Friends and family of the billionaire couple from Toronto who were found dead at their home have denied it was a murder-suicide.
Barry and Honey Sherman were found hanging Friday, Dec. 13, in thier windowless pool room in their home. They were wearing jackets that bound their arms behind their backs, according to Toronto Sun.
“I don’t believe [it] for a second, I think it’s impossible,” Fred Waks, a longtime family friend, told the CBC on Monday about whether he thought their deaths were a murder-suicide. “I don’t believe it, and none of us believe it.”
Sherman made his money by being the chairman of generic-drug manufacturer Apotex.
“They still walked hand-in-hand. They had everything in life to be looking forward to,” Waks said.
An autopsy over the weekend revealed that Sherman, 75, and his wife, 70, died from “ligature neck compression,” according to a press release from the Toronto Police Department.
“Post-mortem examinations were carried out yesterday and today. The cause of death for both deceased was ligature neck compression,” the release, posted online on Sunday, stated.
“Toronto Police Service Homicide has taken the lead in this suspicious death investigation,” the press release added.
Ligature neck compression is defined by strangulation caused by binding or tying, but police, in the release, didn’t describe their deaths as a homicide.
“The circumstances of their death appear suspicious and we are treating it that way,” Toronto Constable David Hopkinson told reporters. Police also said that there were no signs of forced entry, while investigators are not looking for any other suspects, the Toronto Sun reported.
“I think it was a murder,” Eddie Gilbert, the Shermans’ neighbor for 15 years, told the Toronto Sun. “Of course it was. What else would it be? How could he pick her up and put her on a railing?”
Linda Frum, who is a Canadian Parliament senator and friend of the pair, told The New York Times that it’s “impossible” that Barry would harm his wife.
“There is absolutely zero debate in my mind, this was a double homicide,” she said.
The Globe and Mail reported there was no sign of forced entry, and there was no note left behind.
Less than a week before they were found dead, Honey said she was making plans to go south.
“Looking forward to getting together in Florida. I am coming south Monday, December 18 [to]Friday, January 12,” she wrote in an e-mail. “Barry is coming south for Monday December 25 & going home with me Jan. 12. Please let me know your dates south asap so i can place in my calendar … Looking forward to hearing back asap. Xoxo Honey.”
The couple had four children and recently welcomed a grandchild.
Their kids also said it likely wasn’t a suicide.
Devastating news about the deaths of prominent members of the Toronto Jewish community, philanthropists and great friends of Israel, Barry and Honey Sherman. “It is a pity for those who are gone and no longer to be found”. חבל על דאבדין ולא משתכחין. @IsraelinToronto @IsraelMFA
— Galit Baram (@GaliBaram) December 15, 2017
“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,” the statement from their family said, Reuters reported. “We urge the Toronto Police Service to conduct a thorough, intensive and objective criminal investigation,” it added.
Sherman started Apotex along with two others in 1974. It’s now the largest pharmaceutical company in Canada, Fox reported.
“From its humble two-employee, 5,000 square-feet beginning in Toronto, the company Dr. Sherman founded grew into a global pharmaceutical organization that today employs more than 11,000 people in research, development, manufacturing, and distribution in facilities around the world,” a statement on the firm’s website read. “Dr. Sherman embraced the obligations that come with success. 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.”