indonesia, but he is working with a team of experts in international and Indonesian law to find Mack adequate legal counsel.

Elkin, who practices criminal defense and family law in Chicago, emphasized that he is "not practicing law in a different country" and that once a new lawyer is hired to represent Mack "Heather may or may not want me to act as an advisor."

He said he has not travelled to Bali because his presence "may create a press fiasco" that he does not believe would benefit his client. Once an attorney is chosen by Mack, they also will deal with the "media fiasco," Elkin said.

The international press coverage the story has gained could work against her in the court of public opinion, Elkin said.

"I said to her, 'You have really bad press – internationally bad press.' She was shocked," he said.

He said the "gruesome portrayal" of Heather's mother being carried out of the hotel, dead in a large suitcase was shocking and has aroused "a lot of hatred" and angry comments on news websites across the globe.

Elkin noted that Mack was given access to a police-appointed lawyer shortly after her arrest on Aug. 13, but said he does not believe the attorney is the best choice for her legal representation.

Mack is willing to discuss the case with Bali police, Elkin said, but she still is waiting to speak to her legal counsel.

"She's got pretty bad media press coverage, and she hasn't had the opportunity to speak," Elkin said. "She's doing so through me, and I'm confirming that there have been problems with relaying that information. The whole idea that she's not cooperating (with police) is salacious. It's just not true."

Elkin confirmed that he is not representing Tommy Schaefer, Mack's 21-year-old boyfriend who also is being held by Bali police as a suspect in the murder. "I don't believe (Tommy) has a lawyer at this time," Elkin said.

He said he informed the U.S. Consulate in Bali that he did not want information about Schaefer's case because he did not want to create a conflict of interest with his client. "I must have an undivided interest toward my client," Elkin said.

Elkin confirmed reports that Mack is pregnant, but aimed to debunk news accounts that she had received a psychiatric evaluation by Bali police.

"She was given a (psychiatric evaluation) pamphlet to fill out, but she did not participate," Elkin said. "She's waiting for her local legal advisor to tell her what to do."

Mack did participate in a blood test, which was how authorities confirmed that she is pregnant. He gave few details about media reports concerning Mack's claims that she was sexually assaulted while in jail, but Elkin said he was "worried for her safety."

"My understanding is that she is isolated and with a female guard," Elkin said.

Elkin said that press reports noting that Mack and Schaefer could potentially face the death penalty if convicted of the murder are correct, acknowledging that death by firing squad is the preferred method.

He said his research also shows that the country uses the firing squad "a couple of times a year."

Considering that Mack is pregnant, Elkin tells Wednesday Journal that he believes the Indonesian court system "would probably be a little more intelligent and make her wait it out (through the term of her pregnancy)."

He declined to comment on whether he believes the U.S. government would step in if Mack were given the death penalty.

Elkin said the court hearing Mack faces in Indonesian will look different to outside observers who are familiar with the U.S. system of justice. The U.S. court system practices a so-called adversarial system, while Indonesian courts use an inquisitorial system.

The main difference between the two systems of justice, Elkin said, is that in the Indonesian courts, judges have more discretion in asking follow-up questions while lawyers argue the case.

Elkin said that under the inquisitorial system judges can infer that a defendant is guilty if he or she chooses not to take the stand. In U.S. courts, judges remind juries that because a defendant does not answer questions in their own defense does not suggest their guilt.

He said that national news outlets – particularly entertainment television news programs – have painted Heather as an "evil person," at one point saying that she and Schaefer participated in sexual relations following the mother's murder.

"There's a big problem with the way (Mack and Schaefer) were being portrayed," Elkin said. "I don't care how stupid you may think Heather is, you don't dump a body in a taxi and think it's never going to be found out."

Elkin was short on details when asked how it came about that he is serving as Mack's legal counsel. He said he had met her not through "a professional legal advice setting" but through mutual friends of younger staff members working at his law firm.

He declined to discuss the setting of his introduction to Mack, but noted that he is a "people watcher."

"I like to discuss people, and if I meet someone who was older or younger than me, I can learn something from everybody," he said.

Email: tim@oakpark.com

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Posted: August 30th, 2014 12:41 PM

It would help if I added the website address. http://www.talkleft.com/story/2005/05/27/003/43042/foreignaffairs/Life-in-an-Indonesian-Prison


Posted: August 30th, 2014 12:40 PM

In another article, Elkin was quoted as saying that Heather was not given water in prison. Indonesian prisons are not paid for by tax dollars. Here is an outdated article from 2005, describing what to expect in an Indonesian prison. The person in the 2005 article was in prison for having marijuana in her baggage upon arrival in Bali.


Posted: August 27th, 2014 4:58 PM

The chilling words "beneficial to me" might have been written in neon.

Dan Haley from Wednesday Journal Wednesday Journal Employee

Posted: August 27th, 2014 4:53 PM

The nature of reporting and news writing today is that multiple versions of stories are written. There is the first take to get something posted digitally which OPResidente is referencing. Then there was a longer version written for the print deadline (and immediately posted online) in which a lot of new material was added, pieces were rearranged, transitions were smoothed out. So, did a quote get shortened? Could absolutely be. But the current iteration of this story clearly stands on its own.

OPResidente from OP  

Posted: August 27th, 2014 3:58 PM

Can we get a comment from the author as to why they changed his quote? (see the original in my post below). My guess is this blowhard called up and threatened them. It's weak that WJ caved without explanation.

Winter Skye from Chicago, Illinois  

Posted: August 27th, 2014 1:41 PM

"Who doesn't" bite their mother?! I have always wondered how defensive lawyers do it--pretend their clients are innocent. Either they are pathological liars or professional trolls.

OP Res 253  

Posted: August 27th, 2014 12:08 PM

"A lawyer not hired by the defendant, nor eligible to practice before the court, screams frustration over limited access to the case" It's like an Onion headline!


Posted: August 27th, 2014 9:14 AM

Sheila has a brother, William, and a sister, Debra. W. has spoken out for the family. There will be a memorial service in Chicago next month.

Christi from Oak Park  

Posted: August 27th, 2014 8:52 AM

I'm the baby of two girls in my family.my dad left when I was 15 my sister 18. I was the envelope pusher in our family, my mother and I locked horns more then once and sometimes those arguments were pretty heated , but never once did those arguments become psychical or needed police assistance. I'm 45 now I have a child of my own and I still have disagreements with my mom about how I chose to raise my child etc.. but we respectfully agree to disagree and we always come to even terms not blows.

tx atty  

Posted: August 27th, 2014 8:13 AM

Just curious, have any family members or friends of either suspect come forward? I read Heather has half siblings, have they come forward? Does Tommy have siblings or family, besides his Mom? Also, the body was flown back last week, has there been a funeral? Again, just curious as the reporting seems to be repetitious and recycled old news.

Mary from Not from OP  

Posted: August 26th, 2014 8:57 PM

Thanks. I'll look for it, I believe the police reports also demonstrate escalating violence toward the victim/mother, with H. Mack apparently quoted as saying something along the lines of 'if you don't like the bruises, ill start hitting you on the head ..' I wonder if H Mack ever vocalized to her friends idea of "I'm going to have to kill her one day" or something along those lines and where he friends thought it to be a bad joke.... I wonder if that could have happened

In Glen Ellyn formerly from OP  

Posted: August 26th, 2014 8:08 PM

Yes, Mary. I found that police were called to the Chgo high-rise they lived in after moving from OP, either in a WJ article or online Chic Trib or Sun-times article- sorry, I forget where. I was satisfied with the source; I wanted to know specifically that fact some time ago. Yup, calls to police didn't end after the 86 in OP during their year in Chgo. What a waste of vibrant life. I would bang on the door, "HEY, get your sht together and stop calling the flippin' COPS. I'm trying to watch TV!"

Mary from Not from OP  

Posted: August 26th, 2014 6:38 PM

Is there evidence the calls continued after Sheila moved? I give Sheila's friends and family a nod of acknowledgement because I believe they tried to the extent of their ability to help settle Heather. Some personality disorders/behavior disorders (I think) can't be cured, borderline personality disorder for example (I don't think Heather had this). A victim/mother doesn't want help and child who can't e helped... There is nowhere to go with this type of situation.

Judi from Chicago  

Posted: August 26th, 2014 6:21 PM

Heather will miss Sheila! I am happy to know she left nothing to Heather, and that is why Elkins has bolted! They will get Indonesian lawyers, who will present the case to the three judges , and then guilty, and death by firing squad whenever they wish to do it. It only takes 2 of the 3 judges to vote guilty of pre-meditative murder. My daughter is living in Bali. I would visit Tommy and Heather, if I was there, just because I know they are cooked, and I lived in Oak Park, and a Chicagoan.

In Glen Ellyn formerly from OP  

Posted: August 26th, 2014 6:05 PM

Mary- I totally agree. My guess is that mom was willfully blinded by her love for her daughter or had a twisted reason, conscious or subconscious, for tolerating and/or enabling the daughter's bad behavior. Nothing we can do if she goes on her exotic trip with her daughter. Yeah, in Bali, there's no familar resource to protect her. Intervention needed to be done in the U.S., IL, Cook County, Oak Park, in her neighborhood, some time during the 9yrs of just the 86 OP pol calls (more aftr in Chgo)

Mary from Not from OP  

Posted: August 26th, 2014 5:11 PM

I don't know, Glen Ellyn, how any of us could keep a grown woman from vacationing with her unstable, abusive, possibly psychotic daughter who has a history of violence against her. Isnt that the bottom line? her friends supposedly wantd her not to go, but she went anyway. Her best move, in my opinion, was putting the passports in the lobby safe, thus thwarting their quick escape off the island. I'm dying to knew where they were trying to book tickets to at the airport without their passports.


Posted: August 26th, 2014 4:57 PM

The "rewrite" (and reason for) is totally intriguing. At least we know ME is reading the WJ. Also "not co-operating with police" has nothing to do with being "salacious". .

In Glen Ellyn formerly from OP  

Posted: August 26th, 2014 4:21 PM

Terri- after your 2 dedicated years of trying with "every charity, legal entity, church, elder abuse protection, etc..." to solve a similar problem (minus the violence, as you implied), you just put yourself out as the expert between me and you (which I'm not engaging into a pissing contest over), and conclude nothing can be done. Put your experience to good use and remember, an expert gynecologist doesn't have to be a woman of child-bearing age. "Don't feel offended. Just be honest."

In Glen Ellyn formerly from OP  

Posted: August 26th, 2014 4:07 PM

Mary- you said it, sister: "a right to live on the fringe of society as long as they don't harm people or break laws.". The authoities knew the mother was harmed, peace (and bone) was broken, and laws (theft and peace) were broken. Nobody is disputing something was wrong. Shouldn't we be disputing the inevitibility of the tragedy? If there actually is no legal means to intervene more directly to prevent escalation of violence, shouldn't we have it to protect these people or your person, Terri?

In Glen Ellyn formerly from GE  

Posted: August 26th, 2014 3:59 PM

Terri- I'm not your enemy to offend you, so, while I'm pushing for someone, besides me in a previous WJ comment board on this case, to suggest there should be a mechanism, such as something like DCFS obtaining children in jeopardy, you're taking my "good sounding advice (as) a slap in the face" and deride me that authorities can't do anyrhing until the mother is harmed. Well, the mother WAS harmed, as was the peace around their home AT LEAST 86 times. Let there be an answer you couldn't find.

Judi from Chicago  

Posted: August 26th, 2014 3:59 PM

I hope this story will help others not to make the same deadly errors! Heather and Tommy are not going anywhere, except he firing squad in days, months, or years after the conviction. I have heard Sheila had not included her in the will, so that lawyer jumped off like a flea on a dead dog. Sheila loved her to death, and even now, Sheila would be there for her, but she killed her best friend, so now she is in God's hands. Tommy is just as guilty! Never help anyone kill, especially in Bali.

Mary from Not from OP  

Posted: August 26th, 2014 3:10 PM

Glen Ellyn, the issue is that basically in the US people have a right to be crazy. They have a right to live on the fringe of society as long as they don't harm people or break laws. I do agree that 80somethign calls is beyond ridiculous and perhaps authorities should have intervened, but if the victim/mother wouldn't press charges, then it's back to what can you do? I understand H. Mack did live in a home for unruly kids at some point (I heard this, have no way to confirm).


Posted: August 26th, 2014 2:51 PM

@Glen Ellyn: When you have personally spent 2 years of your life trying to protect someone from their child, come back give your comments. I could be wrong, but it sounds like you have never personally dealt with anything like this. To hear all of your good-sounding advice is a slap in the face of someone who has spent years dealing with dysfunctional extended family.


Posted: August 26th, 2014 2:37 PM

Forgot to add that the only thing the mother could do was to file a restraining order against her son and daughter-in-law, but she did not want to do that. NO ONE can force someone to file a restraining order, if they will not do it. I could NOT do it for her.


Posted: August 26th, 2014 2:34 PM

To "Glen Ellyn?": repeating myself probably won't work. But here goes: I personally went to all authorities possible (police, sheriff, elder abuse hotline, local courts for that area) to try to help someone close to me that was being abused by her son and daughter-in-law. EACH AND EVERY charity, legal entity, church, elder abuse protection, etc. told me they can do nothing until the mother is HARMED by the son or daughter-in law.


Posted: August 26th, 2014 2:23 PM

to Mark - - can you explain WHY you think Mack deserves top notch counsel? Curious...


Posted: August 26th, 2014 2:21 PM

@In Glen Ellyn, I guess I saw it differently. My take was that the reporter didn't stand behind his original story and edited this because of some sort of pressure. Probably from Elkin. But what do I know? On a different note, he cites she is innocent, but I wonder how. Even if she didn't strike the blow that killed her mother, she knowingly transported the body and is an accomplice. I wonder if by Indonesian law an accomplice is held to the same standard?


Posted: August 26th, 2014 2:21 PM

Defense criminal attorneys all sound the same. Mack deserves top notch counsel and Michael Elkin is NOT that.

Real list  

Posted: August 26th, 2014 2:08 PM

"Tumultuous but not murderous"...that was my favorite Adam Ant song.

Love doesn't hurt   

Posted: August 26th, 2014 2:01 PM

This atty. admits the system is different there but he advises heather based on our system, amirite? Or so it seems, We don't hit the ones we love. Love doesn't hurt.


Posted: August 26th, 2014 2:01 PM

"you don't dump a body in a taxi and think it's never going to be found out" Sure you do - because you think you're going to grab your passports and flee the country. (It was reported that they asked the front desk to open the lock box right after dropping off the suitcase. And then went to their airport and tried to buy tickets without their passports.) Oh damn - Mom locked the passports away; that's where their "plan" fell apart.

In Glen Ellyn formerly from OP  

Posted: August 26th, 2014 1:41 PM

to Edited!- Good observation, but updates are good. Thank-you Tim E. (story writer) for editing this article and not creating a new updated article separate from the existing comments.

In Glen Ellyn formerly from OP  

Posted: August 26th, 2014 1:32 PM

That Elkin lawyer has a dim or distorted view of childhood or adolescence if he thinks normal includes making physical contact in anger, causing a mother's broken arm, alleged bites marks, and having such familiarity with the cops. He's an a**. If she was a normal 18 year old I was a deficient child of relative peace, as were my friends, close and distant, as lack of police reports could attest to. duma**. Still, she's innocent until trial for murder, but not of the other trouble and violence.


Posted: August 26th, 2014 1:22 PM

Not only did the "reporter" add more, but he edited the original story. I am thinking this sleezebag lawyer called to complain about the comment in the original print which said a trip to Bali would be beneficial to HIM, but not to her. Now it reads as such "He said he has not travelled to Bali because his presence "may create a press fiasco" that he does not believe would benefit his client." Wondering why the WJ changed this part of the story. Sad and weak.

In Glen Ellyn formerly from OP  

Posted: August 26th, 2014 1:20 PM

Mary and Terri- With all the available means and good will of the country, state, county, village, and neighborhood to help those who can't or won't help themselves, it's too easy to say we couldn't have done something more than send the cops 86 times. The laws, cops, and public agencies are authorized and paid for by the public. Is there nothing that can be done the next time if the Sheila or Heather (or Tommy) is your sister, aunt, or niece that you may have lost touch with? What should we do?

Mary from Not from OP  

Posted: August 26th, 2014 1:01 PM

Walking your dead mother out in a suit case and putting her, bloody and broken, in a taxi while you run out of a back door pretty much does equate to murder. MOO.

Mary from Not from OP  

Posted: August 26th, 2014 12:57 PM

Gak! They added more info to the article. While I agree that battering your mother, which was documented in police reports, doesn't prove murder, Elkin really needs to step back a minute and understand that battering one's mother also does not, in any way, shape or form, equate to "normal teenage" years.


Posted: August 26th, 2014 12:23 PM

Amen to "Judi from Chicago"'s remarks.

Judi from Chicago  

Posted: August 26th, 2014 11:46 AM

I have been visiting all over the world, since age 20, and I educated yes elf on the laws and customs of other countries. I was told the USA could not help me, if I disobeyed the laws of the country, that I was visiting. I stayed in Bali almost two months last year, and I loved the island and the people! I obeyed their laws! I do not feel sorry for anyone, who was seen on CCTV putting your dead mother in a taxi, using a suitcase. You made your bed hard, so now sleep in it! RIP Sheila!


Posted: August 26th, 2014 11:43 AM

"He said he has not travelled to the country because his presence "may create a press fiasco, which would be beneficial to me but detrimental to her." The EGO of this guy!!


Posted: August 26th, 2014 11:40 AM

To be clear, it reads like she is in contact with her attorney, you know, the one in Bali who can actually practice law in Indonesia. This guy is just a publicity hound and doing damage to his "client" for the press.


Posted: August 26th, 2014 11:22 AM

To "Glen Ellyn...": I speak from personal experience when I say that it is up to the mother to allow others to help her in dealing with a difficult child. I did everything possible to help someone I know; consulted authorities, legal advice, etc. Bottom line is that if there is a problem with a child (minor or adult child), the mother is the only one who can take action to protect herself from her child; or get help for her child if the child is a minor.


Posted: August 26th, 2014 11:12 AM

I agree with "Mary from NOT...." . There is no one any of us could have prevented this tragedy. We hear from Sheila Mack's brother and friends that she sought advice from others, but the decision on how to handle Heather was up to the mother. To "Glen Ellyn....": we cannot force our opinion on how to deal with a difficult family situation on others. How would you have handled this? Could you have changed this outcome? Bottom line, the mother enabled behavior.

Mary from Not from OP  

Posted: August 26th, 2014 11:00 AM

Oh I agree, Houston. This atty. Elkin should just as well go to Indonesia and spit directly in the faces of the authorities there, since that is how his statements come across to them anyway. He appears to have little understanding of Asian culture and seems to be really really causing problems for H. Mack. This is all just my opinion. I'd like to know more about T. Schaefer's situation.

Mary from Not from OP  

Posted: August 26th, 2014 10:56 AM

There is not one thing we can do, Glen Ellen. You have an offender who seems to not want help, not want to change her ways and a victim/mother who seems somewhat enabling and who thinks jail won't help. They basically locked it up between themselves that nothing was going to be done about this. Can you think of anything the authorities could have done to change that? Lock her up anyway?

In Glen Ellyn formerly from OP  

Posted: August 26th, 2014 10:09 AM

Now that we know this case is in the hands on the Indonesian authorities and justice system, and we await any additional meaningful crumbs of pertinent info., do we watch and wait the media draws us in for gossip and second guessing or do we remember to continue a more constructive topic of how can we possibly keep the circumstances such as these surrounding this sad and brutal result from happening again? 86 or so cop visits and personal attempts at counseling. What ELSE could "we" do?

tx atty from Houston  

Posted: August 26th, 2014 9:35 AM

He is not doing Heather or Tommy any favors. The day he stated she had contacted him "before" she was arrested, is the day he began hurting her case. Has he heard of Attorney client privilege? The Bail authorities need to show Tommy this article because it appears he believes he is being represented by this Guy. At the very least the US Embassy in Bali needs to make sure Tommy is informed of this and get him a local attorney.

Friar Tuck from OP   

Posted: August 26th, 2014 9:16 AM

Though I don't know the law in Bali, my guess is that it's much different than here. They're going to pin this crime on both of them, with both likely going to the firing squad. If the judges decide it's premeditated, they're both toast, and deservedly so.


Posted: August 26th, 2014 8:59 AM

Lawer schmoyer, I'm only interested in what happens to the baby. I hope it is placed in a good, stable, family. Not allowing Heather to raise it in prison would be a tragedy averted. Save the innocent.


Posted: August 26th, 2014 8:44 AM

If it weren't so terribly horrendous it would be almost amusing to watch Elkin's skid marks. Let's read between the lines: After vowing "she had nothing to do with it", she was sexually assaulted (back-tracked on that already), "assembling" a team of lawyers and doctors and insulting the Balinese authorities he's cooling his heels. Of course RBTL= FTM (follow the money). Plus, he and his partners probably are getting cold feet. (Too easy.)

Jeff from Oak Park  

Posted: August 26th, 2014 8:22 AM

I am betting that Mr. Elkin would be on a plane to Bali in a heartbeat, if he knew he would be paid for it. Why does WJ waste their time talking to this guy? Why give him the free publicity?

Mary from Not OP  

Posted: August 26th, 2014 7:53 AM

So he says it is "salacious" to say she isn't cooperating with Bali police, yet when they gave her a psychological test to take, she "chose not to participate"? I would hope at some point Elkin would see the HARM (moo) that he is doing to Mack. She isn't cooperating. You can't paint that with a lovely brush. It seems in his mind, she will be cooperating when HE chooses her next atty, bypassing the one she currently has. This won't end well. Not at all. (Moo)

Rosie from Los Angeles   

Posted: August 26th, 2014 12:23 AM

Hope Tommy lawyers up quick and starts cooperating, Heather will have no problem blaming all on him. Would hate to see her escaping justice just because she has money & resources

Julia from Evanston  

Posted: August 26th, 2014 12:01 AM

I read that the mother's will was sent to the court on Friday. Heather was not mentioned in it at all. If that's true the sleazy lawyer will not go to Bali & possibly get arrested for nothing, as it is he wasted all those over-time billable hours on someone who can't pay & all he look like is low life slime.


Posted: August 25th, 2014 11:38 PM

Vile? What's vile is what happened to Sheila Mack and the fact that this attorney is trying to further sensationalize it to get himself some press.


Posted: August 25th, 2014 11:12 PM

I love "gaggle", but resent "vile". Seriously, OPers are truly known for being smart, thoughtful and compassionate. We are stunned by this tragic story, especially b/c it had its beginning on our own Linden Ave. As Muriel suggested we must study the implications. and ACT. The self-serving attorney is only a side-bar. Perhaps we all can be more alert, involved-- and loving to our neighbors. RIP Sheila.

In Glen Ellyn formerly from OP  

Posted: August 25th, 2014 10:24 PM

Hey, ugh. Feel free to contribute to the conversation to dilute the criticisms with something other than... more criticism. Human interaction can surprise you with some occasional wit, paradigm contortions, intuition, moral support, confirmation or reformation of common beliefs, blah blah blah, they are your neighbors, afterall.


Posted: August 25th, 2014 9:57 PM

The gaggle of commenters in this thread are as vile as can be. Good to see nothing has changed with oakpark.com since I last took a peek.


Posted: August 25th, 2014 9:54 PM

So it's really just a farce to get himself in the media, right? He doesn't actually expect the American public to be up in arms over these purported violations of Heather Mack's civil rights?


Posted: August 25th, 2014 9:36 PM

It does not matter what team of experts Michael Elkin is organizing, Michael Elkin himself cannot represent her in Indonesia courts. That is probably why the police are no longer allowing Heather Mack to talk to Michael Elkin (according to Elkin).


Posted: August 25th, 2014 9:27 PM

Remember the "team" of legal and medical experts ME said he was organizing to go to Bali?


Posted: August 25th, 2014 9:20 PM

To "OP": only an Indonesian attorney can represent a client in Indonesia (same as here in USA where attorney must be licensed in that state). I believe the trial will be before a panel of judges. I do not think there is anything such as a jury of peers. The judges make the decision.

muriel schnierow from Oak park  

Posted: August 25th, 2014 8:59 PM

if heather was psychopathic that is not at this time a curable disorder .she was a clear danger to everyone.

muriel schnierow from Oak Park  

Posted: August 25th, 2014 8:57 PM

i am interested in public safety. all o fyou know that. with 86 police calls and an obvious violent nature were the police entitled to give heather the Hare PCL-R? this is a test for Psychopathy.the mother may have been an enabler but the public must be safe and the police have to have the tools they need.


Posted: August 25th, 2014 8:55 PM

This is likely some element of strategy for defense that she did not get fair trail prep etc. Of course he will take the case, if he gets her off, he becomes a superstar if he loses, he still gets big press. Also, he is an attorney (enough said) and will use any means required to get her off - including throwing Tommy under the bus. If he does not get a lawyer soon, her defense will be "he showed up, fought with her and killed her"

Karen from Oak Park  

Posted: August 25th, 2014 8:34 PM

BTW, this is part of what he said: He said he has scrapped immediate plans to go to Bali because sources on the ground there have told him that he could be detained himself because of allegations he made that Heather had been sexually assaulted while in prison. 'It was completely my intention to go,' he said. 'But when my sources started telling me the authorities had the intention of detaining me I changed my mind.

Karen from Oak Park  

Posted: August 25th, 2014 8:30 PM

Read what Elkin said in the Daily Mail. He needs to get his stories straight also. This child of privilege deserves he worse punishment possible. Murdering anyone, let alone your mother is worthy of a firing squad. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2734007/I-don-t-know-long-I-sobs-pregnant-teenager-accused-mother-s-body-suitcase-murder-Bali-tearful-call-moved-solitary-confinement.html#readerCommentsCommand-message-field

Brian Slowiak from Westchester  

Posted: August 25th, 2014 8:22 PM

the attorney gets free name recognition and advertisement, access to book and movie deals.

In Glen Ellyn formerly from OP  

Posted: August 25th, 2014 8:20 PM

A previous WJ article mentioned that the daughter happened to meet this attorney socially recently before the trip to Bali. I don't know where, maybe at her party she paid with her mother's stolen credit card... would have liked to have heard if that conversation included advice on criminal murder cases. Must have missed the part about preventing your own passports from being locked away from use.


Posted: August 25th, 2014 8:13 PM

Of course, we KNEW he never was going to go to Bali.


Posted: August 25th, 2014 8:03 PM

OK - So I'm trying to piece together what's in it for him? Does he really think he'll be able to return her to the US to pay his bills? Or is he just a fame seeker?


Posted: August 25th, 2014 7:59 PM

To "Wow": I would imagine that all of Sheila Mack's assets, credit cards, bank accounts are "frozen" until the estate goes through probate. I wonder if this attorney was the same attorney that helped the Mack family win the settlement in 2011.


Posted: August 25th, 2014 7:48 PM

Since the attorney said that he does not want a conflict of interest by representing Tommy Schaefer, I wonder if attorney will try to persuade or "lead" Heather Mack to say that Tommy killed her mother.

John Q  

Posted: August 25th, 2014 7:47 PM

Great. This is exactly the type of attornery she needs. I'd say things are going fine myself. "I don't know how much more of this I can take" (whiny voice)....I wouldn't even count the days Heather. Try pacing or counting cracks in the wall or floor or something other prison-like hobby. You will have plenty of opportunity to become proficient in whichever prison hobby you choose. If you can, catch a few episodes of Oz and bone up a little.


Posted: August 25th, 2014 7:43 PM

In my opinion, the worst thing this attorney did was tell the press that Heather Mack claims to be "touched inappropriately" Heather Mack received a medical exam because of ectopic pregnancy claim. The claim of being sexually abused while in custody is probably making things much worse for her. Already, she is caught in one lie of saying a gang killed her mother, when video shows Tommy S. carrying suitcase containing her dead mother.

Who'd hire him?  

Posted: August 25th, 2014 7:38 PM

Two words: Sleeze. Bag.


Posted: August 25th, 2014 7:26 PM

Agreed ... can anyone shed light on how this works ... e.g. is this loon able to get paid for his "services" even with her in Bali prison? From everything else I've read, he really has no role to play here other than to line his pockets with his false promises. Or am I mistaken, and he can somehow influence the process, get her out and then get paid? Seems implausible. And his quotes are unreal.

Pamela Harris from Bakersfield  

Posted: August 25th, 2014 7:01 PM

I have bo sympathy for this girl, she sounds like a little monster, but this attorney! He's jumped on the bandwagon and gotten his name in papers all over the world, but he has done nothing for her. If anything he's made matters worse by trumpeting her complaints to the press without trying to determine if they were true. Of course she's telling every lie in the book trying to get herself out of jail! Too bad the one person who would have moved heaven and earth to get her out is dead.


Posted: August 25th, 2014 5:47 PM

She's shocked? Hmm, the OPPD aren't.

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