Canada - Barry, 75, & Honey Sherman, 70, found dead, Toronto, 15 Dec 2017 #9

Discussion in 'Crimes in the News' started by dotr, Dec 15, 2017.

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  1. MistyWaters

    MistyWaters Well-Known Member

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    TPS does not employ pathologists. Their role is investigation, no involvement as trained medical or forensic experts. Maybe that’s where the confusion arises?

    Collectively death investigations are a professional and collaborative partnership, a team approach. Both the Coroner and the Pathologists involved in death investigations work for the Province of Ontario. TPS work for the City of Toronto. The Prosector who at some point hopefully files charges also falls under Provincial jurisdiction. But they are not one interconnected unit under a single chain of command, and each has a distinct role and function.

    Pathologists Registry alphabetical list | Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services
    Both Chaisson and Pickup are listed on the registry as they are professional associates licensed by the same provincial ministry.

    Ontario Death Investigations
    Common questions about death investigations | Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services

    ETA: This is also the reason why, in the double homicide ruling, it’s impossible for there not have been complete consensus by all various partners involved.
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2018
  2. MistyWaters

    MistyWaters Well-Known Member

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    <modsnip - quoted post removed>

    Huh, of course LE need to know the progress and results of death findings because they’re tasked with the investigation, in order to turn the evidence over to a prosecutor to seek a conviction. Municipalities don’t appreciate police forces who are poor on crime solving and typically it means the police chief’s contract doesn’t get renewed.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 5, 2018
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  3. casesensitive

    casesensitive Well-Known Member

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    RSBM

    Your edited last statement makes sense to me now. :)
     
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  4. deugirtni

    deugirtni Well-Known Member

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    I'm not disagreeing that TPS believes they were homicides. I'm saying that I have not read one time ever, anywhere, that the coroner/patho/ME ruled these to be homicides. I understand that the coroner makes no such public statement, however the purpose of the press conference was for TPS to inform the public what the manner of death was - and so if the coroner had ruled they were homicides, Gomes would have said that, but she didn't.

    Her very carefully chosen words instead said: The cause of death for both Shermans was ligature neck compression. The manner was undetermined, with the only presented options being double suicide, homicide suicide, or double homicide. And then she went on to describe all the things TPS did to reach *their own* conclusion of double homicide.

    In many posts you have posted that police are not responsible for calling the cause or the manner of death, and that it is the coroner's jurisdiction alone to do that - but something is missing there, because we know from other cases that the coroner can be wrong, and that a suspect can still be found guilty at trial for murder, even when the coroner ruled it a suicide.

    If the coroner declares the manner of deaths 'undetermined', then whose mandate does it become to figure out which manner it was, out of the 3 available options (double suicide, murder suicide, or double murder)? I believe it must be up to the police to then investigate fully to figure it out. Which is exactly what they did, over a 6 week period. The only thing I am disagreeing with in your posts, is your saying it was the coroner who ruled they were murders, and/or that the 'official' manner of death is double homicide.
     
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  5. andreww

    andreww Former Member

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    I have to say that that press conference was one of the biggest piece of crap I have ever seen. It is quite evident that its only purpose was to address the family's allegations that TPS jumped to a M/S theory. That is basically all she said. She was evasive in answering every single question, and quite frankly she looked like a deer caught in the headlights. Answer to the question "what is the thing that leads you to believe this was a targeted double murder?" Answer: Six weeks of evidence. Sure, six weeks of evidence that she admits they've barely begun to process.

    It is also interesting that throughout her entire address she uses the collective "we" when talking about the investigation, acknowledging that it was a collaborative effort. However, in every instance where she talks about the decision to label this a double murder, the answers are from a singular point of view. These are the only instances where she does this.

    5:50 "I have said its a double homicide"
    5:58 "I am saying the Shermans were targeted in this event"
    8:00 "I believe that they were targeted"
     
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  6. deugirtni

    deugirtni Well-Known Member

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    I don't think we can fault her for speaking as 'we', since she was tasked to speak on behalf of the Toronto Police Service and her statement had been written, likely by TPS's media relations officer.
    In the portion of the statement where she finally released that they believed it was homicide, she did indeed speak for the group: "We believe now, through the six weeks of work, review, we have sufficient evidence to describe this as a double homicide investigation, and that both Honey and Barry Sherman were in fact targeted."
    Gomes was not at liberty to disclose much of the information reporters asked her for during Q&A, as is often the case at these police press conferences, so I don't think we can fault her for being unable to provide as many answers as we would have all liked, either.
    And yes, even after reviewing evidence in this case for six weeks, this case is of such complexity that it wasn't anywhere close to being completed.
    Her purpose was not to address the family's allegations, but to inform the public, finally, of the outcome of their investigation as far as manner of death and what had been done up until then. They easily could have, and may indeed have, addressed the family privately prior to the press conference, or even all along the way. This is obviously a very high profile case that has generated much interest, so they needed to address the public, and it was high time. imo.
     
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  7. andreww

    andreww Former Member

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    Exactly. When scripted, its "we". Unscripted its "I".
     
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  8. MistyWaters

    MistyWaters Well-Known Member

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    If TPS has the power to expend the largest amount of policing resources in its entire history in investigating a double homicide that wasn’t even known to have occurred, don’t you think both the media and the taxpayers of Toronto should have a real problem with that?

    It’s definitely not up to the police to figure it out. If a Coroner and Pathologist don’t see any proof of homicide given they were present and involved in investigating the death scene, how could anyone later be convicted of homicide if it wasn’t determined to have happened? TPS’s investigation would be a total waste of time and money.
     
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  9. MistyWaters

    MistyWaters Well-Known Member

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    Police are public spokespersons for the investigative team that includes the work of the Coroner and Pathologist. That’s why LE always announces death results.

    “We” isn’t in reference to only the police department. Neither Coroner’s nor pathologists hold public press conferences or contact the media to announce their findings regarding any deaths. LE makes the announcement on behalf of their collaborative involvement.
     
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  10. Satchie

    Satchie Well-Known Member

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    I think the idea that the coroner hasn't issued a final manner of death is intruiging, but I agree that police bureaucracy can't possibly work that way. A big organization like that would have very strict rules for how resources are assigned, how statistics are collected and presented to government, etc. It may seem minor, but it's essential to preventing a very expensive service from going rogue and off on their own direction, such as wasting vast amounts of taxpayers time and money on an unnecessary investigation.

    So I expect that the homicide unit cannot launch an official homicide investigation, as was announced on Jan 26, unless and until they have that signed document from the coroner declaring the death a homicide. Until that point, it is a 'suspicious death' investigation.
     
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  11. Satchie

    Satchie Well-Known Member

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    Besides, if the coroner hadn't declared homicide, we'd have heard about that from Greenspan.
     
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  12. andreww

    andreww Former Member

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    I'm not questioning the "we". Its the "I" that is significant.
     
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  13. MistyWaters

    MistyWaters Well-Known Member

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    Maybe I see why the ambiguity, it involves the flow of sentences snipped from a 12 minute press conference, when taken out of context it appears confusing?

    Gomes begins the press conference by stating the cause of death was determined to have been ligature neck compression and the cause of death was undermined. This is her introduction, not the announcement of the conclusion. We already know between Dec 15th and Jan 26th the deaths were stated as “suspicious” only.

    She then goes on to describe the work that’s been ongoing in greater detail and also emphasizes the parties involved in the investigation.

    “As a unit, with many other areas of experience within our service, we have so far spent thousands of hours on this investigation. Our partners include the Province’s Coroner’s office, forensic pathology unit and many areas of discipline within the field of forensic sciences..”

    Then she summarizes by stating the conclusion of the investigation that was focused on three possibilities. Double homicide.

    “We believe now, through the six weeks or work and review, we have sufficient evidence to describe this as a double homicide investigation and that both Honey and Barry Sherman were in fact targeted...”
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2018
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  14. andreww

    andreww Former Member

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    I'm not entirely sure why people here believe that it is the sole responsibility of the coroner to decide between a suicide and a murder? The coroner examines the body, how can he deduce whether I hung myself or if someone else put the rope around my neck and hung me? There has to be instances where the investigators influence that decision?
     
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  15. andreww

    andreww Former Member

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    Have you ever seen a presser where police have laid out three scenarios and explained their methodology in coming to a decision to reporters? Never. The bulk of this press conference was blatantly aimed at appeasing the family and covering their behinds.

    If you can't see that, I give up.
     
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  16. MistyWaters

    MistyWaters Well-Known Member

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    How could a police officer, with no medical training at all, be able to determine it? Police are trained to recognize signs of “suspicious deaths”. They are trained to preserve and protect the scene until forensic experts arrive on site.
     
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  17. MistyWaters

    MistyWaters Well-Known Member

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    Don’t give up because it’s not only me who hears her official announcement of the Sherman deaths, a targeted double homicide. The media and even the Court Judge who has sealed legal files from public disclosure, we must all be naive I guess.
     
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  18. MistyWaters

    MistyWaters Well-Known Member

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    One reason Coronors are given the responsibility is because in Canada, it’s legislated under the Coronors Act. That’s there’s independence between the Coronors Office and any police department is a good thing. Otherwise imagine the potential for corruption, if LE had the ability to decide which deaths were homicides and then chose whether to investigate or not. In the US, the Coronor and Police Chief are also independent of one another as both roles are elected.

    Common Questions About Death Investigations
    Frequently Asked Questions
    What are coroners?
    Coroners are medical doctors with specialized death investigation training, who have been appointed to investigate sudden deaths as mandated by the Coroners Act.

    What are pathologists and forensic pathologists?
    Pathologists are medical doctors who are experts in disease and injury. Forensic pathologists have further training and are experts in disease and injury that result in sudden death. Pathologists and forensic pathologists are the medical doctors who perform autopsies, when required. Forensic pathologists may also be appointed as coroners to investigate cases of suspicious death.

    What is a death investigation?
    A death investigation is a process whereby a coroner or forensic pathologist seeks to understand how and why a person died. A coroner or forensic pathologist must answer five questions when investigating a death:

    • Who (identity of the deceased)
    • When (date of death)
    • Where (location of death)
    • How (medical cause of death)
    • By what means (natural causes, accident, homicide, suicide or undetermined)
    Information may be obtained from several sources including, but not limited to family, co-workers, neighbours, doctors, hospital records, police and other emergency service workers. Contact with family is vital as they often have important information that can aid the investigation.

    How are police involved?
    Police are usually among the first responders at a death scene. Coroners may request police assistance with investigations.
    Common questions about death investigations | Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services

    ETA: Coronors (or Medical Examiners as they’re referred to in some provinces) are tasked with the same responsibilities under Provincial Law throughout Canada.
     
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  19. Satchie

    Satchie Well-Known Member

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    The Coroner may consult with police, but they are the one who signs the document that records the official cause and manner of death. These things are definitely not done verbally, there are official records.
     
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  20. dotr

    dotr Well-Known Member

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    Fwiw, interesting and lengthy article about how the affluent for security reasons try to keep homes they purchased or are selling under wraps.
    The Shermans practically did the opposite, the home was prominently featured in a magazine just prior to the murders, and no longer available.
    imo, speculation.
    Secret luxury homes: how the ultra-rich hide their properties | Financial Times

    by Judith Evans November 28, 2018
    "When representatives of a young, wealthy Middle Eastern woman approached Tim Macpherson at the Mayfair office of estate agent Carter Jonas recently, he told them he had just the home for her: a period house costing more than £50m in one of London’s most upmarket areas. The historic property had never had a For Sale sign outside nor been listed with any agent, though its owners had quietly informed Macpherson they wished to sell. You will not find its details or photographs online and the buyer went through a “hugely expensive exercise” to purchase it through a company structure that makes her own identity difficult to ascertain. She did not even visit the property until several of her entourage had been first. The woman passed anti-money laundering checks and is not what regulators call a “politically exposed person” who may be vulnerable to corruption in their home country, Macpherson says. But her high-profile family means that protecting her identity is paramount."

    "Such discreet sales are often surrounded by further measures to maintain secrecy around a home and its residents. These range from ownership structures that obscure identity to state of the art alarm systems and staff who do not know when their employers will come or go. “People always keep their houses up and running, not as a matter of extravagance but because you can’t tell the staff: ‘I’ll be here a week on Thursday.’ Not even the household can know,” Macpherson says."
     
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