Australian woman accused of three killings amid suspected mushroom poisoning

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Don and Gail Patterson were two of the three victims who died days after the mushroom lunch

A woman from Australia is believed to have killed and tried to kill several people, including her ex-husband’s relatives, by feeding them poisonous mushrooms. She has been charged with multiple counts of murder and attempted murder.

Three individuals passed away after Erin Patterson, who is 49 years old, cooked and served a dish called beef Wellington. Beef Wellington is a meal that contains mushrooms. This incident occurred in the month of July while Erin was hosting guests.

According to the police, three murder charges are connected to the lunch incident, while three out of five attempted murder charges are related to different incidents that occurred between 2021 and 2022.

Ms Patterson says she did not do anything wrong.

She said she did not mean to make her guests sick on purpose during the family lunch at her house in Leongatha on 29 July.

The toxicology reports show that the victims ate poisonous deathcap mushrooms.

Her ex-husband Simon Patterson was also asked to come to the meal, but he couldn’t make it in the end.

In addition to being charged with three murders, Ms Patterson has also been charged with two attempted murders for what happened during lunch in July.

The police have not given information about the two charges related to attempted murder. However, it is known that one of the people eating became very sick, but they did not die and got better.

Ms Patterson has been accused of trying to kill someone three times by giving them poisoned food in 2021 and 2022. No additional information has been provided.

The police suspect Ms. Patterson because she and her two children were unhurt after lunch.

On Thursday, she was arrested and the police spent a long time searching her house in Leongatha, which is about 125km (78 miles) south-east of Melbourne.

Special dogs that are trained to find things like laptops and Sim cards were present at the location.

Inspector Dean Thomas, who is in charge of the Homicide squad, spoke at a press conference about the case. He said that the case is very complicated and sad, and it may have long-lasting effects in the future.

He said that he cannot think of another investigation that has gotten so much attention from the media and the public, not just in Victoria but also in other parts of the country and the world.

Gail and Don Patterson, who are the parents of Ms. Patterson’s ex-husband, were at the lunch. Gail’s sister Heather Wilkinson and her husband Ian Wilkinson were also there.

Four people were brought to the hospital on 30 July because they were very sick, according to the police.

The Patterson couple, who were both 70 years old, and Ms. Wilkinson, who was 66 years old, died within a few days. Wilkinson, who is 68 years old, was very sick and had to go to the hospital. Thankfully, after two months of getting medical help, he got better and is healthy now.

Erin Patterson said that she went to the hospital because her stomach was hurting after eating. Doctors put a tube in her body to give her fluids and gave her medicine to protect her liver.

She said she used a combination of mushrooms she bought from a supermarket and some mushrooms she bought from an Asian grocery store a few months ago to make the beef Wellington dish.

“I feel really upset to think that these mushrooms might have caused my loved ones to get sick,” she wrote in a statement in August.

I want to make it clear that I had no intention of harming the people I loved.

Her kids didn’t come to lunch, so they ate some leftover beef Wellington the next day. But she said the mushrooms were removed from the dish because she doesn’t like mushrooms.

Ms Patterson also talked about a food dehydrator that the police found at a nearby dump. She confessed to owning it and said she got rid of it because she was very scared after the deaths.

She has been taken into custody and will go to court on Friday at Latrobe Valley Magistrates’ Court.

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