A long-time friend of Barry and Honey Sherman says he’s not surprised that police are now saying they believe the Toronto billionaires were murdered rather than an earlier reported suggestion of murder-suicide.

Initial reports citing police sources had suggested police were investigating the deaths as a murder-suicide, although police never said that publicly.

“I’ve known Barry for 50 years,” Murray Rubin told CTV News Channel. “The last thing in the world he would do is kill his wife and commit suicide.”

Rubin said he believes police “shouldn’t at the beginning have said it’s a murder-suicide.”

“Any of Barry and Honey’s friends ... would have told them, ‘You’re talking through your hat,’” he said.

“But I think the police now will do their best,” Rubin added.

Rubin described Sherman as “the brightest guy I ever met.”

“He was brilliant. He was a worker. He made a pile of money and didn’t live as moneyed,” Rubin said. “He worked day and night, not because he had to but because he wanted to.”

Barry Sherman, 75, was the founder and former CEO of the generic drug company Apotex. Honey Sherman, 70, was a well-known philanthropist involved in numerous charitable endeavours.

Toronto police Det. Sgt. Susan Gomes said Friday at a news conference that, after “thousands of hours” of combing through the evidence collected over the past six weeks, police believe the case is a double-homicide.

The Sherman’s bodies were discovered in their Toronto mansion on Dec. 15. Gomes said the bodies were hanging by belts from a poolside railing inside the home and they were discovered in a “semi-seated position.”

Earlier this month, the Shermans adult children accused Toronto police of misleading the public with their early statements about the case and hired their own private investigators, who gained access to the house on Friday.

Former FBI Agent Brad Garrett told CTV News Channel that he was “baffled” that “it would take that long to call this a double-homicide.”

Former Toronto police detective Mark Mendelson, on the other hand, said the fact that it took six weeks “is not difficult for me to understand.”

“I think (Det. Sgt. Gomes) clearly articulated why it has taken so long,” he told CTV News Channel Friday.

“I think it was more to do with the judicial warrants and the production orders that were necessary for cellphones and computers,” he said.