Drug-company billionaire businessman Barry Sherman and his wife Honey were murdered, Canadian police say, but authorities have no suspects.
- Police say they have no suspects for the murder of Barry and Honey Sherman, but believe the two were “targetted”
- A day after the discovery of the bodies media quoted unidentified police officials saying the deaths appeared to be a murder-suicide
- Police have taken 125 witness statements and analysed surveillance video
Mr Sherman, the founder of generic drugmaker Apotex, and his wife were found dead in their mansion on December 15.
At the time, police said the deaths were suspicious, but that there were no signs of forced entry and they were not looking for suspects.
Detective Sergeant Susan Gomes said investigators came to the conclusion the pair had been murdered after six weeks of investigation.
She said the two were found near their indoor pool.
“We have sufficient evidence to describe this as a double homicide investigation, and that both Honey and Barry Sherman were in fact targeted,” Detective Sergeant Gomes said.
She said they were last seen alive in the evening hours of Wednesday, December 13, and were not heard from again until their bodies were found late Friday morning.
The day after the bodies were found, some prominent news media outlets quoted unidentified police officials as saying the deaths appeared to be a murder-suicide.
That upset the couple’s four adult children, who then hired their own team of investigators and a pathologist, who conducted second autopsies on the Shermans.
The family said in a statement on Friday the new conclusion “was expressed by the family from the outset and is consistent with the findings of the independent autopsy and investigation”.
“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,” the statement added
Police have released the home back to the family.
Toronto police investigators have scoured the 12,000-square-foot home, hauled away the couple’s cars and even checked the sewers in one of Toronto’s most exclusive neighbourhoods for clues.
Police have taken 125 witness statements and analysed surveillance video.
Sherman spoke about being ‘knocked off’
Mr Sherman, 75, was known for litigiousness and aggressive businesses practices as he developed Apotex, which has a global workforce of about 11,000.
In Prescription Games, a 2001 book about the industry, he mused that a rival might want to kill him.
“The branded drug companies hate us. They have hired private investigators on us all the time,” he said.
“The thought once came to my mind, why didn’t they just hire someone to knock me off?
“For a $1,000 paid to the right person you can probably get someone killed. Perhaps I’m surprised that hasn’t happened.”
‘Horrible ending for a great man’
Canadian Business magazine recently estimated his worth at CAD$4.77 billion ($4.77 billion), making him the 15th richest person in the country.
As they became wealthy, the couple became known for philanthropy.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau attended the funeral and Mr Sherman is posthumously due to receive one of the country’s highest civilian honours this year.
Friends and family say the couple had been making plans for the future.
They had recently listed their home in Toronto for CAD$6.9 million ($6.9 million) and were building a new home in the city.
Detective Sergeant Gomes said anybody who has had access to the home in recent months was important to police.
Frank D’Angelo, a close friend of Barry Sherman, said he felt vindicated by the double homicide ruling after some thought it was a murder-suicide following the early reports.
“There was absolutely unequivocally no way that [Mr Sherman] would hurt his wife, and hurt his grandkids, his family and his reputation,” he said.
“What a horrible ending for a great man.”