‘What Jennifer Did’ Explained: What Happened To Daniel Wong And Jennifer Pan?


What Jennifer Did is the latest true-crime documentary addition to Netflix’s library, with the film bringing a case from Markham, Ontario, in the relatively peaceful region of Canada. On a fateful November night, a young woman placed a call to the emergency 911 number, informing the police that robbers had broken into their house and had attacked her parents with guns. As the police rushed to the place and an investigation began, it was soon discovered that the Vietnamese family living a quaint and usual life actually had some underlying secrets, kept hidden from the world. Overall, What Jennifer Did craftily conveys the shocking nature of the crime it covers and makes for a rather entertaining and chilling watch.

What happened to Jennifer Pan’s family?

The Netflix documentary film What Jennifer Did begins with an important phone call that Ontario police received on the night of November 8, 2010, informing them of a violent crime in the otherwise peaceful neighborhood of Markham. The caller was a young woman named Jennifer Pan, who was clearly in shock and panic during the whole conversation as she explained how some intruders had broken into her house and had seemingly shot at her parents. On the call itself, Jennifer explained how she had been tied up to the banister on the upper floor while the main confrontation was happening on the ground floor, and she asked for the police’s immediate assistance. The voice of a man could be heard on the phone, to which Jennifer responded as if it were her father calling out to check whether she was fine, although he was in a horrible state. As the Ontario police rushed to the address, they found a bloody scene inside the house, with a woman dead from gunshot wounds and a man brutally wounded on the ground floor, while the caller, Jennifer, was in a tied-up state, as she had mentioned.

The dead woman was identified as Bich Ha Pan, and the injured man was her husband, Huei Hann Pan, while the only healthy witness, their daughter, was Jennifer. With Huei still holding on to dear life, although he had been shot very close to his eye and was in a severely critical condition, the authorities immediately got him admitted to a hospital, and Huei was already in a comatose state. The police believed that the chances of Huei’s survival were slim, and so they started interrogating the only other witness, Jennifer. The young woman, in her twenties, explained how her parents, the Pans, were originally from Vietnam and had moved to Canada as political refugees, while Jennifer herself was born and raised in Canada. On that fateful night, Jennifer had gone off to sleep in her room on the first floor while her father had already returned home, and her mother had gone line dancing, as was her regular practice.

After Bich returned home at around 9:30 at night, Jennifer suddenly heard her call out to Huei, asking him to come downstairs, when the daughter peeked out of her room, too, in order to check what was happening. At this very time, a man who had evidently broken into the place spotted Jennifer and tied up her hands, warning her of the gun he was carrying and holding at her back. She was then taken downstairs, where she saw two other men holding her parents captive as they repeatedly told them to hand over all the money they had. Briefly, after this tense situation started, the daughter was once again led up the stairs, where she was tied up to the banister, and she could then only hear whatever happened to her parents. The intruders, all black men of young age, as reported by Jennifer, then screamed at the Pan couple for having lied to them and finally shot at them before fleeing the scene. While Bich had been killed by the numerous gunshots, Huei was left in a dying state. Within this time, Jennifer had managed to take out her mobile phone from her side pocket and place the call to the police, but it was still too late for the perpetrators to be caught or spotted.

Naturally, panic started to spread through the neighborhood about this sudden violent crime, and everyone was confused as to why the Pan family had been targeted. Although in financially stable conditions, with no dues or mortgages on their house, Huei and Bich were known to be resilient workers in the manufacturing and automotive industries, respectively. None of them had extremely high-paying jobs, and neither were they known to have any major assets at home. The Pans did not keep any considerable amount of cash at home, so there was simply no motive to target them specifically. The police believed that the attack was random, making the neighborhood even more cautious about security.

The perpetrators were first seen on security camera footage from a house on the opposite side of the road. Three men were spotted entering the Pan House at night and then leaving the place around thirty minutes later, clearly in a hurry. It was evident from the movement of the three men that something major had transpired inside the house, and so they literally ran out of the place. However, this is where a number of suspicious matters were raised, beginning with the fact that all three of the intruders entered the house through the front door, and yet there was no sign of forced entry on the front doors. According to Jennifer, there were no knocks or doorbell sounds on the front door either, making it seem like the door had been kept open from the inside, which was highly suspicious. Secondly, a number of valuable items in the house, like a camera and quite some amount of cash, were all left behind by the perpetrators, suggesting that their motive behind the attack was not financial.

How was Jennifer established as a serial liar?

During her first interrogation session with the police, Jennifer Pan revealed nothing about her personal life to them, which later became suspicious because there was a clear theory that could be linked to her personal life. In her late high school years, Jennifer started dating a classmate named Daniel Wong, although she was not allowed by her parents to see boys and date at the time. While the relationship had gone on for around six or seven years but had ended some two years before the murders in 2010, Daniel could not be ruled out of the story because of the fact that he had been earlier arrested for possessing and selling drugs. The police found out about all this when they did their own research into Jennifer’s life, and they naturally suspected whether Daniel could have been somehow involved with the intruder attack. After all, crimes of this nature for the sake of drugs were quite common, and so the authorities brought in Daniel for questioning while also confronting Jennifer about her past with him.

Daniel told the police that from the very moment that the Pans found out about his relationship with their daughter, Jennifer, they did not approve of him in any way. The parents believed that Jennifer was supposed to be concentrating on her studies and on building her career at the time, instead of wasting time with boys and chasing romances. Moreover, Daniel was not very strong in his academics either, and after completing high school, he started training and working as a chef, which was obviously not going to earn him a lot of money. Because of these reasons, the Pans remained disapproving of Daniel and Jennifer’s relationship for six long years, and it eventually led to the couple breaking up. Daniel stated that there was simply no use in staying invested in the relationship since he knew that he could have no future with Jennifer. Despite breaking up, he still remained friends with Jennifer, who apparently still wanted to be with him, but Daniel had moved on and started a new relationship with a different girl. However, making things mysterious, Daniel claimed that he had been receiving threatening calls and text messages from an unknown number, all of which were apparently to discourage him from meeting with Jennifer. When asked about his criminal records, Daniel admitted that he had been arrested by the police earlier for possessing and selling drugs, but he claimed to have changed his ways after the arrest. The young man also added that he was almost sure that the murders had nothing to do with his drug-dealing days since he only used to work with marijuana, which is a very common drug.

When Jennifer was asked about her relationship with Daniel and what her parents had to say about it, a lot more truth eventually came to the police. Jennifer’s parents, Huei and Bich, always put extreme pressure on the girl academically, always wanting her to excel in her studies and also be extraordinary in co-curricular activities. Jennifer was indeed very skilled in playing the piano, but she was losing confidence in life because of her parents’ constant doubting and surveillance, as they dropped her and picked her up from every location that she was allowed to go to. The girl’s romantic relationship with Daniel had been carried out in utmost secrecy, with her sneaking out to go meet him, as her parents totally disapproved of the boy. Furthermore, Jennifer was not academically brilliant at all, like her parents wanted her to be, and she had to bear with their anger in this regard as well. During the police interrogation, she admitted to having created false grades and scholarships for herself using Photoshop while still in high school. 

It was clear that Jennifer had started to build a wall of lies between herself and her parents, but the real extent of it was revealed only later on in the interrogation. Huei always wanted his daughter to pursue medical sciences and become a doctor or a pharmacist, at least, since these were high-paying jobs, but Jennifer’s grades were honestly not good enough to get her admitted to medical school. However, instead of coming clean to her parents about it, Jennifer lied about getting selected into university, and she lived on with the lie, even though her parents would drive and drop her off at her supposed college every single day. She had once again created false documents and degrees to facilitate the lie, but then eventually told her parents that she was dropping out after two years at university. This once again caused a rift between Jennifer and her parents, with the latter later stating that they would leave no inheritance in her name. 

While Jennifer Pan was already established as a serial liar by this time in the investigation, the police came across a major development when Huei Pan survived his injuries and came out of a coma. When questioned about the night’s incident by the police, Huei revealed that three intruders had broken into his house and held him and his wife captive. However, in a shocking turn, he revealed that Jennifer was also present with the three, talking to intruders in a friendly manner as if she were the one to have let them into the place. The police now had to arrest Jennifer and issue a warrant against her, which finally allowed them to search through her phone, and the entire truth was revealed.

What happened to the perpetrators?

Based on the information and evidence that the police found on Jennifer’s mobile phone, she was arrested as the lead suspect in the murder of her mother and the attempted murder of her father. Jennifer had grown frustrated and bitter with her parents for the curbed nature of her current existence, and she seemingly sought out a way to get rid of them. She was the one who had been secretly leaving threatening texts for Daniel, as she still loved him and wanted to spend her life with him, even growing obsessed with the young man. Eventually, Daniel also grew frustrated by the situation, and it was seemingly he who got Jennifer in touch with a man known as Homeboy, who basically worked as a contract killer.

Willing to change her life forever and also inherit the wealth that her parents had, Jennifer contacted Homeboy, and it was she who had left the front door to her house open from the inside. The three perpetrators, Eric Carty, David Mylvaganam, and Lenford Crawford, had then entered the house and shot at the parents before fleeing the scene in a hurry. It was believed that Daniel had helped Jennifer with all of this, possibly because of the inheritance she would make so that he could also claim a part of it. When confronted with these charges, Jennifer broke down and stated that she had actually hired the hitmen to kill her in the form of indirect suicide. According to her, the deal went wrong, and the hitmen killed her parents, leaving her alive and in this huge mess. 

However, Jennifer’s claim did not seem very convincing, especially since the police found out that she had tried to pay a friend of hers to kill her father some months earlier. It was determined by the court that Jennifer had decided to get her parents killed in a very premeditated and planned manner. Jennifer, Daniel, and the three hitmen were all sentenced to life imprisonment, with no chance of parole for twenty-five years. Jennifer still maintains that she is innocent and that she intended to get only herself killed. In recent years, all five perpetrators have been allowed a retrial by the courts, which is yet to take place. 

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Sourya Sur Roy
Sourya Sur Roy
Sourya keeps an avid interest in all sorts of films, history, sports, videogames and everything related to New Media. Holding a Master of Arts degree in Film Studies, he is currently working as a teacher of Film Studies at a private school and also remotely as a Research Assistant and Translator on a postdoctoral project at UdK Berlin.

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