Jennifer Pan (born 17 June 1986) is a Vietnamese-Canadian woman of Chinese-Vietnamese ancestry convicted of a 2010 kill-for-hire attack targeting both of her parents, in response to their alleged severely abusive "tiger parenting" into her mid-20s. The crime took place at the Pan residence in Unionville, Markham, Ontario, in the Greater Toronto Area. Jeremy Grimaldi, a journalist of the Markham Economist & Sun and the author of A Daughter's Deadly Deception: The Jennifer Pan Story, stated that the affair "captivated many, if for nothing else than the sheer intrigue of a case involving matricide, a rarity in Canada.
Early Life and education Edit
Jennifer Pan's mother Bich Ha (pronounced "Bick") and father Huei Hann Pan were Sino-Vietnamese (Viet Hoa) immigrants to Canada. Hann was born and educated in Vietnam, moving to Canada in 1979 as a political refugee. Bich also immigrated as a refugee. The couple were married in Toronto and lived in Scarborough. Their two children are Jennifer, born 1986, and Felix, born 1989. The Pans found work at Magna International, an auto parts manufacturer in Aurora, Ontario. Hann worked as a tool and die maker, while Bich made car parts. The couple persistently worked hard for their money to ensure that their children had the upbringing and opportunities they themselves had missed out on. Hann and Bich were thrifty and by 2004 were financially stable enough to purchase a "large" house with a two-car garage on a residential street in Markham, a town with a large Asian population. Bich drove a Lexus ES 300 and Hann drove a Mercedes-Benz C-Class (W203). They had accumulated CAD$200,000 in savings.
Jennifer's parents set many goals for their children and had extremely high expectations of them. Jennifer was made to take piano lessons at the age of four, as well as figure skating classes where she trained most days during the week. She had hopes of becoming an Olympic figure skating champion until she tore a ligament in her knee. Jennifer attended Mary Ward Catholic Secondary School where she played the flute in the school band. According to her high school friend Karen K. Ho, Hann was seen as "the classic tiger dad," and Bich was "his reluctant accomplice." The Pans picked Jennifer up when classes ended each day and monitored her extracurricular activities very closely. They never permitted her to date boys while attending high school, or to attend high school dances or proms out of fear that these activities would distract her from her academic commitments. Jennifer was not permitted to attend any parties while her parents believed that she was attending university. At the age of 22, "she had never gone to a club, been drunk, visited a friend's cottage or gone on vacation without her family. Jennifer and her friends reportedly regarded this upbringing as restricting and greatly oppressive.
Despite her parents' high expectations and that Jennifer had received good grades in lower school, throughout high school her grades were somewhat average (in the 70% range) except for music. Multiple times, she forged report cards using false templates to show her parents that she had received straight As when she had not. When Jennifer failed calculus class in her senior year of high school, Ryerson University rescinded her early admission. As she could not bear to be perceived as a failure, she began to lie to those she knew, including her parents, and pretended she was attending university. Instead, she sat in cafés, taught as a piano instructor and worked in a restaurant to earn money. In order to maintain the charade, Jennifer told her parents she had won scholarships, later falsely claiming that she had accepted an offer into the pharmacology program at the University of Toronto. She went to the extent of purchasing second-hand textbooks and watching videos related to pharmacology in order to create notebooks full of purported class notes that she could show her parents. Jennifer also requested permission from her parents to stay near the campus with a friend throughout the week.
She was actually staying with her boyfriend, Daniel Chi-Kwong Wong, a high school sweetheart whom her parents knew nothing about. He was of mixed Chinese and Filipino ancestry resided in Ajax and worked at a Boston Pizza restaurant. Wong, once a student at Mary Ward, transferred to Cardinal Carter Academy in North York, Toronto due to low grades, and later studied at York University. He was also an active marijuana dealer.
Adult Life Edit
While pretending to complete her degree at the University of Toronto, Pan told her parents that she had started working as a volunteer at Toronto's Hospital for Sick Children, known as Sick Kids. Hann and Bich soon became suspicious when they realized she did not have a hospital ID badge or uniform. On one occasion, Bich followed her daughter to "work" and quickly discovered her deception. In a state of shock, Hann wanted to throw Jennifer out of the house, but her mother persuaded him to allow her to stay. As she had not completed high school due to failing calculus, she eventually began working to finish high school completely and was later encouraged by her parents to apply to university. She was, however, forbidden to contact Wong or to go anywhere except to her piano-teaching job. Nevertheless, she and Wong spoke clandestinely during this period.
By the time that Jennifer was 24, Wong had grown weary of trying to pursue a relationship with her. As Jennifer was so daunted and restricted by her parents that she lived at home and only met him in secret, Wong began to date another young woman whom he soon fell in love with. Pan quickly invented a new story and told Wong that a man had entered her house, showing what appeared to be a police badge. She then told him that several men had rushed in and gang-raped her. After this, she insisted that a bullet was mailed to her, telling Wong that it was sent from his new girlfriend.
The Murder Edit
In Spring 2010, Pan was in contact with Andrew Montemayor, a high school friend who, she claims, had boasted in their high school years about robbing people at knife point, an assertion denied by Montemayor. Montemayor introduced her to Ricardo Duncan, a "goth kid" whom Pan gave $1,500 to kill her father in the parking lot at his workplace. Duncan says that she once gave him $200 for a night out, but that he returned it, and that he rebuffed her when she asked him to kill her parents.
Pan and Wong were back in contact at this time and according to the police, came up with a plan to hire a professional hitman for $10,000 to kill her parents, calculating that she would then inherit $500,000. They planned to move in together. Wong connected Pan with a man, Lenford Roy Crawford Jamaican-born whom he called Homeboy, and gave her a SIM card and an iPhone so that she could contact Crawford without using her usual cell phone. Crawford contacted another man, named Eric Shawn "Sniper" Carty, who in turn contacted Montreal-born David Mylvaganam. Crawford lived in Brampton and Mylvaganam lived in Toronto, while Carty, who previously lived in Rexdale, Toronto, at the time did not have a fixed residence. The Crown (Canadian government) stated that Mylvaganam was one of the hitmen. Carty was later found responsible for an unrelated murder, and Grimaldi stated that Carty was "a repeat violent offender"
The murder took place at the Pan house in Unionville, in Markham. On November 8, 2010, Pan unlocked the front door of the family home when she went to bed, then spoke by phone to Mylvaganam. Shortly afterwards, Mylvaganam and two other people entered the home through the unlocked front door, all carrying guns In the court testimony, the Crown did not establish the identity of the other two hitmen; Wong and Crawford were at work. Carty stated that he was the driver for those who broke into the house, and that he selected them and was involved in plotting the attack. He did not state that he was one of the three or that he directly attacked others. Grimaldi stated that the identity of the triggerperson remains unknown.
After demanding all the money in the house and ransacking the main bedroom, the three men took Bich and Hann to the basement where they shot them multiple times. Bich was killed but Hann would survive his wounds. The three men then took all the cash that was in the house including $2,000 from Pan and left. Pan claimed that they tied her up, but that she managed to free her hands and dial 9-1-1. Hann Pan was treated at Markham Stouffville Hospital, before being moved to a trauma unit at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto, by aircraft.
Investigation and arrests Edit
The evening after the murder, Pan underwent her first interview with the police. Pan was arrested on November 22, 2010 during her third interview at the Markham police station (5 District) of York Regional Police. During that interview Pan admitted that she hired killers, but stated that she hired them to kill her. The interrogating police officer, William "Bill" Goetz, falsely told Pan that he had computer software that could analyze untruths in statements and that there were satellites that used infrared technology to analyze movements in buildings; in Canada police are legally allowed to lie to those they are interrogating in regards to the evidence in the trial, as well as in regards to the strategies they are using. Goetz had used the Reid technique to ensnare Pan.
Mylvaganam was arrested at the Jane Finch Mall in North York, Toronto on April 14, 2011. Carty was arrested at the prison he was held in, Maplehurst Correctional Complex in Milton, Ontario, on April 15, 2011. Wong was arrested on April 26, 2011 at his place of employment Crawford was the final suspect arrested, entering custody on May 4, 2011 in Brampton
The trial of Pan and her accomplices began on March 19, 2014 in Newmarket and continued for ten months. All pleaded not guilty to the charges of first degree murder, attempted murder, and conspiracy to commit murder. At the trial, York Regional Police evidence included exhaustive tracking of the mobile device movements and text message traffic, including over 100 messages sent between Pan and Wong in the six hours prior to the killing Further evidence centered around the atypical nature of the "break-in", "robbery", shootings, and irregularities in Pan's testimony. Pan's obsession with Wong, her lack of true emotion and a confession regarding the attack, and recognition of the trauma she underwent were also detailed. A major irregularity was that Pan was not assaulted, blindfolded, taken to the basement, nor shot, leaving behind an eyewitness to the attack. Evidence from Hann, which differed greatly from Pan's version, also undermined her credibility, as did her inability to recreate the conditions of her 9-1-1 call when her hands were bound behind her (given that the police were the ones who had actually cut the shoelace to release her). The trial included over 200 exhibits; over 50 witnesses testified at the trial Pan, Wong, Mylvaganam and Crawford were all convicted on December 13, 2014, and each received a life sentence with no chance of parole for 25 years. Originally Carty was tried with the other perpetrators. Edward Sapiano, Carty's lawyer fell ill so around the Summer of 2014 his case was declared a mistrial. In December 2015, Carty received an 18-year sentence after pleading guilty to conspiring to commit murder. He was to be eligible for parole after nine years. According to Carty, he did not wish to subject Hann Pan to another criminal trial.
Penalties and imprisonment Edit
Pan's father and brother requested a court order that banned Jennifer Pan from contacting members of her surviving family. Despite the objections of the defense lawyers, the judge filed the order. Pan is also forbidden from contacting Wong. As of 2016 Pan was serving her sentence at the Grand Valley Institution for Women in Kitchener, Ontario. Wong, previously held in Lindsay, Ontario, was at Collins Bay Institution in Kingston, Ontario. Mylvaganam was at Atlantic Institution in Renous, New Brunswick. Crawford was at Kent Institution in Agassiz, British Columbia. Carty, who requested to go to a federal prison in Western Canada or Atlantic Canada, was still at the provincial Millhaven Assessment Unit, awaiting his transfer to a federal prison. Carty, who later moved to Kent, died in his cell on April 26, 2018.
Media Reaction Edit
According to the South China Morning Post, the case "sent shockwaves across Canada and the Asian diaspora." An editorial in the Northwest Asian Weekly suggested consideration of the "idea of recognizing the mental and psychological symptoms that parenting may have gone too far" in the Pan household A story by Karen K. Ho in Toronto Life magazine brought the story to widespread attention by framing it an instance of tiger parenting gone tragically wrong. In 2016, journalist Jeremy Grimaldi published a true crime book about Pan called A Daughter's Deadly Deception: The Jennifer Pan Story. The Casefile and My Favorite Murder podcasts and the Deadly Women series also covered the case.
The Aftermath Edit
Bich-Ha Pan's funeral was held on November 15, 2010 and took place at the Ogden Chapel in Scarborough. A funeral for Bich Ha's father was held prior to satisfy a Vietnamese custom that asks for older members of the family to have their funerals first. Jennifer Pan had organized both funerals and had been asked to do so. Bich-Ha was buried on November 19. 2010.