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A Lunch Invitation Where Death Was Served

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Erin Patterson, from the town of Leongatha near Melbourne in Victoria, Australia, is at the center of a police investigation after the mushrooms she served at a family lunch are suspected of poisoning the guests.

Described by locals who know her as both ‘blunt’ and shy, the strange circumstances surrounding the fatal lunch have captured both police and media attention.

On 29 July 2023, Erin Patterson prepared a lunch for herself, her two children and five guests. Two of the guests were the parents of her estranged husband, Simon Patterson. The other couple was the local pastor and his wife, the Aunt of her estranged husband. While invited, her estranged husband changed his mind at the last minute and declined to attend the lunch. 

The reported reason for the lunch gathering was for Erin Patterson to present her case for winning back her estranged husband. The pastor was there as a mediator of the family discussion. The presence of the Pastor’s wife remains unclear, perhaps simply to support her husband, the Pastor. 

The four adult guests were served Beef Welington, a dish always served with a Duxelles. This basic preparation of minced mushrooms, onions, herbs and black pepper, sautéed in butter and reduced to a paste, is used in stuffings, sauces or as a garnish. Erin Patterson did not eat any of the Beef Wellington and neither did her two children.

Of note is the illnesses previously experienced by estranged husband Simon Patterson after being around Erin. The most recent illness happened in May 2023, placed simon in intensive care and left him fighting for his life.

This 12 August 2023 video calmly presents a timeline of the tragic event and a case analysis from Dr. Todd Grande as he looks at what is currently known.

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