true crime

Her name was Celeste. She is the 45th woman to be killed by violence in Australia in 2020.

This post deals with violence against women and might be triggering for some readers.

At 4:10am on Monday morning 23-year-old Celeste Manno was found dead in her Melbourne home. 

According to the Herald Sun, the criminology and psychology student's mother was inside the Mernda home when her daughter was attacked. But according to those who have heard the horrifying story, there was nothing she could do. 

It is unclear how the alleged killer got inside the home, but photos from the crime scene show a smear of blood on a fence at the side of the property. 

Watch: Women And Violence: The Hidden Numbers.


Video via Mamamia.

A 35-year-old man was arrested by police not long after the murder, with reports he drove himself the three minutes from Celeste's home to the local police station. 

He worked with her at a local call centre, but according to Celeste's godmother she hardly knew him. She certainly wasn't in a relationship with him. 

Relatives suspect he'd been stalking the house. 

Celeste is the 45th known victim of violence against women in Australia in 2020, according to the tally kept by feminist activist group Destroy the Joint.

Celeste is the 45th Australian woman to be murdered this year in Australia. 

The statistics tell us one woman dies every week due to Australia's domestic violence crisis. 

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It's only Tuesday and already this week there have been two deaths within two days.

Over the weekend another woman - a 39-year-old - was found with serious injures in her WA home.

Officers arrived at the Balga property at 1:40am on Sunday morning and rushed her to Royal Perth Hospital, but she died shortly after. 

Homicide Squad detectives and forensic officers spent the day examining the house before a 38-year-old woman was taken into custody.

On Monday morning she was charged with murder.

Every year we report the same story. 

Every year we cross our fingers in January hoping that the numbers will go down.

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They don't. 

***

On November 9 a 54-year-old woman was found dead in a small community north-east of Kalgoorlie. A man she knew was charged with her murder.

On October 30 the body of Lisa Hund, 36, was found by her mother in her Queensland home. She'd been stabbed to death, with a 16-year-old boy charged with her murder.

On October 14 emergency services were called for 23-year-old Sabah Hafiz, but by the time paramedics got there she had died. Her husband has been charged with murder.

On October 10 Kate Bell was found injured in Richmond, Victoria. She died at the scene. It's believed her boyfriend murdered her before killing himself. 

On September 21 a 66-year-old woman was found unconscious in her New South Wales home. She died in hospital the following day. Her partner has been charged with murder.

On August 22 Chelsea Ireland and her boyfriend Lucasz Klosowski were shot dead in South Australia. His father was charged with both murders.

Chelsea Ireland and her boyfriend Lucasz Klosowski. Image: Facebook.

On the same day Aysha Baty, 31, died from "horrific" head and chest injuries in Queensland. A man she didn't know was charged with her murder.

On August 10 Carol Ann Cameron died from multiple stab wounds in Perth. Her son was charged with her murder.

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On August 3 Daiane Pelegrini, 32, died from multiple stab wounds in Oatlands, NSW. Her ex-partner was charged with her murder.

On July 29 Najma Carroll's body was found by a member of the public in isolated bushland in Sydney. Police still haven't found the 33-year-old's killer.

On July 14 Elaine Pandilovski, 44, was found dead in her Victorian home. Her estranged husband was charged with murder. 

On July 1 Roselyn Staggard, 67, was found by her husband dead from severe injuries in their WA home. Their son was charged with murder. 

On June 28 Liqun Pan, 19, died after being savagely beaten and thrown from a Sydney unit complex. Police suspect her boyfriend killed her before trying to kill himself. 

On June 23 Karen Gilliland, 42, was found with stab wounds in her Queensland home. She died soon after and her ex-husband was charged with her murder. 

On June 20 Emerald Wardle, 18, was found dead in the NSW Hunter region. Her partner was charged with murder. 

On June 9 a 76-year-old woman was found dead in her home in Far North Queensland. Her son was charged with murder. 

On June 8 Gabriella Delaney, 20, was found dead in her Western Sydney home. Her brother was charged with murder. 

On May 29 Ruth Mataafa, 22, died from stab wounds to her chest, side and back in Western Sydney. Her ex-partner is accused of murder-suicide. 

On May 23 Karen Leek, 69, died in Melbourne from what police describe as a "very violent crime". The woman's niece was charged with her murder. 

On May 20 Kamaljeet Sidhu, 27, died from stab wounds in Western Sydney. Her husband was charged with murder. 

Ellie Price, Engracio Songcuan, Loris Puglia, and Britney Watson. Image: Facebook.

Read: 6 women. 6 deaths in 18 days: The other national emergency unfolding right now.

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On May 17 Loris Puglia, 59, and her husband Franco, 59, were found dead in their Brisbane home. Their son was charged with murder.

On May 14 a 44-year-old woman died from serious head injuries in WA. A male relative was charged with her murder.

On May 12 a 65-year-old woman was found dead in a Victorian home. A man known to her was charged with murder. 

On May 6 the body of Britney Watson, 18, was found in a wheelie bin outside a WA hospital. A teenage boy was charged with her murder.

On May 3 Erlinda Songcuan, 69, was found dead in her Sydney garage. Her husband was charged with murder. 

On May 4 Ella Price, 26, was found dead in a South Melbourne townhouse. A man she knew has been charged with murder.

On April 29 Jacqueline Sturgess, 45, was found dead from a sledgehammer blow to the head in her Queensland home. Her ex husband was charged with murder.

On April 26 Lesley Taylor, 64, died from "significant injuries" in her WA home. Her husband died in ICU three days later and her son was charged with murder.

On April 16 Kim Murphy, 35, died from a "violent homicide" in South Australia. Her ex-partner was charged with murder.

On April 12 the bodies of Maree Collins, 67, and her brother Wayne Johnson, 62, were found in their Perth unit. A male neighbour was charged with their murders. 

On April 6 Ann Marie Smith, 54, died from septic shock and multi-organ failure in South Australia. Her female care worker has been charged with manslaughter. 

On February 22 a 49-year-old woman was found stabbed to death in Townsville. A man was charged with her murder. 

On February 19 Hannah Clarke, 31, and her three children died in a car fire in Brisbane. Her husband murdered his family before killing himself. 

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Hannah Clarke and her three children were murdered by their husband and father in a crime that shocked Australia earlier this year. Image: Facebook.

On February 5 Alexis Parkes, 50, suffered smoke inhalation in a house fire and died four days later. Her male partner was charged with murder. 

On February 4 Noeline Dalzell, 49, died from stab wounds in Melbourne. Her male partner was charged with murder. 

On January 29 a 42-year-old woman died from stab wounds to the back in Sydney. Her stepson was charged with murder. 

On January 28 Maude Steenbek, 61, died from stab wounds in her Victorian home. Her neighbour was charged with murder.

Kimberley McRae, Christine Neilan, and Maud Steenbeek. Image: Facebook. 

On January 19 Ruqia Haidari, 20, died from serious injuries. Her husband was charged with murder. 

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On January 9 Christine Neilan, 39, died from head injuries in New South Wales. Her killer hasn't been found. 

On January 7 Kimberley McRae died in her Sydney home. A man she knew has been charged with murder. 

***

A quick glance at Celeste's Facebook and you'll see splashes of pink, and inspirational quotes like "make your heart the prettiest thing about you".

Her relationship status reads "single," she studies at RMIT, and her timeline is full of fun internet quizzes, shout outs to her friends and smiling pictures from the 23-year-old's bedroom. 

"Do Not Fear The Future," one of the quotes on her page reads. 

"She was beautiful. She never did a single thing wrong," her godmother Pina told the Herald Sun.

Her friends and family could be seen sobbing and hugging and laying flowers outside her home on Monday, near where her P-plated vehicle still sits. 

But this is just one story. There are 44 more. 

In 2019 we lost 63 women, in 2018 it was 71 and in 2017 it was 55. It's inevitable we will continue to lose more in the seven weeks left of this year. 

Violence against women is a scourge on our country, and every year we're watching the same figures repeat themselves over, and over, and over again. 

We need more funding, we need more societal change, we need more awareness and we need more support for victims of domestic violence. 

We cannot keep seeing history repeat itself.

Feature image: Facebook @Celeste Manno.

If this post brings up any issues for you, or if you just feel like you need to speak to someone, please call 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732) – the national sexual assault, domestic and family violence counselling service. It doesn’t matter where you live, they will take your call and, if need be, refer you to a service closer to home.

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