Toronto billionaires found dead by hanging in their mansion were under investigation: Report

The wealthy Canadian couple found dead in their mansion outside Toronto earlier this month was facing financial and legal woes before their “suspicious” deaths.

Bernard “Barry” Sherman and his wife Honey were found hanging by the railing of their indoor pool on December 15. The home was on the market as they were building a new home closer to downtown Toronto, and their real estate agent discovered the bodies after going to check on the couple when they couldn’t be reached by phone.

Barry Sherman was the founder and chairman of the drug manufacturer Apotex, and was reportedly worth well over $3 billion. The Shermans were known to be among Canada’s most generous philanthropists, but the New York Post reports that their charitable donations had dwindled two years prior to their deaths. In previous years, the Sherman Family Foundation had donated millions annually to charitable causes, but in 2016 gave only $66,000, and nothing the year before.

The New York Post also reports that the Shermans’ attorney had filed a motion the day before to halt an investigation by the Canadian government that Sherman had possibly violated political lobbying rules when he and his wife hosted a high-ticket fundraiser at their home for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau two years ago.

As CrimeOnline previously reported, Barry Sherman was caught up in an ongoing legal dispute with extended family. Sherman reportedly bought his uncle’s smaller drug company before founding Apotex, and those uncle’s heirs had sued Sherman, claiming that the terms of the deal meant they were entitled to a percentage of the Avotex fortune.

Last week, Toronto police confirmed that the homicide unit was leading the investigation, while anonymous police sources reportedly told local outlets that law enforcement believed that the Shermans died as a result of a murder-suicide, and that Honey was killed first in a different location before being moved to the indoor pool area where the Shermans were found hanging side-by-side from the railing of their indoor pool.

Friends and family have hit back at those reports, insisting there is no way Barry Sherman would hurt his wife or commit any type of violent act.

“Our parents shared an enthusiasm for life and commitment to their family and community totally inconsistent with the rumours regrettably circulated in the media as to the circumstances surrounding their deaths,” the family said in a media statement. 

Toronto police have said they are not actively seeking any suspects at this time.


Feature image: Associated Press