TORONTO -- The bodies of Barry and Honey Sherman were in a similar pose to a pair of life-sized statues displayed in the billionaire couple’s basement, according to a report by Toronto Star chief investigative reporter Kevin Donovan.

According to a story published Thursday, Donovan discovered photos, taken three weeks before the couple’s murder, of two colourful, human-shaped figurines sitting on speakers in the basement of the Shermans’ Toronto mansion.

“They’re life-sized sculptures. They’re made from junk. They were made in the 1970s. They’re quite interesting looking and in this context, obviously, quite creepy,” he told CTV News Channel on Thursday.

The art pieces were given to the Shermans by friends years ago and have been on display in the North York home since it was built in 1985, according to the Star.

In the photos, which were taken in preparation for the sale of the Sherman’s house, the male and female figurines can be seen in seated positions, each with its left leg crossed over its right.

According to police, the Shermans’ lifeless bodies were discovered in “semi-seated” positions with belts fastened around their necks and tied to a low railing by the indoor swimming pool in the basement.

The couple was last seen alive on the evening of Dec. 13, 2017. Their bodies were found by realtors touring prospective buyers through the home two days later.

Through the Star’s own investigation, Donovan said they learned that Barry Sherman’s right leg was crossed over his left when his body was discovered.

“What I found most unsettling and eerie about them [the figurines] is that they’re in a seated position similar to the way the Shermans were posed,” Donovan said. “The male sculpture has the leg crossed, as did Barry Sherman.”

Unlike the female sculpture, however, Honey Sherman’s legs were positioned in front of her when she was found.

As for the connection between the statues and the bodies, Donovan said it’s unclear if police have come to any conclusions about the apparent similarities.

“I have no idea what the police or the private investigators have come up with related to these photos,” he said. “I’ve asked the police and they’ve said they can’t comment on anything in an active and ongoing investigation.”

Other clues

In addition to the life-sized figurines, Donovan said he’s also uncovered new details about the crime scene that may shed light on where in the home the couple was attacked.

The realtors and prospective buyers found Honey Sherman’s cellphone in a powder room which friends say she never used.

“Speculation of mine is that that is where she ran to and then was taken out of and taken downstairs,” Donovan explained.

What’s more, Barry Sherman’s gloves and papers relating to a home inspection for the house were found on the floor just outside the garage door on the way to the pool in the basement.

While police officers have said there were no signs of forced entry into the home, the Star’s investigation revealed that a window was left open in a basement room that was being painted in order to air out the smell. A door leading outside from the basement was also left unlocked when police arrived at the scene, according to the paper.

Donovan speculated that someone with knowledge of the home’s layout and who knew the door was often left unlocked would have been able to enter and exit the home undetected and leave through the neighbour’s yard.

As for the official investigation, Donovan said he was told in October that police were “cautiously optimistic” they were getting closer to solving the mystery.

“They do say that they have a theory of the case and that it’s an active and ongoing investigation. They do feel like they’re getting closer, but as we all know these things take time,” he said.