Horrifying new details emerge after woman cooked mushroom lunch that 'killed 3'

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By VT

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The community of Leongatha, Gippsland, in Australia has been left shocked after forensic toxicologist Dr. Michael Robertson revealed the gruesome details of how victims suffered following a lunch hosted by Erin Patterson.

On July 29, Erin invited her former in-laws Don and Gail Patterson, Gail's sister Heather Wilkinson, and her husband Ian for a beef wellington meal at her home.

Tragically, Don, Gail, and Heather lost their lives, while Ian remains critically ill in the hospital awaiting a liver transplant. All are suspected of ingesting death cap mushrooms.

According to Dr. Robertson, who spoke to Channel 9's Under Investigation, victims of death cap mushroom poisoning undergo "violent" vomiting and diarrhea just hours after consuming the poisonous fungi.

In a twist as cruel as it is puzzling, the victims would have felt a brief period of relief shortly before their bodies completely shut down.

size-full wp-image-1263224649
Credit: NurPhoto / Getty

"It's one of those toxins that gets into your system," Dr. Robertson explained. "The body doesn’t break this toxin down... It's triggering basically the death of the liver cells."

Adding another layer of horror, he mentioned that the victims might have slipped into comas after the symptoms set in. "It would’ve been horrible if they remained conscious. That first day would’ve been absolutely horrific," he said.

Backing up Robertson's comments was Dr. Heike Neumeister-Kemp, a fungus researcher. Neumeister-Kemp expanded on the symptoms, stating that hallucinations could also be part of the grim experience. "Mushroom poisoning is so nasty because we don’t really have an anecdote," she said.

Erin, who claims to be an "experienced forager," has defended herself amid growing suspicions. She said the beef wellington was made from button mushrooms bought from a major supermarket chain and dried mushrooms purchased from an Asian grocery store in Melbourne.

She also said she had a portion of the meal, and later found herself hospitalized with severe stomach pains and diarrhea, requiring treatment with a "liver protective drug."

Victoria Police are conducting an ongoing investigation to probe the shocking tragedy that has left three dead and one fighting for their life. Meanwhile, haunting details about Erin's former home have emerged.

A tradesman hired for painting revealed what he termed a "death wall" inside the house, featuring macabre graffiti drawings and writings such as "I am dead," "grandma RIP," and "you don’t [have] long to live 1 hour exactly."

Erin has vehemently denied any wrongdoing. She told the Herald Sun she had "no reason" to hurt them. describing the media portrayal as "unfair."

As investigations continue, this case serves as a grim reminder of the dangers lurking in wild fungi, especially given the victims' belief in their ability to forage safely. The tragedy has left the community rattled, and the questions around it are as toxic as the mushrooms that are believed to have caused it.

Featured image credit: DEA / P. PUCCINELLI / Getty

Horrifying new details emerge after woman cooked mushroom lunch that 'killed 3'

vt-author-image

By VT

Article saved!Article saved!

The community of Leongatha, Gippsland, in Australia has been left shocked after forensic toxicologist Dr. Michael Robertson revealed the gruesome details of how victims suffered following a lunch hosted by Erin Patterson.

On July 29, Erin invited her former in-laws Don and Gail Patterson, Gail's sister Heather Wilkinson, and her husband Ian for a beef wellington meal at her home.

Tragically, Don, Gail, and Heather lost their lives, while Ian remains critically ill in the hospital awaiting a liver transplant. All are suspected of ingesting death cap mushrooms.

According to Dr. Robertson, who spoke to Channel 9's Under Investigation, victims of death cap mushroom poisoning undergo "violent" vomiting and diarrhea just hours after consuming the poisonous fungi.

In a twist as cruel as it is puzzling, the victims would have felt a brief period of relief shortly before their bodies completely shut down.

size-full wp-image-1263224649
Credit: NurPhoto / Getty

"It's one of those toxins that gets into your system," Dr. Robertson explained. "The body doesn’t break this toxin down... It's triggering basically the death of the liver cells."

Adding another layer of horror, he mentioned that the victims might have slipped into comas after the symptoms set in. "It would’ve been horrible if they remained conscious. That first day would’ve been absolutely horrific," he said.

Backing up Robertson's comments was Dr. Heike Neumeister-Kemp, a fungus researcher. Neumeister-Kemp expanded on the symptoms, stating that hallucinations could also be part of the grim experience. "Mushroom poisoning is so nasty because we don’t really have an anecdote," she said.

Erin, who claims to be an "experienced forager," has defended herself amid growing suspicions. She said the beef wellington was made from button mushrooms bought from a major supermarket chain and dried mushrooms purchased from an Asian grocery store in Melbourne.

She also said she had a portion of the meal, and later found herself hospitalized with severe stomach pains and diarrhea, requiring treatment with a "liver protective drug."

Victoria Police are conducting an ongoing investigation to probe the shocking tragedy that has left three dead and one fighting for their life. Meanwhile, haunting details about Erin's former home have emerged.

A tradesman hired for painting revealed what he termed a "death wall" inside the house, featuring macabre graffiti drawings and writings such as "I am dead," "grandma RIP," and "you don’t [have] long to live 1 hour exactly."

Erin has vehemently denied any wrongdoing. She told the Herald Sun she had "no reason" to hurt them. describing the media portrayal as "unfair."

As investigations continue, this case serves as a grim reminder of the dangers lurking in wild fungi, especially given the victims' belief in their ability to forage safely. The tragedy has left the community rattled, and the questions around it are as toxic as the mushrooms that are believed to have caused it.

Featured image credit: DEA / P. PUCCINELLI / Getty