Tragic, shocking, and sickening aren't adjectives you often hear used around Toronto, especially considering that the peaceful and beautiful Canadian city has previously been ranked North America's safest place to live. Considered cosmopolitan and friendly, Toronto simply isn't a place where brutal, unsolved murders occur, and yet that's exactly what happened on December 15, 2017, when Barry and Honey Sherman were found dead in their home.
The Toronto murder mystery of who killed the Shermans started the moment they were found: the police were baffled upon finding the influential billionaire husband and wife strung up by their pool, dead by asphyxiation. Though the case was bungled off the bat when it was incorrectly labeled a murder-suicide, more facts quickly came to light and their deaths were quickly surrounded by suspicion. Though months have passed since their murders, the death of the Shermans is another case that can be filed under "killers who were never caught," as not even a single suspect has been named by police.
The tragic, sickening, and shocking murders of the Shermans — including all the twists and turns that have yet to be pieced together by police — are here for the analyzing, and the case is open for inspection.
They Were Discovered Strangled With Belts Strapped To A Rail Near Their Indoor Pool
The couple was found side by side on a Friday morning, hanging from belts that were strapped to railings around their indoor pool. Honey Sherman also had cuts on her face. Post-mortem analyses showed they died from "ligature neck compression," or strangulation from tying or binding. Strangely, the cords that had strangled the couple didn't seem to match any other material in the house, and the belts had been used to strap them into upright, sitting positions, which made the entire crime scene appear unusual and suspect.
At First, The Case Was Thought To Be A Murder-Suicide
Within just a day of the couple being found dead, certain news sources began publishing a theory that suicide was involved. The news outlets claimed to have sources close to the police stating that a murder-suicide theory was being investigated: allegedly, Barry would have killed Honey, then himself. Though police never publicly stated this, the story got out that they suspected Barry of killing his wife and then committing suicide. Upon this theory circulating, the family released a statement declaring it to be irresponsible of the police to suggest such a theory and said they knew it wasn’t true. The police declined to comment on the theory, and it was six weeks until they officially updated the public on their new findings: that the sordid affair was a double homicide.
They Were Found Dead By Their Real Estate Agent
The Shermans had just put their house up for sale before they were murdered. The house was in an affluent suburb of Toronto known as North York. Despite being billionaires, the Sherman's house was considered relatively modest for the wealthier part of Toronto, and at the time of their deaths it was on the market for $6.9 million. Upon preparing for an open house in December, the Sherman's real estate agent entered with the keys and found the two bodies tied up to a railing beside their pool. A relative, wishing to remain anonymous, revealed to the media how they were found.
The Shermans Were Beloved Philanthropic Billionaires
Barry and Honey Sherman made their billions by founding the Canadian pharmaceutical company Apotex. But unlike the stereotype of greedy pharma billionaires, the Shermans were known across Canada for their generosity and were regarded as pillars of the community. The shock of their murders was felt across the world, as the wealthy couple spent most of their time giving vast sums of their fortune to hospitals, universities, and various charitable organizations. Furthermore, the couple's friends, family, and even competitors applauded Barry on his efforts to make healthcare more affordable for all patients. The generosity and kind nature of the couple made it all the more baffling when they were found so brutally dead.
There Is A Theory They Were Murdered By Multiple Killers
As of March 2018, the Toronto police hadn’t named any suspects in the double homicide, but said they had an extensive list of people to investigate. Unsatisfied with the glacial pace of the police investigation, the Sherman family hired their own investigators. These private investigators came to the conclusion that it's likely there were multiple killers. These investigators also say the cuts on Honey's face point to a struggle, and that Barry and Honey's hands were bound together by a material not found at the scene of the crime. It’s been suggested that due to the family's wealth, they could have been targeted by professional, contracted killers.
The Investigation Originally Only Focused On Honey Sherman As A Murder Victim
For a full month after Barry and Honey Sherman were found strangled in their own home, police refused to consider the husband a murder victim, believing instead that Barry Sherman murdered his wife and then killed himself. Search warrants obtained showed that the 51 police officers working on the case seemingly ignored much of the evidence at the scene and only focused on the murder of Honey. After attending the autopsy, looking through phone records, and filing warrants in court, police still viewed only Honey as the victim of a crime. It wasn't until a second autopsy funded by the family that the police began to view Barry as a murder victim as well. All in all, it wasn't until January 26 that the police had officially updated the public and confirmed that both Barry and Honey Sherman were murdered by one or more unknown assailants.