Accused Bali suspect Schaefer's mother launches legal defense fundraiser

Online campaign aims to raise $100,000

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Timothy Inklebarger

Staff reporter

A legal defense fundraiser has been launched online for Tommy Schaefer, the 21-year-old Oak Park-River Forest High School graduate being held by police in Bali as a murder suspect.

The campaign on fundraising website had raised $4,681 from 48 supporters by Wednesday afternoon. The "Fundraiser Details" portion of the website notes that the campaign was launched by Schaefer's mother, Kia Walker, a Forest Park resident. It aims to raise $100,000.

Titled "My Son, Tommy Schaefer Deserves a Fair Trial," the fundraising website notes that Schaefer, 21, "is potentially facing execution by firing squad in Indonesia."

"Tommy desperately needs to raise money to pay for a lawyer in Indonesia. I love and care deeply for my son," the website states.

Walker could not immediately be reached for comment.

Schaefer has been held by police in Bali since Aug. 13, and is suspected in the murder of former Oak Park resident Sheila von Weise Mack, the mother of Schaefer's girlfriend Heather Mack.

Heather Mack also is being held as a suspect. The three were vacationing in Bali when the murder took place. Von Weise Mack's body was discovered in a suitcase outside the hotel where the three were staying. Heather Mack's Chicago-based attorney, Michael Elkins, maintains his client's innocence.

The comments section of the fundraiser website had mixed reactions, some referring to Schaefer and Mack as "murderers" and "entitled brats" and others calling for justice and a fair trial.

The website is at:


Reader Comments

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Debra Jacobson from Key West  

Posted: October 28th, 2014 10:15 AM

I also worry about the State of mind Sheila Von Mack was in since no one has made any reports about her mental health? We know she sold piece music of her late composer husband these musical scores were lying on the floor of her previous home this in itself shows neglect and her photos reflect some concerns for that music was very valuable and a precious signature of her late husbands work as a musician. What concerns me most is travel to Bali for this government has a death penalty-firing squad


Posted: September 2nd, 2014 3:47 PM

Whatever happened to the notion of innocent until proven guilty in a court of law? The people who have left such destructive commentary here should consider moving to another country. This young man and his mother deserve justice, whatever that may be. They are not a place of financial liberty as is the Mack girl and like anyone, he deserves legal counsel. It is not for uninformed public opinion. Practice peace.

Really from Forest PArk  

Posted: September 2nd, 2014 1:02 PM

Really, a fund raiser for those two, "Shamus" how right you are! think about the woman that was Killed! not those two.

Former Forest Parker  

Posted: September 1st, 2014 8:42 PM

You've got to be kidding!!!

shamus from FP  

Posted: August 30th, 2014 1:25 PM

Is this a real story? Two Disturbed people butcher a women who was only trying win their affection with trips and money, and you want donations.... The fund should be to bring the poor womans body back with respect. Shame on the paper for running this article. Guilty till proven Innocent. The will judge them.. This is a private matter for the family, dont waste paper on private affairs.

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