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Tragic Passing of Canadian Billionaires Barry and Honey Sherman (Apotex)

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One of the biggest shocks of 2017 was news of the deaths of Barry Sherman and his wife, Honey Sherman. They were discovered dead at their home on December 15, 2017. Police issued a brief statement saying that the couple both died from "ligature neck compression," but the department refused to comment further. The statement said homicide detectives have taken the lead on investigating the deaths, which have been classified as "suspicious."

About the Shermans

Barry (born Bernard) Sherman founded Apotex, a Canadian pharmaceutical corporation, in 1974. The company is the largest producer of generic drugs in Canada, with sales exceeding C$1 billion a year.

Apotex says that Mr. Sherman hadn’t been involved in day-to-day operations since he stepped down as chief executive officer in 2012.

With an estimated net worth of US$3.2 billion at the time of his death, according to Forbes, Sherman was the 12th-wealthiest Canadian. Another publication, Canadian Business, stated his fortune at $4.77 billion (CAD), ranking him the 15th richest in Canada.

A Wall Street Journal article describes the personality of the couple.

Barry Sherman was stiff in social settings and suffered from what he called chronic lethargy and fatigue. He wrote in a memoir that life had no meaning or purpose. When Barry was 10, his father died of a heart attack. “I do not recall feeling any great sense of loss upon my father’s death,” he wrote.

“He would correct your grammar no matter who you were,” Jack Kay, a colleague, said at a memorial service. “He pretty well thought he was smarter than everyone else, and he wasn’t wrong about that.”

Unlike her husband, Honey Sherman was known for her sunny disposition. She helped steer the couple’s social and philanthropic activities.

Multiple Investigations

Despite an ongoing Toronto police investigation into the deaths, the couple’s family hired a former homicide detective to look into the case. Citing police sources, multiple media outlets reported that investigators were working on the theory that the Shermans died in a murder-suicide. The couple’s family rejected that theory and hired their own private investigator to look into the case.

Brian Greenspan, the family’s lawyer, confirmed that former Toronto police detective Thomas Klatt was hired to conduct a separate investigation. Mr. Greenspan said the Toronto Police Service’s early statements about the case invited the public to wrongly infer that the couple’s deaths were the result of a murder-suicide.

The Discovery of the Bodies

The real estate agent who had been helping to sell the mansion found the bodies. The Shermans had just put their house on Old Colony Road up for sale for $6.9 million.

A Toronto police source said the bodies were found at the edge of their basement pool, hanging from a railing that surrounded the pool. Investigators are working on the theory that Mr. Sherman killed his wife, hung her body and then hanged himself at the pool's edge, the source said.

Police, firefighters and paramedics responded to a 911 call for a medical emergency at 11:44 a.m., Constable Hopkinson said. But he would not say who made the call. He said the pair were pronounced dead at the scene.