Bil­lion­aire cou­ple vic­tims of dou­ble homi­cide

The Prince George Citizen - - News - Colin PERKEL

TORONTO — Bil­lion­aire generic drug ty­coon Barry Sherman and his wife Honey were vic­tims of a tar­geted dou­ble killing but no sus­pects have been iden­ti­fied, Toronto po­lice said on Fri­day.

Det. Sgt. Su­san Gomes, of the homi­cide squad, said thou­sands of hours of in­ves­ti­ga­tion have led po­lice to that con­clu­sion in a case that has grabbed public at­ten­tion both for who the high-pro­file vic­tims were and the mys­tery sur­round­ing how they died.

“I be­lieve in the six weeks of ev­i­dence that we’ve ob­tained that they were tar­geted,” Gomes said.

“Honey and Barry Sherman were found de­ceased in the low­er­level pool area, hang­ing by belts from a pool­side rail­ing in a semiseated po­si­tion on the pool deck.”

Barry Sherman, 75, founder of Cana­dian phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal gi­ant Apo­tex, and Honey Sherman, 70, were dressed when found, po­lice said.

Au­topsy re­sults re­vealed they died by “lig­a­ture neck com­pres­sion,” Gomes said. How­ever, it was ini­tially un­clear whether the cou­ple died by dou­ble sui­cide, homi­cide-sui­cide, or dou­ble homi­cide, lead­ing po­lice to ini­tially clas­sify the deaths as “sus­pi­cious.”

“Facts guide our fo­cus,” Gomes said. “Con­jec­ture and spec­u­la­tion have no place.”

The cou­ple was last seen alive on the evening of Dec. 13. Po­lice, re­spond­ing to a 911 call, found the bod­ies on Dec. 15 in their three­storey north-end home.

Since then, in­ves­ti­ga­tors have been scour­ing the house, which was only re­leased Fri­day morn­ing to the fam­ily.

“There are no signs of forced en­try on all ac­cess points to the home,” Gomes said.

Gomes re­fused to say if any­thing was taken from the house or re­ports that marks were found on their wrists.

The Sherman fam­ily, up­set by ini­tial me­dia re­ports that the deaths were a mur­der-sui­cide, hired their own team of in­ves­ti­ga­tors but Gomes said con­tact with rel­a­tives has been con­sis­tent and on­go­ing. She said she un­der­stood their con­cerns about the pace of the highly com­plex probe.

“For them, it’s been dif­fi­cult to bal­ance their pa­tience with their frus­tra­tion with us and our in­ves­ti­ga­tion, not un­like any other fam­ily who has suf­fered such a sud­den and pro­found loss,” Gomes said.

“They have been un­der­stand­ing, co-op­er­a­tive and hope­ful that this in­ves­ti­ga­tion can give them some an­swers.”

In a state­ment Fri­day, the cou­ple’s chil­dren said they had ex­pected con­fir­ma­tion by po­lice of what they had sus­pected from the start – that their par­ents were vic­tims of a dou­ble killing.

“This con­clu­sion was ex­pressed by the fam­ily from the out­set and is con­sis­tent with the find­ings of the in­de­pen­dent au­topsy and in­ves­ti­ga­tion,” their state­ment said.

“The fam­ily con­tin­ues to sup­port the Toronto po­lice ser­vice in their ef­forts to seek jus­tice for their par­ents and pur­sue those re­spon­si­ble for these un­speak­able crimes.”

Gomes re­fused to dis­cuss any sus­pects, be­yond say­ing they hadn’t ze­roed in on any.

“We haven’t de­vel­oped any sus­pects out­side of un­der­stand­ing that peo­ple are out­stand­ing for, or a per­son is out­stand­ing for, this event.”

She also gave only vague in­for­ma­tion about some of the ev­i­dence po­lice have gath­ered or seized from the home, a sec­ond Sherman prop­erty and Apo­tex. Items in­clude 2,000 hours of se­cu­rity video.

The de­tec­tive, who said of­fi­cers were speak­ing to a “sig­nif­i­cant list” of peo­ple, ap­pealed to any­one with any in­for­ma­tion that might help the in­ves­ti­ga­tion to come for­ward.

Sherman was well known for his many le­gal tan­gles, a fact Gomes al­luded to.

“Le­gal com­plex­i­ties in some ex­e­cu­tions have been chal­leng­ing, given the liti­gious na­ture of Barry Sherman’s busi­nesses, in par­tic­u­lar the search and seizure of elec­tron­ics in Barry Sherman’s workspace at Apo­tex.”


Barry and Honey Sherman are shown in a hand­out photo from the United Jewish Ap­peal. Toronto po­lice say their deaths were a dou­ble homi­cide.

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