Crime and courts

Girl who hired hitmen to kill her abusive parents has been sentenced to life in prison.

By Dani Hendrix

Jennifer Pan grew up in a horribly controlling household. She was a seemingly impressive student from a very young age and started learning how to play the piano when she was only four years old. In addition to playing the piano and some flute, she was also a figure skater and spent several hours on the ice in hopes of one day becoming an Olympic champion. Unfortunately, Jennifer tore a ligament in her knee and had to quit figure skating but this did not hinder her academics.

For many years, Jennifer’s parents thought she was a good student. In reality, Jennifer got mostly C’s in her classes. Her parents expected perfection from her, and she knew that she had no choice but to get A’s. In order to achieve this, Jennifer ended up forging her grades on her report cards and tricked her parents into believing that she was the straight-A student they expected her to be.

Like most overbearing and extremely controlling parents, they did not allow Jennifer to have any free time. They dropped her off at school in the mornings and picked her up when she was finished with her day so that they could monitor her time. Her parents did not let her do anything without them knowing and they certainly did not let her talk to boys. As she got older, they became more terrified that Jennifer would get distracted from her studies or goals by boys and forbid her from going on dates or even to her own school dance. It was no surprise that Jennifer felt trapped and could not make any decisions for herself.

Because her parents were so controlling, Jennifer learned how to successfully lie and manipulate those around her. Eventually, Jennifer met a boy named Daniel in her junior year of high school in the school band. They ended up going to Europe on a field trip for their band class where the two fell in love. Over that following summer, Jennifer and Daniel began dating but they hid it very well. During this time, Jennifer had lost her early admission into a Ryerson University because she had failed a math class during her senior year. When she learned that her admission had been revoked, she knew she couldn’t tell her parents.

Jennifer ended up telling everyone in her life that she was still going to the university and went as far as showing her family and friends a fake acceptance letter that she had forged. Not only did she lie about getting into the college, but it also turned out that she never even graduated high school.

Her father told her that he wanted her to go to school to be a pharmacologist and that is exactly the lie Jennifer set out to make them believe. She told her parents that she was going to Ryerson for two years and then she claimed she would transfer to a college in Canada. She also told her parents that she would be going to pay for college based on grants and scholarships and promised her parents that she did not need them to pay. To make it more believable, she bought textbooks and watched documentaries and taking notes on the subject she claimed she would be studying.

To fund her new partying habits and freedom, Jennifer taught piano lessons on the side and worked at a restaurant. After the two years she spent pretending to be at Ryerson, she told her parents that she would be going to college in Canada as they had planned and that she was going to be living with a female roommate. However, this was also a lie. She started living with Daniel for another two years and at this point, her parents believe that she has been in college for a total of four years.

When it came time for Jennifer to ‘graduate’, she came up with a plan to ensure that her parents would not come. She told them that since her class size was so big, each student was only allowed to bring one person and since she did not want to offender either one of her parents by having to choose, she decided to invite a friend instead.

Once she ‘graduated’, she told her parents that she would start volunteering at a blood-testing lab. She convinced her parents that she would be working late nights and weekends and that it be best for her to remain living with the female roommate (who she had never actually lived with). Eventually, her parents noticed that something was off with the situation, like the fact that she did not have any kind of uniform or key card.

Because of their suspicions, her parents offered to bring her to the hospital that she worked at one day and would not take no for an answer. Understandably, Jennifer was freaking out, terrified to get caught in one of her lies. Once at the hospital, she darted inside hoping that they would leave, but her parents went after her. When they couldn’t find her, their suspicions grew.

Parents Hann and Bich Ha Pan.

The following day her parents called the female friend that Jennifer was supposedly staying with. The friend told the parents that Jennifer had not been staying with her, and her parents immediately thought that she had been lying about everything. Back at their house, they questioned Jennifer. She ended up telling them some of the truth. She claimed she still graduated high school and that she did go to Ryerson University but she told them that she had been living with Daniel and had never attended Toronto University in Canada.

Not surprisingly, Jennifer’s parents were furious. Her lies made them more strict and despite being an adult, they took away her phone and laptop and tried to cut off her communication with the outside world and Daniel. They made her quit her job at the restaurant and put a GPS tracker in her car to make sure that they knew where she was at all times. Through all of the drama, Daniel grew tired of dating Jennfier and having to navigate her parents. He broke up with her and it sent her spiraling.

In the spring of 2010, Jennifer managed to reconnect with an old friend named Andrew. Andrew had told Jennifer that he had wanted to kill his own father and this gave Jennifer and equally dark idea. Jennifer had no life of her own as long as her parents were alive, and getting rid of her dad started to sound like a good idea. Andrew introduced Jennifer to someone he knew and the three of them formed a plan to kill Jennifer’s dad in the parking lot at his work. Jennifer managed to gather $1,500 to the friend to kill her dad. However, the friend took the money and ran.

As time went on, Jennifer began dating Daniel again but this time she wanted to kill both her parents. Together they formed a plan to have hitman come in and kill her parents. Her plan was to take the money from their estate for the two of them to live happily ever after. Daniel ended up connecting Jennifer with another friend of his who offered to give Jennifer and Daniel a discount on the murder of her parents. This connection only asked for $10,000 for their murder.

On November 8th later that night, Jennifer made her way to the front door as her parents were getting ready for bed and secretly unlocked it. At 10:02 PM, the light in the study flicked on and off and was later reported as a signal for the hit to begin. A few minutes later, Jennifer texted David (one of the three hitmen) that he now had “VIP access” to the house.

The intruders came inside and brought the parents and Jennifer downstairs. They made Jennifer give them any money her family had lying around in the house and when this was done, they brought her back upstairs and tied her hands with a shoelace in an attempt to make it look like Jennifer was unaware of what was going on. During this time, both of Jennifer’s parents were begging the intruders to leave her alone, and they promised that they would. It was right after this that the three intruders shot the parents in the heads.

Right after her parents were shot, Jennifer called 911 claiming to be tied up on the second floor and stating that she heard gunshots. Jennifer’s dad actually survived the shooting and managed to leave the house and get help from the neighbor. The neighbor called an ambulance and Jennifer’s dad was taken to the hospital where they put him in a medically induced coma. It was later that night that the police began to interrogate Jennifer.

During the funeral, people noticed that Jennifer did seem to grieve. It did not take long for the police to begin watching her without her knowledge feeling like something about the ‘robbery’ was off. Jennifer claimed that it was a robbery because of the money that was taken, but they left the expensive car keys and electronics in the house. In addition, the police found it strange that the intruders came in through the front door without any kind of tool or crowbar as if they had expected it to be unlocked.

Eventually, Jennifer’s father woke up from his coma and remembered everything. He told the police that Jennifer seemed to be friends with the three men and that she was not actually tied up. This lead the police to interrogate Jennifer for many hours. During questioning, Jennifer claimed that she was depressed and didn’t want to live anymore. She stated that she had hired men to come and stage her death, but that the men got confused and tried to kill her parents instead. The police arrested her at that time.

On December 13th, 2014, Jennifer and the three men were all charged and sentenced to life with a chance of parole after 25 years. After the trial, Jennifer’s dad reportedly struggled with depression and severe anxiety. He was unable to work due to his injuries and told the press that he “hopes his daughter can realize what she did and become a decent human being”.

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