It took more than two days from Dec. 15 — when they reported “suspicious” deaths at 50 Old Colony Road — for Toronto police to identify the deceased as Barry Sherman, 75, and Honey Sherman, 70, and to give the immediate cause of deaths as “ligature neck compressions.”
The deaths of the billionaire couple made international headlines and led to speculation about whether the couple were murdered, committed suicide or were involved in a murder-suicide.
But it was nearly another six weeks of investigation before police would announce their conclusions.
“We have sufficient evidence to describe this as a double homicide investigation,” Det. Sgt. Susan Gomes told a press conference Jan. 26.
“Honey and Barry Sherman were found deceased in the lower level pool area, hanging by belts from a poolside railing in a semi-seated position, on the pool deck,” Gomes said. “Both Honey and Barry Sherman were in fact targeted.”
She said the investigation was “challenging given the litigious nature of Barry Sherman’s businesses” and the large size of the home that warranted a lengthy investigation.
With the investigation at the house completed, the property has been returned back to the care of the family, police said.
Media had earlier reported the Sherman family was upset with police letting speculation that they were working the case as a murder-suicide run rampant during the six weeks.
However, Gomes described the family as being “understanding, cooperative and hopeful.”
The family was also known to have hired experts to look into the case privately. They concluded the deaths were a double murder, the Toronto Star reported on Jan. 19. Police continued to maintain only that the deaths were “suspicious” until Jan. 26.
Later after police announced their double murder findings, a Sherman cousin told reporters it was a murder-suicide. The family responded in a press release: “The family accepts the conclusion of the Toronto Police Service, and finds it regrettable that the media would give a platform to these completely absurd allegations.”