Video shows suspect in Sherman double murder
Toronto police are seeking the public’s help to identify a suspect in the murder of Canadian billionaire Barry Sherman and his wife Honey, which has been unsolved for four years.
Investigators on Tuesday shared video footage of an individual walking in a “defined area” near the Shermans’ home, and staying within that perimeter for “a very suspicious amount of time,” Detective Sergeant Brandon Price said during a news conference. The person appears on more than one piece of video and is the only one caught on hours of footage who hasn’t been identified by police.
“I would ask that you pay particular attention to the gait, or the stride, or walk style that this person has on the video,” Price said. “The individual is a suspect.”
Sherman, founder of closely held generic-drug maker Apotex Inc., and his wife were found dead in their Toronto mansion on Dec. 15, 2017, hanging by belts in a semi-seated position near the basement pool, with no sign of forced entry into their home.
The police couldn’t provide the age, weight, skin color, or sex of the only suspect they have announced to date. They only gave an estimated height -- between about 5 feet 6 inches and 5 feet 10 inches tall. They “kick up their right foot with every step,” police said.
The high-profile case has been controversial, with the couple’s adult children accusing the police of mishandling the investigation and hiring their own team to advance it. On Tuesday, Price said the family has been “very supportive and very helpful all the way through this investigation.”
The police received 1,255 tips from the public and conducted about 250 witness interviews, he said.
Updates from the police have been rare. They declared the deaths a double homicide more than a month after the bodies were found, saying the Shermans had been “targeted”.
Asked on Tuesday why it took four years to release the video, Price said the police believed the costs to the investigation of revealing the information would have outweighed benefits. Now is “the prudent time,” he said.
The case has been marked by a push for transparency from local media, with the Toronto Star challenging a judge’s decision to seal information related to the victims. In June, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that a trove of documents should be opened to public access. The documents showed Sherman’s will was amended nine months before he was killed, CTV News reported, ordering assets outside his primary business be divided evenly among his four children.
Barry Sherman was one of Canada’s richest men and the couple were well-known philanthropists in the city, donating to hospitals, the University of Toronto and other causes. Their bodies were discovered by a real estate agent showing their mansion to potential buyers. He was 75 and Honey was 70.
A $10 million (US$7.8 million) award for information on their deaths, which the family had offered in 2018, is still available, Price said.
Prior to his death, Sherman was well known for his many legal tangles with competitors and family members, and was among more than a dozen companies caught up in a U.S. investigation into generic drug price-fixing. He was also being investigated by Canada’s lobbying watchdog in relation to a fundraiser he held for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in August 2015, shortly before Trudeau’s Liberals won the election; that investigation ended in the wake of Sherman’s death.
Bloomberg reported last month that Apotex is exploring a sale that could value the company at several billion dollars.
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