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Major update on death cap mystery

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Police could be closing in on a crucial piece of evidence to find out what really happened at a fatal mushroom lunch.

The sole survivor of a family lunch that left three people dead could help unlock the mystery of the fatal meal, as a criminologist reveals the crucial clues to unlock what was behind the fatal meal.

Ian Wilkinson was the only person to survive when he and wife Heather Wilkinson joined couple Gail and Don Patterson to eat at a Leongatha home of Erin Patterson in Victoria’s southeast on July 29.

The two couples were joined by the Patterson’s daughter-in-law Erin who was the only one in the group not to eat a beef Wellington served in the home.

Don and Gail Patterson passed away after ingesting poisonous mushrooms.
Don and Gail Patterson are believed to have passed away after ingesting poisonous mushrooms.
While Ian Wilkinson has been released from hospital, his wife Heather Wilkinson died. Pic: Supplied (Facebook)
While Ian Wilkinson has been released from hospital, his wife Heather Wilkinson died. Pic: Supplied (Facebook)

Authorities believe the three deaths came from the group eating death cap mushrooms.

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Ms Patterson has denied any wrongdoing and wrote in a statement that the mushrooms used in the beef Wellington were bough from a grocery store three months before serving them to the group.

More than 50 days after the fatal lunch, Mr Wilkinson has been released from hospital after fighting for his life, and could be set to sit down with police to retell what happened at the fatal lunch.

Police will be “very keen” to talk to Mr Wilkinson, according to forensic criminologist Dr Xanthe Mallet.

“He’s the only one who attended that lunch to survive besides Erin, and he is going to be giving a full account to police as to what happened at that lunch,” she told Sunrise.

“Who ate what, the demeanours and conversations.”

Erin Patterson has strenuously denied any wrongdoing. Picture: Brooke Grebert-Craig.
Erin Patterson has strenuously denied any wrongdoing. Picture: Brooke Grebert-Craig.

She said that police will also be keen to look at a food dehydrator that Ms Patterson said she used to preserve the mushrooms.

“It’s that dehydrator that potentially cooked the death cap mushrooms that they need to get tested,” she said.

“That’s going to be critical in this case and really the crux is were the death cap mushrooms in that dehydrator or not?”

Mr Wilkinson’s family has spoken out in the wake of his discharge.

“This milestone marks a moment of immense relief and gratitude for Ian and the entire Wilkinson family,” they said in a statement.

“The Wilkinson family would like to extend their heartfelt thanks to the Leongatha, Dandenong and Austin Hospitals for their unwavering dedication and exceptional care that played a pivotal role in Ian’s recovery.

“The medical team’s expertise and compassion have been a source of comfort and hope throughout this journey.”