NEW YORK (MainStreet) — The Chicago mother murdered in Indonesia this summer had reportedly tapped into half a million dollars set aside by her late husband, James Mack, for their, child, Heather Mack who is now 19 years old.
“In this case using money to control the daughter backfired, because it interfered with the separation-individuation process that teens go through on their way towards a healthy adulthood,” said Dr. Jeannette Raymond, a licensed psychologist with a counseling practice in Los Angeles.
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Mack and her 21-year-old boyfriend, Tommy Schaefer, are being held in connection with the August 12 bludgeoning death of 62-year-old Sheila von Wiese Mack in Bali.
Mack allegedly helped stuff her mother’s dead body into a suitcase that was then abandoned at the ritzy St. Regis Hotel taxi stand.
“Unsuccessful in trying to control her mother and secure the money her father had specifically designated for her make it likely that Heather Mack would need to kill the person who in her eyes was withholding what was rightfully hers,” Raymond told MainStreet.
The Chicago Sun Times reported that von Wiese Mack had originally received $340,887 of a $1.5 million settlement in 2011 from a lawsuit against Royal Caribbean Cruises filed by her composer husband James Mack, who allocated $500,000 to provide for his daughter Heather Mack before he died. However, a judge subsequently awarded Heather’s portion of the settlement to her mother, von Wiese Mack. “When a parent cannot have a relationship with a teen but wants one, money is a powerful tool by which to ensure some kind of connection even if it’s based on the threat of financial insecurity,” Raymond said.