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Toronto police inspector for ongoing probe into billionaire couple’s deaths

Doug Grady hired to uncover who killed Barry and Honey Sherman in 2017

Doug Grady is a former Toronto police investigator who’s been hired by Jonathon Sherman to help probe the killings of Honey and Barry Sherman in December 2017. (CBC Television/The Detectives)

Jonathon Sherman has hired retired Toronto police inspector Doug Grady to uncover who was responsible for killing his parents, billionaire philanthropists Honey and Barry Sherman, CBC News has learned.

Grady is a former unit commander with the Toronto Police Service who once led its homicide squad. He’s also worked in the intelligence and organized crime units. He retired in February 2011.

He has not previously been linked to the Sherman family’s efforts to investigate the December 2017 homicides in the couple’s home.

The other three of the Shermans’ children are not on board with the effort.

On Wednesday, Alex Krawczyk, Lauren Sherman and Kaelen Sherman distanced themselves from the investigation

“Ms. Krawczyk remains steadfast in her support of Toronto Police Service as they investigate her parents’ murders. She believes a parallel investigation will only serve to undermine their efforts,” Krawczyk’s lawyer, John Rosen, said in a letter to CBC News. 

Honey Sherman, 70, was a well-known philanthropist who gave millions of dollars to charities and non-profit groups. Her husband, Barry, 75, was the founder of Canadian generic drug giant Apotex Inc.

They were found strangled to death in the basement pool area of their Toronto mansion on Dec. 15, 2017. Police believe they had been dead for about 36 hours when their bodies were found by realtors who had listed their home for sale.

The Shermans, billionaire philanthropists, were killed inside their Toronto mansion just over three years ago. (United Jewish Appeal/The Canadian Press)

In the days following the killings, Sherfam Inc., the Sherman family’s private holding company, hired Toronto lawyer Brian Greenspan to assemble a team of former Toronto police officers — led by retired Toronto homicide officer Tom Klatt — to run a private, parallel investigation to the official police probe.

But two years into the private investigation, it was halted in late 2019 with no public reason given.

CBC News has learned that the Shermans’ son assembled the second team — including lawyers and Grady — even before parting ways with Klatt’s team.

Grady did not reply to emailed questions from CBC News about his current role with the Sherman family. CBC News also reached out to Jonathon Sherman, but he did not reply.

Little new information uncovered

As the Toronto Star first reported last month, Sherman also turned to an international legal and investigations firm called Confidential Global Investigations.

The company, based in New York City, has partner offices in England, Israel, China, Dubai and South Africa.

Sources told CBC News that Confidential Global Investigations is providing legal support and a review of the evidence gathered by the initial private investigation, which includes the results of the private autopsies done on the Shermans’ bodies, a forensic crime scene analysis and interviews with potential witnesses.

The sources say little new information has been uncovered by the U.S. firm and Grady — at least nothing that Toronto police haven’t already found themselves.

CGI did not respond to questions from CBC News.

These screen grabs of Barry and Honey Sherman’s driver’s licences appeared in recently released court documents. (Ontario Court of Justice)

Grady — despite his lengthy career solving murders, cracking organized crime groups and gathering intelligence — is acting primarily as a liaison between the U.S. lawyers, the Toronto Police Service and Jonathon Sherman.

In order to conduct further interviews or gather evidence, Grady would have to be a licensed private investigator under Ontario regulations.

He did not respond to questions about his status as a licensed private investigator.

Meaghan Gray, manager of corporate communications for Toronto police, said both the Sherman family and police investigators continue their efforts to solve the couple’s deaths.

“The Toronto Police Service is aware of the family’s connection to Confidential Global Investigations and retired TPS member Doug Grady,” she wrote.

“Our investigative team has had a high level of co-operation throughout this very active and ongoing case, and we continue to take investigative steps every single day in an effort to bring justice to the family and friends of Barry and Honey Sherman.”

Grady led some high-profile murder investigations

Grady, who spent 30 years with Toronto police, was known as an affable and successful investigator.

One of his highest-profile cases was the countrywide “House Hermit” investigation in 1992.

It was sparked after the bodies of Toronto realtor Nancy Blackburn and her husband, Ian, were found stuffed into the trunk of their car outside their home.

At the same time, police were also investigating the disappearance of a Toronto shop owner and a series of bizarre break-ins of summer homes an hour north of the city.

The suspect, later identified as David Snow, was dubbed the “House Hermit” because he would often live for days at a time in the various homes he broke into — leaving behind excrement in crumpled newspaper and unusual notations about military weapons scribbled on paper.

Snow fled to the Vancouver area, where he kidnapped two women and held them bound and gagged in a forest for days.

He was eventually tracked down during the Canada-wide manhunt.

Snow, 66, is currently serving a life sentence. He was suspected in other missing persons cases but never charged.

The Shermans’ north Toronto home on Dec. 18, 2017, while police forensics conduct an investigation into the cause of their deaths. Barry Sherman founded pharmaceutical firm Apotex. The home was for sale at the time of their deaths. (Evan Mitsui/CBC)

Many questions remain in Sherman homicide probe

Toronto police have said they have a number of people whom they consider persons of interest In the Shermans’ homicides.

Barry Sherman had been involved in dozens of heated lawsuits, including some against his own relatives. He had also loaned tens of millions of dollars to family and invested in numerous businesses owned by relatives and associates.

According to court documents released late last year, Jonathon Sherman told police his parents “were complicated people and that there are people out there who would have a grudge against them and would have a reason to hurt them.”

The documents don’t reveal who those individuals may have been.

They also note that Apotex had lost a $500 million lawsuit and was facing some financial pressures and laying off some staff.

WATCH | Daughter of Honey and Barry Sherman speaks out:

Daughter of slain billionaire couple goes public

2 years ago3:21Alexandra Krawczyk’s billionaire parents, Barry and Honey Sherman, were killed. After months of living in fear for her own life, she now wants to make sure their legacy of charity is maintained.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

John Lancaster

Senior Reporter, CBC Toronto

John Lancaster is a senior reporter with CBC News focusing on investigative and enterprise journalism. His stories have taken him across Canada, the US and the Caribbean. His reports have appeared on CBC Toronto, The National, CBC’s Marketplace, The Fifth Estate-and of course CBC online and radio. Drop him a line anytime at john.lancaster@cbc.ca.

Source: CBC

Regis Korchinski-Paquet’s family hires private investigator after SIU clears police

Regis Korchinski-Paquet died at age 29 after police were called to her apartment in Toronto. Her family has now hired a private investigator to probe the case after the SIU cleared the police officers who attended the call. (Newediuk Funeral Home)

A year after a Toronto woman fell to her death from a balcony while police were in her home, her family is still seeking answers and challenging what they maintain was a flawed investigation into the incident.

Regis Korchinski-Paquet’s family has hired a private investigator and turned to a second police watchdog in an effort to understand what happened on May 27, 2020, and hold those involved to account, said the family’s lawyer, Jason Bogle.

A year later, “they find that they’re still fighting,” Bogle said. “They’re still grieving and they’re angry.”

One of Ontario’s police oversight bodies, the Special Investigations Unit, last summer cleared the six Toronto police officers who were in the apartment, saying that while their efforts to de-escalate the situation were unsuccessful, none of them broke the law.

The family rejected the findings and later petitioned to have the case reopened, Bogle said. They allege, among other things, that the SIU has withheld a critical piece of evidence — Korchinski-Paquet’s cellphone, which they said she was using that night.

The SIU said Wednesday that while it does at times reopen investigations when new information comes to light, none was brought forward in connection with the Korchinski-Paquet case.

The agency also denied collecting Korchinski-Paquet’s phone or ever having it, and said it had been advised that Toronto police were not in possession of the device.

“The SIU stands by the integrity of its investigation and final report,” spokeswoman Monica Hudon said in a statement.

Independent review underway

Bogle said the family recently filed a complaint with another oversight body, the Office of the Independent Police Review Director (OIPRD), because the SIU’s account “doesn’t make sense.”

The OIPRD confirmed it is investigating, but declined to comment further, citing confidentiality.

The Toronto Police Service also declined to comment, citing the OIPRD investigation, but said Korchinski-Paquet’s death was a “tragic case.”

The death of Korchinski-Paquet, who was both Indigenous and Black, came just days after George Floyd, a Black man in Minneapolis, was killed when an officer pressed a knee against his neck for nearly nine minutes. A police officer, 45-year-old Derek Chauvin, was found guilty of murder last month in Floyd’s death.

Regis Korchinski-Paquet, who fell to her death during a police intervention, is remembered at a makeshift memorial in Toronto, May 30, 2020. (Mark Bochsler/CBC)

In part due to the proximity to Floyd’s death, Korchinski-Paquet’s death “it drove home the point that this pattern or trend of deaths is not unique to the United States and it also exists here,” said Akwasi Owusu-Bempah, a sociology professor at the University of Toronto whose work focuses on race and policing.

In the months that followed, there was “lots of signalling” from public officials and private sector companies around social justice and strengthening equity and diversity, including promises of funding for initiatives for Black Canadians in the latest federal budget, Owusu-Bempah said.

“(There has been) lots of messaging, lots of statements, the creation of policies and documents and all of those things, but I can’t say that one year afterwards that I noticed a major tangible change,” he said.

Protests call for defunding police, policy change

In Toronto, where protests sparked by 29-year-old Korchinski-Paquet’s death called for the defunding of police, policy change remains largely at the discussion stage, Owusu-Bempah said, adding that these types of shifts typically take years to take root.

Demonstrators continued to call for police reform and defunding Monday during a march marking the anniversary of Korchinski-Paquet’s death.

Tensions flared during the rally, culminating in the arrest of two people. Police said both were charged with obstructing a peace officer, and one also faced an assault charge.

The two people were released out of safety concerns after a crowd surrounded the custody wagon, a police spokesperson said.

Some observers criticized police for the arrests, noting similar gatherings by those opposing provincial pandemic rules have been allowed to proceed without any charges laid.

Owusu-Bempah said given the purpose and timing of Monday’s rally, “for the police not to allow, enable that to take place without arrests, kind of points to the problems that exist within policing.”

According to the SIU’s report, police were called to Korchinski-Paquet’s home because she and her brother were fighting. The pair and their mother had each called 911 during the argument, which began as a dispute over the volume of the TV after Korchinski-Paquet had a seizure, it said.

Korchinski-Paquet fell to her death, report says

The 911 operator inquired about any mental health issues and was told Korchinski-Paquet had epilepsy and had experienced seizures earlier that day, the report said.

The document said that once police arrived at the apartment, two officers blocked Korchinski-Paquet from getting to her mother and brother. They eventually let her back into the apartment so she could use the bathroom, it said.

Korchinski-Paquet then went out onto the 24th-floor balcony and prevented officers from reaching her by holding her body against the door, the report said.

She then tried to scale the balcony and cross onto the one next door, which is when she lost her balance and fell to her death, the document said.

Source: CBC, Paola Loriggio · The Canadian Press

Private Investigators Hired In Toronto Double Homicide

Present Truth Private Investigations Toronto

A prominent lawyer for Barry and Honey Sherman‘s family says he has retained a former Toronto police homicide detective and other experts to look into the deaths of the couple as officers continue their investigation.

“I have retained a number of forensic experts including Tom Klatt and other distinguished homicide investigators to provide a second lens and to ensure that no stone is left unturned,” Brian Greenspan told Global News Thursday in a brief written statement.

Klatt worked as an investigator for 19 years and was involved in more than 70 murder investigations, according to a biography on his website.

READ MORE: Toronto police, sewage crews checking pipes in front of Barry and Honey Sherman’s house

“He received specialized training and developed an expertise in crime scene profiling and statement analysis. Throughout his career, he was involved in several high-profile international murder cases,” the biography read in part.

Barry Sherman and his wife Honey were found inside their Old Colony Road home on Dec. 15. A post-mortem examination found the Shermans died of “ligature neck compression.” Toronto police homicide investigators are treating the deaths as suspicious, but officers haven’t named any potential suspects or released much information about the investigation.

As of Thursday afternoon, a police cruiser remains parked in front of the home as yellow crime scene tape blocks the front of the property. Toronto police spokesperson Mark Pugash told Global News investigators are still going into the home and the measures are needed to protect the crime scene.

READ MORE: Mourners pay tribute to Canadian billionaire couple Barry and Honey Sherman

When asked about the hiring of private investigators by the Sherman family, Pugash said Toronto police would not be commenting. He also declined to comment on what, if any, information would be shared with those investigators, as well as the police service’s policies on sharing information with private and third-party investigators.

“Our concentration is on the death investigation and that’s where all of our work is going,” Pugash said.

Meanwhile, the Globe and Mail reported that Toronto Mayor John Tory spoke with the Sherman family and relayed concerns to police about information being given to media outlets, including Global News, by various sources.

Source: Nick Westoll, Global News