The key question mushroom investigators now ask after police ‘reach major conclusion over deadly lunch that left three dead’
Detectives investigating the deaths of three people who fell ill after eating a Beef Wellington meal in rural Victoria will focus on one major question, according to a leading expert.
Pastor Ian Wilkinson was the only person to survive the poisoned meal prepared on July 29 by Erin Patterson, 48, at her home in Leongatha, while his wife Heather, sister Gail Patterson and husband Don Patterson died.
World-renowned forensic anthropologist Dr.
“That’s probably the crux of this whole thing. Erin Patterson said she threw that dehydrator in the landfill shortly after the meal,” Dr. Mallet told Sunrise on Thursday.
“The question is: are there spores in the dehydrator? This is extremely important information that could confirm or deny whether or not deathcap mushrooms are present in this dehydrator.
Erin Patterson is pictured outside her home days after serving the mushroom meal
World-renowned forensic anthropologist Dr Xanthe Mallett (pictured) said detectives would focus on one question.
Police found the food dehydrator at a local dump, which Ms. Patterson claimed she threw away, fearing her ex-husband would connect it to the meal and blame her for her parents’ deaths and thus gain custody of both of them. children.
Erin Patterson has denied any wrongdoing and Daily Mail Australia is not suggesting she intentionally poisoned her four loved ones.
On Wednesday, veteran The Age journalist John Silvester wrote in a newspaper report that forensic tests confirmed the lunch guests had eaten poisonous mushrooms.
“The good news is that detailed forensic tests came back and confirmed that the cause of all three deaths was indeed mushroom poisoning,” said the well-connected writer, author and podcaster.
“The bad news is that how the mushrooms ended up on the lunch table remains a matter of conjecture.”
Victoria Police declined to comment – or confirm – Mr Silvester’s claims to Daily Mail Australia. “The case is still ongoing.”
Don and Gail Patterson also sadly passed away after attending the lunch (pictured together)
Ian Wilkinson (pictured right with his wife Heather Wilkinson) has been released from hospital after spending weeks recovering from a poisonous mushroom lunch that claimed the lives of three others, including his wife.
Dr Mallet said the confirmation of the toxin was an important development.
“It’s certainly an important step forward.”
“Deathcap mushrooms contain three different types of toxins, so they should make sure they can test the remains and any other samples they have to determine specifically what the type of toxin was.”
“Because at some point charges may be brought against someone, and the test will have to stand up to forensic scrutiny in court at that point.”
“The police will follow every line of inquiry, they need to be confident in their conclusions, and then we have two paths forward.”
“Either this will be the subject of a colonial investigation or charges will be brought against someone for supplying and supplying the mushrooms that went into this meal – and we don’t know how that happened.”
MUSHROOM POISONING: TIMELINE OF EVENTS
Saturday July 29
Don and Gail Patterson and Heather and Ian Wilkinson (a pastor) meet at Erin Patterson’s house in Leongatha, north-east of Melbourne, for lunch and east of her beef Wellington.
Erin’s two children go to the movies
Sunday July 30
Erin’s children eat the leftover beef Wellington but with the mushrooms scraped off.
The four lunch guests show up at the hospital feeling sick. At first we think they have gastro.
As their condition deteriorated, they were transferred to hospitals in Melbourne.
Erin also goes to the hospital.
Monday July 31
Erin is transferred to a hospital in Melbourne, where she is treated for poisoning.
Friday August 4
Gail and Heather die in hospital.
Police discover Erin’s food dehydrator abandoned in landfill
Saturday August 5
Don dies in hospital. Police searched Erin Patterson’s home in Leongatha and seized a number of items.
Sunday August 6
The police are seen returning to Erin’s home to question her. She can be heard crying loudly from inside the house before the four police officers leave.
Monday August 7
Victoria Police Detective Inspector for the Homicide Squad Dean Thomas confirms Erin is being treated as a person of interest in the case.
However, he says the investigation is in its early stages and it has yet to be determined whether the deaths are suspicious.
Shortly after, Erin breaks her silence and speaks to reporters outside the house. She says she is devastated and “loves” the four members of her family who came to her house. She denies any wrongdoing but does not answer questions about where the mushrooms came from, who picked them or what meal she prepared for her guests.
Tuesday August 8
Forensic tests are underway to find traces of the deadly fungus on the food dehydrator. Police believe it was used during the preparation of the meal.
Wednesday August 9
Daily Mail Australia reveals Simon Patterson was due to attend the lunch but pulled out at the last minute
Thursday August 10
Erin Patterson told reporters she was traveling to Melbourne to see her lawyers. A representative from the law firm later arrives at her house to hand-deliver a letter, but she is not home.
Friday August 11
Erin Patterson provides a lengthy written statement to police that was leaked to the media.
Wednesday September 27
It is revealed that forensic tests confirmed that the four had been victims of mushroom poisoning.