A 48-year-old Australian woman who served her extended family a fatal lunch of mushroom-filled beef Wellington — after which three of her guests died, including her ex-parents-in-law and her mother-in-law's sister — says she bought the suspected death cap mushrooms at a grocery store. Another guest — the 68-year-old husband of her her mother-in-law's sister— remains critically ill in the hospital.
Her children ate a different meal during the lunch, but had enjoyed the beef Wellington as leftovers the following day — after scraping off the mushrooms. Meanwhile, Patterson did not seem to be affected like her relatives by the poisoning.
"I am now devastated to think that these mushrooms may have contributed to the illness suffered by my loved ones. I really want to repeat that I had absolutely no reason to hurt these people whom I loved," said Erin Patterson, who is being investigated by Victoria Police's homicide squad but has not been arrested.
Patterson claims she bought dried mushrooms from an Asian grocer in Melbourne months ago and button mushrooms from a supermarket chain more recently.
She said both sets of mushrooms were used in a beef wellington that she cooked and served in the family lunch, ABC reported citing Patterson's statement.
"I am hoping this statement might help in some way. I believe if people understood the background more, they would not be so quick to rush to judgment," Patterson was quoted as saying in the report. …
Beef wellington is a baked dish that involves encasing a long tenderloin cut in pastry with a pâté or mushroom filling.