After being released from Bali prison on Friday, “Suitcase Killer” Heather Mack told The Post that remorse for her crime has made her dread returning to her hometown of Chicago when she is deported next week.
“I really miss my mom, and everything in Chicago will remind me of her,” Mack, 26, said in an exclusive interview. “I’m sure it will be very difficult because I think about it every day and I deeply regret what happened.”
In 2015, an Indonesian court found Mac and her boyfriend Tommy Schaefer, 21, guilty of the murder of her mother, Sheila von Wes Mack, 62.
Perhaps as soon as Monday, immigration officials will escort her to the capital, Jakarta, where Mac is expected to be cleared by immigration to travel to the United States. She will be reunited at the airport with her and Schaefer’s daughter Stella, now 6, who was born in prison and raised by a foster family in Bali.
Mac said she hopes to devote the next chapter of her life to Stella and has rejected any ideas of dating or finding a job for at least six months.
“Dating is the last thing on my mind,” she told The Post. “My priority is to settle Stella with me and join a good routine. She will be taught remotely by the school I attended in Bali. She is already familiar with homeschooling due to Corona[virus lockdowns]. I will be in close contact with the Bali School. Stella loves to dance and draw, so I will consider pursuing these activities once we return to America.”
Keeping her daughter out of school is also part of Mac’s plan to protect her from TV cameras.
“Stella is not ready to bombard the press for us. So I will defend her from the media and keep her out of the spotlight,” says Mack. “I’ve told Stella we’re going on vacation, and she’s ready and excited for it.
“It remains blissfully unaware to kill, which is what it should be for a child.”
After an argument, Schaefer beat Von Wise Mack to death with a heavy bowl of fruit at a luxury St. Regis resort, then he and Mac crush the woman’s body into a suitcase, put him in a cab and leave the scene. The police arrested the couple at a cheap hotel nearby. Schaeffer was sentenced to 18 years in prison. Mac was sentenced to 10 years in prison, but will be released three years earlier for good behavior.
Mac left the Kerobokan female prison in Denpasa wearing an orange prison jacket over a T-shirt, jeans, and dark sunglasses. It was the first time she had left the building since Stella was born at a local hospital in 2015.
Although Mac did not say who would stay in Chicago, she did make it clear that some of her old friends stayed by her side throughout her imprisonment.
“It was about five or six friends that were supportive,” she said. “They sent me pictures and photos of special occasions with captions like ‘I wish you were here’ that brightened my days.
“I have been in contact with my father [of the family]who supported me. They live in Texas, and I look forward to introducing Stella to her family.”
Her father, famous jazz DJ James L. Mack, and her mother raised Mac in a $1.5 million Renaissance-style mansion in upscale Oak Park, a suburb of Chicago. James, who was in poor health — suffering from stage 4 colon cancer and diabetes, and confined to a wheelchair — died of pulmonary embolism during a 2006 family vacation in Athens, Greece. Sheila left her husband’s body in an Athenian morgue while she was sailing to Santorini with 10-year-old Heather.
“That’s when the seeds of anger were planted,” Heather said. “I wanted to go home, and my mother drank wine by the sea and complained to her friends about my father’s death.”
Mac recently expressed remorse for the murder, telling the newspaper a few months ago, “I’m totally sorry for what happened. I loved my mom — I still do.”
Currently, she is planning to take small steps in her new life.
“Adapting to life outside prison is my next step. Little things like going to the grocery store
The shop, park, and pool with Stella would be great,” Mac told The Post. “Even paying the electric bill would be great.”
Andrea Dixon Bali-based journalist writing a book on the life of Heather Mack.