Police said the bodies of Barry and Honey Sherman, a Toronto couple worth nearly $5 billion and known for their philanthropy, were found hanging from a railing that surrounded their in-house pool Friday morning.
According to the Globe and Mail, the couple, who had made billions off the pharmaceutical industry, were discovered by a real estate agent who was preparing the mansion worth several millions for an open house Friday morning. The Globe goes on to report that there was no note or anything explaining the deaths of the two and no sign of forced entry.
A Toronto Police spokesperson would not confirm the information contained in the Globe story to VICE but in a news release they did confirm that homicide was investigating the deaths they deemed “suspicious.” An autopsy confirmed that the deaths of both the Sherman’s were from “ ligature neck compression.”
The couple were worth a reported $4.16 billion and Barry Sherman was considered the 13th richest person in Canada in 2016, according to Canadian Business. The 75-year-old Barry Sherman made his money after the founding of Apotex Inc, a pharmaceutical giant that produces generic medication for a wide range of diseases and ailments. The couple, especially the 70-year-old Honey, were known for their philanthropy, supporting many causes over the years.
The Toronto Star, and other media outlets, have referred to the deaths as a “possible murder-suicide” but friends and family of the Shermans stated that this was “impossible.” The family, who released a statement on Saturday, called the Globe and Mail’s police sources who speculated about this “irresponsible.”
"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 statement released Saturday evening.
"We are shocked and think it's irresponsible that police sources have reportedly advised the media of a theory which neither their family, their friends nor their colleagues believe to be true."
On Sunday, Apotex paid tribute to its founder on its website stating that Sherman started the company from a two-man operation in Toronto and grew it into a global giant with over 11,000 employees and waxed poetically about his philanthropy.
“Sherman embraced the obligations that come with success,” read the statement. “As a testament to this, Apotex provides significant support to a variety of charitable organizations and community groups in Canada and around the world, and invests significantly in the universities where many of our employees earned their degrees.”
The release goes on to say that Apotex has given over $50 million in the last ten years. Tributes from all around have been pouring in for Barry and Honey Sherman, including the Prime Minister of Canada who tweeted his condolences for the pairs family. Senator Linda Frum called the couple “one of the kindest and most beloved members of Canada’s Jewish community.”
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