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Homicide or Horrible Tragedy? Woman Charged After She Serves In-Laws Beef Wellington Made with Poisonous Mushrooms.

woman served poisonous mushroom meal killed three australia
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Nov. 2 2023, Published 12:30 p.m. ET

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Three people died and now an Australian woman has been charged with murder after she allegedly cooked a meal that authorities believe contained poisonous mushrooms.

On July 30, officials said five people were taken to the hospital after eating food suspected to have contained poisonous mushrooms at a Leongatha home, Australian Broadcasting Company reported.

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On Aug. 4, sisters Heather Wilkinson and Gail Patterson died in the hospital. Patterson’s 70-year-old husband Don died on Aug. 5, officials said.

Ian Wilkinson, 69, was hospitalized for months but survived, ABC reported.

The fifth person taken to the hospital was discharged a short time later, according to Gippsland Southern Health Service.

Homicide Squad Detective Inspector Dean Thomas said the meal was prepared and served at the home of the 49-year-old daughter-in-law, Erin Patterson, ABC reported.

“That woman and her husband are separated, however, we’ve been advised that their relationship is amicable," Thomas noted.

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On Nov. 2, Erin Patterson was charged with murdering the three victims after they all died days after eating the Beef Wellington pie she cooked for them, the New York Post reported.

Erin was the only person who walked away from her lunch and didn’t get sick, along with her kids — who got a different meal.

According to authorities, Patterson reportedly poisoned the meal with highly toxic death cap mushrooms.

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Erin was also charged with five counts of attempted murder, which included that of Ian Wilkinson. Three of the attempted murder charges stem from earlier incidents where her ex-husband, Simon Patterson, got sick after eating her meals in 2021 and 2022, officials said.

Simon was supposed to be at the family lunch in July, but he had to cancel at the last minute. He later accused his ex-wife of poisoning his relatives, The Post reported.

Erin was arrested on Nov. 2 and faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted on all the charges, authorities said.

She has repeatedly denied being involved in the three deaths, saying she "loved them" and they "were some of the best people I've ever met," The Post reported.


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