Private investigation of billionaire murders over in Canada

Police say the private investigation into the murders of Canadian drug company billionaire businessman Barry Sherman and his wife is over but the police investigation remains active

TORONTO -- Police said Monday the private investigation into the murders of Canadian drug company billionaire businessman Barry Sherman and his wife is over but the police investigation remains active.

Toronto police homicide Insp. Hank Idsinga said the case is now solely in the hands of police. Idsinga says the work of the private investigation hired by Sherman's family has been completed. Idsinga said the family's $10 million reward for an arrest and conviction remains.

The founder of generic drugmaker Apotex and his wife, Honey, were found dead in their Toronto mansion on Dec. 15, 2017. The two were found hanging by belts from a railing that surrounds their indoor pool and were in a semi-seated position on the pool deck. Police initially said the deaths were suspicious, but said there were no signs of forced entry and they were not looking for suspects.

The day after, some media outlets quoted unidentified police officials as saying the deaths appeared to be a murder-suicide. That upset the couple's four adult children, who hired their own team of investigators.

Police said six weeks later the couple were murdered.

The family, through their lawyer Brian Greenspan, has been critical of Toronto police. A year ago they announced the reward and a tip line separate from Toronto police. Idsinga said that private tip line is now inactive and asked those who have provided tips to the private investigation team to resubmit them to police.

Sharon Timlin, a legal assistant to Greenspan, said in an email to The Associated Press that the private investigators were not fired. She said the work of the private investigative team has been completed and that Greenspan continues to be an adviser, consultant and spokesperson to the family.

“They are committed to working with us, and have full confidence that the Toronto Police Service will solve this crime," Idsinga said.

Sherman, 75, was known for litigiousness and aggressive business practices as he developed Apotex Inc., which had a global workforce of about 11,000. In "Prescription Games," a 2001 book about the industry, he mused that a rival might want to kill him.

Barry and Honey Sherman were among Canada's most generous philanthropists, and their deaths shocked Canadian high society and the country's Jewish community. The couple made numerous multimillion-dollar donations to hospitals, schools and charities and had buildings named in their honor. They hosted Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at a Liberal Party fundraiser in 2015.