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I'm a killer. You know I'm a killer. But did you know I'm a cereal killer?
~ Smith advertising cereals while cleverly masking his nature as a serial killer.

Culverton Smith is the secondary antagonist in the fourth series of the BBC Series Sherlock, in which he appears as the main antagonist of the second episode "The Lying Detective". He is a TV personality, celebrity and philanthropist who is secretly a serial killer. He is an adaptation of the Sherlock Holmes villain of the same name.

He is portrayed by Toby Jones, who also played the Dream Lord in Doctor Who, Lanfranco Cassetti in Agatha Christie's Poirot, Arnim Zola in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Aristides Silk in The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn and Gunnar Eversol in Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.


A prominent entrepreneur and philanthropist, Smith is secretly a serial killer. Using his wealth and unassailable power, he is able to use his charity-funded hospital as a way to go into patient's rooms and then kill them, taking inspiration from H. H. Holmes.

Smith also has an uncontrollable need to confess to his crimes, going as far as to confess to his closest friends, even his daughter Faith, but making them forget his crimes by inducing them to a memory inhibiting drug. Sherlock comes up against Smith when Faith gives him a slip of paper that she wrote down, reminding her of fragments of the crimes Smith told her about.

Sherlock comes to suspect Smith of being a serial killer, garnering media attention, which forces Sherlock and John Watson to go with Smith to his hospital. Unbeknowst to Smith, Sherlock previously used his phone to call for Faith.

However, when Faith arrives, Sherlock realizes that she looks completely different, the shock as well as previous drug injections causing him to hallucinate. After Sherlock tries to attack Smith with a scalpel, he is taken in as a patient to recuperate from drugs.

Smith attempts to kill Sherlock, believing him to be a threat. Sherlock manages to make Smith confess, and his confession is recorded, and thus is arrested. After being interrogated by Greg Lestrade, Smith finds that confessing was more enjoyable than he imagined, and "should have done it sooner". He also realizes that this confession will make him even more famous, and that he may be able to "break America".

It is later revealed that the woman who claimed to be Culverton's daughter when meeting Sherlock was no hallucination, but Sherlock's sister Eurus Holmes in disguise.


  • The character appears in a cameo through a bus stop photo in the 4th series' first episode "The Six Thatchers".
  • Smith's behavior appears to be based on the late Jimmy Savile. Savile was a highly eccentric TV and radio personality who was famed for raising massive amounts of money for charity and appeared to be a philanthropist to the public. However, following Savile's death in October 29, 2011, he was revealed to be a serial rapist who reportedly sexually abused at least hundreds of adults and children during his career. Similar to Smith, he had access to hospitals and appeared to partially admit to his crimes under the guise of joking.

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