Demeter, Peter

Peter Demeter, 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.