Erin Patterson: Australian Woman Accused of Cooking Poisonous Mushroom Lunch that Killed Three People in Victoria Arrested

Patterson initially claimed that she had bought the mushrooms from an Asian supermarket in Melbourne several months before the tragic incident.

Detectives are meticulously searching Erin Patterson's home after her arrest in connection with the poisonous mushroom meal that tragically resulted in the deaths of three people. Patterson was arrested at her home in Leongatha, eastern Victoria around 8 am on Thursday. As of now, no charges have been officially filed.

The 48-year-old was transported to Wonthaggi Police Station in East Victoria on Thursday, as confirmed by authorities speaking to local media. Heather Wilkinson, 66, along with her sister Gail Patterson and Gail's husband Don Patterson, both 70, died in August, just days after consuming a beef Wellington prepared by Patterson. The meal turned out to have included death cap mushrooms.

Cold-Blooded Murder

Erin Patterson
Erin Patterson YouTube

The Pattersons were the parents of Erin Patterson's estranged husband, Simon. Wilkinson's husband, Ian Wilkinson, a 68-year-old Baptist church pastor, was the sole survivor of the tragic incident. He was left critically ill and spent nearly two months in the hospital.

A specialized police investigative team is presently searching Erin Patterson's home, the location where the fatal family lunch occurred on July 29.

Forensic experts were spotted thoroughly examining a crowded garage attached to the home, as well as meticulously searching the interior of her red MG ZS SUV parked in the property's driveway.

Investigators have also deployed specialized "technology detection dogs" that are trained to detect USB memory sticks and SIM cards to help in searching the premises. Their olfactory abilities are highly acute, enabling them to locate minuscule SIM or memory cards concealed in walls or even disguised within fruits.

The dogs were seen exploring different areas within the residence, meticulously examining a sofa situated on the rear deck of the home.

She was arrested after Pastor Wilkinson started helping the detectives with the investigation, which started after his discharge from the hospital on September 23.

"Today's arrest is just the next step in what has been a complex and thorough investigation by homicide squad detectives, and one that is not yet over," said Detective Inspector Dean Thomas.

"Once the search of the premises is completed, the female will be interviewed by homicide squad investigators. We will provide updates through the day."

"Over the last three months, this investigation has been subject to incredibly intense levels of public scrutiny and curiosity.

"I cannot think of another investigation that has created this level of public interest, not only here in Victoria but nationally and internationally."

Seasoned Killer

Erin Patterson
Erin Patterson X

Patterson initially claimed that she had bought the mushrooms from an Asian supermarket in Melbourne several months before the tragic incident. However, her neighbor strongly claimed that local residents refrained from foraging for wild mushrooms due to their awareness of the associated risks.

Erin Patterson later claimed that she obtained the mushrooms from two distinct stores. She said she purchased button mushrooms from a major supermarket chain near her home and dried mushrooms from an Asian grocery store in Mount Waverley several months earlier.

Nevertheless, despite her claims of purchasing the fungi from local stores within the state, Victoria's Health Department had not issued any health alerts regarding mushroom sales.

Also, no issues were reported to Asian shops or local mushroom growers, and none of their mushroom products were subject to recall.

Patterson denied intentionally poisoning her family members.

Ian Wilkinson, Pastor Wilkinson's husband, also ate the mushrooms and spent two months in the hospital, but fortunately, he managed to recover from the incident.

Later, in a statement given to the police, which was later leaked to the media, Erin Patterson said that she served the meal by portioning it onto plates, allowing her guests to select their portions.

She claimed that a dehydrator was disposed of at the local tip due to her apprehension that her estranged husband would blame her for the death of his parents, potentially affecting the custody of their two children.

According to a medical expert who spoke to Daily Mail Australia, deathcap mushrooms contain deadly amatoxin, which severely affects a person's body, essentially causing severe damage to the liver.

This toxin is so potent that even consuming the liquid in which the mushrooms were cooked can be lethal; one doesn't necessarily have to ingest any part of the mushroom itself.

On Thursday morning, Victoria Police confirmed that an arrest had been made in connection with the case.

"The woman will now be interviewed by police and the investigation remains ongoing."