Heather Mack returns on Instagram

Former Oak Park resident, convicted of premeditated murder, confronts critics


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By Timothy Inklebarger

Staff Reporter

* All photos and video posted by Mack on Instagram were deleted from her account within 24-hours of Wednesday Journal publishing a story.

She was sentenced to serve 10 years in an Indonesian prison in April after being found guilty of the premeditated murder of her mother, but former Oak Park resident Heather Mack still has a presence online through social network sites.

Mack, along with her boyfriend and Oak Park and River Forest High School classmate Tommy Schaefer, is currently serving time in Kerobokan Prison for the 2014 murder of Sheila Von Wiese-Mack. Schaefer was given an 18-year prison sentence.

But photos and video of both have popped up over the last two months on the popular photography social networking site Instagram under the username @missheathermack. In the comments section of some of the photos, Mack also has made reference to use of other social networking apps such as WhatsApp and Snapchat.

On Instagram, Mack can be seen hanging out with cellmates, Tommy and their newborn girl Stella, who is currently being raised by Mack in prison. In all of her photos she is dressed in civilian clothes, prompting some users to ask whether she already was released from prison.

Mack, who was 19 years old at the time of the murder, interfaces on the site with friends from Chicago and detractors alike. In one exchange, an Instagram user with handle @dmacandernie states: "OMG how was your trip to Bali?! I bet it was killer. …" Mack responds, saying: "LMAO pretty bad at first but its better now thanks for askin". Mack later uses a pejorative word to describe the user, saying "the world is full of em."

In another photo, Mack posts a screenshot of a Daily Mail news article with the headline: "'Body in suitcase' teenager is SELLING her three-month-old baby daughter for $150,000 from Bali prison, infant's grandmother says."

"Most untrue and ridiculous article to ever come out. Stella is priceless. Fools," Mack said in response to the news article. She also states: "its so sad its pathetic and all these people reading it believe it cause its on the news."

As of Aug. 5, Mack had posted 38 photos and videos combined and had 896 followers on Instagram.

Mack's account is listed as private, meaning that only friends are allowed to view her posts. Attempts to contact Mack through Instagram direct messages were unsuccessful.

Mack and her boyfriend were arrested in Bali last August. Schaefer confessed to bludgeoning Von Wiese-Mack to death with a metal fruit bowl during an argument about Mack's pregnancy. The story made international headlines due in part to the couple's effort to abscond with the body from a luxury hotel where the crime was committed by stuffing Von Wiese-Mack's body in a suitcase, which was later discovered in a taxi outside the hotel.

Prosecutors successfully argued that the murder was planned, and both Mack and Schaefer faced a possible death penalty by firing squad. But the three-judge panel gave Mack a lenient sentence, according to the Associated Press, because, "Her newborn baby badly needs a mother's love and breastfeeding." The AP reported that Schaefer's sentence also was lightened because of "his politeness and expression of remorse during the trial." 

Email: tim@oakpark.com

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Reader Comments

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Simons Roane  

Posted: September 18th, 2016 10:12 AM

Someone in the family please sue her for wrongful death, take every cent from this murder and her murderess boyfriend. This they will feel because I don't see any sign of regret on her face. They will take that money and use it on the case here in America and get the finesse lawyer and live in style and that would be truly an injustice.

John Butch Murtagh  

Posted: December 9th, 2015 1:42 PM

I read the dates on the letters before writing my post. I saw nothing to indicate that the article was not published for the third time by the WJ . The paper has done multiple publications of the same article many times. The Henderson kidnap was published three times, the tragic death of Alicia Hughes Yaus was published at least four times. What the WJ publishes in print or "Comments", is the responsibility of the Wednesday Journal. I don't know how this latest mess happened. I do know that the paper has had hours to take it down. They have not removed the Bali-Bali piece. Will they?

John Butch Murtagh  

Posted: December 9th, 2015 1:01 PM

I read the date on the letter before writing my post. I saw nothing to indicate that the

Tom MacMillan from Oak Park, IL  

Posted: December 9th, 2015 12:40 PM

I wonder how much she will get for the movie rights someday.

Bridgett Baron  

Posted: December 9th, 2015 12:33 PM

John, This story is not "continuing to be published." Look at the date on the story. Look at the dates of the comments. It showed up on the right side of the home page of OakPark.com, because someone today, four months later, commented on it.

John Butch Murtagh  

Posted: December 9th, 2015 12:03 PM

Why does this disgusting story continue to be published in the Wednesday Journal? Does the carnal nature of the story drive so many readers that the paper can't pass up the revenue? Or is it just an exotic Instagram opp? It certainly is not the type news story that your customers want.

Jasmine Rice  

Posted: December 9th, 2015 8:15 AM

Unbelievable! Pictures speak a thousand words. She seems to enjoy herself. I see no remorse. I grew up in Indonesia and have been following this case very closely. I am dumbfounded to watch what they can do in their prison cells. Thanks, Tim.

Rani Morrison from Oak Park  

Posted: August 9th, 2015 8:20 PM

I am in disbelief. It seems like prison in Bali is really fun. You get to have maternity shoots. Do makeovers. And tweet/IG/Kik with your "roomie" BKA cellmate so yo can show your mugshot wasn't your best shot. I'm sure she'll be TOTALLY rehabilitated by the time she is released and comes back to the US. I can feel the remorse dripping from her every word.

Muriel Schnierow from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: August 7th, 2015 6:12 PM

the crime is the diagnosis. this girl and her "friend" are psychopathic murderers.they should never be on the street again. in Oak Park 86 calls to the police and she was free to wander around. why?

David Hammond  

Posted: August 6th, 2015 9:07 PM

Good work locating these Instagram posts, Tim. It's very surprising to me that Mack is permitted to have that kind of social media access during her incarceration.

Maggie Klein  

Posted: August 6th, 2015 7:47 PM

To NC Stein- I agree completely with you, however, it will just be a short matter of time before she does something else to land her a** in jail. Let's just pray it's not to that innocent child.

NC Stein from Oak Park  

Posted: August 6th, 2015 7:37 PM

I am so pleased she is so happy in prison and not isolated from the outside world. Silly, silly us thinking prisons there were harsh. Your article soon to follow will be that she has been released. And to think, we will soon all be blessed again with presence of this spoiled brat murderess.

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