Australian Woman Erin Patterson Charged with Three Murders in Suspected Mushroom Poisoning Case

Erin Patterson has been charged with three counts of murder and five counts of attempted murder

An Australian woman, Erin Patterson, has been charged with three counts of murder in connection with the suspected mushroom poisoning deaths of three family members. 

The victims, Don and Gail Patterson (Erin’s former mother and father-in-law), and Heather Wilkinson (Gail’s sister), died after consuming lunch served by Erin Patterson. The incident occurred in the town of Leongatha, Victoria, on July 29, 2023. Erin Patterson’s former husband Simon Patterson had also been invited to the meal, but was unable to make it at the last minute.

Toxicology reports indicate that the victims ingested Death cap mushrooms. Erin Patterson, 49, maintains her innocence and denies intentionally poisoning her guests. She claims to have served a beef wellington pie made with a mixture of button mushrooms purchased from a supermarket and dried mushrooms obtained from an Asian grocery store months earlier.

Following the lunch, four individuals were hospitalized on July 30, reporting severe illness. Sadly, Don and Gail Patterson, both 70 years old, and Heather Wilkinson, 66, passed away within days. Heather’s husband, Ian Wilkinson, 68, was initially in critical condition but eventually recovered after two months of treatment. It has been reported that he now requires a liver transplant. 

Erin Patterson herself experienced stomach pains after the meal and sought medical attention. She was hospitalized, received a saline drip, and was given medication to prevent liver damage. Erin Patterson’s two children, who did not attend the lunch, consumed some leftover beef wellington the following day, however they did not eat the mushrooms.

The police named Erin Patterson as a suspect after she and her children appeared unharmed following the lunch. She was taken into custody by the Victoria Police’s Homicide squad on Thursday, November 2. Inspector Dean Thomas, during a press conference, described the case as a tragedy that may have long-lasting repercussions and has garnered significant media and public interest.

As well as the three counts of murder, Erin Patterson was also charged with five counts of attempted murder. Three of the attempted murder counts relate to three separate incidents in Victoria between 2021 and 2022.

Author: CrimeDoor

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