‘I wanted to roll his head’: cousin of murdered billionaire shares homicidal fantasies in bizarre television interview
The Shermans’ mysterious murder has drawn attention from around the globe and police in Toronto say the couple were the targets of a double homicide
Kerry Winter, the cousin of the Canadian billionaire who was murdered with his wife in their mansion in December, gave a wide-ranging interview to a television network this week, in which he spoke about acrimony between the two, admitted to fantasies about killing his cousin and failed a lie-detector test after claiming that the murdered man had asked him to kill his wife decades ago.
The interview, with the Canadian public broadcaster CBC, comes about two months after Barry Sherman, founder of the pharmaceutical company Apotex, and his wife, Honey Sherman, were found dead in their mansion on December 15. Police found the two on their pool deck, hanging from belts tied to a railing in a “semi-seated position,” reports said.
The Shermans’ mysterious murder has drawn attention from around the globe. The police in Toronto say the couple were the targets of a double homicide. Barry Sherman had been ranked as the 15th-richest person in Canada with a net worth of about US$4.77 billion; Honey Sherman was a notable philanthropist. The police have yet to disclose a suspect.
Winter told CBC’s programme The Fifth Estate about acrimony between him and his siblings and Barry Sherman over the Apotex fortune, saying he was motivated to speak out to “hurt” his cousin’s legacy.
“I was betrayed. My cousin hurt me, and now I want to hurt him,” Winter said.
Winter and his siblings were part of a lawsuit that lasted more than decade and sought a piece of the Apotex fortune, CBC reported. A judge dismissed the case in September, calling the claim “fanciful,” and the cousins appealed.
Winter also told CBC that he had spoken to his psychiatrist in the past about fantasies of killing his cousin.
“I would talk about killing Barry, and it was very graphic,” Winter said. “He would come out of the car park of Apotex, and I’d be hiding behind a car, and I’d just decapitate him. I wanted to roll his head down the car park, and I’d sit there and wait for the police.”
Winter also claimed to CBC that he had lined up a hit man after Barry Sherman had asked him to kill Honey Sherman twice in the 1990s.
“He said, ‘I want you to whack my wife’,” Winter claimed, saying that the plan had been abandoned at the last minute. “I called him and said: ‘You know, there’s no turning back, Barry, if I push the button.’”
Winter agreed to take a lie-detector test about the claim on camera, and he failed, CBC reported.
Former Quebec police officer and polygraph expert John Galianos determined that Winter was not being truthful about the supposed plot. Winter admitted that he had “embellished” part of the scheme, CBC said.
“He was lying, and the test results – the polygraphist – confirms that,” Michael Arntfield, a criminologist at Western University who observed the polygraph, told the CBC. “I mean, why go through this whole song and dance? That’s really the underlying question here.”
According to CBC, two of Winter’s friends said they were told of the plot at the time.
CBC wrote that it “could find no direct evidence to support Winter’s claim that he and Barry Sherman were involved in a conspiracy to commit murder.”
Winter has given at least one other interview in which he made similar claims, for the broadcast arm of the tabloid Daily Mail. The Sherman’s children have denounced the allegation.
“We are deeply hurt, shocked and angered that Kerry Winter is using the tragedy of our parents’ homicides to make outrageous and baseless claims about our father. The family accepts the conclusion of the Toronto Police Service, and finds it regrettable that the media would give a platform to these completely absurd allegations,” the family said in a statement published by The Toronto Sun.
The Sun reported that Winter has been interviewed by the Toronto police.
Winter declined to take a lie-detector test to answer questions about whether he killed the Shermans, CBC reported, but he acknowledged that some might see him as a suspect.
“I probably had reasons to lash out to do the dirty deed,” he said. “I had nothing to do with it. I don’t know who did it.”
According to CBC, Winter says that no one can verify where he was for the whole day of December 13, when the Shermans were last seen alive. He said he went to a Cocaine Anonymous meeting and then went home and to bed, CBC reported.
“No, no alibi,” he told CBC. “Very easy for me to have left work at any time because I’m not on the clock.”
He added: “I could easily have driven over to [the Sherman home] and did the deed,” CBC reported. “I admit to that, but I didn’t, I didn’t, and that’s why I’m not nervous.”
He contacted CBC after the initial interviews, saying he didn’t want to come across as “uncaring.”
“This was a tragedy no matter how you slice and dice it,” he said. “This was a terrible thing that happened, even though my cousin and I had an extreme falling out.”