A year after their bodies were discovered in their Old Colony Rd. home, Honey and Barry Sherman remain two out of 94 victims of unsolved murders in Toronto from 2016 to 2018.
Unlike in many of the other cases, the couple’s public profile — Barry, the founder of pharmaceutical company Apotex and Honey, a well known philanthropist — launched the details surrounding their murders firmly into the public eye.
While investigators have likely withheld details of the investigation from the public, many aspects of the case and the investigation surrounding it are well known.
Here is Yahoo Canada’s summary of the past year’s investigation into the unsolved murders of Honey and Barry Sherman in December 2017.
The bodies of billionaires Barry and Honey Sherman were discovered in the couple’s Toronto home on Dec. 15, 2017, two days after they were last seen alive. A real estate agent who was helping to sell the $6.7 million house made the discovery.
Initial reports stated police were not looking for a suspect and had found no evidence of forced entry into the home. The Shermans’ adult children said those early comments suggested police believed Barry Sherman had killed his wife and them himself.
“Our parents shared an enthusiasm for life and commitment to their family and community totally inconsistent with the rumors regrettably circulated in the media as to the circumstances surrounding their deaths,” the December statement read.
“We are shocked and think it’s irresponsible that police sources have reportedly advised the media of a theory which neither their family, their friends nor their colleagues believe to be true.”
On Dec. 19, the Toronto Star reported that Barry Sherman had been under investigation by lobbying commissioner Karen Shepherd at the time of their deaths. Shepherd was investigating a political fundraiser Barry Sherman had held for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau that allegedly broke lobbying rules.
On Jan. 8, 2018, Globe and Mail quoted the Sherman family’s lawyer Brian Greenspan as saying it was “simply absurd” police would release information suggesting the case was a murder suicide so early into their investigation. Greenspan confirmed the family was conducting its own private autopsy on the Shermans’ bodies, but declined to comment on the findings of the autopsy.
On Jan. 26, having reviewed new evidence in the case, police announced they were treating it as a double homicide.
“We believe now, through the six weeks of work review, we have sufficient evidence to describe this as a double homicide investigation, and that Honey and Barry Sherman were, in fact, targeted,” Toronto Police Det. Sgt. Susan Gomes said during a media event that day.
In an interview with Daily Mail on Jan. 31, a cousin of Barry Sherman who had recently lost a $1-billion court battle with the late billionaire, made serious allegations against him.
Kerry Winter told the British publication he believed Sherman had killed his wife and then himself, despite investigators’ assessments that both Shermans were murder victims.
On Feb. 1, CBC’s Fifth Estate reported Winter had failed a lie detector test over his allegations against Barry Sherman. Winter was also quoted saying he had fantasized about killing the Shermans but had never followed through.
In this and previous interviews, Winter alluded to the legal battle he had lost with his cousin. Winter and his siblings launched a lawsuit against Barry Sherman in 2007, demanding a share of the fortune he had amassed after Barry Sherman sold his late uncle’s — their late father’s — pharmaceutical company and used the proceeds of the sale to start Apotex in 1974.
In September 2017, an Ontario Superior Court judge dismissed the case as “fanciful.” In addition to losing his claim on Barry Sherman’s fortune, Winter was eventually ordered to pay him $8 million, plus $300,000 in legal costs.
By May 2018, months had passed with no news about the investigation from police or representatives of the Shermans. But on May 8, the Toronto Star published findings of its own investigation into the family’s private autopsy of the couple.
The Star reported the autopsy, requested by the family, found both Shermans had been bound at the wrists at some point during the attack, although their wrists were free when their bodies were discovered.
Since no pieces of a ligature or rope were found at the scene, private investigators concluded the suspect — or suspects — must have taken them when they left, meaning Barry Sherman couldn’t have done it himself.
It was likely this information, the Star suggested, that led the police to announce in January they were investigating a double homicide, rather than a murder-suicide.
In September 2018, court documents showed Toronto homicide detectives had obtained seven more search warrants as part of their investigation into the Sherman murders.
The month of October 2018 saw a major change to the Sherman family’s role in the murder investigation.
In a televised news conference on Oct. 26, Greenspan announced the launch of a call centre to handle tips regarding the case, a panel of criminal and forensic experts to assess the tips and a $10 million reward for any information leading to the conviction of the killer.
Greenspan also criticized the Toronto Police Service’s handling of the investigation, both immediately following the Shermans’ deaths and in the year since.
Lawyer Brian Greenspan said Toronto police have not properly handled the case.
He accused force of having mishandled the early stages of the investigation by not vacuuming the floors of the home for traces of evidence, not adequately inspecting entrances into the home and failing to notice 25 sets of palm and fingerprint impressions that private investigators later found.
On Oct. 31, the Toronto Star reported investigators probing the murders had obtained nine more search warrants that month.
The anniversary of the Shermans’ deaths passed on Dec. 15 without news of any breakthroughs in the Toronto police investigation.
As of Dec. 24, Honey and Barry Sherman are still listed along with 32 other people in Toronto whose murders in 2017 remain unsolved.
Below the sparse details of the investigation listed in their case files on the Toronto Police Service website is a heading for “additional Information.”
The only thing under that heading reads “no further information available.”