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Mushroom Lunch Deaths: Family Meal Mystery In Australia

Floyd1

Antediluvian
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Two Saturdays ago, five people sat down for a family meal in a tiny Australian town.

Within a week, three would be dead, a fourth fighting for life, and the fifth under investigation for potentially poisoning her guests with wild mushrooms.

But the 48-year-old woman who cooked the lunch says she has no idea what happened, and that she loved her family and wouldn't hurt them.
The peculiar case has captured national attention, puzzled police, and left a tight-knit community reeling.


https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-australia-66391325
 
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-66391325

Mushroom poisoning deaths: Family lunch mystery grips Australia

This is the weird thing:

Despite that, Heather, 66, and Gail, 70, died on Friday, and Don, 70, on Saturday. Ian, 68, remains in a critical condition in hospital, awaiting a liver transplant.

Police say they believe the four ate death cap mushrooms - which are highly lethal if ingested.

But oddly, Erin and her two children are just fine.

Police say both children - who have since been taken into state care as a "precaution"- ate a different meal.

But beyond that, little is clear.

https://www.theguardian.com/austral...oisoning-deaths-investigation-south-gippsland

The Pattersons’ daughter-in-law, who police say cooked the meal at her home but did not become ill, has been interviewed by investigators.

She was released without charge but police said she remains a suspect.
 
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Two Saturdays ago, five people sat down for a family meal in a tiny Australian town.

Within a week, three would be dead, a fourth fighting for life, and the fifth under investigation for potentially poisoning her guests with wild mushrooms.

But the 48-year-old woman who cooked the lunch says she has no idea what happened, and that she loved her family and wouldn't hurt them.
The peculiar case has captured national attention, puzzled police, and left a tight-knit community reeling.


https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-australia-66391325
It's on the tv that last year her ex husband was hospitalised with a mystery stomach ailment from which he nearly died.
 
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-66391325

Mushroom poisoning deaths: Family lunch mystery grips Australia

This is the weird thing:

Despite that, Heather, 66, and Gail, 70, died on Friday, and Don, 70, on Saturday. Ian, 68, remains in a critical condition in hospital, awaiting a liver transplant.

Police say they believe the four ate death cap mushrooms - which are highly lethal if ingested.

But oddly, Erin and her two children are just fine.

Police say both children - who have since been taken into state care as a "precaution"- ate a different meal.

But beyond that, little is clear.

https://www.theguardian.com/austral...oisoning-deaths-investigation-south-gippsland

The Pattersons’ daughter-in-law, who police say cooked the meal at her home but did not become ill, has been interviewed by investigators.

She was released without charge but police said she remains a suspect.
And as @Iris says;

It's on the tv that last year her ex husband was hospitalised with a mystery stomach ailment from which he nearly died.
 
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I read about this news story earlier in the week and the investigation continues - was it mistaken fungi ID or something non-accidental? - it's been big news in Australia

From BBC News: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-australia-66391325

"Two Saturdays ago, five people sat down for a family meal in a tiny Australian town.
Within a week, three would be dead, a fourth fighting for life, and the fifth under investigation for potentially poisoning her guests with wild mushrooms.
But the 48-year-old woman who cooked the lunch says she has no idea what happened, and that she loved her family and wouldn't hurt them.
The peculiar case has captured national attention, puzzled police, and left a tight-knit community reeling..."


Inviting comments and opinions from our Antipodean forumists please!
 
Very sussed. Only select members of the party affected. Not the kids. Not herself. It’ll be insurance or inheritance dollars at the heart of it.
What seems a bit odd. . . is that I've just read online (Aus), that 'ERIN' reportedly bought the 'mushrooms' from a shop? If that is/was a true fact, then there is a good chance that there should be others in the area who would have equally suffered the same kind of fate?
 
What seems a bit odd. . . is that I've just read online (Aus), that 'ERIN' reportedly bought the 'mushrooms' from a shop? If that is/was a true fact, then there should be others in the area who would have equally suffered the same kind of fate?
Not necessarily, a single mushroom cap would be enough so if its wild collected just one mistake is all that is needed. I've known it happen, a shipment from a commercial picker which had a single death cap in, fortunately eventually spotted but not at first so if someone hadn't been paying attention...
 
Not necessarily, a single mushroom cap would be enough so if its wild collected just one mistake is all that is needed. I've known it happen, a shipment from a commercial picker which had a single death cap in, fortunately eventually spotted but not at first so if someone hadn't been paying attention...
Oh! Then I think from now on, I'm going to examine my Supermarket Mushrooms just that bit more closely then!
 
Only need to worry if they're wild collected. If they are farmed there shouldn't be any worries.
I've just had a look online about how to recognise the badan's, and I'm definitely not intending any day soon to go out and pick my own. . . of which I've often stumbled across lots of fungi types in my area, and personally, I love eating Supermarket bought Mushrooms, in fact, I now buy them - chop them - pre-cook them with butter & oil, then freeze them, and they seem to taste even better and are very convenient to use that way.
I did notice just a week or so ago, that there was a large area where fungi were growing in a local schools grassy field playground area, I think they were
as ~ my Uncles used to talk about picking them, called 'Horse Mushrooms,' I imagine that the school teachers have forewarned the children there that they should not tamper with them.
 
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I've just had a look online about how to recognise the badan's, and I'm definitely not intending any day soon to go out and pick my own. . . of which I've often stumbled across lots of fungi types in my area, and personally, I love eating Supermarket bought Mushrooms, in fact, I now buy them - chop them - pre-cook them with butter & oil, then freeze them, and they seem to taste even better and are very convenient to use that way.
I did notice just a week or so ago, that there was a large area where fungi were growing in a local schools grassy field playground area, I think they were
as ~ my Uncles used to talk about, called 'Horse Mushrooms,' I imagine that the school teachers have forewarned the children there that they should not tamper with them.
With the horse Mushrooms/ field Mushrooms and that sort if thing there is one species that loos pretty similar but when you handle it it bruises yellow as opposed to pink or brown. The yellow stainer will make you ill. Tiny differences can be the only things that give it away.
 
We tried growing mushrooms with a kit a couple of years ago. It arrived with a huge alien phallus-type growth. Not what we'd been expecting at all.
I had a go at that too. Three of us, myself. . . the 'Post Master' and 'Leo Baxendale,' the creator of 'The Bash Street Kids,' we spent a lot of time preparing the straw following instructions with a mushroom kit adding the powder etc, to heat up and keep turning the pile, and nothing happened!
So we wrote-off the whole lot and threw it all into an outside area as a total failure, apart from using it as a good source of compost - then lovely mushrooms started to appear in number some days later perpetually for a number of weeks!
 
Not necessarily, a single mushroom cap would be enough so if its wild collected just one mistake is all that is needed. I've known it happen, a shipment from a commercial picker which had a single death cap in, fortunately eventually spotted but not at first so if someone hadn't been paying attention...
GR, as I understand it some poisonous mushrooms can pass through the body causing no harm, unless one has recently taken an alcoholic drink and then the results are catastrophic.
Would that necessarily be the case with a death cap?
 
Only need to worry if they're wild collected. If they are farmed there shouldn't be any worries.
When I was little the only way you got to taste mushrooms was if you'd found them growing in the wild. Lovely they were none of the cultivated ones come close. Dad would know were they were growing and we'd keep it a closely guarded secret, they were a treat and somethings you don't need to share with your nosey neighbours.

Then one of the local farmers went in for a bit of diversifying and started cultivating them in some old nissan huts on his horse manure. Mum got a job there and we were never short of mushrooms after that! They weren't as good as the wild ones but they were better than what I get in the supermarket these days.
 
GR, as I understand it some poisonous mushrooms can pass through the body causing no harm, unless one has recently taken an alcoholic drink and then the results are catastrophic.
Would that necessarily be the case with a death cap?
No. There is a species of ink cap which causes violent sickness if alcohol has been taken recently.

The death cap is usually fatal by itself nothing else is needed to trigger it. The poison circulates through your body and you seem fine. Then a few hours later stomach cramps, sickness and diarrhoea. Then you get better. Except you don't because a few days later you due. All this time the poison has been destroying your liver and kidneys.

Some 90% of all Fungal related deaths are caused by the death cap and reports vary but up to 50% who eat it die.
 
The poisoning has been described by Australian police as a complex case which will take time to investigate. Why? All they need to know is where the mushrooms came from and how they came to be in the food. They are simple enough questions that no one seems to be asking.
 
The poisoning has been described by Australian police as a complex case which will take time to investigate. Why? All they need to know is where the mushrooms came from and how they came to be in the food. They are simple enough questions that no one seems to be asking.
I’m sure the police are asking these questions. It’ll come out eventually - give it time.

My opinion, knowing nothing whatsoever about it other than what’s reported so far, she did it deliberately. I'll be surprised if it turns out to be a tragic accident.
 
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