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S1 / EP02: The Incident by the Pool: Honey & Barry Sherman

Updated: Feb 6

"Money is the root of all evil." Or should I say, having a lot of money and being a powerhouse in the pharmaceutical business seems to attract evil. The house where the murders were committed has since been demolished. This case remains unsolved to this day, and although the factors in this case seem to point to an obvious assumption of who could've committed this crime, I'll leave you to draw your own conclusions.

Honey and Barry Sherman

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Transcribed EP02: The Incident by the Pool: Honey & Barry Sherman


[Host]

Content on this podcast may contain elements that are not suitable for some listeners, listener discretion is advised.


Speaker 2: (00:11)

Hello and welcome to episode two of The Crime Shack. I'm your host Michelle Pense and today we'll be heading into Southeast Canada, Toronto to be exact, to talk about a case that has stumped investigators, the general public and members of the victims family alike. I hope you'll enjoy this episode and be sure to like and subscribe to us on your favorite podcast app.


Speaker 1: (00:38)

Our society is inundated by crimes. We hear about them daily in the news with so much information at our fingertips, one could say we've almost become numb to the crimes that occur around us. If you think about it, even 20 years ago, we would hear about a crime maybe on the local and national news, but we certainly didn't have immediate access to the 911 calls or crime scene photos. Today, we are almost provided with as much information as the investigators themselves, so in police receive a nine one one dispatch call and arrive to a multimillion dollar home to find a couple strangled and hung by their pool. Certain assumptions can be made, call it common sense, gut instincts, a hunch perhaps, but our hunches are not always accurate and sometimes things are not what they appear. Such as the case of Barry and Honey Sherman of Toronto, Canada, Bernard Charles Barry Sherman was born into a Jewish family in Toronto, Canada.


Speaker 1: (01:45)

Barry was advanced for his age and it just 16 years old. He attended the university of Toronto's engineering science program and the Massachusetts Institute of technology. While he attended university, he would work for his uncle Louis Lloyd winters pharmaceutical company, empire laboratories, which was at that time the largest wholly owned pharmaceutical company in Canada. Barry began to hone his skills by watching over the operations of the company while his uncle was out of town in 1965 Lewis winter and his wife passed away, leaving behind for young children. Two years later, Barry decided to purchase a majority stake in his uncle's company as part of this purchase. It was agreed that Barry would run the company with the condition that the four winter children would be allowed to eventually work for the company when they turn 21 years old along with an option to buy a 5% stake in the company and obtain 15 year royalties on four of the company's patented products.


Speaker 1: (02:52)

This condition would be voided. However, if Barry were to sell empire, unfortunately the winter would never have the opportunity to work at empire laboratories. In 1972 Barry sold empire to international chemical and nuclear of California. This sale nullified the condition of the children obtaining 5% of the stock that they were supposed to obtain and eventually resulted many years later in an unsuccessful lawsuit against Barry Sherman. So basically what we have here is family suing family, which is never a good thing. Anna Debra Reich, also known as Honey. A student at the university of Toronto was born in an Austrian displaced persons camp to Polish Holocaust survivors. She earned an arts degree from the university as well as an education degree from the Ontario Institute for studies in education. She originally intended on marrying a doctor. So following the suggestion of her mother, she volunteered at Mount Sinai hospital. However, fate had a different plan for honey and she met 28 year old Barry Sherman in 1970 they were married only a year later and eventually had four children.


Speaker 1: (04:10)

One son, Jonathan, and three daughters, Kaylyn, Alexandra, and Lauren. Honey was known to be sociable, charming, determined and outgoing, and she was also known for her candor and her occasional bluntness. Honey was heavily involved in philanthropy, serving on the boards of many local charities. And because of that, she was known as the queen of Toronto's Jewish community. Health wise, honey suffered from severe arthritis, a hip and knee replacement and throat cancer, but she never let her health stop her from enjoying life. Here's a clip from 2010 of honey and Barry discussing her arthritis and talking about her rehearsing dance moves for the Bay crest dancing with the stars. Fundraiser.


Speaker 3: (04:58)

I am stepping out of my comfort zone, but I'm willing to work hard to try to not fall flat on my face on the night off. My husband thinks I'm nuts for doing this so that maybe she was joking because of her arthritis. She's had such difficulties in recent years that even walking to stop, to think that she could take this on. Uh, it was amazing to me. I, I didn't think she'd be up to it.


Speaker 1: (05:24)

[inaudible] was also the organizer of the home. She would arrange family vacations and holiday dinners while her husband worked seven days a week, 10 to eight as she described to a friend. Barry was certainly work obsessed and devoted a good portion of his time and energy to his company. Frequently sleeping only a few hours each night. He was also known by some of his friends and colleagues to at times be combative. Moving on from empire, Barry set his sights on starting his own company. In 1973 he started inc a global pharmaceutical company. Some 40 or so years later, Apotex employed over 10,000 people and became one of Canada's largest generic drug manufacturers having over 260 products selling to over 115 countries. Revenues reported to be approximately 1.5 billion annually as their fortune and family grew, Barry remained steadfastly focused on his business and many described him as a workaholic. He would often travel on the weekends with his family, but remained in the hotel room or lodge pouring over business documents while his family enjoyed the outdoors, Barry was known to be particularly frugal to a degree as well, spending very little money on himself and keeping cars until they were in an advanced state of disrepair.


Speaker 1: (06:50)

Honey gifted him a red sports car for his 50th birthday, but he asked her to return it, which she did. Both honey and Barry were heavily involved in philanthropy and were known by friends and colleagues to be extremely generous people with honey serving on the boards of many prominent charities over their lifetime. They would donate over $100 million to several different charities, including hospitals, universities, and Jewish organizations, and we're also known to give personal loans to their employees. By 2017 Barry Sherman's net worth was calculated by Forbes magazine to be at around 3 billion us dollars. Although some accounts state that it was actually larger making him the 12th or by other publications. The 15th wealthiest person in Canada and honey purchased a 12,000 square foot home in 1985 in the North York neighborhood of Toronto. After living in the North York home for over 30 years, it was time to move on and create their dream home.


Speaker 1: (07:59)

In 2016 they purchased a home in forest Hill, a nearby neighborhood with about 12,000 residents. The plan was to demolish the current home on that property and rebuild a 16,000 square foot residence in 2017 as plans were being made for the new home and honey put their North York home on the market for about 7 million Canadian dollars. As 2017 came to a close, Berrien honey celebrated the birth of a grandchild and look forward to the plans of another daughter's upcoming marriage. They decided to take a trip to their winter home in Miami, Florida for a few weeks with honey. Leaving first on December 18th and Barry following her the following week. Honey had sent emails to her friends in Miami to plan to get together with them during that trip. In one of her emails, she writes, looking forward to getting together in Florida. I am coming South Monday, December 18th through Friday, January 12th Barry's coming South for Monday, December 25th and going home with me January 12th please let me know your date South ASAP so I can place in my calendar.


Speaker 1: (09:10)

Looking forward to hearing back ASAP. XO, XO honey. On December 12th five days before she was to leave for Miami. Honey had a meeting with the Bay crest center foundation where she was a board member and did not show up for that meeting. She also didn't notify anyone that she wasn't going to attend, which was strange for honey. Bay crest reached out to her via email and she responded to them that she was quote dealing with some stuff during the following afternoon, Berrien honey went into the Apotex headquarters office for a meeting. After the meeting. Honey left the office around 6:30 PM ran a few errands on the way and headed to their North York home. Barry stayed and worked a while longer sending a standard email to his staff about a new drug. Apotex was developing and ended up leaving work around 8:30 PM that evening. Sources state that honey could have arrived at the home anytime around 7:00 PM or 8:00 PM with Barry arriving at the home at approximately 9:00 PM once home.


Speaker 1: (10:17)

Records show that Barry did not make any phone calls the remainder of that evening which was unusual because buried in sleep much and often suffered from insomnia the following morning of December 13th Barry did not show up for work at Apotex. It is also interesting to note that the Shermans did not believe in having neither security cameras or an alarm system in their home and neighbor across the street from the Sherman's did have a security camera and this camera did pick up certain activity during the days before and after the incident, which does become valuable. Later on in the investigation on Friday, December 15th at around 10:00 AM a local Toronto real estate agent was escorting his clients to the Sherman residence to view the home. A person cleaning the house answered the door and let them into wait inside while the Sherman's agent arrived. Once the Sherman's agent arrived in, greeted them, the realtor took his clients through the home starting on the main floor and moving to the upstairs.


Speaker 1: (11:19)

His clients weren't particularly interested in the pool, but he thought it would be a good idea to take a quick peek at it. Anyways, as they approached the windowless pool room, which was located in the basement of the house, they could see through the large glass door at the entrance to the pool area that there were two bodies on the steps leading to the pool. At first, the realtor thought the owners were playing a Halloween prank. He thought, what's with these rich people who does this? His clients on the other hand were quite upset. They superstitious and took the scene to mean a bad omen. At approximately 11:40 AM a nine one one call was placed at the home and it was at that time that the buyer's realtor realized it was not a prank. Mary and honey Sherman self made billionaires who are celebrating being new grandparents who were planning a winter trip to Miami to enjoy time with friends who were described by their friends as being madly in love with each other and that they had everything in life to look forward to were discovered dead fully clothed, seated up right next to each other.


Speaker 1: (12:33)

Their legs out stretched away from the pool with leather belts wrapped around their necks and attached to the one meter high pool railing that surrounded the pool. They had marks on their risks that were indicative of being tied together at one point, possibly even to each other, but no other ropes or ties of any kind were found near the bodies bury Sherman's glasses were still perched on his nose and his legs were outstretched with one crossed over the other honey Sherman had indications of a struggle with blood on the side of her head and bruising down the left side of her face due to possibly be knocked or pushed against something prior to her death. Both of them were wearing jackets, bury a bomber style jacket and honey, a light jacket which had been pulled down behind their backs and rolled down over their arms to restrict their movements.


Speaker 1: (13:30)

Toronto police arrived onto the scene just prior to noon that day stating that they had responded to a medical call upon their arrival and initial investigation at the scene, the police determined that it did not appear there was evidence of forced entry into the home, which meant that the front door could have been left unlocked. Someone could have followed Berrien hunting into the home or of course that and honey could have known their perpetrators based upon what honey was reportedly wearing at the time she was found. It was also determined that the couple was most likely dead as early as late Wednesday evening, two days before they were actually found early reports made to the media by Toronto PD stated that the deaths appeared suspicious and that they were not seeking suspects at that time that the desks were being treated as a murder suicide. Although Toronto PD denied those allegations.


Speaker 1: (14:27)

A Toronto police source also allegedly told media sources that they were working on the theory that Mr. Sherman killed his wife and then took his own life. The family of Berrien honey have never believed the desk where he murder suicide and argued against this theory. They released the following statement to the media. Our parents shared an enthusiasm for life and commitment to their family community, totally inconsistent with the rumors regrettably circulated in the media as to the circumstances surrounding their deaths. 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 believed to be true,


Speaker 1: (15:11)

to help prove their theory and find the truth behind their parents' deaths. The family hired experienced private investigative experts to conduct their own parallel investigation into the deaths, which included three former members of the Toronto police homicide squad. According to the experts, the markings on Berry and honeys risks. The fact that toxicology tests came back clear and that no drugs were found in either barrier honeys bodies that contributed to their deaths and the leather belts that were found around their necks all indicated that this looked like a professional contract killing the private investigators also accused the police of failing to conduct a thorough investigation including failing to comprehensively examine the locks in the house, not properly assessing all points of entry into the home, not obtaining all fingerprints in the home. Private investigators found 25 Palm and fingerprint impressions, not found by police and not vacuuming the residence for trace DNA, hair and fiber evidence.


Speaker 1: (16:19)

A second private autopsy was conducted by a top forensic pathologist hired by the family who found that the couples neck injuries which resulted from ligature, neck compression or strangling coupled with the marks on their wrists, indicated that they were bound at some point determined that it was in fact a double homicide. Following the results of the final autopsies. The Toronto PD is signed their homicide unit to the case and deemed the deaths a targeted double homicide. In January, 2018 Toronto police chief Mark Saunders also defended their investigation stating that it included more than 50 police officers, more than 200 witnesses that had been interviewed in more than 2000 hours of video surveillance from neighbors had been collected. That's a lot of sources to put into one case with no answers. At this point. No suspects have been named or identified by Toronto PD or the private investigators. With that there are many theories that are being thrown out.


Speaker 1: (17:26)

The Shermans were involved in about 150 civil cases in the superior court of justice. They were dealing with the fallout of the winter family lawsuit. The cousins you remember that were owed the 5% stake in their father's company and Barry was financially involved with many different people. One of them being a man by the name of Frank D'Angelo. Frank was a Canadian entrepreneur who was involved in the food and restaurant industry and also had a pension for making full length films for many years. Barry financially backed many of Frank's ventures, including several of his movies. To the dismay of Barry's son, Jonathan, who is not happy about the amount of money his father was funding to Frank, could the murders have been a business deal gone bad? Here's Frank. During a panel discussion on the next sports star show, discussing his relationship with Barry.


Speaker 4: (18:23)

I knew Barry, uh, as my, my dearest friend, he was my partner in everything that we were involved in. But, but my dearest friends and I never, and I never had an argument with him in 17 years, nor did I ever see him having an argument with anybody else. I never ever seen him be disrespectful. I never seen him be raid anybody. I've never, I, I've never seen him be angry. I've seen him be firm. I've seen him be matter of fact, but I've never seen him. I've seen myself be angry. I've never seen him be angry. I was never angry with him.


Speaker 1: (19:01)

According to an interview with former FBI agent, Brad Garrett and CTV news. Mr Garrett's theory is that based on the initial evidence at the crime scene, the way they were murdered, the manner in which it was done, the staging of the crime scene in their bodies, that this was done by someone or directed by someone that knew the victims. It could have been that they were trying to get information out of them or went to the home with the sole purpose of killing them, but he said the way they were murdered was not an easy killing. Whoever killed them wanted to tell the rest of us something by positioning them in that manner, they wanted to make a statement. He also mentioned in his interview that there could be more than one person involved, that it would have been difficult for one person to do it all.


Speaker 1: (19:52)

If both Barry and honey were conscious, all the evidence could point to friends, associates, business partners, et cetera, and that it was a possible payback on something that occurred. He also stated that this could be a difficult case to solve depending on how good the killers are, if they left evidence, et cetera. As Barry was involved in numerous litigations and lawsuits with people and companies, it could just be a process of elimination. Another possible theory in the case is that one of Barry's cousins could be involved in the murders. In February of 2018 Carrie winter Berry Sherman's cousin, one of the cousins who was jilted out of his 5% stake in his father's pharmaceutical company, conducted an interview with Canada's CBC news where he went on to describe his opinion of Barry Sherman. I was portrayed, my cousin hurt me


Speaker 5: (20:48)

and now I want to hurt him.


Speaker 1: (20:50)

Carrie also went on to describe how Berry allegedly asked him to off his wife.


Speaker 5: (20:58)

There was a time in his office that he turned to me and he said, Carrie, I want you to do me a favor. And I said, what's that? Barry said, I want you to whack my wife. And I said, come on Barry, you want me to kill your wife? He goes, I didn't say you. You know, some people. Could you arrange that for me? What do you believe members of the family and their legal representatives will say about this? I think he would say that he's a possibly lying. He's trying to drag Barry's good name through the mud. He's got a hidden agenda. Um, he's got a vendetta. He's being spiteful, vengeful.


Speaker 1: (21:36)

Wow. This is quite the allegation. We can't argue that Barry's cousins, the winters definitely had motive to murder. The Shermans Berry robbed them of their inheritance essentially, and due to their unsuccessful lawsuit, they owed the Shermans millions of dollars in legal fees and promissory notes and asked whether Carrie was the one who killed Barry and honey. Here was his response.


Speaker 5: (22:02)

I probably had reasons to lash out to, uh, to do the dirty deed. This would be asked of you by anybody. Did you kill honey and Barry Sherman? Absolutely not. I had nothing to do with it. I don't know who did it.


Speaker 1: (22:20)

By the way, during that same interview with Carrie, the CBC news team gave him a lie detector test. And guess what? He failed