Billionaire Couple's Mysterious Deaths a 'Targeted Murder,' Police Say
The possession of great wealth sometimes comes with certain perils, as we’ve recently learned from the mysterious murder of Canadian billionaires Barry and Honey Sherman. The pharmaceutical moguls were found dead last December—hanging fully clothed—by their Toronto home’s indoor pool. The murderer’s weapon of choice: men’s belts.
The case is once again put in the spotlight after recent police reports confirm that the double homicide was a targeted event but the police have yet to pinpoint any suspects or motives. There was also no evidence of forced entry, but private investigators believe that the murder was conducted by multiple people.
The bodies of Barry, 75, and Honey, 70, were discovered by their real estate agent, who had been helping the couple sell their home for $6.9 million, a police source tells the Toronto Star. There were initial speculations about the crime being a murder-suicide, but the couple’s four children denied these allegations.
At the time, Barry was under investigation for a fundraiser he had organized for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, which allegedly did not adhere to lobbying rules. In May 2017, Barry took the lobbying case to court and filed a lawsuit against the commissioner’s probe.
The Shermans' primary source of wealth was the pharmaceutical company Apotex, of which Barry was both chairman and former CEO. The self-made billionaire, who possessed a doctorate degree in rocket science from MIT, bought his uncle’s pharmaceutical company and started with only two employees. He eventually developed it into one of Canada’s leading pharmaceuticals, reported Forbes. The Guardian listed his net worth at $4.77 billion and ranked him the 15th richest person in Canada.
We’ve been informed of the tragic news that Barry and Honey Sherman have unexpectedly passed away. All of us at Apotex are deeply shocked and saddened by this news and our thoughts and prayers are with the family at this time.— Apotex (@Apotex) December 15, 2017
Barry Sherman’s unpublished memoir was the topic of public scrutiny in light of the investigation. “Legacy of Thoughts,” penned in 1996, was reviewed after the author’s death. In it, he exposes his political opinions, his disdain for religion, and his thoughts on the meaning of life. Suspiciously, he writes on the seventh page, “Life has no meaning or purpose.” But despite these beliefs, Barry and his wife were huge backers of philanthropic efforts and gave away millions on record.
The murders surprised many. Their
Sophie and I are saddened by news of the sudden passing of Barry and Honey Sherman. Our condolences to their family & friends, and to everyone touched by their vision & spirit.— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) December 16, 2017
"en" dir="ltr">Two weeks ago it gave me immense joy to present a Senate medal to one of the kindest and most beloved members of Canada’s Jewish community. Today I am gutted by the loss of Honey and Barry Sherman. Our community is steeped in grief. I am heartbroken. pic.twitter.com/B8VANUiNbW— Senator Linda Frum (@LindaFrum) December 15, 2017
While Barry was a self-proclaimed workaholic who lacked social skills, his wife Honey was his polar opposite. She was warm, giving, and the “’glue’ that held the family together.” She came from a modest upbringing; her parents were Polish Holocaust survivors who moved to Canada. Honey met Barry in 1970 and they wed the following year. At the funeral, Honey’s sister Mary described Barry as “the most brilliant, wonderful, kind man."
Although Barry was celebrated by many around him, he had also been the subject of controversy in the past, particularly when his cousins filed a lawsuit against him. These were the children of Louis Winter, the uncle from whom Sherman had purchased the drug company. Barry’s relatives pressed charges against him for an alleged agreement between the two parties that would allow them to work for Apotex and gve them the right to purchase 20 percent of the company shares, Toronto Life reports. Barry countersued his cousin Kerry Winter for an $8 million debt and extortion. The decade-long lawsuit was still ongoing at the time of the murders. The case was dismissed last September but three out of the five Winter brothers, a widow now representing one of them, filed an appeal a month later.
h/t: The Guardian