The Ballad of Honey and Barry

And Honey, I miss you
And I’m bein’ good
And I’d love to be with you
If only I could.
—Honey, lyrics by Bobby Russell.

“It’s f—— crazy that this man, you know, worked a lifetime to spend his ending in the drawer of the coroner’s office.”
—Close personal friend Frank D’Angelo, quoted by Joe Wormington, Toronto Sun,  Dec. 21, 2017.

In Charles Dickens’ famed novel, Bleak House, an elusive fortune ruins everyone who touches it. And that was a bane that Barry Sherman faced until his final breath.
—Brad Hunter, Toronto Sun, Dec. 23, 2017.

At 66, Barry Sherman likes to boast that he’ll work another 40 years. But if he died suddenly—and there is a history of unexpected death in his family—he’d leave behind a huge fortune, as well as vast problems.
—Geraldine Sherman, Toronto Life, July 2008.

You could hear a pin drop as [Jonathon Sherman] spoke of how his dad had helped him and his husband, Fred, “through the long and expensive path of surrogacy” and of his mom’s determination to perform in a Dancing with the Stars fundraiser for the Baycrest Foundation even though she reminded him of a “bionic woman” with so many replacement parts.
—Sue-Ann Levy, Toronto Sun, Dec. 21, 2017.

“Recently, I asked Honey what motivated her in her life. Why did she live the way she did, so focused on others, so consistently engaged in acts of charity, rather than the usual selfish pursuits of billionaires?”
—Sen. Linda Frum, quoted by Claire Brownell, Adrian Humphreys and Jake Edmiston, National Post, Dec. 22, 2017.

Those eulogizing them painted a picture of the couple as generous souls who loved giving their wealth away, Barry concealing a heart full of warmth and love beneath a gruff exterior.
—Brownell, Humphreys and Edmiston, op. cit.

“He liked to make money because he loved giving money away….”
—Sen. Linda Frum, op. cit.

The Duck and the Pussy-cat went to sea
In a beautiful pea-green boat.
They took his Honey, and plenty of money,
Wrapped up in a five-pound note.
—With apologies to Edward Lear.

“He used to belong to my tennis club. It was a joke,” said [family friend Murray] Rubin. “… He isn’t athletic physically at all. That’s why when they said it was a murder-suicide, it’s so impossible. It’s like when a duck and a pussycat get together in the same cage and the pussycat dies, you say the duck killed the pussycat. He didn’t have the physical strength to do it or the inclination.”
—Brownell, Humphreys and Edmiston, op. cit.

“[H]e would correct your grammar no matter who you were,” said Jack Kay, Sherman’s long-time associate at Apotex, “He pretty well thought he was smarter than everyone else….”

“He was like a brother to me. We talked from the soul to each other…we trusted each other. I trusted him with my life and he trusted me big time.”
—Frank D’Angelo, op.cit.

“You were like a lock and a key: each pretty useless on your own.”
—Jonathon Sherman, speaking at his parents’ memorial service, Dec. 21, 2017.

Little Barry, lethargic no more
“I’m rich. Who the hell wants to be happy?”
—Raymond Chandler, The Long Goodbye.

….Sherman was born into prosperity in Toronto—his father Herbert a successful zipper manufacturer. Sadly, his father died of a heart attack at just 46.  His devastated son was 10 years old.

Losing his father was doubly difficult for the shy, introverted boy who battled lethargy until the day he died.
—Hunter, op. cit.

…Sherman describes a grim and joyless childhood, marked by the death of his father—an event about which he did “not recall feeling any sense of great loss….”
—Brownell, Humphreys and Edmiston, op. cit. 

Free will is an illusion…. Life has no meaning or purpose.
—Barry Sherman, from his unpublished 1996 autobiography.

He didn’t hesitate to foreclose on the homes of people who owed him money, even relatives.
—Tu Thanh Ha, Molly Hayes and Rachelle Younglai, Globe and Mail, Dec. 22, 2017.

“He was the kindest human being in the world. He loved people. ”
—Frank D’Angelo, op. cit.

Individuals who help others to an unusual extent are considered to be “kind,” “moral” or “generous,” although, if my thesis that everything is done in pursuit of happiness is correct, then there can be no such thing as (altruism), kindness, generosity or morality.
—Barry Sherman, op. cit.

As an entrepreneur, he hired private detectives to rummage through his competitor’s garbage, then got a court order so he could barge into their head offices and seize their papers.
—Ha, Hayes and Younglai, op. cit.

He had made many enemies during a lifetime of legal scraps with the pharmaceutical industry and wondered why one of them hadn’t yet hired someone to kill him.
—Brownell,  Humphreys and Edmiston, op. cit.

Sherman liked to characterize his fights with the patented drugmakers as being in the interest of average people struggling to afford brand-name drugs, going as far as accusing the multinational drug companies of “raping” Canada’s healthcare system.

Canada has the most expensive generic drugs in the developed world, [University of Ottawa law professor Amir] Attaran noted, for which he believes aggressive lobbying—led by Apotex—is responsible. “Our generic drug prices are really, really, really ripping us off. And this was Mr. Sherman’s life’s work.”

“…I believe that Sherman was ruthless in pursuit of fame and indeed fortune. [H]e made enemies and was not the philanthropic all-round good guy that he is now being painted. He was always politically connected, but I believe he saw this as a form of, perhaps, protection.”
—British phramaceutical gumshoe Paul Whybrow, quoted by Brownell, Humphreys and Edmiston, op. cit.

It seemed like a nice neighborhood to have bad habits in.
—Raymond Chandler, The Big Sleep.

The Shermans’ house was the setting of a Liberal Party fundraiser with Justin Trudeau during the 2015 federal election, an event that became the subject of a probe by the federal lobbying commissioner….
—Adrian Humphreys and Jake Edmiston, National Post, Dec. 15, 2017.

“Sophie and I are saddened by news of the sudden passing of Barry and Honey Sherman. Our condolences to their family & friends, and to everyone touched by their vision & spirit,” [Justin Trudeau] wrote. “Deeply shocked to learn of the deaths of Honey and Barry Sherman, such remarkable people,” said former Ontario premier Bob Rae.

CSI North York
One thing’s sure: Inspector Clay is dead—murdered—and somebody’s responsible!
—Edward D. Wood, Jr., Plan 9 From Outer Space.

Was Apotex founder Barry Sherman the target of an enemy?
—Joe Wormington, Toronto Sun, Dec. 27, 2017.

Another family friend and business partner not buying the murder-suicide scenario is Frank D’Angelo, who spoke to…Sherman just 36 hours before he and his wife died….

Oooh, really scary, boys and girls! Canada’s renaissance goombah, Frank D’Angelo, in a scene from his 2015 vanity flick Sicilian Vampire, co-executive producer Barry Sherman.

…D’Angelo’s career came to a crashing halt in 2007, with his exit from his beverage empire and an ensuing $120-million corporate bankruptcy…. And he is still, somehow, friends and partners with the guy who was owed all that money—Bernard “Barry” Sherman, one of Canada’s richest men and the co-executive producer of Sicilian Vampire.
—Jonathon Gatehouse, Maclone’s, Feb. 24, 2016.

“I think it’s a murder,” said Frank D’Angelo.  A double murder.
—Wormington, op. cit.

Who would want the Sherman’s [sic] dead…? “It has got to be somebody with a motive so strong that they felt that eliminating both of them would give their hope of success, or whatever, a better chance,” said D’Angelo….

“I believe the police will go, first and foremost, to see who had motive,” he said….

“They are going to go through every square inch of that house for a clue and (also look at) the security cameras,” [D’Angelo] said. D’Angelo also believes “they are going to look between the middle of night and into the morning, how many cell calls there were in that area, near the front of that house.”

Police canvassing homes on intersecting Gerald St. or Harrison Rd. could be considered routine. However, when they start to work abodes four streets over, on Lauderdale Dr., it makes one wonder just what are they up to and why are they there…? Could it be a lead from a GPS device or a cell phone? Could it be more of a running down every scenario approach—similar to what some believe was happening when they studied the home’s roof and scoured the storm sewers outside?
—Joe Wormington, Toronto Sun, Dec. 29, 2017.

Whatever they find, [Wormington-fishing-buddy-turned-pot-king Julian Fantino] said, will be the outcome no matter what outside pressures come to bear. So when police are shaking the investigative tree in areas not on that same street, he said, they are doing it for a reason.

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2 comments on “The Ballad of Honey and Barry
  1. OJM says:

    Evidently, $4.77 billion gets you a shitload of hagiography.

  2. John MacLachlan Gray says:

    What did Sherman see in D’Angelo that would inspire Barry to back Sicilian Vampire, that exercise in auto-fellatio featuring D’Angelo, D’Angelo, D’Angelo + a cast of embarrassed Hollywood has-beens? (Raymond Carver would opt for blackmail involving Honey.)

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