EXCLUSIVE: Mushroom Deaths: Lone Survivor of Erin Patterson’s Poisonous Beef Wellington Dish Holds the Key to What Happened at the Deadly Luncheon

The sole survivor of a deadly poisonous mushroom luncheon that killed three people, including his wife, could hold the key to what really happened.

Pastor Ian Wilkinson was the only person to survive the toxic beef wellington dished up on July 29 by stay-at-home mom Erin Patterson in Leongatha, Victoria.

Mr Wilkinson, his wife Heather and her sister Gail and husband Don Patterson were invited to lunch as part of a ‘mediation’ meeting to discuss Mrs. Patterson’s relationship with her estranged husband Simon, who canceled at the last minute.

The Pattersons and Mrs. Wilkinson died days later.

Erin Patterson is photographed outside her home on Tuesday

Ian Wilkinson and Heather Wilkinson (both pictured) became seriously ill after eating wild mushrooms.  Mrs Wilkinson died while her husband is in critical condition in hospital

Ian Wilkinson and Heather Wilkinson (both pictured) became seriously ill after eating wild mushrooms. Mrs Wilkinson died while her husband is in critical condition in hospital

Gail Patters

Don Patterson

Gail and Don Patterson died after eating the mushrooms. Erin was previously married to their son, Simon

Daily Mail Australia can reveal that Mr Wilkinson probably only survived because he was rushed to a hospital renowned for its expertise in treating patients suffering from poisoning.

Wilkinson, 68, is in Melbourne’s Austin Hospital in a critical condition after suffering traumatic injuries to his liver from the toxins he allegedly ingested at lunch.

A hospital insider told the Daily Mail Australia on Monday that Mr Wilkinson had not been transported to The Alfred – recognized as the hospital for Victoria’s most seriously ill patients – for a specific reason that probably saved his life.

“The Austin wasn’t the natural hospital to go to. From Leongatha the nearest hospital is Monash Medical Center – that’s where they normally go. They actually went as far as they could to the hospital,” the source said.

‘The main intensive care unit, and when you need the best, you go to The Alfred of Royal Melbourne. They didn’t either. The state poison center is in the Austin, so that’s why he went there. That says they are more interested in handling the mushrooms than the intensive care part of it.’

Simon Patterson would join his parents for the lunch that cost them their lives

Simon Patterson would join his parents for the lunch that cost them their lives

The above family tree shows the connections between the Pattersons and Wilkinsons embroiled in the unusual Leongatha poisoning drama

The above family tree shows the connections between the Pattersons and Wilkinsons embroiled in the unusual Leongatha poisoning drama

Mr Wilkinson is expected to require an urgent liver transplant and has also likely suffered extensive damage to his kidneys.

“I suspect he’ll get out of this because if they thought he was that unwell and they just needed the best intensive care, I think he’d be in The Alfred. He’s probably getting a transplant. There’s a chance he’s already had one, but no one will tell you because it could identify the donor,” the source said.

The insider said transplant organs are generally not delivered unless they are sure the patient will wake up.

“You don’t want to waste any. You’re not going to give one to someone who can’t make it,’ he said.

The source said people don’t just “wake up” from a coma, with some patients slowly regaining consciousness before falling back into it.

“It takes a few days and very often someone wakes up and then they fall down and have to put it back down quickly and it can take two or three times for their body to kick into gear,” he said.

The insider believes Mr Wilkinson is likely still heavily sedated after spending days on life support machines that effectively kept him alive.

Erin gave her first detailed account of the fatal meal in a lengthy written statement to Victoria Police obtained by the ABC on Monday.

She had previously given an interview without comment to police at the start of their investigation, blaming the police for her decision as it was a “terrifying and terrifying” experience.

Erin has now revealed that she became unwell after eating the meal and that while she was in hospital her ex-husband Simon Patterson accused her of poisoning his parents.

She said she was “talking about the food hydrator” she used to prepare the meal when her ex-husband asked, “Is that what you used to poison them?”

In a panic, Erin has admitted that she then dumped the dehydrator at a nearby landfill.

Food dehydrators are used to dry out mushrooms before they are used in beef boots.

Those who died were all deeply involved with the Korumburra Baptist Church (pictured)

Those who died were all deeply involved with the Korumburra Baptist Church (pictured)

Erin has admitted to lying to the police about how long ago she threw out the dehydrator. She initially shared that she dumped it there “a long time ago,” but has now revealed that she did so after her guests fell ill.

Police are examining CCTV footage of the dump to determine when it was dumped.

Elsewhere in the police statement, Erin said she served the meal before inviting guests to choose their own plate.

She then took the last plate and ate a portion of beef wellington.

The next day her two children also ate the meal, but the mushrooms were scraped off first because they don’t like it.

It was previously claimed that the children were present at the deadly luncheon, but it has now emerged that they were actually in the cinema at the time.

Erin said she was then hospitalized with severe abdominal pain and diarrhoea, and was given a saline drip and a “liver-protective drug.”

She was transported by ambulance from Leongatha Hospital to Monash Medical Center in Melbourne.

Gippsland Southern Health Service confirmed last Friday that a fifth person, who initially came to Leongatha Hospital on July 30 with symptoms of possible food poisoning, later returned and was subsequently transferred to Monash Medical Center as well.

What was left of the meal was saved and given to hospital toxicologists for examination after Erin was approached by Health Department officials as the condition of her hospital guests deteriorated.

Erin told police the mushrooms were a mixture of mushrooms bought months earlier from a supermarket and dried mushrooms bought months earlier from an Asian supermarket in Melbourne.

The leaked police statement is the first time Erin has spoken at length about the tragedy.

“I now deeply regret not answering some of the questions… given the nightmare this process has become,” she said.

“I now want to clear the record as I have become extremely stressed and overwhelmed by the deaths of my loved ones.

“I hope this statement can help in some way. I believe that if people understood the background better, they wouldn’t be so quick to judge.

“I am devastated now to think that these mushrooms may have contributed to the illness of my loved ones. I really want to reiterate that I had absolutely no reason to hurt these people I loved.”


Saturday July 29

Don and Gail Patterson and Heather and Ian Wilkinson (a minister) meet at Erin Patterson’s home in Leongatha, northeast of Melbourne, for lunch and east of her beef wellington

Erin’s two kids go to the movies

Sunday July 30

Erin’s kids eat leftover beef wellington but with the mushrooms scraped off.

All four lunch guests who come to the hospital feel sick. At first they are thought to have gastro.

As their condition worsens, they are being transferred to Melbourne hospitals.

Erin also goes to the hospital.

Monday July 31

Erin is taken to a Melbourne hospital where she is treated for poisoning

Friday August 4

Gail and Heather die in hospital.

The police find Erin’s dehydrator dumped at a tip

Saturday August 5

Don dies in hospital. The police search Erin Patterson’s home in Leongatha and seize a number of items.

Sunday August 6

The police return to Erin’s house to question her. She hears loud crying from inside the house before the four officers leave.

Monday August 7

Victoria Police Detective Inspector Dean Thomas confirms that Erin is being treated as a person of interest in the case.

However, he says the investigation is still in its early stages and it has yet to be determined whether the deaths are suspicious.

A short time later, Erin breaks her silence and speaks to reporters outside the house. She says she is devastated and “loves” the four family members who came to her home. She denies any allegations, but won’t answer questions about where the mushrooms come from, who picked them, or what kind of meal she prepared for her guests.

Tuesday August 8

In a bizarre twist, it was revealed that Simon Patterson suffered from a mysterious stomach illness in June 2022. He fell into a coma and was in ICU for 21 days. His case has yet to be explained by doctors.

Forensics are underway to find traces of the dead cap mushroom on the dehydrator. The police suspect that it was used during the preparation of the meal.

Wednesday, August 9

Daily Mail Australia reveals that Simon Patterson was expected to attend the luncheon but pulled out at the last minute

Thursday, August 10

Erin Patterson tells reporters she is driving to Melbourne to see her lawyers. A representative from the law firm later arrives at her house to deliver a letter, but she is not home.

Friday August 11: Erin Patterson makes a long written statement to the police