Monday, 17 April 2017

A non-stop murderous criminal

Some criminals are beyond any hope of redemption. Peter Demeter is one such criminal. Even when he was in prison serving a life sentence for arranging the murder of his wife, he was still planning other horrendous crimes.  Admittedly, he isn’t the only criminal who plans other murderous crimes while in prison serving life sentences. These human monsters are like an octopus—reaching out with its tentacles for someone else to kill.                                         
Perhaps some people have already forgotten while the younger generation is completely unaware but once upon a time when the then-sleepy bedroom community of Mississauga in the province of Ontario garnered international attention for a terribly gruesome murder that resulted in an especially long trial (one of the longest in Canada's history) and later, two more attempted murders by the same killer.

On July 18, 1973, 33-year-old fashion model Christine Demeter was found dead in the garage of her upscale Mississauga home. She was lying facedown; a catastrophic head wound gushing blood all over the concrete floor. She had been hit roughly six times with a blunt object, most likely a tire iron or a crowbar. It shattered parts of her skull and sent blood and brain tissue cascading through the garage.

Christine's actual killer was never arrested and imprisoned. The man thought to be responsible for bludgeoning the Austrian-born model and mother of one to death, was a small-time criminal named Imre Olejnyik who died in Hungary in 1975 before he could be extradited to Canada. The man who arranged her murder was her husband, Peter Demeter who 17 months later, was later convicted of non-capital murder in London, Ontario.

If a person is indirectly involved in a crime of murder and has full knowledge about the murder that is going to be committed, that person can be charged and convicted of second-degree murder.

Like many married couples, Peter and Christine Demeter were unhappy. Married in 1967, the pair, who had a daughter together, became increasingly dissatisfied with one another. Although it's impossible to say exactly what went on and what was said behind the closed doors of their spacious Dundas Crescent home, it's clear that matrimonial harmony gave way to anger, suspicion and trust. (if trust ever existed at all).

When Demeter was convicted of hiring a third party to murder his wife, his motives seemed apparent which were money and a mistress. Demeter made it clear he wanted to collect on Christine's $1.1 million insurance policy. (he went for it even though he was on trial for the woman's murder.The insurance money was never sent to him by her insurance company). He was also known to be cavorting with another Austrian woman, a young Viennese model named Marina Hundt.

Demeter's trial was a sensational, headline-grabbing extravaganza filled with colorful insults, criminal testimonies and scandalous revelations. For example, in a series of articles penned by a Globe and Mail reporter named Vianney Carriere, direct quotes from Demeter's defense lawyer, Joseph Pomerant, show how fabulously ludicrous the discourse got. It's also somewhat interesting that Mr. Pomerant (who defended Demeter along with famed lawyer Ed Greenspan) was later disbarred and convicted of bilking $500,000 from a drug dealer client.

The lengthy court case involved peeks into the little-known and bizarre underworld of Hungarian crime, testimonies from criminals and an informant who wore a paper bag over his face and accusations against dead people.

Those of us who were not in the courtroom were glued to our TV screens for announcements and also to the text of our newspapers.

One person who testified for the defense was Joe "Ironman" Dinardo (born as Gabor Magosztovics), a man who was serving a prison sentence and who continued to have run-ins with Canadian law enforcement well into the early 2000s.

He claimed that Christine was most likely killed by a dead criminal named Laszlo Eper—a man, he suggested, had talks with Demeter’s wife regarding a hit on her husband. Oddly enough, Dinardo also said that the late Christine had offered him $10,000 to break Demeter's arms and legs. It is easy to imagine the eyeballs of those sitting on the jury rolling around in their heads. The fact that they convicted Peter Demeter is proof on what I said about the juror’s eyeballs. The Crown Attorney (prosecutor) dismissed Dinardo's bold proclamations as wild and self-serving lies. I think the lawyers for Demeter made a terrible blunder when they put that sleeze bag, Dinardo in the witness box in their attempt to put the dead woman on trial which is a no no for defence lawyers to do during the trials of their clients.

In an attempt to make the trail even weirder, defence lawyer, Pomerant heaped a verbal avalanche of acid-tongued malice upon Demeter's former friend and police informant, Csaba Szilagyi who was a key witness for the prosecution. His testimony was crucial for the prosecution because he, produced a  series of secret recordings between him and Demeter that he took after Christine's death.

"And who is Csaba Szilagyi?" Pomerant asked, as recorded by Carriere. "He is a man who is one of the most miserable human beings who lives on the face of this earth. A man with the pretensions of a nobleman, who has had to disassociate himself from his parents, his sister, his friends and his country whereas Peter Demeter is a self-made man and an attractive man. Csaba Szilagyi is a chronic hapless failure as a human being."

Pomerant’s conduct at that particular segment of the trial was like a member of the crew on his sinking ship trying to rearrange the deck chairs.

Pomerant argued that while Demeter was indeed having an affair and was unhappy with Christine, there was no reason to believe he arranged her murder. Hey Pomerant. You have missed a chair on the deck of your sinking ship.

At the end of the trial, the jury decided that Demeter was, indeed, guilty of ordering a hit on his wife and he was convicted of Second Degree Murder.

In Canada, the parole eligibility date for Second Degree Murder is within a range of 10 to 25 years at the discretion of the judge. Parole eligibility dates of more than 20 years for Second Degree Murder are extremely rare. Furthermore, 10 year parole eligibility dates are not particularly uncommon. While the second degree murderer will likely be released earlier than the first degree murderer, both will remain on parole for the remainder of their lives upon release.

In 1983, after serving 10 years of his sentence for Christine’s murder, Demeter was on day parole at a Peterborough halfway house. The smooth talker met a 29-year-old local woman, Lisa Ross, who quickly fell in love with Demeter and became his girlfriend.

Now like all parolees. Demeter had the opportunity to begin his life over again and this time, as an honest citizen.

While serving his sentence and living in a convicts' halfway house, in 1983 Demeter was charged on two counts with trying to arrange the kidnapping and murder of the son of his cousin who was managing his financial affairs. In 1985 Demeter was convicted of the charges and given a second life sentence.

While in prison, Demeter has suffered a stroke and a heart attack. He has had chemotherapy administered in relation to three diagnoses of cancer. Demeter is serving his life imprisonment at the medium-security Bath Institute in Ontario. In a CBC interview on 30 May 2006, he said conclusively that he will be in prison for the rest of his life and is not bothering to apply for parole. If he did, his application would probably be denied.

just as I said in the heading of this article, Demeter is a non-stop murderous criminal. He should never ever be given parole again. 

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