(Note: Like with my theory about Kohji Haneda’s death, a less extensive version of this theory was first raised in one of my DC fanfiction stories.)
In this thread, Vermouth will be discussed. First of all, the persona of Sharon Vineyard was clearly an atheist. Now, in real life people generally convert to atheism because of a perceived lack of evidence for the existence of God. However, like in many works of fiction Sharon’s atheism is due to a deeply-rooted bitterness towards God. Sharon’s parents and husband had died, leaving her only with her actress friends and her estranged daughter Chris (my suspicion is that Gosho Aoyama simply did not know that in the West, Chris is a male name, but I digress).
However, much of what Vermouth said was just detailed lies to make her Sharon persona seem more like a real person. Her story about Chris appearing at her husband’s funeral disguised as him in order to surprise Sharon is obviously fake if Sharon and Chris Vineyard are the same person. Furthermore, that Vermouth even had a husband is disputable; it’s ludicrous to assume that she could convince him he had a daughter and fool him for X many years. A much more rational move would be for Vermouth to live alone. If he was in on her secret, then she was probably married to a member of the Black Organisation, and somehow I doubt this. If Sharon Vineyard turns out to be nothing more than an alias, then the tale about her parents’ deaths was probably a fabrication as well. Considering that much of the cause for her sorrow is mere fabrications, one would assume that her bitterness towards God is as well.
However, there are some indications that Vermouth’s atheism is not an act. During her attempt to kill Ran in Episode 288, she said “Well if you must blame someone, blame a God that set this up for you.” Note that she was disguised as the silver-haired serial killer at the time; she had no reason to continue to act like Sharon Vineyard. If anything, she may have increased the risk of Ran figuring out the killer was Sharon, given that Ran already knew Sharon could disguise herself as virtually anyone. If Vermouth while disguised as the serial killer said this, then most likely she was truthfully expressing her contempt for God to a person who she figured would be dead within a minute anyway. Furthermore, after the incident during her phone call with Yukiko, she said that at long last an angel had “smiled” upon her. She clearly had no reason to make this claim, except that she felt the need to confide in Yukiko, one of the closest things that she had to a real friend. Vermouth’s attitude towards God probably changed somewhat because of that incident.
But why does Vermouth feel bitter towards God? She has huge amounts of money and fame, after all. From a solely materialistic viewpoint she has everything that a person could want.
The issue, I suspect, stems from her status as a member of the Black Organisation. I have no proof, but my suspicion is that Vermouth was quite literally born into the Black Organisation. Presumably, a relative of hers had a high status within the Organisation, so Vermouth was made to join the Organisation by said relative, and her training presumably began at a young age. She has been a member of the Organisation for at least 20 years, given that 20 years ago she murdered Jodie’s parents.
I suspect that Vermouth, despite appearing to be a psychopath, actually does have a conscience. I suspect that she does not enjoy the evil work she takes part in, but she simply doesn’t have a choice in the matter. She has been made to kill by the BO for decades on end, and she never had the option of saying no. She has consigned herself to this fate and she tries to take her mind off of her situation through a life of decadence and jaded excess, but what she really wants is a person who will take down the Black Organisation and free her from her fate, even if that person will ultimately kill her. She has placed all her hope in a “silver bullet” and she now believes Conan Edogawa to be that silver bullet. One possible hint that Vermouth is actually a good person deep down is the revelation in the aftermath of Episode 345 that while disguised as Tomoaki Araide she demonstrated a nice side and earned the praises of Araide’s colleagues, though Jodie dismissed this as a testament to Vermouth’s acting abilities.
Ultimately, Vermouth’s true identity is not important to the show, but I have a theory. To know who she is we must provide a rough estimate of Vermouth’s true age. There are two ways to determine this. The first is to use Chris Vineyard as a measuring stick. Chris Vineyard is 29 years old. In order to maintain plausibility Vermouth must have come up with a convincing explanation for this. According to this theoretical explanation (which was never given to the viewers/readers), it’s unlikely that Sharon had a child before she was 18 years old. Becoming a teenage mother would’ve interfered with her ability to study as an actress. We can assume that under this explanation Sharon probably did not have a child until her twenties, or eighteen at earliest. This puts Sharon’s minimum age at 47. Given that Yukiko met Sharon 20 years ago, Chris must’ve been 9 years old, meaning that Sharon was already in her late 20s or even her 30s at this point.
The second is to take into account that 20 years ago, Vermouth appeared to be around the same age that Chris Vineyard is now. In Episode 345, whenever Vermouth looked the same age as Chris Vineyard and was confirmed to not be wearing a mask, Jodie said that Vermouth hadn’t aged since their brief encounter 20 years ago, meaning that Vermouth looked roughly 29 years old 20 years ago during the murder of Jodie’s parents. Furthermore, if we assume that Vermouth’s disguise abilities came from studying under Toichi Kuroba 20 years ago, we can also assume that 20 years ago she looked her age, since prior to this point she wasn’t able to disguise her age.
Given these factors, we can confidently say that Vermouth is *probably* around 50 years old. Coincidentally, there is another 50 year old, Japanese-American, blonde woman character in Detective Conan: Fusae Kinoshita, AKA Fusae Campbell. Though Fusae Campbell did not exhibit any signs of being a BO member during her brief appearance, though she acted like she had just seen Hiroshi Agasa for the first time in 40 years in that episode whereas Vermouth had seen him several times before prior to this point, though since her brief appearance the character has more or less been forgotten, and though Dr. Agasa had heard Vermouth’s voice in Episode 345 yet suspected nothing of Fusae in her first appearance, I believe that the similarities between Fusae Campbell and Vermouth are simply too great to dismiss offhand.
After befriending young Hiroshi, young Fusae “moved to the countryside”, and it’s possible that after this point her Black Organisation training began. The rest is history.