Top court orders files tied to Sherman murder case unsealed, citing public interest


OTTAWA – The Supreme Court of Canada has ruled that a trove of files related to murder victims Barry and Honey Sherman be unsealed and opened to public access.

The unanimous decision found that trustees of the wealthy Toronto couple’s estate failed to establish a serious risk to their safety and privacy, and that public interest and the principle of open court proceedings require unlocking the files.

In June 2018, a lower court judge issued an order protecting the files, which concern the appointment of estate trustees and would ordinarily be available for public inspection.

The order stemmed from the notion that individuals named as beneficiaries or trustees of the estates would be at risk of harm because the Shermans were found murdered in their home.

That decision has now been set aside, affirming an Appeal Court ruling that lifted the sealing order and marking a win for Toronto Star reporter Kevin Donovan, an appellant who applied to have the files opened up and wrote extensively about the sensational case over the past three and a half years.

Barry Sherman was the billionaire chairman and CEO of pharmaceutical firm Apotex Inc. who was found murdered with his wife in their house on Dec. 15, 2017.

The couple were philanthropists and well-known members of Toronto society, sparking intense interest in their deaths and the resulting police investigation.

The murders remain unsolved and the investigation is ongoing.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 11, 2021.

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