Woman Who Cooked Up Poisonous Mushroom Lunch That Killed Three Of Her Family Members Breaks Silence

Erin Patterson, who cooked up poisonous mushrooms in a lunch that killed three members of her family, has spoken out.
Credit: 9News

Erin Patterson, who cooked up poisonous mushrooms in a lunch that killed three members of her family, has spoken out.

Patterson, 48, hosted a lunch in July which resulted in the tragic deaths of three family members, including her former mother-in-law.

The devastating incident occurred at Patterson’s Leongatha home in Australia’s Gippsland region.

She had gathered with former in-laws Gail and Don Patterson, as well as Gail’s sister, Heather Wilkinson, and her husband, Ian, on July 29.

The lunch turned fatal when all four guests fell ill after consuming the meal, which included hand-picked mushrooms.

Subsequently, they were admitted to the hospital the following day, as their conditions deteriorated.

Tragically, Gail and Heather, aged 70 and 66 respectively, succumbed to the illness on Friday, while Don, 70, passed away on Saturday evening.

Ian, 68, remains in critical condition and is reportedly awaiting a liver transplant.

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Patterson, visibly emotional, addressed the media outside her residence, where the ill-fated lunch had taken place.

She denied any wrongdoing, telling 9News: “I didn’t do anything. I loved them, and I’m devastated that they’re gone.”

While sharing her sorrow, she inadvertently mistook Don for Ian, expressing her hope for Don’s recovery.

Although Patterson spoke briefly, she refrained from disclosing details about the source of the mushrooms or the specific meal she served.

Amidst her tears, she described Gail as a maternal figure in her life, as her own mother had passed away four years prior.

Patterson said: “Gail was like the mum I didn’t have because my mum passed away four years ago and Gail had never been anything but good and kind to me.

“Ian and Heather were some of the best people I’d ever met. They never did anything wrong to me.

“I’m so devastated about what’s happened and the loss to the community and to the families and to my own children, they’ve lost their grandmother.”

Erin Patterson
Erin Patterson denies any wrongdoing over the lunch that killed three family members. Credit: 9 News

Patterson, who was formerly married to Gail and Don’s son, Simon, had been residing at the Leongatha property for a year, as per the Herald Sun.

She was reportedly questioned by detectives from the homicide squad during a property search on Saturday.

She has been released pending further investigation.

Detective Inspector Dean Thomas, of the Homicide Squad, confirmed that Patterson was a person of interest due to her role in preparing the meal.

He said: “She hasn’t presented with any symptoms but we have to keep an open mind in relation to this, that it could be very innocent but again we just don’t know at this point.”

However, he emphasised that the investigation remains open to various possibilities, including unintentional poisoning.

While Patterson’s children were present during the lunch, they consumed different meals and did not experience any adverse effects.

However, they were taken to the hospital as a precaution and have been removed from Patterson’s care.

Authorities are currently considering the possibility that the deaths were caused by the consumption of death cap mushrooms, a poisonous variety.

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Several items have been seized for forensic analysis to shed light on the situation.

The investigation is ongoing, and Detective Inspector Thomas stressed the importance of medical experts and toxicologists in understanding the circumstances of the tragic incident.

The Patterson and Wilkinson families issued a joint statement expressing their shock and grief over the loss of their loved ones.

It read, as reported in the local paper, the South Gippsland Sentinel-Times (via MailOnline): “The past week has been a time of shock and grief for us all.

“They were parents, grandparents, siblings, children, and pillars of faith within our community.”

“Their love, steadfast faith, and selfless service have left an indelible mark on our families, the Korumburra Baptist Church, the local community, and indeed, people around the globe.

“Our families will assist appropriate authorities in any way we can and respect any necessary processes amidst this tragedy.”

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Written by Cal Gaunt

Cal is a former content editor at IGV who specialised in writing trending and entertainment news. He previously worked as a news reporter at the Lancashire Telegraph and earned an NCTJ in Sports Journalism.