No bond for woman charged in death of socialite mom

A judge declined to ease bond conditions Thursday and release a Chicago woman who is charged with conspiracy in the 2014 death of her wealthy mother during a luxury vacation in Bali.

The decision means Heather Mack, 27, will remain in custody without bond while awaiting a July trial in federal court in Chicago.

Mack was arrested in Chicago in November 2021 after serving more than seven years in an Indonesian prison for murder. The body of her socialite mother, Sheila von Wiese-Mack, was stuffed in a suitcase and left in a taxi outside a hotel on the island of Bali.

Although Mack was convicted in Indonesia, U.S. prosecutors filed their own case, accusing her of conspiring with a former boyfriend before they traveled to the islands in 2014.

Defense attorney Michael Leonard said Mack has behaved well while in custody and would not pose a risk to the public if granted bond. But U.S. District Judge Matthew Kennelly declined to release her.

Von Wiese-Mack’s siblings testified that Mack was manipulative and that they feared for their safety.

In 2017, Robert Bibbs was sentenced to nine years in a U.S. prison for advising Mack and Tommy Schaefer about how to kill Mack’s mother. Their motive apparently was to inherit money from von Wiese-Mack, who was the widow of jazz and classical composer James L. Mack.

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Savage is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues.


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