The True Story Behind What Jennifer Did

It’s been nearly a decade since a 28-year-old Jennifer Pan was sentenced to life in prison for hiring hit men to kill her parents. Now, a new Netflix documentary, What Jennifer Did, released today (April 10), examines how Pan went from a star pianist as a child to her conviction for first degree murder, based on incriminating text messages and interviews with detectives involved in the case.

On Nov. 8, 2010, Pan’s mother, Bich Ha Pan, was killed and her father, Huei Hann Pan, was left in a coma after a violent attack at their home in Markham, Ontario, about 20 miles outside of Toronto. Pan was the only surviving witness, and the documentary includes footage of police interviews with Pan in the aftermath of the home invasion.

In the documentary, detectives make clear they were suspicious of Pan from the get-go. As director Jenny Popplewell puts it, “Why leave a surviving witness? If you’re going to shoot two people, you would shoot the third.” Plus, a neighbor’s security camera footage showed three men entering the house, but no signs of forced entry.

Through footage of Pan’s questioning, the documentary reveals how Pan tangled herself up in a web of lies. She lied about graduating from high school and attending college, even forging report cards and student loan documents using Photoshop. She told her parents she was pursuing an undergraduate degree at Toronto Metropolitan University (formerly Ryerson), and her parents even drove her there because they thought she was attending classes. Her dad had dreams that she would become a pharmacist, while her mother wanted her to practice piano in all of her spare time. She was an award-winning pianist, but it was clear that her parent’s expectations were not her passions.

In fact, her passion was Danny Wong, a pizza restaurant worker and a drug dealer she dated for seven years. After her arrest, police found diary entries in which Pan wrote about how they dated on and off and how her parents didn’t want her to be with him. She became so depressed that she started cutting herself and told police that she hired the hitmen to kill her instead. “I needed them to kill me,” she says in footage of her questioning by a detective. “I didn’t want to live anymore…because I was such a disappointment.”

The documentary draws heavily on research and police footage crime reporter Jeremy Grimaldi had used for his 2016 book on the case, A Daughter’s Deadly Deception: The Jennifer Pan Story. Through a 2014 records request, Grimaldi obtained text messages from Jennifer’s phone showing that Wong said he lined up a hitman named “homeboy.” In the documentary, police involved in the investigation say they believe Wong wanted Pan’s parents dead because he hoped to benefit from the life insurance and house Pan would come into, perhaps to finance his drug dealing.

In the documentary, detectives also discovered that Pan was so serious about killing her parents that she offered to pay another male friend to do it but that plan didn’t come through.

In 2015, Pan, Wong, plus two men she hired, Lenford Crawford and David Mylvaganam, were all sentenced to life in prison with no possibility of parole for 25 years for the first-degree murder of Pan’s mother, and life in prison for the attempted murder of Pan’s father. In May 2023, they won an appeal because the jury wasn’t given the option of second degree murder in the case of Pan’s mother’s murder. Now it’s up to Canada’s supreme court to decide whether there will be another trial.

The documentarians hope the Netflix film will help bring new attention to the case, as detectives are still looking for a third hit manคำพูดจาก สล็อตเว็บตรง. Pan and her father declined to be interviewed for the documentary, and what really went on in the Pan household leading up to the killing may never be known. คำพูดจาก สล็อตเว็บตรง

Popplewell hopes that Pan’s troubled mental state will inspire viewers to recommend help for loved ones who appear as isolated as Pan. “This isn’t an immediate snap, this was a slow unraveling that had an opportunity to be intercepted and for her to get help,” Popplewell says. “And unfortunately, it doesn’t seem that she was able to speak to the right people about her emotions and how she was feeling…Rather than direct her to support, Daniel gave her the phone number of ‘homeboy.’”

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