Woman charged with murder over poisonous mushroom lunch that killed three
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Erin Patterson has been charged with murder following the deaths of three family members.
However, following the meal, Gail and Don Patterson, both 70, as well as Mrs Patterson's sister, Heather Wilkinson, 66, and her husband Reverend Ian Wilkinson, 68, all fell ill.
Sadly, Mrs Wilkinson and Mrs Patterson both died on 4 August, followed by Mr Patterson the next day.
Mr Wilkinson was rushed to hospital, where he was in a critical condition and awaiting a liver transplant.
Immediately, suspicions were raised over Ms Patterson, though she denied any wrongdoing.
She said previously: "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."
But now, she has been arrested and charged with three counts of murder and five counts of attempted murder.
A statement from the police said: “The murder charges and two attempted murder charges relate to an incident on 29 July where four people were taken to hospital after they fell ill following a meal at a private residence in Leongatha.
"The further three attempted murder charges relate to three separate incidents in Victoria between 2021-2022.
"It's alleged a 48-year-old Korumburra man became ill following meals on these dates."
This comes after Ms Patterson's ex-husband broke down in tears as he recalled the final text his mum sent him before falling into a coma.
During the memorial service held for Don and Gail Patterson, their son remembered the final text he received from his mother before she spent her final hours in a coma in hospital.
“It was no fluke that mum’s final text message on our family group chat as she lay in Dandenong hospital was: ‘Lots of love to you all’,” he said, adding that his parents were always ‘a team, working at life together’.
“The fact they died on consecutive days is fitting in some ways, as it reflects their togetherness as a couple that they always worked so hard to grow.”
He added that the couple’s strong Christian faith gave them a ‘pretty healthy view’ on death, and that they believed in life beyond the grave, saying: “They acknowledged life’s transience and death’s reality as something that is not right about the world and very sad but also knew that death is not final.
“They would always wave goodbye when they parted ways. It was partly because one day would be the last wave.”