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Toronto Police have published a video of a person they say is a suspect in the 2017 double homicide of a billionaire couple.
On the morning of Dec. 15, 2017, 75-year-old Barry Sherman, the multi-billionaire founder of a Canadian pharmaceutical company, and his wife, 75-year-old Honey Sherman, were found dead in the basement of their Toronto mansion, as reported by Forbes. The married couple of 46 years were found sitting upright with men’s leather belts wrapped around their necks connecting them to the home’s lap pool.
Their real estate agent, Elise Stern, and three others made the grisly discovery and notified authorities at around 1:45 a.m., according to CBC News. At the time of the murders, the home was listed on the market for $6.7 million CAD.
An autopsy revealed both died from ligature neck compression. Responders estimated the Shermans were killed at least one day before.
On Tuesday, one day shy of the fourth anniversary of the murders, Toronto Police Service released a security video of an individual walking in the area on Dec. 13, 2017. Despite attempts over the years to identify the person in the video, police have been unable and now hope the public can help them put a name to the suspect.
Detective Sgt. Brandon Price explained they “seized a very large amount” of footage and were able to identify others captured on video, ultimately excluding the majority of passersby. Investigators conducted an “exhaustive video canvas” and collected footage around the Sherman home. One person remained unidentified.
“The timing of the appearance is in line with when we believe the murders took place,” said Price in a news release. “Based on the evidence, we are classifying this individual as a suspect.”
Price articulated that though the person’s presence could be accounted for, his movements raised red flags.
“This individual walks into that area, doesn’t continue to walk through, but remains in that area that is not covered by video footage and then remains in there before coming back out sometime later,” continued Price. “This is how we have been able to narrow this individual’s location down.”
Police did not disclose the time at which the suspect walked by.
The suspect can be seen steadily walking on a sidewalk on a snowy night, wearing dark clothing with their head covered. Police say he or she is between 5’6” and 5’10”.
In the weeks leading up to the philanthropists’ murders, Barry Sherman’s business, Apotex, faced several blows, according to the CBC. The company lost $500 million in court over a drug patent, and a large amount of staff members had recently been laid off.
Barry Sherman’s business partner, Jack Kay, told investigators the company’s loss had nothing to do with the murders.
“[Barry] would not be fazed by Apotex’s financial situation, as Apotex was only one part of Sherman’s holdings,” according to court records cited by CBC. “And they have other money.”
It was also reported that their 37-year-old son, Jonathan Sherman, owed his parents more than $50 million from money invested in a chain of storage properties.
“I’m not going to kill my dad because he needs $50 million to get through a crisis,” he told the Toronto Sun earlier this year.
The victims’ estimated worth was between $5 billion and $10 billion.
Jonathan Sherman hired an independent pathologist to conduct a second set of autopsies and his own private investigator to look into his parents’ murders.
Homicide Inspector Hank Idsinga of the Toronto Police Service said the family cooperated with investigators.
“The Sherman family appreciates the hard work and dedication of the officers working on the case,” Idsinga said in a 2019 news release. “They are committed to working with us and have full confidence that the Toronto Police Service will solve this crime.
In Tuesday’s news release, police say the investigation has consisted of 41 judicial authorizations, approximately 250 witness interviews, more than 1,000 tips, and 992 investigative assignments.
“We have remained steadfast in our commitment to bring closure to the Sherman family, their friends, loved ones, and the community,” said Price.
Anyone with information can contact the police at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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