The mystery surrounding Australia’s mushroom poisoning case has deepened as Erin Patterson has been charged with five counts of attempted murder.
The 48-year-old is accused of three counts of murder. Police allege she tried to kill her ex-husband four times. However, it is not clear who the fifth charge refers to.
But on Friday the mother-of-two was “trembling” as she appeared in court and was charged with a total of five counts of attempted murder following the fatal luncheon on July 29 this year.
Four of those charges relate to a 48-year-old man from Korumburra – believed to be Erin’s ex-husband Simon Patterson.
It is not entirely clear who the fifth charge refers to, although it is possible that it is related to the invitation her ex-husband received to the fatal luncheon.
In 2021 and 2022, he is said to have fallen ill three times after meals and was placed in an induced coma and intensive care unit for 21 days.
Simon was also due to go to a fateful family dinner in July this year, but sources claimed he canceled at the last minute.
Given the complicated nature of the case and the fact that he was not present at the meal, a mysterious gap has emerged in the prosecution’s case as they bring forward the fifth charge.
His parents, aunt and uncle still went to Erin’s house, where she served a beef Wellington that supposedly contained death cap mushrooms.
Gail and Don, both 70, later died in hospital along with Gail’s sister Heather, 66.
Erin’s fourth alleged victim, Ian, miraculously survived, but became seriously ill and spent two months in a hospital.
Doctors have claimed that all four symptoms were due to poisoning from death cap mushrooms, which grow wild in the Leongatha area.
The alleged murderer was then arrested and charged on Wednesday after police searched her home in East Victoria, Australia.
Police used trained dogs to remove several items from the house, but did not say what they had with them.
Patterson appeared disheveled, with disheveled hair and a gray sweater, when she appeared in court Wednesday.
She showed no emotion throughout the hearing other than a quiver in her jaw as she took her seat.
The only words she spoke were a quiet “Good morning” in response to Judge Tim Walsh’s greeting.
Prosecutors asked for a 20-week delay before Patterson next appears, saying they needed more time to “analyze some computer equipment seized in the raid on her home.”
Patterson’s attorney, Ben Doogue, suggested the case “could take a long time.”
Judge Walsh told Patterson he could not grant her bail, and the defendant nodded repeatedly.
She was remanded in custody and will appear in court again in May.
Detective Inspector Dean Thomas said on Friday: “Today’s charges are just the next step in an incredibly complex, methodical and thorough investigation by homicide detectives.”
He added that the investigation was “not yet complete.”
“I know people will undoubtedly have many unanswered questions about this topic, but I urge people to be particularly vigilant about unnecessary speculation and not to share misinformation,” he continued.
Patterson has always strenuously denied any wrongdoing.
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She previously told The Australian: “I lost my in-laws, my children lost their grandparents.
“And I was portrayed as an evil witch. And the media makes it impossible for me to live in this city. I can’t have friends over.