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Photo: Reuters
Barry (R) and Honey Sherman
Photo: Reuters
Police probe 'suspicious' deaths of Jewish Canadian billionaire couple
Barry Sherman, 75-year-old founder of generic drug giant Apotex, his wife Honey found dead in basement of their Toronto mansion by real estate agent; circumstances of death deemed 'suspicious' by police, investigation underway; philanthropist couple considered key figures in Canada's Jewish community, eulogized by Canadian PM, Toronto mayor.

Canadian police said Saturday they were investigating the mysterious deaths of Barry Sherman, the Jewish founder of Canadian pharmaceutical firm Apotex Inc, and his wife, Honey, one of the nation's wealthiest couples whose bodies were found in their mansion on Friday.

 

 

"The circumstances of their death appear suspicious and we are treating it that way," said Constable David Hopkinson.

 

The Shermans recently listed their home for sale for nearly C$7 million ($5.4 million). A real estate agent discovered the bodies in the basement while preparing for an open house, the Toronto Globe and Mail reported, citing a relative.

 

The deaths of Barry (R) and Honey Sherman are being investigated by police (Photo: Reuters)
The deaths of Barry (R) and Honey Sherman are being investigated by police (Photo: Reuters)
 

Police said they learned of the deaths after responding to a midday (1700 GMT) medical call at the Sherman's home in an affluent section of northeast Toronto. Homicide detectives later told reporters gathered outside the home that there were no signs of forced entry.

 

Sherman, 75, founded privately held Apotex in 1974, growing it by introducing large numbers of low-cost generic drugs that took market share from branded pharmaceuticals. He stepped down as chief executive in 2012 but remained executive chairman.

 

Forbes has estimated Sherman's fortune at $3.2 billion.

 

Police removing the bodies (Photo: Reuters)
Police removing the bodies (Photo: Reuters)

 

Apotex is the world's No. 7 generic drugmaker with 11,000 employees and annual sales of more than C$2 billion in more than 45 countries, according to its website.

 

The couple was known for their philanthropy, giving tens of millions of dollars to hospitals, universities and Jewish organizations, CBC reported.

 

Their neighbors, business associates and some of Canada's most powerful politicians said they were saddened by the deaths.

 

Canadian police near the couple's residence (Photo: Reuters)
Canadian police near the couple's residence (Photo: Reuters)

 

"Our condolences to their family & friends, and to everyone touched by their vision & spirit," Prime Minister Justin Trudeau wrote on Twitter.

 

Toronto Mayor John Tory said in statement he was "shocked and heartbroken" to learn of the deaths, noting that the couple had made extensive contributions to the city.

 

Canadian PM Trudeau shared his condolences on Twitter (Photo: AP)
Canadian PM Trudeau shared his condolences on Twitter (Photo: AP)

 

"Toronto Police are investigating, and I hope that investigation will be able to provide answers for all of us who are mourning this tremendous loss," Tory said.

 

"I am beyond words right now," Ontario Health Minister Eric Hoskins said in a tweet. "My dear friends Barry and Honey Sherman have been found dead. Wonderful human beings, incredible philanthropists, great leaders in health care. A very, very sad day."

 


First published: 12.16.17, 10:35
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