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Police records hint at issues before Bali death

Police called 86 times to suburban Chicago home of woman whose body found in suitcase in Bali

Posted on Aug. 14, 2014 at 12:00 a.m. | Updated on Aug. 14, 2014 at 1:39 p.m.

CHICAGO (AP) — As Indonesian police question the 19-year-old daughter of a woman whose body was found stuffed in a suitcase in Bali, authorities in an upscale Chicago suburb examined records of 86 incidents in which police were called to the family’s house.

Sheila von Wiese-Mack had lived with her daughter, Heather, in Oak Park. The calls to police started in 2004 and lasted through June 2013, according to village of Oak Park spokesman David Powers, who also said the family moved out about a year ago. The bulk of the calls were missing-person reports, and others included domestic problems and theft.

Powers didn’t have details about the calls, but said none resulted in arrests. He added there were a number of 911 calls made from the residence in which the caller hung up, and, as is standard procedure, the police department sent a squad car to investigate.

The body of the 62-year-old Shelia von Wiese-Mack was found Tuesday inside a suitcase left in a trunk of a taxi. It was parked in front of the St. Regis Bali Resort in the island’s upscale Nusa Dua area, Denpasar, Bali, police chief Col. Djoko Hari Utomo has said.

On Wednesday, police arrested Heather Mack and her 21-year-old boyfriend, Tommy Schaefer, who is also from the Chicago area.

Few details were available from Bali, but the police records from the upscale Chicago suburb could shed light on the relationship between the mother and daughter. Friends have also started talking to local reporters, alleging that the mother-daughter relationship was sometimes contentious.

Wiese-Mack was the widow of highly regarded jazz and classical composer James L. Mack, who died in 2006.

Seven years later, Wiese-Mack was featured in a profile by a century-old Chicago book club called the Caxton Club, in where she was a member. In it, she described doing research for the late Sen. Ted Kennedy, studying under Saul Bellow and working as an editor for Studs Terkel.

A longtime friend and assistant of Terkel, Sydney Lewis, confirmed Wiese-Mack had, in fact, worked for Terkel, but she said that her duties were limited to transcribing for the famed Chicago writer.


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