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Title: Who killed Christine Demeter?
Description: Mississauga, Ontario 1973

Cheryl - July 18, 2006 06:45 AM (GMT)
Christine Demeter

Thirty-three year old Christine Demeter was murdered on July 18, 1973, in the garage of her home in Mississauga, Ontario. The case attracted much attention in Canada because Ms Demeter, a model, was young and beautiful, and her murder had been mysterious.

Her husband, Peter Demeter, was subsequently convicted of hiring a killer to murder her to cash in on a million-dollar insurance policy.

George Jonas and his wife Barbara Amiel, published By Persons Unknown: The strange death of Christine Demeter, in 1976.

Demeter, Peter, real-estate developer (b at Budapest, Hungary 19 Apr 1933). The son of a wealthy family impoverished as a consequence of WWII, Demeter immigrated to Canada in 1956 and by 1962 had embarked on a successful career as a property developer in Toronto. In 1967 he married Christine Ferrari, an Austrian-born model. The marriage was not successful, and when in 1973 Christine was murdered he was charged with hiring an unidentified person to kill her. The trial, the longest in Canadian history, attracted international attention, exposing bizarre elements of the Hungarian Canadian underworld and the possibility that husband and wife had been simultaneously plotting to kill each other in order to collect a $1 million insurance policy. Demeter was convicted, although the actual killer was never found.

Demeter forced to surrender DNA
'I have lived a boy scout's life,' 73-year-old killer tells court
May 31, 2006. 01:00 AM

KINGSTON Former Mississauga millionaire Peter Demeter, convicted of murder in 1974 in one of Canada's most sensational trials, has been ordered to have his DNA taken and placed in the national databank.

A judge here yesterday granted Peel Police's request to have Demeter's DNA taken, rejecting the 73-year-old convict's bid to have the order denied.

"I will appeal," Demeter told Justice Geoff Griffin moments after hearing that his genetic sample was going to be taken.

Demeter is the last person to have the chance to fight the DNA order in court as a recent Supreme Court of Canada decision now makes it no longer a requirement in law to give convicts the chance to argue their case in court.. From now on, police only have to submit their requests in writing to a judge in the area where the crime occurred.

"See, you're making history again Mr. Demeter," Justice Griffin told Demeter at the end of his lengthy hearing.

Demeter fought the DNA order on the grounds that he was never getting out of prison so there was no chance he would ever leave his genetic marker at the scene of another crime. He also insisted he had a "pristine" past before he was arrested.

"I have lived a boy scout's life," said Demeter, who because of failing health uses a walker to move. He had a stroke about three years ago and has suffered two heart attacks and several bouts of cancer

"I never left my DNA (at his wife's murder). There is nothing (out there) to compare it with.".

Demeter also insisted the bid by Peel to take his DNA was "the final indignity" of the police force's 33-years of "continued harassment" that began with officers framing him for hiring a hitman to murder his Austrian model wife.

He saw his bid as a way of obtaining "a pin prick victory" for all of his years of imprisonment.

Demeter's blood was taken just after 5 p.m. and it will now be logged in the national DNA databank in Ottawa among the more than 95,000 offenders.

Despite serving five different life sentences, Demeter has always maintained he never hired anybody to kill his wife Christine for which he was convicted of the crime of non-capital murder during a jury trial in London, Ont. Dec. 5, 1974. He received a life prison sentence with no parole for 10 years.

He was later given four more life sentences for conspiring to kidnap and murder a former lawyer's daughter as well as conspiring to murder his cousin's nephew, while he was on parole.

"I'm totally guilty of making blood curdling threats against my cousin and my lawyer at the time," Demeter said yesterday, but vehemently insisted he never had anything to do with his wife's murder. "I was 23 miles away on the night of my wife's murder."

That trial, held in London, lasted 11 weeks. At the time, it was the longest criminal trial ever held in Canada. Each day the courtroom was packed with curious onlookers glued to their seats for a case that involved sex, money, murder and international intrigue.

Christine, 33, a green-eyed beauty, was found bludgeoned to death on July 18, 1973 in the garage of their Mississauga home on Dundas Crescent. Crown prosecutors said the wealthy land developer was having an affair with another woman and had hired a man to kill his wife so he could collect a $1 million life insurance policy.

That trial, dubbed the "crime of the decade", drew international coverage and resulted in two books and a movie I Miss You Hugs & Kisses that was loosely based on the crime and its cast of characters. Hollywood sex siren Elke Sommer played the fictionalized version of Demeter's wife.

A mysterious Hungarian named Irme Olejnyik nicknamed "The Duck" was believed by police to be the hitman, but he died in his homeland before he could be extradited and brought to trial.

Demeter insisted yesterday that Olejnyik was among eight people who knew the truth who mysteriously died "as part of a cover-up" in the years following his first imprisonment.

Federal legislation passed last spring gave police forces across the country the legal authority to seek DNA samples from anybody convicted of first or second degree murder, manslaughter and certain serious sex offences before 2000.

Demeter is one of 48 people either serving life prison sentences or on parole that Peel Constable Mike Neill has been seeking to take DNA from as part of the national DNA Retroactive Project. Altogether, about 300 of the 1,200 on the list in Ontario have been blooded so far.

The goal is to see whether any of the convicts might have been responsible for other serious crimes, including unsolved murders, as well as to make sure their DNA is in the bank in case they commit future crimes. There are currently more than 27,000 unmatched DNA samples from crime scenes stored in the national DNA bank's crime scene index.

At one point during yesterday's hearing, Demeter choked up when talking about his health, revealing to the court that a doctor had informed him that a catscan had indicated that his brain was "atrophying" at a pace that would leave him a "vegetable" one day.

"This is not life threatening it's threatening my existence," said Demeter, who has always taken pride in his intelligence and wit. "For me, it's my brain, not my athletic ability" that has made him excel.

Demeter has twice been denied full parole, on Jan 17, 1996 and on April 17, 1997, according to documents obtained by the Star from the National Parole Board.

In assessing his risk, parole board officials described Demeter as being "insightless, manipulative, self-exculpatory and psychopathic" and representing a "significant risk to cause trouble to others should he be unsupervised in the community."

In sentencing him for arranging his wife's murder, Justice John O'Driscoll said he "oozed evil" but Demeter promised Justice Griffin yesterday before the start of the hearing that he "wouldn't ooze evil out of his pores" in the courtroom.

Although Demeter insisted he never was involved in his wife's death, Justice Griffin said "your guilt is not open for discussion" at this DNA hearing, and said he saw no reason to not order his DNA be taken "for the protection of society."

Cheryl - July 18, 2006 06:54 AM (GMT)

April 28, 2006

Killer rips DNA push

Demeter calls cop request for sample 'harassment'


After a decade of silence, high-profile criminal Peter Demeter has emerged from his prison cell as a "poster boy" against the "unnecessary" taking of historic DNA samples.

Denying again yesterday that he arranged his wife's 1973 murder, and pointing the finger at a man who died decades ago in Hungary, Demeter suggested a Peel police demand to have his "genetic fingerprint" put in a national DNA databank is another part of an ongoing "coverup" to protect a flawed murder probe and the cops who ran it.

Kingston Judge Geoffrey Griffin will hear Demeter's argument against the Peel DNA demand on May 29.


"I start to resent the harassment of the past 33 years ... I will ask the judge to give me this one pinprick of victory," the former Mississauga developer told the Sun in a telephone interview from Bath medium security prison.

"(After) 33 years of me losing and they (are) driving me over with a steamroller again ... and the harassment continues."

Demeter, 73, said the DNA demand is "ridiculous" because a 1988 order from a senior Ontario judge will keep him in prison until he dies.

He also asserted the DNA demand should be dismissed because a police affidavit which outlines the basis for the demand is "fictitious" and possibly "perjurious."

And he said the affidavit contains references to wiretap conversations between himself and his trial legal team -- wiretaps he has heard about for the first time ever.

"For the judge to act on this application would bring the administration of justice into disrepute," Demeter said.

Demeter became one of Canada's most notorious criminals in the 1970s and '80s when he was sentenced to five life sentences revolving around convictions for arranging his wife's murder, threatening to kill his cousin and plotting to kidnap and kill his lawyer's daughter.

His run of 33 years in prison began in December 1974, when a jury in London, Ont., found him guilty of non-capital murder for conspiring to murder his Austrian-born wife, Christina, 32, a former model who was bludgeoned to death in their Mississauga home's garage in 1973.

After his conviction on circumstantial evidence, Demeter was sentenced to life in prison with no parole for 10 years.

Demeter said it is inconceivable for Peel police to argue -- as he says they do in the DNA case affidavit -- that he was sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 25 years.


He said until 1976, when Canada abolished capital punishment, the only convictions for what was called capital murder were for killing cops and prison guards.

Demeter claims eight people who could have helped clear him died in accidents or mysterious circumstances following his conviction.

He was given passes in 1981 and remained free on day parole until he was rearrested in 1983 on charges that he counselled someone to kill his cousin and set fire to the exclusive Mississauga home where his wife was murdered.

Those charges led to two more life sentences.

In 1988, he was convicted of plotting to kidnap and kill his lawyer's daughter during a dispute over money. Another two life terms were added.

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