Odds favor deaths of Barry and Honey Sherman as contract hits by Big Pharma patentees
Frank Forensics: Who Killed Barry and Honey Sherman?
December 22, 2017
The full story obviously remains untold but, as best one can judge, Barry and Honey Sherman returned to their Old Colony Road home in north Toronto on Wednesday night, December 13.
They arrived in separate cars, apparently from a meeting with the architect hired to design the new house they planned to build in Forest Hill — a meeting to which Barry had gone directly from work.
The next morning, Sherman, a self-confessed workaholic, did not show up at the office. If anyone thought to question his absence, no one acted.
On Friday, their bodies were discovered, tied to a three-foot-high railing in their indoor swimming pool enclosure.
A week has now passed and, while the Toronto police homicide squad has taken control of the investigation, few details have been released.
Inevitably, the deaths of one of Toronto’s leading power couples has set the city abuzz, with almost everyone having an opinion on the case.
Herewith, Frank presents the leading theories and our ranking of probabilities.
According to this scenario, Sherman was concerned about the imminent discovery of some financial chicanery, possibly involving tens of millions of dollars stashed in offshore bank accounts. Rather than face personal disgrace, he chose to kill his wife and take his own life.
An alternate rationale is that Honey was planning to file for divorce, which would have stripped Barry of half his wealth, an intolerable prospect.
Murder/suicide–the theory offered by police who first attended the crime scene–is a common-enough occurrence in ugly domestic situations.
But there are several reasons why it’s a poor fit in the Sherman case.
First, Barry was nearly 76 years old and suffered from a chronically bad back. His wife had long battled with her weight and she tipped the Toledos at about 180 pounds. The notion that he could strangle her and then lift her even the short distance required to dangle her body from the railing in the indoor swimming pool, stretches credulity. The more so, since they were both found with their winter coats and boots still on–adding to the weight.
Second, anyone who knew Barry Sherman knew that, whatever else he may have been, he was a fighter. His business, the Apotex Group of Companies, had been essentially built on successful legal challenges to patents controlled by the world’s pharmaceutical behemoths. He didn’t back down from threats. The idea that the mere prospect of criminal charges against him, completely unproven, would cause him to take his own and his wife’s life, is preposterous.
Third, death by asphyxiation is among the more grisly forms of suicide. This was a drug industry executive with access to the entire pharmacopoeia. A simple, single pill–or two–would do the same trick painlessly and more efficiently. Absent a suicide note explaining the event–and nothing of the kind has been reported–it seems most unlikely that, even if he wanted to kill himself, he would do it by ligature neck compression.
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