Who Killed Canada’s Pharmaceutical Giants?

Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP

Last December, the murder of Barry and Honey Sherman became the biggest story in Canada. Barry founded Apotex Inc. in the 1970s, the ­generic drug company which was responsible for approximately one  in five Canadian prescriptions. But the Shermans weren’t like that scumbag Pharma Bro who raised his AIDS drug from $13.50 to $750 per pill. The Shermans donated generously to charitable causes, from antipoverty initiatives and educational institutions, to the Jewish community. Yet someone still murdered them. For Bloomberg Businessweek, Matthew Campbell narrates their triumphant lives and horrific end, and he looks at some prime suspects in the police’s inconclusive investigation.

The private investigators briefed the police on their conclusion that a murder-suicide couldn’t be the correct explanation, the person said. More than a month after the bodies were found, police officially endorsed that view. On Jan. 26 a homicide detective, Susan Gomes, told reporters that the police were now describing the case as “a double-homicide investigation” and that “both Honey and Barry Sherman were in fact targeted.” Asked what had convinced police, Gomes replied “six weeks of evidence and its review” and refused to elaborate.

This short briefing remains the most recent substantive update from Toronto police, a level of reticence unusual even for Canadian cops, who tend to be tight-lipped. A detective leading the inquiry, Brandon Price, didn’t respond to requests for comment; on Oct. 19 a spokeswoman told Bloomberg Businessweek that the force had no new information to provide.

In this vacuum, the theorizing about the Shermans has taken on a Murder on the Orient Express quality, with everyone a potential suspect. During more than 40 years in the generics industry, Sherman had cost his competitors billions of dollars. His fierce conflict with his cousins, the Winters, was also well-known. But more suggestive, to many, was Sherman’s affinity, if not affection, for inadvisable financial relationships.

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