Billionaire, wife found dead at home; murder-suicide eyed
OTTAWA, Canada — Pharmaceutical billionaire Barry Sherman and his wife were found dead at their home, police and his company said, in what was reportedly being investigated as a possible murder-suicide.
Toronto police said on Twitter that “two people (were) found deceased in a home” in the Bayview Avenue and Old Colony Road area, after officers responded to a medical call around noon on Friday.
They labeled the deaths suspicious but, according to Canadian media, clarified that no suspects were being sought.
Police have not publicly discussed potential motives for the deaths, but the Toronto Sun and The Globe and Mail both reported that they were being investigated as a possible murder-suicide.
The Globe and Mail cited a police source as saying the Shermans’ bodies were found hanging from a railing around a basement pool, the theory being that “Mr Sherman killed his wife, hung her body and then hanged himself at the pool’s edge.”
Officers were still on the scene Saturday afternoon, and autopsy results expected to shed light on the case were expected in the evening.
Apotex, Sherman’s company, confirmed his death and that of his wife.
“It is with profound sadness that we announce the unexpected passing of our founder, Dr Bernard C. Sherman, chairman of the board of the Apotex Group of Companies, at the age of 75, and his wife Honey Sherman,” it said in a statement.
The company, which made its name producing generic drugs, grew to employ more than 11,000 people worldwide.
According to Forbes, Sherman had an estimated worth of $3.2 billion (Can$4.1 billion) at the time of his death, and was the 12th-richest person in Canada.
Canadian media said the Shermans had recently put their home up for sale with a price of around Can$7 million.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he was “saddened by news of the sudden passing of Barry and Honey Sherman.”
He tweeted about the “vision and spirit” of the couple known for their philanthropy.
Linda Frum, a member of the Canadian Senate, said she was “gutted by the loss” of the couple, two weeks after presenting a Senate medal “to one of the kindest and most beloved members of Canada’s Jewish community.”
They were “remarkable people,” said Bob Rae, former premier of Ontario province, which includes Toronto. “Grappling with this terrible news.”
Eric Hoskins, Ontario’s Minister of Health and Long-Term Care said he was saddened “beyond words.”
“Wonderful human beings, incredible philanthropists, great leaders in health care,” he wrote. /cbb