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Phoebe's Fall

Phoebe's Fall is a nonfiction investigative podcast by The Age1) newsroom in Melbourne, Australia that examines the death of a young woman.

A major investigation by The Age newsroom in Melbourne, Australia, into the death of Phoebe Handsjuk, who was found at the bottom of a garbage chute in a luxury apartment building.

It's December 2, 2010, and the concierge at a luxury Melbourne apartment tower is making her way to the garbage room.

She is looking for a broom. But something blocks the door. She gives it a shove with her shoulder and catches sight of a young woman lying in a pool of blood among the fallen bins.

The concierge panics, praying the body is a mannequin. Then she braves a second look.

Phoebe Handsjuk was 24. Complex and beautiful. She lived 12 storeys above with her boyfriend Antony Hampel, a son of Melbourne's legal establishment.

But on that night, Phoebe died the most horrific death.

She had plunged 40 metres, feet first, down the garbage chute.

She survived the fall. But the garbage compactor at the bottom had virtually severed her right foot. Phoebe bled out in the dark, alone, her jeans around her knees.

But how did she get into the chute? And why?

The Coroner decided she had climbed in herself. He recorded death by misadventure. But there were no fingerprints at the top, and no CCTV footage. Her family doubts the Coroner's version was even physically possible.

The mystery remains.

Now, for the first time, The Age tells the full story of the short life and brutal death of Phoebe Handsjuk.