Canadian billionaire and his wife died of ‘ligature neck compression’

An autopsy has revealed the cause of death of a Canadian billionaire couple whose bodies were found in their Toronto mansion.

Pharmaceutical billionaire Barry Sherman, 75, founder of Apotex Inc, and his 70-year-old wife, Honey, were found dead in their north Toronto mansion on Friday from ‘ligature neck compression’, a development suggesting they may have been strangled. Toronto’s homicide unit has taken over the investigation.

Multiple outlets reported that police initially were investigating the deaths as a possible murder-suicide, citing unidentified police sources, due to the deaths being described as ‘suspicious’.

The bodies were found hanging from a railing on the edge of a basement swimming pool, The Globe and Mail reported, among other outlets, all citing police sources.

  • Linda1000

    Does ligature neck compression apply only to strangulation or could the same result from hanging yourself? Hanging usually results in a broken neck or not? So now it seems authorities are suggesting that both were strangled by someone or is it more likely a murder suicide which doesn’t really make sense?

    • Ligature neck compression still applies, as does the Murder suicide theory, but the family believes it’s a double murder. It’s all a bit bizarre as it was reported that she was killed elsewhere in the home then hung from the railing.

      Crime of passion? Russian mafia hit for a deal gone bad? We may never know.

      • Drunk by Noon ✓

        I’m not entirely sold on the murder suicide angle either, but then again, who kills by hanging?
        I’ll say family members, or someone that they personally wronged in a big way.
        Was this guy a major league a-hole that was on everyone’s “enemies list”?

        This reminds me of a local unsolved murder (because the powers that be didn’t want it solved) that had some similarities.

        • Clink9

          I’m thinking two large lads with access from an insider or the real estate lock box.

          They must have had cameras that were deleted.

          • Linda1000

            I think it had to be person(s) from outside also as I doubt if the husband could have staged his own hanging or even hoisted his wife up to the railings. He doesn’t look super strong to me?

    • Watchman

      There should be obvious differences between strangulation followed by hanging and hanging by itself due to the bruising pattern. The weight of a person will cause a contusion angled upwards to the side where the knot is, whereas manual strangulation is more equal around the neck. It would be possible to fake it, but this would require very careful staging, with a victim made unconscious first and then hanged while helpless to make it look self-inflicted.

      A broken neck is a relatively modern ‘civilised’ type of execution, with the human being dropped from a height and stopped by the noose around their neck causing the broken neck. There was even the refinement of the placement of the knot/running-loop so as to impart a rotational force to assist the breaking of the neck, as well as carefully weighing a person and examination of the neck musculature so that the would be a broken neck and not a decapitation. From memory they botched the Saddam Hussein hanging and he was decapitated from the drop being too long before the stop. Throughout history most hangings led to the deceased essentially being strangled to death slowly, as would be the case today if you stepped of a chair with a noose around your neck.

      • Linda1000

        Good grief, thanks for the details. 🙂

        • Watchman

          Every day we all learn something new 🙂

    • ismiselemeas

      Necks only break with a proper noose knot and a calculated drop weight. All suicide hangings die from strangulation.

  • Was the place ransacked? Does it look like a burglary gone bad? Not easy for someone 75 to hang his wife from the balcony especially after she was dead. that also depends on how heavy she was. One thing I’ve noticed a sting of doctors or those connected to pharmaceutical industry being murdered or supposedly committing suicide.

    • k1962

      Maybe robbery wasn’t the motive.

    • No sign of forced entry is all we know.

    • ismiselemeas

      Oh please. Conspiracy theories are the last thing anybody needs. Deal with the facts, let the facts lead where they may.

  • A realtor showing off the house to potential buyers discovered them hanging from rails, side-by-side, next to their indoor swimming pool (above), reports suggest
    I would think the value of the house had to drop a few hundred grand once the discovery was found.

    Ok in this room is the grand pool. There we see the owners hanging from the balcony. LOL!

    • Watchman

      That’s a demonstration of the reason for attitude that many realtors don’t want the owners hanging around a property when they are selling a house for them.

  • k1962

    If it was a murder suicide or double suicide then there must be some horrible illness we will hear about or some very embarrassing and humiliating news that will come out. I don’t think all is as appears. Apparently when you hang your self the compression appears differently than when someone is strangled. They can supposedly tell that from an autopsy. Since they were a seemingly happy couple, she leaving for Florida today and him on the 25th, and with a new grandchild and a child’s wedding in the spring, their deaths by their own hands makes no sense to me, none without more information. I actually had a nightmare on Friday related to the news of their deaths. It’s scary to think that this could possibly be a murder that is lacking in evidence. I really hope and pray that if they were killed that the police (any police) can figure it out.

  • Tooth&Claw

    They dealt with the Clinton Foundation.
    Mr. Sherman was one of the most powerful and highly-connected men in North America and was perhaps most well-known for securing a deal with the Clinton Foundation during to provide vaccines in Haiti.

    In September 2014, in response to the spread of the chikungunya virus in Haiti, Apotex worked with the humanitarian organization Direct Relief to donate more than $2.2 million in medical aid to the country.

  • K1

    I think their jackets were put on funny so they HAD TO HAVE HELP

  • K1

    APOTEX spits out poison in some of their pills