CHUTE DEATH ‘NOT SUICIDE’ – Saturday August 10 2013

– A smear of blood found in Phoebe Handsjuk’s apartment, and bruising on her wrists, indicated she was murdered and did not commit suicide, her grandfather told her inquest yesterday.
Ms Handsjuk, 24, was found dead in the refuse room of the Balencea apartment complex in St Kilda Road on December 2nd, 2010, after falling 12 storeys down the garbage chute.
She was last seen alive at 11:50am that day.
Ms Handsjuk lived at the complex with her boyfriend Antony Hampel, 45, the son of former Supreme Court judge George Hampel and the stepson of County Court judge Felicity Hampel.
Yesterday, her grandfather Lorne Campbell, a former senior detective with 34 years’ police experience, told coroner Peter White he believed police had botched the investigation and hastily ruled the death a suicide.
Mr Campbell conducted experiments on the garbage chute in the months after Phoebe’s death, concluding it would have been difficult for his intoxicated granddaughter to commit suicide in that manner.
“Another party must have been involved,” he said.
Mr Campbell also said he was suspicious of Ms Handsjuk’s boyfriend, and instructed Phoebe’s mother Natalie to record a conversation with him in the days after her death.
“I believe she was killed by one or more people,” Mr Campbell said.
Mr Campbell also said a text message sent to family members from Ms Handsjuk’s phone had been fabricated and had been designed to give the suicide theory plausibility.
Earlier the inquest heard Ms Handsjuk had been unhappy with her relationship, and Mr Hampel would lock himself in his home office during arguments and her drinking bouts.
The inquest continues on Monday – Padraic Murphy


About Jumpin' Jack Cash
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