Now, police are seeking the public’s help in identifying a possible suspect. On Tuesday, authorities released video from a home security system in the Shermans’ neighborhood that they said shows an unknown individual walking near the couple’s home on the night of the murders.
In a press conference on Tuesday, police said they are officially classifying that individual as a suspect in the Sherman murders. The 22-second clip, they said, shows the suspect walk with a distinctive stride, which investigators hope will help determine their identity.
Police: Video Shows Murder Suspect
Toronto police Sgt. Brandon Price told reporters this week that detectives had been sifting through “a very large amount” of video footage since the investigation launched almost four years ago.
By taking statements from neighborhood residents and cross-referencing cellphone records, Price said, investigators were able to eliminate as a suspect every individual who appeared in the various videos — except for the one with the odd gait.
“We are left with one individual whom we have been unable to identify,” he said. “Through our investigation, we’ve been unable to determine what this individual’s purpose was in the neighborhood.”
Price did not say when exactly the clip was recorded, only confirming that “the timing of this individual’s appearance is in line with when we believe the murders took place.”
The suspect is seen walking briskly on a cleared sidewalk on a snowy night, wearing a long, dark coat with a hood or hat, though no identifying features are visible in the footage.
“We are not able to provide you with any certainty the person’s age weight or skin color,” Price said, but “I would ask that you pay particular attention to the gait, or stride, or walk style, that this person has on the video,” he added.
Though not terribly obvious at first glance, Price said the suspect “kick[s] up with their right foot with every step. “It is our hope that someone will come forward with a name when they recognize the individual’s walk,” he said.
Though officially a suspect, Price said the individual in the video is not charged with anything, and may have had legitimate reason to have been in the neighborhood that night.
“If you recognize yourself in this video, please come forward so you can be excluded from our investigation,” he said.
Gait analysis has been an important tool for detectives for almost two centuries, forensic podiatrist Michael Nirenberg told the Canadian National Post. After reviewing the video, Nirenberg said the swing of the suspect’s right arm and the downward tilt of the head are distinct enough to build a profile of the suspect.
“I’ll tell you what’s good in this case […] this footage is good footage,” he said.
Barry and Honey Sherman Murders Remain Unsolved
According to archival reports, Barry and Honey Sherman were found dead by cleaning staff on Dec. 15, 2017 in their Toronto-area home. At the time, their arms were restrained, and they had leather belts around their necks,
The pair were billionaires living in an upscale neighborhood where home security systems were and are common. As Barry was the famously combative CEO of generic pharmaceutical giant Apotex, Inc., and Honey was a philanthropist and socialite, their murders deeply disturbed the Toronto elite to which the couple belonged.
Before Tuesday’s press conference announcing the suspect video, police had only held one media conference on the case since 2017. At that time, officials revealed that the deaths were being investigated as a double homicide and that they believed the Shermans were specifically targeted.
Since then, the investigation has appeared stagnant, though police said they’ve interviewed hundreds and analyzed hours of surveillance footage. Toronto’s The Star said that before this week’s breakthrough, the case had become known as a “search warrant case,” with investigators continually seeking judicial authorization to obtain data, and then using what they’ve learned to ask for another warrant.
Investigators believe the suspect in the video is between 5-foot-6-inches and 5-foot-9-inches tall, and has a distinctive “hitch” in the stride of their right leg. If you have information that may lead to this suspect’s identification, call Toronto Police at 416-808-2222, or visit 222tips.com.