Police were called for help 86 times

Police were called for help 86 times
Heather Mack, the daughter of an American woman found dead inside a suitcase on the Indonesian holiday island of Bali, gestures while in custody in a police station in Denpasar August 14, 2014.

THE RELATIONSHIP between the woman murdered in Bali on Tuesday and her daughter was tempestuous at the best of times, US news reports have said.

The half-naked body of Chicago widow Sheila von Wiese-Mack was found stuffed inside a suitcase.

It had been left in the boot of a taxi that had gone to pick up guests from the posh St Regis Resort at Nusa Dua.

Her daughter, Heather, 19, and her daughter's boyfriend Tommy Schaefer, 21, were arrested in connection with the murder on Wednesday.

Some friends had begged Ms von Miese-Mack, 62, not to travel with her daughter this time, NBC News reported.

The Chicago Tribune reported that the relationship was at times "volatile" and the police were often called to their home in an affluent suburb in the US state of Illinois.

Officials were quoted as saying that the police had gone there 86 times since January 2004, mostly for domestic disturbances, theft and missing person calls.

Several friends told the Tribune that Ms Von Wiese-Mack had once suffered a broken arm during an argument with her daughter.


The two fought over everything from school attendance to Heather's boyfriend, neighbours claimed.

"Police were here all the time," one neighbour was quoted as saying.

"They would call police on each other. It turned very abusive and volatile."

There were signs of tension shortly before the Bali trip.

Ms von Wiese-Mack, who had worked for late US senator Ted Kennedy, had reported to police that her credit card had been used on July 23 without her permission at the Conrad Hotel in Chicago.

When police arrived at the downtown hotel, they discovered that Heather and her boyfriend had used the card to book a room. They had allegedly charged up US$1,000 (S$1,250).

Schaefer was arrested for misdemeanour disorderly conduct after acting unruly during the police response.

The aspiring hip-hop artist, who performs under the name Tommy Exx, was scheduled to appear in court later this month.

He posted an Internet video taken from inside the police car and referred to his arrest as a "pig stop".

He also bragged about his coming holiday on social media.

"Leaving Aug 4th for Indonesia might not come backkkk," he wrote on his Facebook page.

Heather had posted a picture of idyllic Bali, presumably from the window of her hotel room, with the caption: "I refuse to let someone say what I can do, gettin (sic) money my attitude you know what it do #bali."

After Ms von Wiese-Mack's husband, prominent jazz composer James Mack, died while on holiday in Greece in 2006, the mother and daughter continued the family tradition of taking exotic vacations, neighbours told The Tribune.


Mr Mack, described by the Chicago Tribune as a "jack of all genres", was a conductor, composer, producer and arranger who worked on more than 60 albums for artists including Nancy Wilson, Jerry Butler and Tyrone.

The report quoted jazzman Ramsey Lewis as saying of Mr Mack: "Mack was one of the few musicians in the world who was at home in front of a symphony orchestra, a jazz big band, an R&B group... There was no genre of music, other than maybe hip-hop and rap, that James Mack was not comfortable with."

This article was first published on August 15, 2014.
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