The ex-husband of a woman who hosted a poisonous lunch in which four people became sick, three of whom have already died, had been invited to the deadly lunch.
Sources have told Daily Mail Australia that Erin Patterson, 48, invited her ex-husband Simon Patterson to their old family home for lunch with her parents. Gail and Don Patterson and Gail’s sister Heather Wilkinson and her husband Ian on Saturday, July 29.
“Simon was supposed to go for lunch but couldn’t make it at the last minute,” a friend of Simon’s told Daily Mail Australia on Wednesday.
Patterson had just recovered after months of rehab from a mysterious stomach illness that left him fighting for his life in the hospital.
Simon Patterson was supposed to join his parents for the lunch that killed them
Gail and Don Patterson died after eating the mushrooms. It is understood that Erin was previously married to her son, Simon.
The family tree above shows the connections between the Pattersons and the Wilkinsons involved in the unusual tragedy of the Leongatha poisoning.
Police continue to investigate Ms Patterson after Simon’s parents and Ms Wilkinson died from eating the deadly lunch at their home in Leongatha, in the Gippsland region of Victoria, on July 29.
Wilkinson continues to cling to life at the hospital.
Simon’s friend claimed that Mrs Patterson had been interested in keeping the family home, which she had been living in with the couple’s children since their separation.
A neighbor of Gail and Don Patterson told Daily Mail Australia that Simon had lived with his parents after separating from his wife, but moved out late last year.
“Sunday morning we saw the ambulance pull into his driveway and we didn’t know what was going on,” he said.
‘They had been a kind of mobile people. They were always out doing their own lawn. They were quite active. Don used to go for a walk every morning.
The neighbor, who did not want to be named, described his neighbors as friendly people, who probably kept in touch with his son’s ex-wife even after the couple separated.
He was a pretty good person who wouldn’t hold such grudges. I don’t know the reason they were there, but probably to see their grandchildren,” she said.
News of the tragic deaths has been the talk of the small rural community, with allegations that Simon may have suffered a serious stomach injury.
Simon Patterson lived with his parents while recovering from a serious stomach problem
Erin Patterson came home with a group of media waiting Tuesday
Erin Patterson refused to answer questions about what she had cooked for her guests
It was revealed on Tuesday that Simon spent 21 days in intensive care after collapsing at his home in May 2022.
“I collapsed at home and was then in an induced coma for 16 days during which I had three emergency operations mainly on my small intestine, plus one additional planned operation,” he wrote.
“My family was asked to come say goodbye to me twice because I was not expected to live.
“I was in intensive care for 21 days, after which I was in the general ward for a week, and now I am in a rehabilitation place.”
Simon continued, writing that the treatment “appeared to have cleared up the severe intestinal problems.”
“I have a large scar on my tummy that is slowly healing, and I have ICU-acquired weakness, which is a common condition of people who stay in intensive care for a long time like me,” he said.
“I can walk and do all normal daily functions by myself, however my left shoulder in particular is very weak.”
Patterson’s neighbor told Daily Mail Australia that Simon had been living with his parents while recovering from the illness.
“After his illness, there could have been a separation,” he said. We don’t know why they broke up. They were a very private family.
Gail and Don Patterson’s house remained empty Wednesday.
The property where the deadly lunch occurred in Leongatha, in the Gippsland region of Victoria.
Erin Patterson loads a suitcase into her red MG before leaving
On Tuesday, Mrs. Patterson ran away his home after refusing to reveal what he served at his victims’ last fatal meal.
She has denied any wrongdoing and no charges are expected at this stage of the investigation.
Daily Mail Australia is not suggesting that Ms Patterson was responsible for Simon’s illness or the three deaths.
She had returned home on Wednesday, but remained hidden behind the security of a large electric gate.
Homicide detectives searched the property Saturday as part of their investigation, seizing a number of items, including a food dehydrator believed to have been used to prepare the mushrooms.
A police source close to the investigation told The Age on Tuesday that police were carrying out forensic tests on the dehydrator, which was found in a nearby dump.
Ms. Patterson was apparently unharmed by the food, if she ate any.
On Tuesday, Ms Patterson faced a contingent of media eager for answers.
But the housewife provided few, telling reporters to get off her property.
“What happened is devastating and I am also grieving and you have no respect for that,” he said.
Ms Patterson was forced to navigate around a media scrum to get into her front door.
‘Can I get to my door and stop standing in front of me?’ he said.
She left after being questioned by reporters outside the house.
Ian Wilkinson and Heather Wilkinson (both pictured) became seriously ill after eating wild mushrooms. Ms Wilkinson died on Friday while her husband remains in critical condition at hospital.
Ms Patterson declined to answer which dish she served to her tragic guests, who are believed to have ingested poisonous mushrooms.
A black dog ran out of Mrs. Patterson’s house when she opened the front door, further enraging her.
“You do not have any permission to be on my private property or to harass me,” he said.
‘This kind of behavior will send someone straight off a bridge.’
When asked by a reporter ‘how were you doing’, Ms Patterson stated the obvious.
‘I’m going to the fucking house. Thanks for asking. You are not helping,” she replied.
The reporters were forced to jump over Ms Patterson’s fence to get off the property after becoming trapped behind her large automatic security gate.
Moments later, Mrs Patterson was seen loading a suitcase into the boot of her red MG and leaving.
MUSHROOM POISONING: A TIMELINE OF EVENTS
Saturday, July 29
Don and Gail Patterson and Heather and Ian Wilkinson (a pastor) meet for lunch at Erin Patterson’s home in Leongatha, north-east Melbourne.
Sunday, July 30
The four lunch guests show up at the hospital feeling ill. Initially it was thought that they had gastro.
As their condition deteriorates, they are transferred to hospitals in Melbourne.
Friday, August 4
Gail and Heather die at the hospital.
Saturday, August 5
Don dies at the hospital. The police search Erin Patterson’s house in Leongatha and confiscate various items.
Sunday, August 6
The police are seen returning to Erin’s house to question her. She is heard moaning loudly from inside the house before the four officers leave.
Monday, August 7
Victoria Police Detective Inspector for the Homicide Squad, Dean Thomas, confirms that Erin is being treated as a person of interest in the case.
However, he says the investigation is still in its early stages and whether the deaths are suspicious has yet to be determined.
A short time later, Erin breaks her silence and talks to reporters outside the house. She says that she is devastated and ‘loves’ the four relatives 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 food she prepared for her guests.
Tuesday, August 8
In a bizarre twist, Simon Patterson was revealed to have suffered from a mysterious stomach illness in June 2022. He fell into a coma and was in ICU for 21 days. His case has not yet been explained by the doctors.
Forensic tests are underway to find any traces of the death hat fungus in a food dehydrator that was discovered in a landfill. Police believe it was used during food preparation.
Wednesday, August 9
Daily Mail Australia reveals Simon Patterson was expected to attend the lunch but pulled out at the last minute