The Disturbing Murder Of Barry And Honey Sherman, The Pharmaceutical Billionaires Found Hanging Near Their Pool

Published March 19, 2024
Updated March 20, 2024

On December 15, 2017, billionaire couple Barry and Honey Sherman were found murdered in their Toronto home — and no one knows who killed them.

Barry And Honey Sherman

Handout/Alex KrawczykBarry and Honey Sherman had amassed a substantial fortune totaling about $3 billion by the time they died.

On Dec. 15, 2017, Barry and Honey Sherman, a wealthy Canadian couple, were found dead in their Toronto home, hanging from belts from the railing of their indoor pool. The crime scene, though gruesome, lacked signs of a break-in, and Toronto police initially suggested a “murder-suicide” motive.

But when the autopsy results came in, it soon became clear that the couple had been murdered.

To this day, no one knows who killed the Shermans. However, Barry Sherman was well-known in Toronto as the founder of Apotex Inc., a major pharmaceutical company — and he reportedly made a lot of enemies through his business dealings.

Barry Sherman’s Success And Controversies In The Pharmaceutical World

In 1967, Bernard Charles “Barry” Sherman took over his uncle’s drug company, Empire Laboratories, after his uncle died. He sold the company just a few years later to found Apotex, another pharmaceutical company.

By 2017, Apotex had over 10,000 employees and a yearly revenue of $1.5 billion. They specialized in generic versions of brand-name drugs, selling hundreds of products globally.

Despite Apotex’s success, Barry apparently led a fairly simple personal life. He married Anna Debra “Honey” Reich in 1971, and the couple had four children.

Barry and Honey Sherman were known for their philanthropy, supporting various hospitals, universities, political campaigns, and community centers in Toronto. Notably, they donated a record $50 million to the United Jewish Appeal. They also sent over $50 million worth of medicine to disaster zones through the Apotex Foundation.

Through their philanthropy work, the Shermans became influential figures in both politics and business. However, Barry’s legacy had a darker side.

Sherman Grandchild

HandoutBarry and Honey Sherman with their grandchild.

Over the years, Apotex faced multiple lawsuits and controversies, including accusations of conspiring with other companies to artificially inflate the prices of medications.

What’s more, Barry Sherman’s close ties to the Liberal Party raised concerns of conflicts of interest. Shortly before the Shermans’ deaths, the federal lobbying commissioner launched an investigation into Barry over fundraising events he’d held for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Barry was also infamous for his habit of suing anyone he felt had cheated him. This amounted to dozens of people — earning the Shermans countless enemies in the process.

The Shermans Faced Lawsuits And Family Strife Before Their Murder

In 2007, Barry Sherman was sued by his cousins, who claimed he didn’t pay them their share of the proceeds from the sale of Empire Laboratories, their father’s pharmaceutical company. A legal battle ensued, with the cousins seeking 20% of Barry’s interest in Apotex.

Barry had reportedly offered his cousins millions of dollars in financial assistance after their parents died. But they alleged this was a tactic to make them dependent on him and keep them from understanding their rights to the business.

In 2017, an Ontario Superior Court judge ruled against the cousins, ordering them to pay Barry Sherman $300,000 in legal costs.

The Shermans

UJA Federation of Greater TorontoBarry Sherman’s business dealings made the couple countless enemies over the years.

Kerry Winter, one of Barry’s cousins, expressed his anger at Barry in a 2018 interview with CBC, saying, “He wasn’t this loving, kind person giving money away, pillar of the Jewish community. He cared about one thing: money. Making lots of it and not caring who he destroyed, who he stepped on, or who he f—ked over. Like me and my brothers.”

Winter went on to admit to fantasizing about killing Barry, but denied any responsibility for his death.

“I was betrayed. My cousin hurt me, and now I want to hurt him,” Winter told the CBC in 2018.

However, Winter claimed that years before the Shermans’ murders, he had ordered a hit on Honey’s life — at the request of Barry himself.

“I called him and said: ‘You know, there’s no turning back, Barry, if I push the button,'” Winter said. He claimed the plan was eventually called off. Now, he believes Barry killed Honey, and then himself, in a murder-suicide.

Winter and his lawyer agreed to a lie detector test to support his claims that Barry had instructed him to arrange the murder of his wife. But Winter failed the test. Following his lawyer’s advice, Winter chose not to undergo another lie detector test regarding whether he was involved in the Shermans’ deaths.

The Shermans weren’t naïve to the possibility that someone would want to harm them. Barry himself once mentioned in an interview that he didn’t think it would be difficult to hire someone to kill him.

And perhaps that’s precisely what happened.

The Events Leading Up To The Murders

Barry And Honey Sherman's Indoor Pool

Houssmax.caThe swimming pool at 50 Old Colony Road, where the bodies of Barry and Honey Sherman were found hanging.

In the winter of 2017, Barry and Honey Sherman were planning to sell their house. Honey was also preparing for a vacation to Miami, with Barry scheduled to join her a week later.

On the afternoon of Dec. 13, 2017, the Shermans met with a builder in Barry’s Apotex office to discuss designs for the new home they were planning to build. Tragically, the meeting at Apotex would be the last time they were seen alive.

Upon returning home at 50 Old Colony Road that evening, Barry sent a routine email to his Apotex team — his last correspondence with anyone. The following day, he failed to show up at Apotex, breaking his usual routine.

Meanwhile, Honey Sherman made a brief call to a friend at 6:21 p.m. on Dec. 13. It was the last anyone ever heard from her.

The Horrific Crime Scene

On the morning of Dec. 15, real estate agents arrived at the Shermans’ home to show it to potential buyers. The Shermans were scheduled to be out of the house that morning, but they had installed a lock box so realtors could let themselves in for showings.

But as the real estate agents led their clients down to the basement that day to view the indoor pool, they made a horrific discovery.

There, hanging by their necks from the pool’s railing, were the lifeless bodies of Barry and Honey Sherman.

At first, it wasn’t immediately clear that they were dead. The couple’s fully clothed bodies were arranged in bizarre, semi-seated positions. As CBC reported, one of the agents said she initially thought the Shermans were doing “some weird yoga thing.”

Eerily, the Shermans appeared to have been posed so that they resembled a pair of life-sized sculptures — a male and a female figure — that the couple had in the basement. Like the sculptures, the couple were seated next to each other. And like the male sculpture, Barry had one leg crossed over the other.

Basement Sculptures

Houssmax.caThe Shermans’ bodies appeared to be deliberately posed so that they resembled these sculptures.

At the crime scene, near the door between the basement and the garage, real estate agents also found Barry’s gloves and the house inspection paperwork he’d just brought home from the office — suggesting he had made it home but was interrupted by someone. Honey’s cell phone was found in a bathroom that she infrequently used. Investigators believe she may have run into the bathroom to hide from her assailant.

The Complex Investigation Into Barry And Honey Sherman’s Mysterious Deaths

There was no sign of forced entry into the home. However, the Shermans reportedly often left doors and windows unlocked. Indeed, real estate agents found that a basement window and door had both been left open the day the bodies were discovered. It’s possible the perpetrator was familiar both with the layout of the Shermans’ home and the couple’s habits of not keeping their house secure.

Because of the lack of forced entry, the police initially investigated the Shermans’ deaths as a possible murder-suicide. They suggested that Barry had murdered his wife, then took his own life beside her. However, an autopsy would quickly disprove this theory.

Post-mortem examinations showed that both deaths resulted from “ligature neck compression,” a type of strangulation involving binding or tying. What’s more, marks on the Shermans’ wrists suggested they’d both been bound with zip ties. A pathologist found that Honey had been murdered in another part of the house, and that her body was then dragged down to the pool area.

After six weeks of evidence review, investigators determined that both Honey and Barry Sherman had been murdered.

But to this day, no one knows who killed them.

The Puzzling Investigation Continues

CCTV Footage

Toronto Police DepartmentAn unidentified man was captured on video near the Sherman home on the day they were killed.

Four years after the Shermans were found dead, the police released a video of a mysterious figure captured on CCTV on the day of their murders. Described as a “walking man” with an “unusual gait,” the figure can be seen in the video passing outside the Shermans’ home. Unfortunately, this person has never been identified.

Were the Shermans bumped off by a competitor in the pharmaceutical industry? By someone seeking vengeance after one of Barry Sherman’s many lawsuits? By a family member seeking monetary gain or revenge? Or were they perhaps, as some have suggested, murdered in an antisemitic hate crime?

As the investigation continues, the Toronto police are still pursuing leads in the case of the Shermans’ mysterious deaths.

Meanwhile, Barry and Honey Sherman’s house, which they had been planning to sell before their murder, was demolished in 2019.


After learning about the unsolved murders of Barry and Honey Sherman, read about Paul Bernardo and Karla Homolka, the Ken and Barbie Killers. Then, discover the disturbing story of Rebecca Zahau, whose death was classified as a suicide even though she was found nude, bound, and gagged in her boyfriend’s home.

author
Rivy Lyon
author
True crime expert Rivy Lyon holds a Bachelor's degree in criminology, psychology, and sociology. A former private investigator, she has also worked with CrimeStoppers, the Innocence Project, and disaster response agencies across the U.S. She transitioned into investigative journalism in 2020, focusing primarily on unsolved homicides and missing persons.
editor
Jaclyn Anglis
editor
Jaclyn is the senior managing editor at All That's Interesting. She holds a Master's degree in journalism from the City University of New York and a Bachelor's degree in English writing and history (double major) from DePauw University. She is interested in American history, true crime, modern history, pop culture, and science.