Toronto Police now have sufficient evidence to deem last month’s deaths of Barry and Honey Sherman a targeted double homicide.
Detective Sergeant Susan Gomes, the officer in charge of the investigation, made the disclosure at a news conference at police headquarters on January 26.
On December 14, 2017, at 11:44 a.m., officers responded to a 9-1-1 call at the Sherman’s residence at 50 Old Colony Rd. They were both deceased when police arrived.
“Honey and Barry Sherman were found deceased in the lower level pool area, hanging by belts from a poolside railing in a semi-seated position on the pool deck,” she said. “They were wearing their clothing.”
Post-mortem examinations revealed that the cause of death was ligature neck compression.
“The manner was undetermined with the only presented options being double suicide, murder/suicide or double homicide,” said Gomes. “From the outset of this investigation, we have followed the evidence and we were live to the issue of an undetermined manner of death. The integrity of every homicide investigation is paramount. Facts guide our focus. Conjecture and speculation have no place. Each of the three manner options provided to us were all equally considered as evidence presented itself.”
Gomes said thousands of hours have been spent so far on the investigation with partners that include the province’s Coroner’s Office-Forensic Pathology Unit and many areas of discipline within the Centre of Forensic Sciences.
She also revealed that investigators are in the process of obtaining or have executed 20 judicial authorizations and searches.
“Legal complexities in some executions have been challenging, given the litigious nature of Barry Sherman’s businesses, in particular the search and seizure of electronics and Barry Sherman’s workspace at Apotex,” Gomes pointed out. “Two residential properties belonging to the Shermans have been searched. The primary Sherman residence is a large three-storey family dwelling. Six weeks of search, forensic review and seizing of evidence is warranted.”
The Shermans’ residence was returned to the family on January 26.
Gomes said that close to 150 bulk or packaged items have been seized and are currently being reviewed and forensically analyzed and 127 witness statements have been compiled.
“This number continues to grow each day,” she said. “This included the collection of approximately four terabytes of security video from both commercial and residential properties. You can fit approximately 500 hours of video in one terabyte. And, 348 investigative actions have been assigned and are being vigorously investigated.”
Gomes pointed out that contact with the immediate Sherman family has been consistent and ongoing.
“For them, it has been difficult to balance their patience with their frustration with us and our investigation, not unlike any other family who has suffered such a sudden and profound loss,” she said. “They have been understanding, co-operative and hopeful that this investigation can give them some answers.”
The investigation revealed that the Sherman’s were last seen alive in the evening hours of Wednesday, December 13. Neither of the two had communicated with friends or associates from that time until their discovery on December 14 in their residence. There were no signs of forced entry on all access points to the home.
Gomes added that investigators will continue to focus exclusively on evidence with whatever resources are necessary.
“We ask anyone to come forward with anything they may think is valuable to the investigation,” she said. “We, along with the family, are grateful for all those who have done so thus far.
Anyone with information should call investigators at 416-808-7400 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also leave an anonymous tip for police through Crime Stoppers Toronto at 416-222-TIPS (8477), by visiting 222tips.com, or by texting TOR and your message to CRIMES (274637). Download the free Crime Stoppers Mobile App on iTunes, Google Play or Blackberry App World.