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Woman arrested over suspected poisoned mushroom meal

Woman arrested over suspected poisoned mushroom meal

Leongatha mushroom poisoning

Victorian police have arrested a 49-year-old woman in the state’s south-east over three suspected deaths linked to a meal allegedly containing poisoned mushrooms.

Erin Patterson is being questioned by police over a lunch she served at her property in the Victorian town of Leongatha in July. She has denied any wrongdoing.

The meal

Erin Patterson cooked a meal at her Leongatha home on 29 July. She said she served up beef wellington for lunch, which she and her four guests ate.

Within a day, all four guests went to hospital feeling ill.


Three out of the four people subsequently died. They were Patterson’s in-laws, Gail and Don Patterson, and Gail’s sister Heather Wilkinson.

Ian Wilkinson, Heather’s husband, eventually left hospital after almost two months in September.

Vigils have taken place for the three people who died.

Patterson’s response

In a statement to the ABC in August, Patterson claimed she used a combination of button mushrooms and dried mushrooms she’d bought from an unspecified grocer in Melbourne weeks earlier.

Patterson said: “I am now devastated to think that these mushrooms may have contributed to the illness suffered by my loved ones. I really want to repeat that I had absolutely no reason to hurt these people whom I loved.”


Police arrested Patterson this morning at her Leongatha home as part of their investigation into the three deaths linked to the allegedly poisoned mushroom meal.

She will now face questioning.

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