– Tracy Connelly had walked St Kilda’s red light district for at least a decade and knew her work was dangerous. In 2005, her minder was run over by a man who was angry that she refused to get in his car, Ms Connelly once told a court.
She tried to survive without sex work, but needed the money.
On Sunday, Ms Connelly was murdered in the van she had lived in with her boyfriend. It had been parked in Greeves Street across from St Kilda Gatehouse – a safe haven for sex workers.
Homicide detectives have cleared the boyfriend over the murder and are investigating if a client was responsible.
Ms Connelly, 40, had lived in the van for the past month and had probably been murdered in daylight, Detective Inspector John Potter said. He said she was found by her traumatised boyfriend and had suffered a violent death.
Police will review CCTV footage of the area and complete an autopsy to determine the cause of death in coming days. Police cordoned off an area outside a nearby apartment block on Inkerman Street on Monday as there was blood found on the footpath.
The van, a white Ford Econovan, was unlocked, with no signs of forced entry. Ms Connelly had used the name Kelly when she worked.
“It’s possible that whoever approached her did so in some sort of professional status or was known to her,” Inspector Potter said.
St Kilda Gatehouse chief executive officer Sally Tonkin said that Ms Connelly was well-known and valued for the friendship she provided to other workers.
“She will be so missed in this community because she was very caring and loving,” Ms Tonkin said.
Ms Connelly had been charged several times for street sex work.
St Kilda Legal Service lawyer Vanda Hamilton said an unintended consequence of a police crackdown on street sex work clients could mean only those not concerned with being caught still crawled the red light district. These risk-taking clients could be more likely to be violent, she said.
Sue White, who is the general manager of the Inner South Community a Health Service, said legalising street sex work was the only way to ensure workers were safe.
“Because it’s illegal the work gets driven underground where there’s less of a police presence, poor lighting, and it’s certainly not getting better,” Ms White said.
The County Court heard in 2007 Ms Connelly had been robbed and assaulted during her work. She was appearing as a witness in a trial involving a prospective client who had allegedly run over her minder when he tried to stand up for Ms Connelly – Niño Bucci & Jared Lynch


About Jumpin' Jack Cash

Deep connections are the most important aspect of my existence. I don’t care if people don’t know what they want. I love books. I’m cynical of love stories, although I’m romantic. I adore gardens. I like women who challenge me. I love the rain as an excuse to stay inside and dream. I'm furiously impatient. If I ask you a question best to tell me the truth as I'm likely to already know the answer. I'm a carnivore. I continuously underestimate the magic of fresh flowers in my home. I love warm rain in the summer. My mood elevates to epic proportions when the sun shines. Tell me not to do something and I'll do it twice and take photos. Running is my antidepressant. I loathe lies. I rarely forgive a lie. Loyalty and honesty are my most noble virtues, and I value them more than anything in other people. I love to love, and am able to fall in love very quickly, although it's only ever happened once. I understood myself and fixed myself only after destroying myself. My greatest excitement comes from deliberately getting lost in foreign cities. I can be extremely loud and frighteningly silent. I hate insinuations. I love storms. Justice for all. I'm a proud man, but welcome the influence of the feminine soul. I have two sisters. I’m a dreamer. I’m a deep thinker. Don’t deal with guilt trips or drama that well. I'm extremely stubborn and persistent. I'm brilliant at keeping secrets. I love driving. I become absolutely and completely lost while watching a burning fire. When the toast pops from the toaster I’m never ready and shit myself. I play the guitar, but require much improvement. Solitude and warmth of the sun are perfect together. I’ve been married once and now divorced. I’m a music junkie. Chocolate mousse is the shit. I curse too much. I find it difficult to make friends. I spent four years as a firefighter. I’ve run my own company since 1991. Bright lights, big cities. I’ve been an executive producer of a feature film. Some people don’t care, and that’s the biggest let-down of the human race. There are cures and solutions for many evils, but no remedy for the worst of them all - the apathy of human beings. The sound of the Italian language being spoken is as good as my favourite music. I hate corrupt cops. I relentlessly and passionately pursue anybody and anything that sets my soul on fire. I'm a dog lover, and all my dogs are considered family members. I have an obsession with photography. I have some close friends who are household names, but shall always remain anonymous. I’m crazy but not lazy. Losing a soulmate has hurt me badly. My two young sons are the nucleus of my universe. I love airports. I love freedom. If you are dishonest or disloyal, I can erase you from my life and memory immediately and permanently. I yearn to explore, dream about and discover as many friendships, deep connections and places, one possibly can in a lifetime.
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