A have a look at the twisted crimes of Peter Demeter, certainly one of Canada’s worst criminals


Christine Demeter was the sufferer of a murder-for-hire plot by the hands of her husband, Peter Demeter. To this present day, nobody has ever been charged for her bodily homicide.

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On a heat summer season night time in 1973, actual property developer Peter Demeter pulled a Mercedes full of holiday makers into his Mississauga, Ont. driveway after a purchasing journey.

As the storage door opened, the headlights illuminated a horrific scene — the bludgeoned physique of his spouse, 33-year-old mannequin Christine Demeter.

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The crime made headlines throughout Canada and effectively past, launching an investigation by police and prosecutors. Shortly, they might uncover the sordid and seedy dealings of one of many nation’s darkest and most harmful psychopathic minds.

Christine Demeter is seen in a movie strip of modelling photographs.

By Persons Unknown

The ensuing trial for Peter Demeter was one of many longest in Canada’s historical past, as prosecutors laid out their proof, portray an image of an sad marriage, a mistress and a plot to money in a not too long ago acquired $1-million life insurance coverage coverage.

The crimes of Peter Demeter, which started along with his spouse’s loss of life however actually didn’t finish there, occurred greater than 50 years in the past, however stay among the most grotesque and calculated in our nation’s historical past.

Now, Global’s true crime providing, Crime Beat, is trying again on the case for its one centesimal episode, with new interviews from the detectives who responded to the grisly scene, never-before-heard particulars from witnesses who had been there the night time Christine died and native journalists who’ve adopted each twisted flip in Peter’s prison life.

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Read on to be taught extra about this fascinating case and to get a sneak peek of among the new info highlighted in Crime Beat‘s centennial episode.

Peter and Christine Demeter: A love story turned bitter

Peter Demeter was born in Budapest, Hungary in 1933 to a rich household.

Peter Demeter.

David Cooper / Toronto Star through Getty Images

His household’s fortune, nonetheless, was ravaged by World War II and Peter misplaced each his father and brother within the warfare.

In 1956, in an effort to go away his grief-stricken life behind, he emigrated to Canada on the age of 23, able to make it large and win again the approach to life he had at all times dreamed of.

“(Peter) learned that you had to concentrate everything, whether it was cheating, lying or stealing, to get food and survive. And that was the world he grew up in,” says journalist Barbara Amiel, writer of By Persons Unknown: The Strange Death of Christine Demeter, explaining Peter’s mindset as a younger man, and the ethos that might come to form the remainder of his life.

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He introduced with him to Canada his lovely girlfriend, Christine Ferrari, an Austrian-born mannequin, whom he had met behind the scenes on an Austrian film set.

Christine Ferrari married Peter Demeter in 1967 after immigrating to Canada and settling in Mississauga.

Global News

After a number of years, Peter had carved out a profitable profession as a developer in Toronto, and in 1967 he and Christine wed.

From the skin, the early days of their marriage gave the impression to be a contented time. They welcomed a daughter into the world and in 1971, they constructed their dream home — full with a large hearth and swimming pool — on a quiet dead-end avenue in Mississauga, overlooking the Credit River.

That daughter, Andrea, was simply three-and-a-half years outdated when she sat inside their upscale house on July 18, 1973, watching tv, unaware that her mom was being bludgeoned to loss of life contained in the storage.

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Christine was discovered by her husband, mendacity face down in a pool of her personal blood, her head crushed.

“There was so much trauma to her head, we couldn’t see her face clearly but I could actually see some brain matter,” Det. William Koeslag, now retired, of the Mississauga Police Department recounts in Crime Beat‘s upcoming episode detailing the case.

Peter Demeter is seen exterior the storage the place his spouse was discovered bludgeoned to loss of life.

Harold Barkley / Toronto Star through Getty Images

An post-mortem would later present that she died from blunt drive trauma to the top, possible from using a crowbar, hammer or tire iron.

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A weapon was by no means found. But, standing contained in the storage that night time, police instantly knew one thing was amiss.

Despite Peter’s hermetic alibi (he had been at a close-by shopping center with houseguests on the time of Christine’s loss of life), police seen he was appearing a bit unusual for somebody who simply discovered their partner was lifeless.

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“The first thing he said to me was: ‘Why can’t you get her out of here?’” remembers retired Det. Barry King, one of many first officers from Mississauga Police to reach on the scene.

“I didn’t know if he was the culprit, the victim, or whatever.”

Police additionally seen a number of different odd issues taking place round Christine’s physique within the storage — they discovered the keys to her Cadillac on the entrance seat of the automotive, the automotive’s battery had been drained and the storage door’s computerized opener had been dislocated, stopping it from opening with out guide effort.

Investigators shortly set to work, unearthing a trove of particulars from neighbours, family and friends members that pointed to a wedding unravelling.

A neighbour revealed to police that Christine had given her two airline tickets she had discovered, one for Peter and one for one more lady, asking the neighbour to carry onto them for safekeeping.

Police additionally discovered love letters between Peter and an outdated Austrian flame, mannequin Marina Hundt, main them to imagine he had rekindled the connection and was having an affair.

Marina Hundt, Peter Demeter’s mistress.

Toronto Star Archives / Toronto Star through Getty Images

In interviews with police, Peter himself admitted this marriage had been on skinny ice and police ultimately unearthed $1-million life insurance coverage insurance policies the couple had taken out shortly earlier than Christine was killed.

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Disguised as utility employees, police set to work putting in wiretaps on the Demeter house, listening in as Peter advised his finest pal, Csaba Szilagy, about his rekindled affair with Hundt.

In a separate interview with police, Szilagy additionally advised police that Peter has been plotting varied methods to kill Christine, bandying about concepts of a hitman, stunning Christine with electrical energy of their yard swimming pool or having her run over shotgun shells in an try and explode her automotive.

On Aug. 17, after a month of accumulating a mountain of circumstantial proof, police charged Peter with plotting Christine’s homicide.

A courtroom circus

Meanwhile, prosecutors started planning their technique for the upcoming trial, which might final 11 weeks and disclose to the jury a spiralling marriage, a person determined to be along with his secret lover and all of the potential methods Peter had conspired to off the mom of his youngster.

The jury heard how Peter and Christine turned more and more dissatisfied with one another of their six years of marriage, with anger, mistrust and suspicion changing into widespread themes.

The jury discovered in regards to the affair with Hundt, who shortly turned recognized within the press as “The Other Woman,” and who would usually be seen exterior the courthouse with Peter’s canine, Beelzebub.

Marina Hundt walks Peter Demeter’s canine close to the courthouse.

Dick Loek / Toronto Star through Getty Images

The trial received actually weird, nonetheless, when prosecutors introduced in a witness with a bag over his head to guard his id.

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Mr. X (later recognized as jailhouse informant Gyala Virag) testified that Peter had employed a hitman with the nickname “The Duck” to kill his spouse. “The Duck” was later recognized as petty prison Imre Olejnyik.

Prosecutors additionally had Peter’s former pal and informant, Szilagy, take the stand. Szilagy testified that Peter had tried to rent him to homicide Christine, though he stated he declined.

He additionally admitted that he knew Peter was critically plotting the loss of life of his spouse simply two days earlier than she died, however stated he didn’t warn her.

Csaba Szilagyi, the crown witness within the Peter Demeter homicide trial.

Don Dutton / Toronto Star through Getty Images

Ultimately, the jury determined that Peter had ordered a success on his spouse and he was sentenced to life in jail on Dec. 6, 1974. Olejnyik, believed to be the hitman, died in Hungary earlier than he might be extradited again to Canada to face costs for the homicide of Christine.

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It didn’t cease there — time behind bars didn’t forestall Peter from attempting to have extra individuals killed.

Peter orders one other hit… and one other

In 1983, Peter was paroled and despatched to dwell in a midway home in Peterborough. That 12 months, he was charged with arson in reference to a fireplace at his luxurious Mississauga house — a fireplace that Peter tried to pin on Peel police, but it surely was in the end discovered that Peter employed and paid one other former inmate, Tony Preston, $8,000 to burn down the home.

Police and investigators probe the firegutted house of Peter Demeter.

Frank Calleja / Toronto Star through Getty Images

Later that 12 months, he was again in entrance of a choose for sentencing after plotting to homicide his cousin’s teenage son (the cousin had taken custody of Peter’s daughter, Andrea, after Christine’s loss of life). The courtroom discovered that Peter plotted, with the assistance of Preston and one other former inmate, to have his nephew kidnapped in an effort to acquire the ransom after which have the nephew killed. He was handed two new life sentences.

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And, once more, in 1985, he was wrapped up in one other murder-for-hire scheme, this time for conspiring from behind jail partitions to kidnap and kill the daughter of his lawyer, Toby Belman.

Apparently, Peter was sad along with his lawyer’s authorized charges and offended that Belman had frozen a few of his inventory property when Peter’s $46,000 authorized invoice went unpaid. He cooked up a scheme to kidnap the teenager lady and demand a $400,000 ransom.

The plot was foiled when Peter’s former cellmate went to police and snitched. Again, he was sentenced to a different two further life sentences.

Judge John O’Driscoll, who sentenced Peter in 1988, overtly known as him evil.

“Your evil knows no bounds. It never rests. It never ends…Whether or not you are inherently evil, I do not know, but you ooze evil out of every pore and contaminate everyone around you,” he stated.

Peter Demeter stoops to pet his canine at his homicide trial.

Don Dutton / Toronto Star through Getty Images

He additionally famous an uncommon prison character trait in Peter.

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“If Peter Demeter is a psychopath, he has a singular function. Instead of burning out as he will get older, he’s getting worse.’’

Psychopathic, sick and ceaselessly behind bars

As the choose famous, Peter has proven he has a capability for some actually harmful behaviour, no matter his standing as an inmate or a free man.

He was ultimately clinically labelled as a psychopath, recognized with narcissistic and delinquent options and deemed an indefinite danger to the general public.

Peter Demeter is seen being escorted by police officer throughout the trial the place he was in the end discovered responsible for plotting to kill his nephew.

John Mahler / Toronto Star through Getty Images

In 1999 he started to waive his personal bi-annual parole listening to, conceding that he would possible stay in jail till his loss of life.

Despite a coronary heart assault, stroke and several other bouts with most cancers, all whereas behind bars, he continues to dwell and is now in his 90s.

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In 2019 he apparently had a change of coronary heart concerning being a free man, and tried his hand in entrance of the parole board for the primary time in 20 years. Even as an 85-year-old, the parole board wasn’t swayed.

“Your history of counselling others to seek revenge for you makes you more of a risk of recidivism than your age and physical ability to harm others would suggest,” the panel stated in its resolution, in response to paperwork obtained by Rob Tripp of Cancrime.

“It is the Board’s opinion that you will present an undue risk to society if released.”

The board famous a “less than stellar” historical past of jail conduct, citing 40 incidents between 2013 and 2019.

The board additionally famous that Peter has taken hostile measures towards his daughter, altering his will in order that she is going to solely obtain one greenback when he dies.

“It is very concerning to the Board that after 45 years in custody that you continue to harbour ill will towards the victim and other family members which demonstrates that you continue to present a risk when taking into consideration your past convictions.”

Crime Beat airs its one centesimal episode May 10 at 10 p.m. ET on Global, with the primary of a two-part sequence documenting the distinctive 1973 homicide case of Christine Demeter. Check your native listings for airtimes. Episodes seem streaming and on the StackTV app the next day.

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