5/12/23 - Episode Page - 46m - PDF Transcript

I'm driving north of Toronto to see Jonathan Sherman, Barry and Honey's only son.

My wipers clear an icy wall of sleet from an 18-wheeler that thunders past.

It's a Saturday afternoon in December 2020, gloomy, just below freezing.

I've never met Jonathan, but I've heard a lot about him.

Columbia Engineering grad, self-storage magnate, Marina owner.

After three years of trying, I've finally been granted an audience with the only one of the four children

to deliver a eulogy at their parents' funeral.

These last few days have reminded us what it means to be a Jewish family.

When someone tries to snuff you out or eliminate important parts of your family,

we rally together and emerge stronger than ever.

Our family legacy, like so many others, emerged like a phoenix from the ashes of the European Holocaust,

shattered and broken, only to rise and rebuild and to thrive.

In honour of our parents, we promise to do the same thing now.

My sisters and I pledge to rise again and to continue thriving

and to continue building our parents' legacy of loving life, caring for others,

and knowing, as our parents always reminded us,

that with great privilege comes enormous responsibility.

At a break in traffic, I turned left down a quiet country side road,

searching for a small green sign bearing his street number.

At the funeral, Jonathan painted a picture of a family unified,

but that fell apart within a year.

I spot his driveway and keep going.

There's a car and a small white van parked on the other side of the road.

Each has a man with dark hair behind the wheel, and they watch as I pass.

I'm pretty sure this is the security detail I've heard about.

Israeli guards that follow him everywhere.

I do a quick three-point turn, head back and turn into his

hundred-acre, heavily wooded compound.

A yellow smiley face tacked to a tree tells me I'm being video-recorded,

something Jonathan warned me about.

Of all the thoughts running through my head,

the most unsettling is that Jonathan's sister thinks

he had something to do with their parents' murder.

Am I concerned for my safety?

Well, not enough to stay home.

I follow the road over rolling hills into a clearing.

On one side, there's an older, two-story log cabin-style house.

Beside it, a modern three-car garage.

I turn around and park.

You never know when you're going to have to make a quick exit.

There's a dusting of snow, and my footprints are the first of the day

as I walk up to the front door landing.

Peering through a window, I see no sign of life.

As I lift my hand to knock, a latch clicks behind me.

A man steps out of the side door of the garage.

He's wearing jeans, a hoodie, and a plaid coat.

Hello, Kevin.

I'm just working on one of my COVID projects.

I follow Jonathan Sherman inside.

From the Trotto Star, I'm Kevin Donovan.

And this is The Billionaire Murders, the hunt for the killers

of Honey and Barry Sherman.

Episode 7, Pointing Fingers.

I go fiberglass and then I go epoxy.

I think it's three coats, so I'm sort of learning as I go.

Jonathan and I are standing on either side

of a half-built canoe upside down on a platform.

This is not at all what I expected.

Given the pointed nature of my written questions

to him over the years and the unfriendly tone of his replies,

I'd expected him to be pretty angry with me.

He's not.

I should tell you that while the words you'll hear

in this podcast are Jonathan's,

they are voiced by an actor based on my interview

and Jonathan's emails to me.

So first you build the hull, then you have form.

You can strip your own, but I bought these,

which are basically long strips of wood,

and they have a bead and a cove side on them,

like a tongue and groove.

The boat sits in the center of the garage.

I'm a bit of a tool guy myself,

and as I walk around making small talk,

I spot a table saw, an orbital sander, a shop vac,

the middle of the road brands I buy,

not what I expect a billionaire to own.

The only other things on the floor

are two black folding chairs and his silver Tesla.

This is nine months into the global pandemic.

We're not wearing masks,

but we do keep a respectful distance.

We sit down, facing each other.

My first question, why did this take so long?

I am not comfortable with this for a lot of reasons,

and it's not that I have something sinister to hide from you,

as maybe other people are trying to tell you

or that you might believe.

It's really because I've been afraid, frankly,

and also I've been really trying

to let the investigation take its course.

Still, Jonathan said,

it's time to get his side of the story out.

And I just have a feeling

that people have been telling you things that are not true.

And you know, I don't ever want to tell you

something that's not correct,

but almost anything I tell you exposes me to some risk,

physical harm to myself, my family.

Jonathan tells me he knows a lot about this case.

He's got binders of information provided to him

by the now-defunct Sherman Private Investigation Team.

He says he frequently passes on information he digs up

to the Toronto Homicide Squad.

He has his own suspicions, too.

I could tell you things that would make you go,

oh, shit, there is information out there

that would make you go, holy fucking shit, it's unbelievable.

I tell Jonathan I'm all ears,

but he wants to take it slow.

He does make me a promise, though.

One thing I can assure you is I will never mislead you.

I'll never lie to you.

I will try to help you find your way to the truth.

Given that pledge,

I dive into what I think is the real reason

Jonathan agreed to meet.

A provocative question I asked him the week before.

A couple of sources had told me

that not long before the murders,

a court ordered Barry to pay a brand-name drug company

$580 million.

Barry was stretched for cash as a result.

Yes, he was a billionaire, but he was not that liquid.

My sources said that as part of a cost-cutting plan,

Barry told Jonathan, that's it,

I'm turning off your money tap.

In an email to Jonathan,

I told him that some might see this as a motive for murder.

Jonathan responded quickly,

accusing me by email of disgraceful tactics.

He said his father was incredibly supportive

despite this financial hiccup.

I thought that's all he'd ever say.

But then over the next two days

and often late into the evening,

Jonathan forwarded me a series of emails

his father had sent on this very issue.

I was surprised to receive them.

You see, they not only confirmed what my sources told me,

they went further.

Here's a couple.

And remember, Barry and Honey were murdered

on December 13, 2017.

These emails were one month before.

Barry writes to Jonathan

and his business partner, Adam Paulin,

copying Barry's money advisor, Alex Glassenberg.

Subject line, arranging mortgages.

Barry, we might need to pay

the 580 million judgment in January.

We thus need to take steps to improve liquidity

in case needed.

I thus request that you discuss with Alex

and arrange first mortgages

to enable repaying 50 to 60 million if possible.

Please do within weeks.

There's more back and forth in this email chain.

Barry repeats that he needs this money.

Then Adam Paulin, Jonathan's partner,

asks if they can have lunch.

Jonathan and Adam have free office space

down the hall from Barry at Apatex,

but they communicate by email.

Barry writes back, okay, after this lunch,

there's a request from Jonathan and Adam,

this time for 6.2 million dollars

to help them expand one of their self-storage sites.

But this is while Barry's request

for 50 to 60 million dollars is still on the table.

Minutes later, Barry shoots back.

This is now November 28.

And it's a classic Barry Sherman email,

direct to the point, written to Jonathan and Adam,

but addressed only to his son's partner.

Adam, as discussed,

you have to take steps immediately to arrange mortgages.

What will you do and when?

And that's the last email about business

that Jonathan gave me.

He said, Barry never raised it again,

which I found surprising.

You see, Barry, he was a bit of a dog

with a bone on this stuff.

Shortly after, Jonathan and husband Fred

left for Japan on holiday.

No mortgages were ever arranged.

In the garage, Jonathan and I went over all of this.

He said, I was crazy to think of this

as a motive for murder.

You're making a lot more of that request

than I ever did at the time.

I think in your mind, I was like,

oh my God, my dad's asking me for this money.

What are we gonna do?

And I think the reality is

that we didn't really react like that.

He always had his ebbs and flows.

And I have a shareholders agreement,

which basically says,

we never have to give you back any money.

And so even though he was asking that we do this,

we never really saw it as a threat.

To be fair to Jonathan, he gave me these emails.

Without them, I only had sources on deep background,

no way to prove that this had actually taken place.

Jonathan says, I simply didn't understand

how billionaires deal with their kids.

I'm not gonna kill my dad

because he needs 50 million bucks to get through a crisis.

Now, Jonathan wasn't the only person

his father was reigning in.

There were layoffs at Apotex, which really upset Barry.

And he had told his friend and business associate,

Frank D'Angelo, in the fall of 2017,

that the losses in an Arizona iced tea plant

that Frank ran and Barry backed had to stop.

Barry told D'Angelo in one email

that if he didn't turn it around,

we will have no alternative

but to shut down immediately.

When I asked Frank about this, he said

he was negotiating a better deal with Arizona

at Barry's direction when Barry died.

A lot of what I know about the inner workings

of Barry's life comes from emails.

When I point out to Jonathan

that the email chain he gave me concerning the repayment

of 50 to $60 million stops three weeks before the murders,

after what looks to me like Barry's final demand.

He shrugs it off.

Jonathan notes that one email he gave me

shows Barry was promising to resume funding in two years.

Jonathan says he and his dad were getting along great.

For example, he says Barry writes him in Japan

asking him to say hi to the emperor for me

and inquiring whether Jonathan is having a Christmas party.

He was a company party later in December

and he did send an invite to Barry.

Jonathan's point in showing me these was to say I think

that the 50 to $60 million request meant nothing.

My father was committing to me

that once he got through this period of financial difficulty

I was gonna be first in line

to continue growing my business.

I always knew my father was all in

with Adam and me in our storage business.

There's not a lot of times

that Jonathan makes eye contact with me

but he does when he tells me how upsetting my questions are.

You know, like it makes me kind of sick to think that.

He would think that I would ever have a reason

to harm my dad.

He was my number one supporter.

I wouldn't have anything if it weren't for him.

It's cold in the garage.

I'm glad I wore a warm coat.

A sound outside draws my eyes to the window

in the side door of the garage.

I can just make out the top of a wool cap.

The door opens and a short man

in a dark coat steps inside.

Jonathan explains it's one of his security detail

doing a health check.

You okay, Mr. Sherman?

Yup, says Jonathan and the man leaves.

I asked Jonathan, where did the guy come from?

Jonathan says he owns four houses on the compound

and the guard team they're living in one.

He and Fred used to be in the log cabin

but now that they have two little children

they're in a bigger house on the property.

I asked Jonathan, what's it like having so much money?

I mean, that's a loaded question.

I think that at some point it's just extra zeros to be honest.

You know, like we grew up, we always knew we had money

but we never knew how much money we had.

I always figured I was equal to my school peers.

We all have parents with wealth.

Only later on did I realize the scale of it.

And so I think the mentality never shifted.

I fiddle with my notebook.

Conducting a long interview is a bit like sailing.

You're headed in a direction but to get there

you have to switch tack from time to time.

In sailing, it's the wind that determines the route.

In an interview, it's often what the interviewee says.

He's just told me how close he was to his dad.

So I ask, how about your mother?

I would say my mom and I actually did very much get along.

I think that if I was a straight boy,

we would have a very perfect relationship.

Jonathan said that growing up,

honey was a pretty tough parent.

She'd yell, grab his ear if she was angry.

And I remember the day when I became big enough

to be like, don't fucking touch me anymore.

And from that moment, we had a very much better relationship

until I came out of the closet.

It was on a vacation when he was a teen.

His mother asked if he was telling people he was gay.

Jonathan said, yes, I am.

She told him to stop, said it was embarrassing.

Jonathan said by the time he started dating Fred,

who is now his husband, honey was much more accepting.

She was actually, to her credit, very inviting to Fred.

He felt welcome at the house.

It wasn't that different with Barry at least at first.

Jonathan said his father told him

he was going through a phase,

which surprised Jonathan,

given that Barry's best friend, Joel Ulster,

was gay, married to Michael, and they have a family.

Jonathan told his father, look, I'm old enough to know.

He very quickly came around.

His only real thing, which was very him to say,

and I never took offense to it, was it's a harder life.

His advice was, if you can be straight,

it will be easier for you.

Jonathan says that his father's support

of his and Fred's desire to have children

was proof he'd come around.

One of the emails he shared with me

shows that Barry paid $329,000 US in 2017

to cover the cost of two surrogate births

with the final payment requested by Jonathan

and paid by Barry the morning of the murders.

I was getting financial help from my father

to start a family of my own

with the love and support of both my parents.

Our discussion turns to the Sherman family in general.

By this time, I know about the years of therapy,

counseling that reached such a point

that the therapist would help each party rethink

and often rewrite their response

before sending it during a dispute

to remove some of the sting.

Now, Barry, he rarely took the therapist's advice.

I put it to Jonathan that the Sherman family

is pretty dysfunctional.

I will admit to that.

Obviously, a lot of it is around money

and the fact that my dad kept everybody needy

so they'd come back to him.

Jonathan said that of all the children,

he had the best relationship with his parents.

It bothered him that in my book,

I said that was Sister Alexandra.

And it annoyed him that I was quoting emails

detailing plans between Alexandra, Honey and Barry,

for a Hanukkah dinner with Honey planning to make ladkas.

That dinner, it would have been the Friday

the bodies were discovered.

Alex despised my mother

and my mother was not allowed to drop in

at Alex's house without permission.

She couldn't show up unannounced

and she did a couple of times

and there were huge repercussions.

As to the other two sisters,

Lauren, the eldest and Kaelin, the youngest,

Jonathan says they are now allied with Alexandra

against him.

I ask why.

He gave me two reasons.

First, Jonathan said his sisters have put all their faith

in Alex Glassenberg to handle

the Sherman financial affairs.

Glassenberg is the man hired by Barry years ago

to run SureFam, his holding company.

He has made them believe

that he's the only person who can do it.

And if he walks out the door tomorrow, we're all fucked.

And sadly, they don't know how to take care of themselves.

They don't have their own ability

to look after their own finances.

They're beholden to him.

Now, the three sisters disagree with this

and they've told me so in a written statement.

Yes, they trust Alex Glassenberg, but not blindly.

They told me Glassenberg is an experienced

and competent business executive.

Originally, Jonathan wanted a big role

in running the empire after Barry was killed.

And he wanted his business partner, Adam Paulin,

to be involved.

The sisters said no to this as well.

But there's another, I would say,

far more serious reason behind the sibling rift.

At some point in early 2019, something happened.

I still don't understand what happened to Alex,

but she obviously started to believe I was implicated.

I tell Jonathan that my information

and I have to protect my sources here

is that his sister Alexandra is scared of him.

He confirms this.

I ask why.

What I've heard from my sister Lauren

is that apparently Alex is afraid because I own guns.

And she thinks that because of that I'm violent

and that I carry a gun around with me everywhere.

And then if she ever disagrees with me,

I'm gonna pull out my gun and shoot her

in front of everybody.

I tell Jonathan I've heard that story too.

That something happened while Alexandra and Jonathan

were at his cottage in late 2018.

Something said that made her suspicious of her brother.

I know from a source that Alexandra

has gone to the police with her suspicions.

Now the police wouldn't talk to me about this, by the way.

On the gun issue, I ask him, do you own any firearms?

Jonathan gets up and walks around

and points to a box of what I think are called clay pigeons

sitting on a shelf.

He says, yes, he owns guns, old fashioned cowboy style

lever action guns, about 15 of them.

He says he uses them for target shooting.

And he says Alexandra's husband Brad,

they're now separated, has similar guns.

He tells me it bothers him that his sister

would think he had something to do with the murders.

We used to be tight, he says.

There's a story from when they were younger.

Jonathan told it at the funeral

about how in 2007, they were both doing a race

in the Gobi Desert to raise money for an AIDS charity.

Jonathan said he'll always remember

how his sister Alexandra gave a walking stick

to a villager who she said needed it more than she did.

That's what breaks my heart.

Honestly, is that like my sister and I growing up

were very, very close to each other.

Then there's his aunt Mary,

his mother's sister and best friend.

Since shortly after the murders,

and partly because Mary was telling practically everyone

that her sister had promised to leave her $300 million

if she died, Mary became persona non grata

with the Sherman kids.

I tell him, Mary told me recently

that you kicked her out of a storage locker

she'd had at your company for years.

My aunt Mary is what you would call a hoarder.

For right or wrong, my father always said

to give her space in the storage facility.

The only reason I had asked her to vacate is A,

she has never paid for the space.

And then I hired management to help run my business.

And part of what they said was all the free space has to go.

I tell Jonathan, that's a hard approach to take.

There's been a lot of really hard shit that's been going on.

We'll be right back.

I ask him about his decision to fire Jack K,

Barry's close friend and second in command.

How he did it one year in a day after the murders,

walking into Jack's office and escorting him out.

No party, no gold watch, nothing to recognize

more than three decades of service.

I think there's a misunderstanding of the day I did it.

And there's definitely misrepresentation

of how it actually happened.

I actually recorded the entire episode.

I feel like you portrayed it as I came in and made a scene

and like picked him up by the lapels.

Jonathan said he didn't like some of the things

Jack was doing, micromanaging, moving into Barry's office,

having lunches with Frank D'Angelo,

a business partner Jonathan despised.

Barry had funded numerous low-budget movies

that Frank wrote and starred in.

Among them, the Sicilian vampire and real gangsters,

plus beer sold in plastic bottles and a soft drink

with a tagline linked to an infamous Olympic doping scandal

involving Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson.

Today on our show we have Ben Johnson.

How are you, Ben?

Good to have you on.

Put your cards on the table.

Ben, when you run, do you cheat?


I cheat all the time.

Jonathan saw all of this as a waste of Sherman money.

Our conversation bounces around for a bit.

He's got a lot to say and I want to give him

as much time as he needs.

At one point, Jonathan goes to his Tesla and opens the door.

Loud music blasts until the door slam shut.

He comes out with a binder in his hand.

It's filled with documents and emails

and a review he wrote about my book on the case.

It turns out that of all the things I wrote about Jonathan,

what really rankled him was my mention of his owning a Tesla

and flying business class.

I think you misrepresented the truth

about the Tesla in your book.

Jonathan flips to a page of his unpublished review.

He reads a long section of it, then snaps the binder closed.

I read your book to say that you were basically

trying to portray me as somebody who liked fancy things,

like spending money.

And it was very different from my parents

because they were frugal and simple.

I can't blame you because I didn't talk to you.

But you kind of twisted the reality,

which is that I bought a Tesla which was used

and I bought it because I hate paying for gas

and I kind of go green.

Made me look icky to think that people

are going to think things about me that just are true.

As to air travel, Jonathan says he does what all Shermans do.

Economy for domestic, business class for international.

To my knowledge, Barry and Honey, they mostly flew coach,

but I let it slide.

Through the small windows in the garage,

I can see snow is falling.

It's colder now and after three hours,

I'm actually getting thirsty.

I press on, switching tack again,

taking Jonathan back to something he did

two years before his parents were killed.

I wrote about it, one of the stories,

I figured he'd be really angry at, but he's not.

The story dealt with Jonathan's suggestion to his sisters

that Barry be declared incompetent.

The reason?

Barry continuing to fund Frank D'Angelo's businesses.

Jonathan remembers what he told his sisters in an email

with a subject line to the shareholders.

I think my dad's unhinged

because he doesn't understand

he's being ripped off by this guy.

To be clear, Jonathan hates Frank, despises him.

Years before, when Jonathan was in his early 20s,

Barry sent him to work in one of Frank's ventures,

steal back beer.

Eventually, Barry took the business away from Frank

and gave it to Jonathan,

then later gave part of it back to Frank.

The two men didn't exactly hit it off.

A lot of this is detailed in emails between Jonathan,

his father, and his sister, Lauren, dating back to 2008.

Jonathan calls Frank shady, homophobic,

says he's blown through millions

of the Sherman family dollars.

Frank, by the way, denies all of this,

though it's clear to me from financial records

that Barry did pour tens of millions of dollars

into Frank's ventures.

In these emails, Jonathan expresses anger

that Barry supports Frank's businesses over his.

In one email in 2011, Jonathan tells his father

he is slowly becoming suicidal

as a result of this situation.

Then, in 2015, it all comes to a head.

Jonathan writes this email to his three sisters,

asking them to join together

to declare their father, Barry Sherman, incompetent.

In the garage, Jonathan downplayed this.

That was a figure of speech

because I was never realistically expecting

that we were going to be doing that.

It was more like, you're crazy.

I was saying, guys, dad's acting crazy.

We need to have an intervention here.

When Barry received this incompetency email,

he showed it to friends Jack K and Joel Alster

and chatted about it with daughter Alexandra.

All three of them told me Barry was really upset.

He told them that Jonathan wants to have me locked up.

Alexandra says she wrote back to Jonathan

with her dad's help, telling him he was being ridiculous.

I told Jonathan that if I had ever done something like that

to my father, I'd be in deep shit.

My dad wasn't like that.

He brushed it off and life goes on.

I've spent a lot of time going over

these Jonathan Barry emails.

They're nasty, sad too.

Barry is dismissive of just about everything Jonathan says,

yet often closes with, you are my son and I love you.

There's one exchange around the time

of the incompetency issue that really stands out.

Jonathan is asking for $250 million

to further expand his storage business

and start a cottage ownership business

on Shandos Lake, northeast of Toronto.

Jonathan's telling Barry, look,

I'm the one you should back, not Frank.

Jonathan said, Barry's funding of Frank,

it makes no sense to him as someone

who has studied accounting and finance.

From Jonathan to Barry, subject line, explain it to me.

Dad, with all respect,

I'm trying to understand the specifics

of the business logic with this investment.

I'm looking for the numbers

being plugged into those equations.

I'm bright and educated.

Can you explain it to me?

I will try and understand.

From Barry to Jonathan,

I have been making business judgments for many decades,

often making decisions with which others disagree.

As a result of my decisions,

you will likely be a multi-billionaire.

Then, at the end of this email,

Barry includes a link to the trailer

for Frank D'Angelo's latest movie, Sicilian Vampire.

I think that's what's called a mic drop, end of discussion.

Now, earlier in this exchange,

Jonathan asks Barry for a meeting,

saying he'll be bringing his business partner, Adam Paulen,

so they can discuss succession

and whether Adam and I can play some role in that.

I know from Jack K. and others

that Barry had no time for Adam.

I asked Jonathan,

why do you try and bring Paulen into everything?

Part of my own MO is,

I don't love doing things totally different.

I don't love doing things totally on my own.

Call it lack of confidence if you want to,

but I just like having another person there

who I can bounce everything off of.

Adam Paulen is the president of Green Storage,

Jonathan's company.

He has an MBA from one of Canada's top business schools.

They've known each other since youth camp days.

Adam's father has a hugely successful business

supplying hardware to Home Depot.

But like Jonathan,

Adam never wanted to be in the family business.

The two men are very close

as business partners and friends.

As an example,

Adam is on title as co-owner of Jonathan and Fred's cottage.

Fred, Jonathan's husband, is not on title.

I look at my watch,

taking a pause to collect my thoughts.

Throughout our conversation,

Jonathan keeps hinting about

some bombshell information he has.

He says he's been feeding documents and information

to the Toronto Homicide Squad.

Brandon Price, the lead homicide investigator on the case,

he was there recently,

picking up some documents Jonathan wanted him to see.

He said it took Price about six months

to come up and get them.

I have a pretty well thought out working theory.

The problem is, if I tell it to you,

you are going to write about it

and then I have a target on my back.

There are a few specifics Jonathan said to me that day.

One that I agreed to keep confidential.

What I can tell you though,

is that from my investigation,

speaking to numerous people,

I know that Jonathan has told police

that they should look at three people.

Frank D'Angelo, Jack K,

and a third person involved in Barry's business life.

Someone Barry had utmost confidence in.

Jonathan's theory is that these three men

wanted more money from Barry than they were getting.

So they conspired to kill him.

Jonathan has no proof of this

and I've put these suspicions to all three men.

Frank and Jack, they laughed it off.

The third man, through his lawyer,

well, he blew a gasket.

For now, I'm not going to name him.

To be clear,

I don't think any of these three men were involved.

Frank, he lost all of his businesses when Barry died.

The Sherman children cut him off.

Jack was fired and had to threaten a lawsuit

to get paid out.

And the third man, nothing has changed for him.

I'm intrigued that Jonathan has this theory.

And of course, he's entitled

to have his own notions of what happened.

One odd thing he did say was his theory

on why Barry poured so much money into Frank's ventures.

I half-jokingly would try to guess this over the years.

Like, who can explain this?

Because I don't think it was Frank's business success.

One of my theories was maybe something sexual

was going on there.

I asked Frank D'Angelo about this.

His reaction was, shall I say, colorful.

No, he and Barry were friends, not lovers.

But all this talk by Jonathan about who he thinks did it,

including how his sister thinks he was involved,

gave me a natural segue to ask about his whereabouts

the week of the murders.

It's a question I've asked everyone

and until now, Jonathan never answered.

This time, he provided me with a written timeline.

It goes like this.

In late November, two days after Barry's last email

requesting Jonathan repay $50 to $60 million,

Jonathan and husband Fred left for Japan.

He told me it was a vacation

and he was over there studying cryptocurrency.

Two weeks later, they left Japan.

I arrived home from Japan on December 12th,

sometime late afternoon.

I got home from the airport sometime around 7 p.m.

I know this timeline because I have a picture of our cat

wearing her kimono,

which we would have put on her first thing

after getting home.

The day they arrived, December 12th, was a Tuesday.

Jonathan said he and Fred were exhausted,

so they stayed at home.

Back then, they were living in the log cabin house.

As you may know, there is serious jet lag

after a trip to Japan.

Most of the following few days were at home adjusting.

I can only be as specific as my phone can tell me.

For example, I have various photos taken on my iPhone.

Jonathan gave me an iPhone photo he took of his hand

holding a piece of paper with numbers and letters on it.

He said they were seed codes for cryptocurrency

from his Japan trip.

The date on the photo is Wednesday, December 13th.

Time stamped 7.17 p.m.

And the location of the phone is his 100-acre compound.

He said he was home the entire night.

He also has a photo he took the next morning, the Thursday,

but he did not share that with me.

The next night, Thursday,

he said he was at a Hungarian goulash restaurant

with a group of friends, a monthly event.

One of his friends had earlier told me

that the dinner was the Wednesday night

and the friend was quite excited to tell me

they were all Jonathan's alibi.

Something about that story didn't make sense to me.

Why had I not heard this before?

I asked a friend if we could look through his phone.

We did.

The friend said, sorry, he goofed.

It was the Thursday.

I told all this to Jonathan and he said, that's correct.

We were out on the Thursday night

and we were all talking about

how the old colony road home was up for sale

and all the good times they had there growing up.

I specifically recall that we were all joking

about hosting a big party at my parents' house

after they sold it and moved out

and then feeling sick when I realized later

that my parents were lying dead at that time in the house.

Friday morning, he and Fred drove to the cottage in Apsley.

It's on Shando's Lake where Jonathan owns a small marina

where he told his father he needed millions of dollars

to develop other cottage properties.

Jonathan was in the driveway

taking delivery of furniture when his phone rang.

It was his Aunt Mary calling from Florida.

She just heard from realtor Lee Stern

of the discovery of the bodies.

She was slightly hysterical

and I remember she said, your parents have been murdered.

And I said, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa.

And I was like, okay, how do we communicate this to everybody?

And so we agreed, I would call Lauren

and I think she called Alex

and I think Alex called Kalen

and we all agreed to meet up at Alex's house.

Jonathan and Fred drove back to Toronto

arriving at sister Alexander's house around 5 p.m.

It was understandably a chaotic scene.

Alexandra with a newborn trying to settle her baby,

Kalen, the youngest, was walking around stunned.

She told people she was going to buy a car

because her father who had opposed this purchase

would want her to do it now.

Aunt Mary, who chartered a private jet

to fly home from Florida, arrived screaming and sobbing

and a little bit tipsy telling anyone who had listened

that honey had promised her $300 million.

Jonathan walked in the door crying out, oh my God,

oh my God, threw himself to the floor

and asked someone to bring him a drink.

A bottle of scotch was produced.

The next day when Lauren arrived on a flight from Mexico

where she was vacationing, she was heard to say,

well, if it had to happen, it was not the worst time

in their lives to be murdered.

They had finally gotten to know my son.

It's been close to five hours, my phone buzzes.

It's my kids checking on me.

I told my wife and children and my lawyer and editor

that I was going to see Jonathan.

To understand their concern, remember,

his sister has been telling people

her brother is a killer or was somehow involved

in the murders.

Jonathan is wondering, who's calling me?

I quip, my kids are delighted I am alive.

As with anything personal I said that Saturday afternoon,

Jonathan shows no interest.

I couldn't read any emotion,

not even when he talked about the murders of his parents.

The only time he seemed upset during the entire interview

was the issue of the Tesla and the business class trips.

Figuring my time is running short,

I take him back to the theory

that his father's closest associates and friends

conspired to murder him.

So why kill Honey?

Possible explanation might just be as simple as the fact

that Honey was home at the wrong time.

I would agree with you that whoever was doing this

wouldn't have said make sure I get them both.

I asked Jonathan about the photo he gave me,

the one of a hand, he says it's his hand,

taken at the log cabin just after 7 p.m.

on the Wednesday of the murders.

I tell Jonathan, your parents were murdered

between 9 and 11 p.m.

I also tell him that it's not more than a 40 minute drive

to his parents' house from his log cabin.

I was a little confused about why you're so focused

on the timelines.

Isn't the assumption that whoever did this hired people?

So I could be out of the country

and wouldn't you still think I was a suspect?

I tell Jonathan I don't think so.

I think this was personal, not a hitman.

That I believe the person who wanted it done was there.

Strangulation, it's a personal crime, I tell him.

Hitmen, they don't go into someone's house,

strangle them and pose them.

As Barry often said, if anyone wanted to get him,

they could shoot him coming out of the office late at night.

Then I asked Jonathan about the sculptures in the basement

and what I would say is an eerie similarity

to how the bodies are posed.

I think it's a coincidence, I don't think it's a theory.

We go back to where we began this interview

with his father's demand that he and Adam Pollan

pay back 50 to 60 million dollars.

That was just three weeks before his parents' murders.

And now Jonathan and his sisters are billionaires.

Jonathan shrugs.

I don't know who can plan a murder in three weeks,

but I can tell you, I was not involved.

It's an odd comment that just sits there.

To this day, it strikes me

as one of the most unusual remarks he made.

As to the suspicions of his sister and others,

he says it means nothing to him.

I'm the only person who knows for sure that I didn't do it.

I gather up my notes and some documents and leave.

There's no handshake.

Outside, it's snowing harder.

I set my heater to max

and pop into a Tim Hortons for a coffee.

When I get home, I send Jonathan an email

thanking him for meeting me.

Here's his response.

OK, I just updated Detective Sergeant Brandon Price

on our conversation.

I write back that I'm surprised he did that.

Jonathan responds.

I keep the police informed

because I maintain transparency with them.

Since that interview back in 2020,

I've come up with a great deal of information

I'd like to put to Jonathan.

I've tried, but no luck.

For example, he told me during the interview

that he hired a former US prosecutor

to represent him in his bid to find out

who killed his parents.

He chose the lawyer because of his personal story.

When he was a district attorney,

he solved his brother's murder.

This prosecutor in turn

hired a former Toronto homicide detective

to conduct some interviews,

including one of Jonathan.

I've since learned that nothing came of any of this.

There's something else I would have liked to put to him.

When Jonathan gave me that batch of emails

from the months just before the murders,

he told me that was everything

between he and his father.

But not long ago, a source gave me some more.

A chain of emails dated October 27, 2017,

six weeks before the murders,

a couple of weeks before Barry's stern request

that Jonathan and Adam pay back $50 to $60 million.

The topic in these is a planned meeting

between Barry and Jonathan

to discuss the Sherman family fortunes.

Barry says Jack K will be present.

Jonathan wants to bring his own partner, Adam Paulen.

From Barry, it's been years since we met together.

I am prepared to meet with you.

I don't want to meet with you and Adam.

You are my son.

From Jonathan.

Dad, it has been almost 10 years

since we have discussed business.

If you would like to reopen discussions,

it will be with Adam present.

Love, John.

From Barry.

The reason has been your unwillingness

and apparent disinterest.

You are my son and heir to the empire.

You would be interested,

yet your hostility apparently persists.

I am happy to discuss business

or anything else with you at any time.

From Jonathan.

You are my father.

I love you.

I always express my gratitude

at the incredible opportunities you have afforded me.

But if you want to discuss business

and you insist on having your partner present,

there's nothing hostile about me

wanting the same consideration.

I am the heir apparent

and everything I do centers around building

a safe and stable financial basis

for future generations of Shermans.

Adam and I would be happy to schedule a lunch.

From Barry.

You say everything I do

centers around building a safe and financial base

for future generations of Shermans.

That's what I've been doing for 50 years

with considerable degree of success,

despite great obstacles.

To my knowledge,

that lunch never took place.

Next time on The Billionaire Murders.

So the day passed, I got quite worried

because very unusual for Barry Knox who respond.

And I told the police always to act

because they wanted to know

that my views of thinking was.

And I said the last $8.13

and we never got a response to them

on the following morning.

There's cameras.

There's fucking cameras everywhere.

There's ring when you walk out,

when you leave, when you come in.

The Billionaire Murders,

the hunt for the killers of Honey and Barry Sherman,

is written and narrated by me, Kevin Donovan.

It was produced by Sean Pattenden, Raju Mudar,

Alexis Green, and JP Fozo.

Additional production from Brian Bradley and Crawford Blair.

Sound of Music was created by Sean Pattenden.

In this episode, Jonathan Sherman was voiced by Mark Ladder.

And the film was produced by John Pattenden.

Jonathan Sherman was voiced by Mark Ladder.

Look out for my book, The Billionaire Murders.

And coming later this year,

The Crave Documentary by the same name.

Machine-generated transcript that may contain inaccuracies.

A long, winding road takes reporter Kevin Donovan to a most unusual meeting in a cold garage with Honey and Barry Sherman’s only son, the man who calls himself the “heir apparent” and whose sister suspects he was involved in the murders. In a wide-ranging conversation, Jonathon says he is an open book. Ask me anything, he says, which Donovan does. Jonathon is voiced by an actor based on his interview with Kevin and email correspondence.

This is episode seven of “The Billionaire Murders: The hunt for the killers of Honey and Barry Sherman,” a “Suspicion” podcast probing the strange case of the famous Toronto couple who were found strangled in their north Toronto home in 2017. For five years, Donovan has covered the case for the Star, fought court battles to access documents on the police investigation and the Sherman estate, and wrote a book about it.

Audio Sources: Fillerzine/YouTube, Sherman funeral