A shopkeeper claims he took a picture of a so-called ‘wall of death’ covered in gruesome images and warnings scrawled inside the home of suspected poison mushroom cook Erin Patterson before painting it over.
After Ms Patterson, 48, hosted a July 29 luncheon at her home in Leongatha, in the southeast Gippsland region of Victoria, three of her relatives by marriage died of suspected mushroom poisoning while a fourth man remains in a coma.
Mrs Patterson intended to use the meal as a reconciliation with ex-husband Simon Patterson, but he backed out at the last minute despite the presence of her parents, Gail and Don Patterson, and Gail’s sister, which cost them their lives.
Gail’s husband, 68-year-old church pastor Ian Wilkinson, is in a coma in Austin Hospital in Melbourne with mortuary mushrooms suspected to be the poisonous ingredient served in a beef Wellington.
A shopkeeper has come forward to say he was paid to remove disturbing graffiti from an interior wall of a house occupied by Erin and Simon Patterson and their two school-aged children in the Gippsland town of Korumburra, 15 km from Leongatha.
The house in Gippsland, formerly owned by Erin and Simon Patterson, where a shopkeeper said he painted over a ‘wall of death’ covered in satanic and gruesome imagery and cryptic warnings
Erin Patterson is pictured outside her home last week and has denied any wrongdoing after the alleged poisonings
The trader says he was instructed to remove the pictures and words last year because the couple were preparing to sell the property, which fetched a price of $545,000 last August.
The images, which Daily Mail Australia has seen, include images of tombstones and bizarre scribbles with themes of death and destruction drawn in black and red ink – the latter being used to symbolize blood.
‘It was disturbing. We called it the wall of death,” he said.
“They were made by their daughter (the Pattersons). It’s quite disturbing for mom to let the children draw on the wall of their dining room.
The poster-sized designs featured two tombstones with daggers and decapitated heads, as well as somber scribbles and quotes, including the words: “you died by the sword”.
Another is dated August 1, 2021 with the words “you will die in a year” written underneath.
Ian Wilkinson and Heather Wilkinson (both pictured) fell seriously ill after eating wild mushrooms. Ms Wilkinson has died as her husband remains in critical condition in hospital
Gail and Don Patterson died after eating the mushrooms. Erin was previously married to their son, Simon
The trader, who does not wish to be named, said he was in talks with Nine’s A Current Affair to post the photo.
Another person who saw the footage called it “satanic”.
Ms Patterson, a stay-at-home mom who once worked editing a Korumburra newsletter, says she bought the suspected poisonous mushrooms from a supermarket and an Asian grocery store, and was herself hospitalized after eating lunch.
Her children skipped the meal she revealed because they didn’t like mushrooms and so went to the movies instead.
Homicide detectives searched the property on Saturday as part of their investigation, seizing a number of items.
Ms Patterson said she fell ill after eating the meal and while she was in hospital her ex-husband Simon accused her of poisoning her parents.
She said she was ‘discussing the food moisturizer’ she was using to prepare the meal when her ex-husband asked, ‘Is that what you used to poison them?
Panicking, Erin admitted that she then emptied the dehydrator into a nearby landfill.
Food dehydrators are used to dry mushrooms before using them in beef wellingtons.
The dehydrator was recovered by police and a source familiar with the investigation told The Age on Tuesday that police were carrying out forensic tests on the dehydrator – which was found at a nearby landfill.
In a written statement sent to Victoria Police on Friday – and obtained by the ABC – Ms Patterson said she was hurt that people “have been so quick to rush to judgment”.
Simon Patterson was supposed to join his parents for lunch who killed them but pulled out at the last minute
“I now want to clear things up because I have become extremely stressed and overwhelmed by the deaths of my loved ones,” Ms Patterson said.
“I hope this statement could help in some way. I believe that if people understood the context better, they wouldn’t be so quick to rush to judgment.
“I am now devastated to think that these mushrooms may have contributed to the disease my loved ones suffer from. I really want to repeat that I had absolutely no reason to hurt those people I loved.
She previously gave a no-comment interview to police at the start of their investigations, blaming her decision to stop the cops for being a “terrifying and anxiety-provoking” experience.
A neighbor of Gail and Don Patterson told Daily Mail Australia that Simon lived with his parents after splitting from his wife but moved out late last year.
“Sunday morning we saw the ambulance pull up in their driveway and we had no idea what was going on,” he said.
The family tree above shows the links between the Pattersons and the Wilkinsons involved in the unusual poisoning tragedy in Leongatha
“They were very mobile people. They were always out doing their own lawn. They were quite active. Don used to go for a walk every morning.
The neighbour, who did not wish to be named, described his neighbors as kind people, who likely maintained contact with their son’s ex-wife even after the couple split.
“He was a pretty good kind of person who wouldn’t hold those grudges. I don’t know why they were there, but probably to see their grandchildren,” he said.
News of the tragic death caused a stir in the small rural community, with claims that Simon may have suffered a mysterious and serious stomach complaint in June 2022.
He fell into a coma and spent 21 days in intensive care in a case that baffled doctors.
A source at the Austin hospital told Daily Mail Australia that Mr Wilkinson is expected to need an urgent liver transplant and has also likely suffered significant kidney damage.
“I suspect he will be fine because if they thought he was so sick and they just needed the best intensive care, I think he would be at the Alfred. He’s probably going to have a transplant. There’s a chance he already had one, but no one will tell you because it could identify the donor,’ the source said.
MUSHROOM POISONING: A 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, northeast of Melbourne, for lunch and east her beef wellington
Erin’s two children go to the cinema
Sunday July 30
Erin’s kids eat leftover beef wellington but with the mushrooms scraped.
The four lunch guests present at the hospital feel ill. We first think they have gastro.
As their condition deteriorates, they are 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 4th
Gail and Heather die in the hospital.
Police discover Erin’s dehydrator was dumped at a tip
Saturday August 5
Don dies in the hospital. Police raid Erin Patterson’s home in Leongatha and seize a number of items.
Sunday August 6
The police are seen returning to Erin’s home to question her. He 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 it has yet to be determined whether the deaths are suspicious.
Shortly after, Erin breaks her silence and talks to reporters outside the house. She says she is devastated and “loves” the four parents who came to her home. She denies any wrongdoing but does not answer questions about where the mushrooms come from, who picked them or what meal she cooked for her guests.
tuesday august 8
In a bizarre twist, it was revealed that Simon Patterson suffered from a mysterious stomach condition in June 2022. He fell into a coma and was in intensive care for 21 days. His case has not yet been explained by doctors.
Forensic testing is underway to find traces of mortar fungus on the food dehydrator. Police believe it was used while preparing the meal.
Wednesday August 9
Daily Mail Australia reveals Simon Patterson was due to attend 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 deliver a letter to her, but she is not at home.
Friday August 11: Erin Patterson provides lengthy written statement to police