Woman who cooked mushrooms 'that left three dead' says she's been 'painted as evil witch'
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The woman who cooked the mushroom lunch that allegedly led to the deaths of three people has complained she's been painted as 'an evil witch'.
Erin Patterson, 48, from Leongatha, invited her former in-laws, Gail and Don Patterson, both 70, as well as Mrs Patterson’s sister, Heather Wilkinson, 66, and her husband, Reverend Ian Wilkinson, 68, to have lunch at her home.
Ms Patterson cooked beef wellington for the group and tragedy struck when all four guests became ill, with Mrs Wilkinson and Mrs Patterson both passing away on 5 August.
Mr Patterson died the next day and Mr Wilkinson remains in hospital in a critical condition while he awaits a liver transplant.
Police said they displayed symptoms of having eaten poisonous death cap mushrooms. Ms Patterson has denied any wrongdoing.
Ms Patterson was subsequently interviewed by the police, but was released without charge. However, officials have since said that she remains a suspect in their investigations.
The case has received widespread attention which has had a huge affect on Ms Patterson following the deaths of her relatives.
“I lost my parents-in-law, my children lost their grandparents,” she told The Australian.
“And I’ve been painted as an evil witch. And the media is making it impossible for me to live in this town.
“I can’t have friends over. The media is at the house where my children are at. The media are at my sister’s house so I can’t go there. This is unfair.”
Earlier this week, Ms Patterson shared an update where she clarified her version of events.
She claimed in her statement that her children had not been at the dinner with the rest of the family members as homicide police had initially said, but had instead been out watching a film.
She went on to say that her son and daughter had eaten the leftovers, but that the mushrooms had been scrapped off the meal as her children did not like them.
The statement adds that she purchased the packet of dry mushrooms from an Asian grocery store three months before the meal was served to her family.
Ms Patterson said that the rehydrated mushrooms had been mixed with additional ones she'd bought from a supermarket, all of which were cooked into the beef wellington.
She was also reportedly also ill from the meal, saying she was also admitted to hospital.
While the investigation is ongoing, Victoria Police say they cannot share any further information.
"Beyond that, we are not commenting on specific details of the case or what actions police will undertake as part of the investigation," a spokesperson said.
"If there are any updates we are able to release publicly, we will certainly let everyone know."