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A retired Toronto police detective is among “a number of forensic experts” hired to ensure “no stone is left unturned” in the investigation into the deaths of Barry and Honey Sherman, according to lawyer Brian Greenspan, who is representing the Sherman family.
Tom Klatt was involved in more than 70 murder investigations during his 19-year career with the Toronto Police Service, according to the Klatt Investigations website.
He also worked on investigations into organized crime groups and international narcotics syndicates.
Greenspan told CBC Toronto Klatt is one of a number of “distinguished homicide investigators” he’s retained to “provide a second lens” on the case.
Klatt has been working as a private investigator since he retired from policing in 1998. In that time, he’s worked for Innocence Canada, “many of Canada’s wealthiest families” and has assisted in a number of missing children cases, according to his website.
Klatt also appeared as an investigator in a docu-drama series about missing people called Last Seen Alive on the Discovery Channel in 2014.
The Sherman family retained Brian Greenspan as counsel to independently look into the deaths of Barry Sherman, 75, and his wife Honey, 70, who were found dead in their North York home on Dec. 15.
As previously reported, CBC Toronto has learned that the Shermans were found by the pool in their basement and that investigators have found no security cameras inside or outside the home.
Homicide detectives are leading the investigation, even though it is still considered a “suspicious death investigation” rather than a homicide. Post-mortem examinations revealed that both Shermans died from “ligature neck compressions,” meaning strangulation.
Over the weekend, forensic investigators were combing through sewers looking for clues into the deaths of the billionaire couple “out of an abundance of caution,” a source close to the investigation told CBC Toronto.
What can the Sherman family hope to get out of a private investigator at this point? Not a lot, according to former Toronto homicide detective David Perry.
“More often than not, private investigators are not called in at this stage,” said Perry, CEO of Investigative Solutions Network. “There’s very little a private investigator can do at this point, other than support the family and help them understand what the police are saying.”
Perry says right now a private investigator would have very little access to police information, unless they were doing parallel interviews with family and anyone else who could shed some light on what happened in the Shermans’ home.
Normally, Perry told CBC Toronto, a private investigator is brought in at the end of a police investigation to review the police file and offer an opinion on whether or not detectives might have missed anything.
The family slammed early media reports speculating that police were probing the theory that the pair died in a murder-suicide, and CBC Toronto has learned the family shared those concerns with Toronto mayor John Tory.
Tory’s spokesperson Don Peat said the family “did raise a concern that they were seeing information in the media before it was communicated to them by police.”
Peat says Tory relayed the family’s concerns to Toronto police “dispassionately” and “did not make any requests of police.”
Toronto police say they have no updates on the investigation at this time, and are not commenting on any independent investigation being conducted by the Sherman family.