Retired Toronto police inspector Doug Grady is leading the Canadian arm of the Sherman family’s ongoing quest to uncover who was responsible for killing 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.
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.
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 family, led by the Shermans’ son, Jonathon, 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, the family has 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.
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.
In a statement to CBC News, 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.
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: