Police are investigating images of a bizarre ‘death wall’ photographed by a tradesman before he painted over it at the home of Erin Patterson, the woman at the centre of the death cap mushroom case that has gripped Australia.
Ms Patterson, 48, has faced intense scrutiny since her former in-laws and another relative died after eating a beef wellington lunch she’d cooked for them at her home in Leongatha, Gippsland, Victoria.
A fourth guest was hospitalised after falling seriously ill. Ms Patterson’s ex-husband Simon Patterson was due to attend the lunch but cancelled at the last minute.
Following her split from Simon, their home in Korumburra was put on the market and tradespeople were hired to repaint the walls.
The wall in question – purportedly daubed with graffiti by Ms Patterson’s children – took six coats of paint to cover and featured images of daggers, tombstones and decapitated heads.
It featured scribbles and dark quotes, including the words: ‘You are dead by the sword’.
The tradesman, who asked to remain anonymous, was being paid to remove the graffiti when he snapped the image, MailOnline reports.
He said Australian detectives had been keen to get their hands on the image in the days following their raid on Ms Patterson’s current home in Leongatha.
Word of the strange graffiti, which had been scribbled by Erin’s children on a dining room wall, had quickly spread throughout the area – situated in Victoria’s east.
‘The police were inquiring about it. They wanted to see it. They had heard about it,’ the tradesman said.
The tradesman arranged to meet a detective to hand over the image, which he had already supplied to a news organisation.
‘I said “yeah we can catch up and you can have a look at it”. That was about 3pm and I reckon by 4pm it went live,’ the tradie said.
‘It appeared online within an hour after they rang me.’
The tradesman said he was tasked with removing the imagery and words last year because the couple was preparing to sell the home, which fetched a price of $545,000 AUD last August.
The images include pictures of grave stones and bizarre scribbles with themes of death and destruction drawn in black and red ink – the latter used to symbolise blood.
‘It was disturbing. We called it the death wall,’ the tradie said.
‘They were done by their (the Pattersons’) daughter. It is pretty disturbing for mum to let the kids draw on their dining room wall.’
The poster-sized drawings featured two tombstones.
Another had the date ‘August 1, 2021’ with the words ‘you will die within a year’ written underneath.
Another person who saw the images described them as ‘satanic’.
Ms Patterson has maintained her innocence throughout the investigation and insists she did not know the mushrooms were poisonous – despite allegedly being an ‘expert forager’.
She also admitted she’d previously lied to police in a lengthy written statement submitted to the force last month.
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