Bernard “Barry” Sherman, founder of Canadian drug company Apotex Inc., and his wife Honey were found dead under mysterious circumstances in their Toronto, Canada, home. On Friday, Canadian police launched a full investigation into the deaths after a real estate agent found the deceased couple in the basement.
Police have not officially named Mr. and Mrs. Sherman as the victims found in the home as medical examiners removed two unidentified bodies last night. However, Ontario health minister Eric Hoskins did issue a statement acknowledging the couple’s death, describing Barry and his wife as “wonderful human beings.”
“I am beyond words right now,” wrote Hoskins, as reported by CNBC. “Incredible philanthropists, great leaders in health care. A very, very sad day.”
During a press conference, Constable David Hopkinson withheld many details of the investigation, except that the deaths were unusual.
“The circumstances of their death appear suspicious, and we are treating it that way,” said Constable David Hopkinson, per a report from Business Insider.
Despite the strange circumstances, police are not treating the deaths of Barry and Honey Sherman as homicides.
Police officers arrived at Barry Sherman’s multi-million dollar mansion around 12 p.m. Friday afternoon. The home, in an upscale Toronto neighborhood, did not show any signs of forced entry. The couple had just recently listed the property for sale.
“We’ve never seen something like that on this street… Especially with these people, everybody knows who they are — it was really surprising, it was heartbreaking actually,” said Sarah Alvi, who lives across the street from the Shermans, as quoted by CBC. “Lovely people.”
— #Globalbiz (@GLBiznet) December 16, 2017
Barry Sherman opened Apotex, Inc. in 1974 with the help of two employees. The company ultimately grew to the largest drug company in Canada and seventh largest in the world. After amassing a net worth well over $3 billion, Sherman stepped away from his CEO duties in 2012. The company now employs nearly 11,000 people, with annual sales of roughly $1.5 billion.
“All of us at Apotex are deeply shocked and saddened by this news, and our thoughts and prayers are with the family at this time.”
Since retiring, Sherman remained active as a philanthropist. He recently donated approximately $39 million to the United Jewish Appeal. Sherman also contributed part of his fortune to help current Prime Minister Justin Trudeau win the position.
Two weeks ago it gave me immense joy to present a Senate medal to one of the kindest and most beloved members of Canada’s Jewish community. Today I am gutted by the loss of Honey and Barry Sherman. Our community is steeped in grief. I am heartbroken. pic.twitter.com/B8VANUiNbW
— Senator Linda Frum (@LindaFrum) December 15, 2017
The investigation into the deaths of Barry Sherman and his wife is still early and ongoing. By all accounts, the couple was very successful and enjoyed sharing their wealth with the community. While Mr. and Mrs. Sherman did have a few legal skirmishes with other family members in recent years, the police are not currently looking for any suspects related to their deaths.