After Fatal Mushroom Meal, Cook Calls It an Accident

Australia's Erin Patterson gives her account to police after 3 deaths
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 14, 2023 11:38 AM CDT
Cook in Fatal Mushroom Meal: It Was an Accident
Poisonous "death cap" mushrooms in a forest.   (Getty/Igor Kramar)

The woman who cooked a meal with mushrooms that killed three people and nearly a fourth has given her first account to police, and she insists it was all a terrible accident. "I really want to repeat that I had absolutely no reason to hurt these people, whom I loved," says Australia's Erin Patterson in the statement, per the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. After initially refusing to answer police questions about the meal, the 48-year-old Patterson says she obtained the dried mushrooms from an Asian supermarket. She also told police that she herself was hospitalized for suspected food poisoning after the meal, per the BBC. Investigators suspect the lunch guests ate poisonous "death cap" mushrooms.

"I now very much regret not answering some questions following [her lawyer's] advice, given the nightmare that this process has become," she said. The parents of her estranged husband died after eating the meal, as did her mother-in-law's sister. The latter's husband survived but was in need of a liver transplant. Patterson says her two children who were present for the lunch didn't eat the adults' meal that day. And she further admitted to police that she lied to investigators about a food dehydrator they seized from a landfill. She originally said she'd tossed it long ago, but now she admits she panicked and disposed of it soon after the deaths when her estranged husband accused her of poisoning his parents. (More mushrooms stories.)

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