There’s a major development in the case of the Australian woman Erin Patterson, who fatally poisoned her former in-laws earlier this year!
According to a statement from the Victoria Police, law enforcement arrested a 49-year-old woman on Thursday in connection to the deaths of Gail Patterson, Don Patterson, and Heather Wilkinson. Multiple outlets, including The Sydney Morning Herald and The Associated Press, confirmed police took Erin into custody following a search of her home in Leongatha, Australia. She was then charged with three counts of murder and five counts of attempted murder.
For those who haven’t kept up with the poisoning case, here’s a quick refresher: the charges against Erin stem from when she invited her former mother and father-in-law, Gail and Don, along with Gail’s sister Heather and her husband Ian Wilkinson, over for lunch at her home on July 29. She made and served all of them Beef Wellington pie for the get-together. But mysteriously, all four guests soon became ill and were hospitalized following the meal.
Don, Gail, and Heather died within hours, making Ian the sole survivor of the lunch. He was released from the hospital in September. What killed the three victims? Authorities previously said they all died from suspected mushroom poisoning after they consumed Amanita phalloides — otherwise known as “death cap mushrooms.”
Erin quickly became the number one suspect for investigators since she cooked the deadly dish. Not only did she make the meal, but she and her children, who were all there, showed no symptoms following the meal. And this, of course, made to police very suspicious. Erin claims she did eat the pie and felt sick afterward, resulting in her getting a “liver protective drug” to help stop the stomach pain and diarrhea. But we all know she could have lied to the doctors about her symptoms in order to get the medication and have a story to tell investigators.
But why invite her in-laws over in the first place? Why poison them? She reportedly asked to come over to win back her ex-husband Simon Patterson. Meanwhile, the family members accepted the invite since they wanted to hold an “intervention” for her and stop the former couple from reconciling!
Simon had been invited – but he backed out of attending the lunch. Thankfully, he didn’t! Erin could have succeeded in allegedly poisoning him this time if Simon had shown up! Yeah, this allegedly wasn’t the first time she attempted to harm someone! Simon reportedly became sick last year and even ended up in a medically induced coma for over two weeks. Afterward, he reportedly suspected Erin had poisoned him.
Crazy situation, right?!
When the in-laws died, Erin attempted to deny any wrongdoing. But clearly, law enforcement wasn’t buying it, as she’s now been charged with murder. Notably, the three attempted murder charges are linked to incidents in Victoria between 2021 and 2022 – including a 48-year-old man who became ill from meals. No further details were given, but we wonder if these charges stem from the situation with Simon. But again, it is unclear right now.
Following the arrest, Detective Inspector Dean Thomas issued a statement on the situation, saying:
“Over the last three months, this investigation has been subjected to incredibly intense levels of public scrutiny and curiosity I cannot think of another investigation that has generated this level of media and public interest, not only here in Victoria but also nationally and internationally. I think it is particularly important that we keep in mind that at the heart of this, three people have lost their lives. These are three people who by all accounts were much beloved in their communities and are greatly missed by their loved ones.”
He then asked the public to reach out to the authorities if they had information about the case. As for Erin? She’s expected to appear at Latrobe Valley Magistrates’ Court on Friday morning.
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