What Happened to Phoebe?


Help uncover the truth of what really happened to Phoebe. Support the inquest.

Background Information

On the evening of the 2nd of December 2010, 24 year old Phoebe Handsjuk was found dead on the floor of the refuse compactor room at the bottom of ‘Balencea’, a luxury high rise apartment building, located on St Kilda Road Melbourne. It was discovered that she had fallen feet first from the 12th floor refuse room, down the waste disposal shaft to the compactor below. The Toxicology report revealed Phoebe to have a blood alcohol reading of 0.16% and high levels of prescription drugs.

There have been no known reported incidents of a cause of death such as this, in the history of Australia.

On the 7th of December, Homicide detectives said that no second party was involved in Phoebe’s death; she had entered the chute, feet first, voluntarily.

The police brief was passed to Detective Senior Constable Brendan Payne of the South Melbourne Criminal Investigation Unit to be completed for the Coroner.

Phoebe’s Grandfather, retired Detective Sergeant Lorne Campbell  had suspicions regarding the circumstances surrounding her death from the outset. He began to ask questions of the police and to make his own enquiries.

Senior Detective Brendan Payne and Lorne Campbell have worked for over two years, in an attempt to unravel the unexplained mysteries surrounding her violent and tragic death.

We, the family, have requested that there be an open Coronial Inquest into Phoebe’s death, where witnesses can be cross examined, in the hope of finding answers to the many questions still remaining.

The Brief is now with Coroner Peter White of the Coroners Court of Victoria. We await his decision whether to hold an Inquest.

You may view the history of media coverage on the Press page.


    Speak Your Mind


  1. I suspect (and I think most people would agree) that there has been a massive cover-up in this case – from the highest levels. Police, Prosecutions and the Judiciary.
    I find it difficult to believe (& I’m sure Victoria Police don’t appreciate it either) that Vic Pol were so inept, so inexperienced, so hill-billy that they didn’t think to seize (a) all CCTV footage (from 16 different cameras no less) until 2 DAYS later, after being explicitly told by the building’s Manager on the night Phoebe’s body was discovered, that the files needed to be retrieved quickly because otherwise the recording system would overwrite them within (surprise, surprise) 2 days. The DVR itself then, subsequently, inexplicably, goes missing and has never been found to this day.
    (b) that on the night neither phones, nor the laptop were seized. (The reasoning? “We didn’t want to infringe [the owner’s] privacy”. Since when has THAT ever been a consideration? In ANY type of crime?). Ultimately the hard drive of the laptop was not analysed until a full 2 and a half years later.
    (c) there were 3 potential crime scenes – the 12th floor apartment, the refuse room on the 12th floor and the refuse room on the ground floor. Yet only the ground floor was secured as a crime scene.
    (d) that her partner and his visitors were not prevented from returning to the apartment, thereby compromising whatever evidence may have been found there.

    We’re all born with the same grey matter and neither wealth, nor privilege nor education can detract from common sense and the unique ability of ALL human beings to sense when something doesn’t ring true. (And the taped conversation rings the loudest. Thank God for Phoebe’s detective-grandfather Lorne’s wise advice).
    Money may not buy happiness but it can certainly buy protection.
    But at what point do Mummy and Daddy stop fighting their kid’s battles for them? (I stopped when mine were 10 years of age). To still be fighting middle-aged children’s battles tells a whole other story.
    There are no prizes for guessing who was offering legal advice. But putting yourself forward within 3 days of Phoebe’s death as her “next of kin” (after only 18 months of a very turbulent defacto relationship) and then claiming her Superannuation Death Benefit of $113,000 is absolutely reprehensible.
    NB: You would also have to ask why the Coroner has suppressed (indefinitely) so much material if he was so convinced that no one else was to blame.
    This has stink all over it.

  2. The police investigation and the coroner’s report were set up to fail. Think The Warren Report or The 9/11 Commission Report. This was no suicide and no accident. It was very carefully orchestrated with expert legal help from the very top. The family that was behind this had better be careful there’s no whistle blowers or disgruntled individuals that may come forward in the future. The family are as guilty as sin! But how convenient: both criminal children walk free. I have had experience with alcohol abuse, drug abuse (including stilnox) and depression: when you take a depressant (alcohol) mixed with stilnox (sedative) to be able to undertake such a physical feat is humanly impossible. I hope justice is served. May you Rest in Peace Angel.

  3. Live in fear because we all know the truth.It wasnt always like this in Victoria.Suicide by sleepwalking….how sad it is that the powers that be have such contempt for the intelligence of the public.Power and money ,greed and Ego dominate.The last privileged guild is responsible for this cover up and most other things that are rotton on this land.If there is a God they will burn in hell.

  4. Frances Rawson says:

    What an absolute tragedy for Phoebe and her family. This cannot be a suicide – it absolutely beggars belief. The farcical police ‘investigation’ and quick judgement of suicide without a thorough investigation totally smacks of a cover up and the benefit of ‘friends in high places’. How can anyone put their faith in the Victoria police after this? Corruption, corruption, corruption.