The day before Barry and Honey Sherman‘s murder last December, their personal trainer dropped by their Old Colony Road pile to sweat the oldies one last time. Presented with a pair of 15-pound weights, Barry was clearly struggling, so much so that the trainer decided to replace them with 10-pounders.
If the 75-year-Apotex supremo couldn’t lift 30 pounds without popping a headvalve, how could he have been even remotely capable of strangling his own wife and then hoisting and suspending her body from railings in the family’s subterranean swimming pool?
Murder-suicide was nonetheless, the first, seemingly considered opinion of Toronto flatfeet. It now seems clear that the suggestion was simply a bril’ subterfuge, designed to let the killers think the investigation was on the wrong track, and perhaps relax their guard.
TPS’s lead investigator, Det. Sgt. Susan Gomes, finally jettisoned the risible theory January 26th. The Shermans, she finally conceded, were victims of a targeted hit.
“We haven’t developed any suspects,” she then said, “outside of understanding that people are outstanding for — or a person is outstanding for — this offence.”
Funny how the singular, ‘suspect,’ seemed to come as an afterthought. In other words, TPS believes there were at least two killers, probably hired. By whom? Er…
Suspicion has fallen heavily on Sherman’s first cousin, Kerry Winter, plaintiff in a protracted lawsuit aimed at wresting as much as a billion dollars from the Apotex treasury.
Winter, two siblings and an in-law waged a ten-year legal battle based on the claim that Sherman had contractually pledged to share more of his pharmaceutical profits with his cousins than he actually delivered.
Sherman ultimately wiped the courthouse floor with his grasping rellies, and the court rubbed it in last fall, ordering them to pay him $8 million, plus another $300,000 in court costs.
Winter, acknowledging his entirely-adequate revenge motive, decided to go on the PR offensive, alleging in a series of interviews that, in the 90s, Barry had twice expressed a desire to kill Honey, and even asked him to organize the hit.
But when Winter subsequently submitted to a polygraph test on these specific allegations, he failed it. When offered a second lie detector test on the question of whether he had killed the Shermans, or commissioned the hit, he demurred.
Of course Barry, who seldom let a week slide by without suing somebody, would have topped the shit-lists of countless drug company executives, business partners, building contractors, etc. Apart from (most of) his family and a small circle of friends, Sherman was phenomenally unloved.
The TPS’s ongoing cone of silence over the investigation can be read in the usual two ways: Either they are steadily closing in on perps they don’t want to spook, or, more likely, they are nowhere, juggling far too many suspects on insufficient resources.
Will Toronto’s finest ever crack the case? It remains possible, though the force’s clearance rate for homicides last year was a pisse pauvre 40 per cent, a historic low.