Phoebe’s Fall – The short life and brutal death of Phoebe Handsjuk

The Age has today released the first episode of a six part podcast series examining the circumstances, investigation, and inquest into Phoebe’s death.

You can listen to the podcast and find more information here: http://www.theage.com.au/interactive/2016/phoebesfall/

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  1. ACHILLEYS KALTSOUNIS says:

    Putting aside what I have said before…..No one has mentiond the possability that Phoebe never went down the garbage chute…???? or if she had, the only person that really knows would be her boy friend and his Family most likely it was to do with Drugs, Phoebe got in too deep and she became a problem and she had to go.

  2. Lola Smythe says:

    I remember Phoebe’s death well, and through this site now appreciate the background to the sad events. The subtle and indirect intimation you make that the Victorian justice hierarchy ‘protected’ one of its own is terrifying. Whether this is true or not is still untested, but I completely support your efforts to get to the truth. On a less sinister level, I do however detect something I see in my professional life quite often: confirmation bias exhibited by authorities. In this case, it seems obvious that the police and coroner have allowed their knowledge of Phoebe’s serious mental illness to cloud their thinking. They see an individual with a severe psychiatric disorder, and let that drive them towards conclusions rather than thinking more broadly about the possibilities. Confirmation bias is a dangerous trap, and to avoid it requires intellect, a greatly opened mind, and hard work. In the justice system, I rarely see police ever overcome this thinking, but in most cases, the bias does not affect good outcomes – what they ‘guess’ from circumstances usually matches the truth (when it does affect outcomes though, the effects are disastrous for the individual). I have seen it less often occur in the judicial system, but in Phoebe’s case, it seems to have occured throughout the inquest. Put bluntly, they’ve assumed that given Phoebe’s mental illness, she must have died at her own hands – this seems to have coloured every decision the coroner (and to a lesser extent, the police) have made. Given Phoebe’s illness, incorrect assumptions may have been made about events, and I wish you luck and strength to find out what really happened.