Stacey Mitchell was a 16-year-old girl from Dorset, England. In 2001, Stacey and her family flew across the world to set up home in Perth, Western Australia. Once settled, Stacey made friends with ease, and she was known for her outgoing demeanour.
As she developed into a teenager, she described herself as a “party girl” who loved music and West Ham football club. On her MySpace, she had written: “I love me alcohol. I’m a party girl. I’m a very loud person. I talk 24/7. I m a very down to earth person if you get to know me.”
In December of 2006, Stacey had an argument with her parents and ran away from home. She went directly to the home of two young women that she had recently been introduced to: 19-year-old Jessica Stasinowsky and her 18-year-old girlfriend, Valerie Parashumti. The two young women lived in a share-house in the inner-eastern Perth suburb of Lathlain. They had moved in with the landlord’s son, David Ross Haynes, around June of 2006.
Stasinowsky and Parashumti welcomed Stacey into their home, but after just a couple of days, the relationship began to sour. Stasinowski became jealous of the perceived bond between Stacey and Parashumti and she was annoyed by the fact that Stacey wore bikinis around the house while she was at work. The relationship between Stasinowski and Parashumti was one of obsession, and they were always determined to prove their commitment to one another.1
After not hearing from Stacey for several days, her parents, Andrew and Sophie, reported her missing. Naturally, the first place that investigators searched was the home where Stacey had been living. On the 21st of December, 2006, investigators descended on the home. While searching, they made a gruesome discovery in a rubbish bin in the backyard shed.
It was a body.
The body was in such an advanced state of decomposition that identification could not be made by sight alone. The body was ultimately identified as Stacey Mitchell via dental records. Investigators now had the daunting task of informing her family.
In a statement, her family said: “We have been overwhelmed by the love and support of family, friends and the local community of Atwell. We are obviously devastated by the tragedy that has occurred, and words can’t describe how we are feeling at this time. Stacey was a loving, caring 16-year-old girl who will be deeply missed by her loved ones. Stacey loved her friends, music and having a good time.”2
Investigation uncovered that while at first, the relationship between Stacey and the two women was harmonious, Stasinowsky and Parashumti grew to dislike Stacey. They felt as though she was “pushing their buttons” and they concocted a grim plan to get rid of her. First of all, Stasinowski spilled oil on the bathroom floor hoping that Stacey would slip and crack her head. When this didn’t work, she crushed up glass and slipped it into Stacey’s drink. This didn’t work either, so they decided to come up with a better plan.
Late on the 17th of December, Stasinowski, Parashumti and Stacey were at home drinking whiskey when Parashumti crept up behind Stacey and hit her over the head with a concrete slab. Stasinowski then wrapped a dog chain around her neck and strangled her. As Stacey struggled for breath, Stasinowski and Parashumti recorded her and then kissed over her dead body.
The murder had been a brutal and frenzied one, and blood was spattered throughout the home. The two women began to clean, but not before recording the scene on their mobile phone. At one point during the video, they even mock Stacey’s British accent as her half-covered nude body can be spotted in the background.
After cleaning up the scene, Stasinowski and Parashumti then stuffed Stacey’s body head first into the household wheelie bin. Stasinowsky and Parashumti subsequently discussed ways to dispose of Stacey’s body. During one conversation, they considered using a chainsaw or lime.3 They went to a local hardware store where they priced up a chainsaw, shovel and cement.
On Boxing Day, Stacey’s parents, Andrew and Sophie, as well as her two younger sisters and older brother gathered with around 300 mourners at a skate park in the southern Perth suburb of Atwell to memorialise her. The group of mourners sang the team song of West Ham football club, who Stacey supported. After the service, they released 16 pink balloons into the sky to symbolise her 16 years of life.
On the 27th of December, 2006, Stasinowsky and Parashumti appeared in court via video link from Bandyup women’s prison. The judge was horrified when the two young women began snickering, smirking and chatting to one another. He stated: “This is not a humorous matter. You have both been charged with willful murder, I don’t know what you’re laughing about.” He then remanded them into custody to reappear the following month.
Stasinowsky and Parashumti appeared in court on the 5th of January, and their demeanour was a stark contrast to their earlier appearance. They were once again remanded and upon their return to prison, Stasinowsky was attacked by a gang of up to 18 inmates. One source commented: “It’s been constant pressure. It’s a punch here and a punch there, a slap here and a slap there.” She was subsequently moved into protective custody.4
The following month, there was a massive twist in the case when 27-year-old David Ross Haynes was arrested in connection with the murder. He was accused of helping Stasinowsky and Parashumti come up with ways to dispose of Stacey’s body.
He admitted to investigators that he knew about the murder plot and that Parashumti had told him: “No one should destroy your happiness and you should kill anyone who does.” She then commented that she wanted to put glass in Stacey’s drink and bury her head in the sand to shut her up.5
Hayes told investigators that on the day of Stacey’s murder, he agreed to go into his bedroom and turn up his music. He admitted that he saw Parashumti with a large slab of concrete and then heard a loud thud followed by a lot of movement and then Stacey screaming “help.”6 After the murder was carried out, Haynes was given a blindfold so that he could leave the house without seeing the crime scene.
He was charged with being an accessory to murder and he pleaded guilty to the charge and was ordered to serve two years in prison.7
In November of 2007, Jessica Stasinowsky and Valerie Parashumti both pleaded guilty to the murder of Stacey Mitchell. The court heard more details about the case, and prosecutors described Parashumti as a “sexually motivated sadist who drank blood as part of a vampire cult.” Prosecutors detailed how Stasinowsky hated Stacey because she believed that she was flirting with Parashumti and Parashumti felt she needed to prove that Stacey meant nothing to her, ultimately sealing her fate.8
The sentencing phase followed in March of 2008. Jessica Stasinowsky and Valerie Parashumti were sentenced to life in prison. In handing down the sentence, the judge noted that neither Stasinowsky or Parashumti had shown any remorse for what they had done. He also said that they were sexually aroused by violence and should be held under strict security for at least 24 years.
Judge Peter Blaxell stated: “You have each had more than a year in custody to reflect upon the evilness of your crime, yet you still lack remorse and obviously place no value on the sanctity of human life. There is also the added problem that you each enjoy being sexually aroused by the infliction of violence.”
- The Australian, 26 Janaury, 2008 – “Women Proved Love by Murder”
- The Australian, 28 December, 2006 – “Judge’s Anger at Smirking Teen Murder Suspects”
- News of the World, 25 November, 2007 – “Lesbians Slay Brit”
- Sunday Times, 21 January, 2007 – “Murder Accused Bashed”
- The Express, 26 November, 2007 – “Girl of 16 Beaten to Death by Lesbians”
- Daily Star, 26 November, 2007 – “Lesbians Kill ‘Pest’ Stacey”
- Australian Associated Press, 10 August, 2007 – “Man Jailed for Helping Accused Murders”
- Daily Star, 8 March, 2008 – “Lesbian Vampires Kissed as they Killed Brit Girl”