Australian Woman Accused of Fatal Mushroom Lunch Also Faces Four Counts of Attempted Murder

Australia suspected mushroom poisoning deaths: Erin Patterson has appeared in court in Victoria after being charged with murder. Photograph: 10 News First

Erin Patterson, the woman at the center of a mushroom lunch that allegedly killed three people and left another in critical condition, is also accused of attempting to murder her former partner four times over the past two years, according to Australian court documents. Patterson, 49, has been charged with murdering Gail and Don Patterson, both 70, and Gail’s sister, Heather Wilkinson, 66, after a lunch in her home in the rural Australian town of Leongatha on July 29. She is also charged with four counts of the attempted murder of her former partner, Simon Patterson, including on the day of the fatal lunch. Patterson appeared in court dressed in a grey jumper and appeared emotionless during the hearing.

A committal mention hearing has been set for May 3, and the court may consider moving the matter to Melbourne if the process is delayed. The police requested a 20-week adjournment to analyze computer equipment seized at Patterson’s home, which the defense agreed to. Patterson remains remanded in custody, and no bail application was made.

The victims, Gail and Don Patterson, and Heather Wilkinson, died in the hospital after consuming beef wellington at the lunch, while Wilkinson’s husband, Ian Wilkinson, is still recovering. Police documents reveal that Patterson is accused of attempting to murder her former partner on multiple occasions, including the day of the fatal lunch. Patterson has denied wrongdoing, stating that she was devastated to think that the mushrooms may have contributed to the illness suffered by her loved ones, with no reason to hurt them. The investigation into the case has garnered significant public and media attention, with the police emphasizing that three beloved people lost their lives in the incident.