What Jennifer Did: Where Is She Now?

By Olivia Emily

2 months ago

A new true crime documentary has everyone talking


True crime fans will inhale Netflix’s new documentary, What Jennifer Did. Over an hour and a half, director Jenny Popwell (who previously directed Netflix’s American Murder: The Family Next Door) lays out what exactly happened on one fateful night in a small Canadian town. If you’ve tuned in already, you might be wondering where Jennifer is now – and when all of the action in What Jennifer Did went down. Lucky for you, we’ve got the answers.

What Jennifer Did

A recreation of Jennifer unlocking the front door

Courtesy of Netflix © 2024

What Is It About?

What Jennifer Did opens with Jennifer Pan’s terror stricken phone call to the police, in which she explains she is tied up while her parents are being attacked by intruders downstairs. It’s 8 November 2010, and Jennifer’s mother, Bich, has been shot and killed; her father, Hann, has also been shot, but he ultimately survived. Through police interviews and archival footage and material, we then trace the events that led up to that fateful evening.

Through interviews with neighbours and friends and news reports from the time, it’s clear the Pan family were generous, hospitable and hard-working, living a modest life with little excess – so who would target them? And why would they leave Jennifer, a crucial witness, alive?

What Did Jennifer Do?

With this true crime documentary, the clue is in the name: Jennifer is ultimately believed to be at fault for her parents’ attack in a twisted kill-for-hire plot. As What Jennifer Did progresses, it quickly becomes clear that Jennifer is a very unhappy young woman due to the perceived strictness of her parents, especially her father. She was put through rigorous piano and ice skating lessons, entering and winning competitions, but couldn’t help but feel like a failure because she couldn’t achieve the grades to reach her father’s dream job for her: a doctor.

While her parents seriously restricted her social life – disallowing her from attending parties or dating – Jennifer secretly entered a romantic relationship with her school friend Daniel (who was also a drug dealer working in a pizza parlour). Upon discovering the relationship, Jennifer’s parents inevitably did not approve, forbidding her from dating Daniel.

All of this ground Jennifer down, and she eventually plotted to kill her parents in order to escape their stronghold. First, she approached a friend to see if he could help her. When he refused, she turned to Daniel who helped her arrange their murder through his contact, known in the documentary as ‘Homeboy’. Jennifer claims to have paid $10,000 Canadian dollars for three intruders to stage a robbery and shoot and kill her parents. Jennifer communicated with the killers via text, and unlocked the house door to allow their entry.

An archival photograph of Jennifer as a child

Courtesy of Netflix © 2024

How Was It Figured Out?

The police were always suspicious of Jennifer, because they did not understand why the assailants had left her unharmed and how she had dialled 911 with her hands tied. Additionally, if this really was a robbery gone wrong, why were so many valuable items left behind? It wasn’t until Jennifer’s father Hann awoke from his induced coma, however, that the suspicions started to solidify. Hann told the police that he saw Jennifer walking through the house and speaking to one of the hitmen during the attack – seemingly calm and not restrained. Hann urged the police to find out ‘what Jennifer did’, hence the documentary’s title.

The police then called Jennifer back in for questioning, putting pressure on her story by telling her that infrared technology and satellites can analyse movements in a house, therefore proving where someone is standing in the house (this was a lie; Canadian police are legally allowed to lie during interrogation). Jennifer eventually admitted that she had hired the killers, but claimed they were supposed to kill her, not her parents, because she was suicidal.

Did Jennifer’s Parents Find Out She Never Went To University?

Yes, Jennifer’s mother and father did eventually discover that Jennifer had lied about attending Ryerson university. In fact, Jennifer never graduated high school, graduated university with a pharmacy degree, volunteered at the Hospital for Sick Children, nor worked at a Walmart pharmacy like she had told them, amounting to approximately 10 years of lies and countless forged documents, from report cards to degree certificates. This is when they delivered her the ultimatum: continue living with her parents, or pursue her relationship with Daniel.

Recording equipment

Courtesy of Netflix © 2024

The Trial

Jennifer pleaded not guilty at the trial, which commenced in March 2014 and continued for 10 months. She was tried alongside her accomplices: ex-boyfriend Daniel Chi-Kwong Wong, and two of the suspected hitmen, Lenford Roy Crawford (aka ‘Homeboy’) and David Mylvaganam. The York Regional Police, however, presented over 200 pieces of evidence, including exhaustive tracking of mobile device movements and the 100 text messages exchanged between Jennifer and Daniel in the six hours prior to the murder. Over 50 witnesses were used, with the jury ultimately finding all four parties guilty of first degree murder, attempted murder, and conspiracy to commit murder. They were all sentenced to life in prison, with no chance of parole for 25 years.

A Retrial?

Jennifer remains imprisoned, but she also maintains her innocence. In 2023, the Ontario Court of Appeal ordered a retrial for the first degree murder conviction regarding the death her mother, with the defence arguing the jury only presented with two possible scenarios – a home robbery gone wrong, and a kill-for-hire for both parents – when they should have also been presented second-degree murder and manslaughter as other possible verdicts. This retrial is yet to take place.

An interview room

Courtesy of Netflix © 2024

How Old Is Jennifer?

Jennifer was 24 years old when the events of What Jennifer Did took place. Based on the 911 phone call recording, Jennifer’s appearance in interviews and her living at home with her parents, you might have mistakenly thought she was a minor. However, as the documentary unfolds, it becomes clear that Jennifer is above university age. She lied to her parents for four years that she was attending Ryerson University (now Toronto Metropolitan University), faking report cards, admission materials and creating class notes to convince them she was a student, when in reality she was teaching piano and working in restaurants to earn money.

With the events taking place in 2010, Jennifer is now 37 years old. She has been in prison for 13 years.

Was She An Only Child?

You wouldn’t know it from What Jennifer Did, but Jennifer was not an only child. We don’t know much about her younger brother, Felix, other than the fact that he, along with his father, has a restraining order against his sister, banning her from ever contacting them.

Where Did This Take Place?

What Jennifer Did takes place in Unionville, a village in the city of Markham in the York Region of Ontario, Canada, around 30 km northeast of Toronto.

WATCH

What Jennifer Did is streaming now exclusively on Netflix.