Phoebe’s Fall is a short, six episode Australian podcast about the death of Phoebe Handsjuk. Phoebe’s Fall is produced by Australian newspaper The Age.
In 2010, 24-year-old Phoebe Handsjuk was found dead at the bottom of a garbage chute in the luxury Melbourne apartment building where she lived with her boyfriend. Phoebe was alive when she entered the chute, fell twelve floors and died of blood loss. The coroner ruled it ‘death by misadventure’, meaning Phoebe intentionally climbed in the chute, but not necessarily with the intention of ending her life. But how did she get in the chute which was one meter off the ground? And why were no fingerprints found on the chute? The podcast looks to answer these questions and more.
In my opinion, Australians make some of the best podcasts (Casefile; Canadian True Crime) and these guys are no exception. The hosts had a good back-and-forth between them. They are not the most exciting of podcast hosts, so if your favourite podcasts are My Favourite Murder and True Crime Garage, you might find these hosts boring.
The hosts present many facts on the case and speculate on them to a degree. I think they should have engaged in more speculation and discussion, because this case relies heavily on speculation. Sometimes the hosts will bring up something really interesting, but not discuss it much between themselves. Usually I assume the point of having two hosts is to have more of a discussion rather than a presentation of information.
One thing I appreciated about this podcast is that the hosts didn’t try to gloss over Phoebe. Often people will try and turn the dead into saints, even if that’s not the truth. In this podcast Phoebe is portrayed with an honesty that I think is refreshing and relatable to many listeners. That’s what sets this podcast apart, for me. The hosts don’t come from the angle of ‘Phoebe was perfect, she had the perfect life, she would never climb in that garbage chute’. Rather, Phoebe was portrayed with brutal honesty, we hear about her obsession with older men, her depression, her battle with alcoholism, all at the age of 24. And we hear all the wonderful things about Phoebe as well.
By the end of the six episodes, I still hadn’t made up my mind about what happened that night. But I still find myself thinking about Phoebe. And I think that is important. I recommend everyone listen to this podcast, unless suicide is a sensitive subject for you. Its only six short episodes, and trust me, you’ll wish there were more.