GRANDFATHER TELLS OF DOUBTS AFTER CHUTE DEATH – Saturday August 10 2013

– The retired detective grandfather of Phoebe Handsjuk has laid out a case for a coroner, saying why he believes others were involved in her mysterious garbage chute death.
Ms Handsjuk, 24, was found in the garbage room at the Balencea apartment complex in St Kilda Road, between 6:30pm and 7pm on December 2nd, 2012.
She had fallen 12 floors inside a small garbage chute outside the apartment she shared with her boyfriend, Antony Hampel, 45, the son of a retired Victorian Supreme Court justice.
Ms Handsjuk was battling depression and substance issues in the months before she died, the inquest has heard.
Although a police investigation concluded Ms Handsjuk most likely took her own life, the inquest was launched last week after a campaign by Ms Handsjuk’s family, including retired police detective Lorne Campbell.
Mr Campbell’s statement for the coroner, detailing the elaborate personal investigation he undertook after his granddaughter’s death, was read out in court on Friday.
The court was also shown footage of experiments Mr Campbell conducted on the chute, and a replica of it, using women of a similar size to Ms Handsjuk.
In his statement, Mr Campbell says his footage establishes it would have been very difficult for Ms Handsjuk, alone, to have lifted herself into the chute and thrown herself down it while under the influence of alcohol and a number of prescription medications.
He also said if she had wanted to end her life she could have found easier ways to do it than with a small garbage chute.
His evidence continues on Monday.
A colleague of Mr Hampel also took to the stand on Friday and denied claims he repeatedly visited the concierge who made the grisly discovery.
The concierge, Betal Ozulup, on Monday told the coroner an acquaintance of Mr Hampel visited her as often as every second day over two weeks when she returned to work after the death.
She said she was told it suicide and was questioned about her memories of that afternoon by Christo van Egmond, a long-time acquaintance, neighbour and colleague of Mr Hampel. “He said, ‘She couldn’t be saved, she didn’t want to be saved’,” she said.
But on Friday Mr van Egmond, an entertainment executive, said he only remembered approaching Ms Ozulup once after the tragedy.
The inquest has been set down for three weeks – Rania Spooner

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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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