“What Jennifer Did” Plot and Ending Explained, How did the Court Proceedings Unfold?

What Jennifer Did Netflix Documentary Series Plot and Ending Explained
What Jennifer Did Netflix Documentary Series Plot and Ending Explained

“What Jennifer Did” is a compelling 1-hour and 27-minute crime documentary that delves into a significant incident occurring in 2010. Available for streaming on Netflix, this thought-provoking film was released on April 10, 2024, and skillfully directed by Jenny Popplewell.

Plot Summary

In 2010, Jennifer Pan orchestrated a shocking crime in Markham, Ontario, Canada, which became widely known as the “Jennifer Pan case.” detective Bill Courtice is the lead investigator for this case. Markham is a place known for  a family oriented area , with a very low crime rate. This comes to a shocks for the detective because there is known for a  double shooting taking place. The call to the police came in about 10:30 p.m on the night of 10th April. 

Jennifer Pan hired individuals to break into her family home, resulting in the murder of her mother and the serious injury of her father. The incident was initially portrayed as a home invasion gone wrong, but investigations later revealed that Jennifer had actually masterminded the entire plot.

A scene from Netflix documentary series 'What Jennifer Did' where Jennifer is found to be the mastermind of her family's murder.
Jennifer – The mastermind of her family’s murder

Jennifer Pan was under immense pressure from her parents to excel academically, especially in piano and academics. However, she was leading a double life, pretending to attend college and pursuing her own interests while actually lying to her parents about her academic achievements. Fearing her parents’ disappointment and seeking independence, she devised the plan to have them killed.

She hired Daniel Wong, Lenford Crawford, and David Mylvaganam to carry out the attack, promising them a share of her inheritance. The intruders confronted her parents, Bich and Hann Pan, in their home, leading to a violent altercation. Bich Pan was killed, and Hann Pan was seriously injured with a gunshot wound to the eye that travelled into his skull and down into his jaw and neck. At first the doctors were not sure if he could survive because of how horrible the injury was but fortunately but survived.

However, inconsistencies in Jennifer’s story and forensic evidence ultimately led to her arrest and trial. In 2014, Jennifer Pan was found guilty of first-degree murder, attempted murder, and conspiracy to commit murder. She was sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 25 years.

The case gained widespread attention due to its shocking nature and the betrayal of trust within the family. It highlighted the pressures faced by children of immigrant parents to meet high expectations and the consequences of extreme parental pressure on mental health and well-being.

  • Jennifer Pan, feeling pressured by her parents’ expectations, masterminded a plan to have them killed, orchestrating a home invasion in 2010.
  • She led a double life, pretending to excel academically while fabricating her achievements, ultimately hiring individuals to carry out the attack.
  • Despite initially portraying the incident as a random break-in, investigations revealed Jennifer’s central role, leading to her conviction for first-degree murder, attempted murder, and conspiracy to commit murder in 2014.

What were the signs of Jennifer Pan’s double life that went unnoticed by her parents?

Signs of Jennifer's double life
Signs of Jennifer’s double life

Jennifer didn’t go to any college or pharmacy school. Instead, she told her parents she was studying for a Bachelor of Science degree. They believed she was attending Ryerson University in Toronto and even drove her there, thinking she was going to class. But Jennifer wasn’t actually going to school, and she admitted this to the investigators. She felt bad about lying, but there was so much pressure from her parents that she found it hard to tell the truth. Investigators discovered she kept up this lie for over four years. Jennifer also faked a degree from the University of Toronto, but her parents never questioned it.

How did the police uncover Jennifer Pan’s involvement in the crime?

Police uncover Jennifer's involvement in crime
Police uncover Jennifer’s involvement in crime

Through investigation and questioning, Jennifer Pan’s involvement in the case became clear. Detectives urgently briefed investigators on the second day to find the three violent individuals. Further investigation revealed details about Jennifer’s ex-boyfriend, Danny Wong, leading to suspicions of his involvement. Danny confessed to their past relationship, highlighting Jennifer’s strained relationship with her strict parents. After thorough questioning, Jennifer admitted to lying about attending university, raising concerns about her credibility. Detectives analyzed the 911 call repeatedly, raising questions about how Jennifer could make it with her hands tied.

The police had Jennifer reenact how she made the call to them, raising questions about why the killers left her alive. They found discrepancies in Jennifer’s statements, such as her parents’ knowledge of her lies about school. Jennifer admitted to not attending university after high school, sparking suspicion about her resentment towards her parents. During questioning, another woman hinted at Jennifer’s involvement in the crime, making the detective more suspicious.

Mr. Pan described Jennifer appearing unbound and relaxed with one of the suspects during the attack, a significant revelation. This led the police to believe Jennifer had a role in the murders. Detective Bill Goetz, skilled in detecting lies, confronted Jennifer about inconsistencies, causing her to confess that the killers were supposed to take her out, not her parents. Investigation revealed Danny’s involvement with another suspect, Lenford Crawford. Despite criminals making mistakes, the plan to kill Jennifer’s parents was too elaborate for it to be a misunderstanding, implicating Jennifer as the mastermind.

What was Jennifer Pan’s relationship like with her parents before the incident?

Jennifer's mother 'Bich Pan' and father 'Hann Pan' real photo
Jennifer’s mother ‘Bich Pan’ and father ‘Hann Pan’ real photo

During the questioning with Jennifer’s former boyfriend, Danny Wong, he confessed to their relationship which started towards the end of high school and lasted until about two years ago. Danny shared that they wanted to stay together, but Jennifer’s strict parents made it tough. He guessed that Jennifer’s parents didn’t like him, maybe because he worked at Boston Pizza. They probably wanted someone richer for their daughter. Danny also said that Jennifer’s parents’ strictness made it hard for her to make time for their relationship. This information helps us understand Jennifer’s family situation better and why she did what she did.

 After the parents of Jennifer  find  out the relationship between Jennifer and Danny, it did not go well. It strained the relationship even more. Her father was against her having a boyfriend. The father gave her an ultimatum, to either choose Danny or them (parents). And she chose to stay home with her family. And even though danny had moved on they still wanted to be friends but was caught again by her parents and the parents took away her cell phone.

The parents spends thousands of dollars for her competitions and even put her up to piano classes and she was exceptionally good. This shows the strict asian lifestyle and the pressure of being academically good. Jennifer also aditted that she wanted to do kinesiology, but her father was admanet on doing something int eh medical field taht was alittle bit more successfuland that the father knew that she did not have the stomakch for being a doctor so he wanted he rto become  a pharmacist. 

What were the reactions of Jennifer Pan’s friends and acquaintances upon learning about the crime?

Jennifer Pan’s family friend, Hong Ngo, expressed disbelief and sadness over Bich’s death, describing the family as warm and hospitable. Ngo vouched for Hann’s character, emphasizing his hard work and dismissing any associations with criminal activities. Neighbors also described the family as quiet and non-disruptive.

Another friend from Jennifer’s high school days, Nam Nguyen, reminisced about their shared experiences, noting Jennifer’s bubbly personality and generosity. Nguyen mentioned the ups and downs in Jennifer’s relationship with Daniel, expressing doubts about his suitability as a boyfriend. He recalled Jennifer’s summer job to buy him an expensive paintball gun, illustrating her selflessness. 

Were there any warning signs or red flags in Jennifer Pan’s behaviour leading up to the murder?

Jennifer broke down in Piano class
Jennifer broke down in Piano class

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The warning signs that eventually led to the murder started when Jennifer broke down in her piano class. She told her teacher, Fernando, that her parents didn’t trust her. They always watched her, didn’t approve of her boyfriend, and her father didn’t want her spending time with him. Her father insisted she shouldn’t waste time dating a cook, and her parents were making her feel overwhelmed.

How did the court proceedings unfold?

Jennifer maintains her innocence
Jennifer maintains her innocence

Jennifer is arrested and charged with murder, attempted murder, and conspiracy to commit murder, specifically for orchestrating the crime resulting in her mother’s death. Police identify her as the mastermind behind the killing of her mother, Bich Ha Pan. Jennifer, along with Daniel Wong and their co-defendants, receives a life sentence with no chance of parole for 25 years. Han Pan is granted a lifetime non-contact order against his daughter. After a successful appeal against their conviction for first-degree murder, all the accused are granted a new trial. Jennifer maintains her innocence throughout the proceedings.

What impact did the murder have on the community and those who knew the Pan family?

People who knew Jennifer were shaken by her heinous act
People who knew Jennifer were shaken by her heinous act

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The people involved were deeply shaken and perplexed by the notion of someone murdering the very individuals who brought them into the world. Nguyen, in particular, reflected on the profound impact of the news, vividly recalling the moment he embraced Jennifer at her mother’s funeral. He felt a profound sense of betrayal, realizing that his emotions during that interaction now seemed insincere in light of the revealed truth. Similarly, Jennifer Pan’s family friend, Hong Ngo, expressed disbelief and a sense of betrayal. She questioned how Jennifer could have planned such a heinous act and concluded that if she indeed orchestrated it, she must face the consequences.

What conclusion has the police investigation reached?

Jennifer received a text from Homeboy, saying “game time.” She waited until her mom returned from line dancing, then went downstairs to say goodnight to her. Afterward, she walked over to the door and unlocked it, effectively leaving her parents vulnerable. She then returned upstairs to continue texting with the suspects. It’s believed that she turned the lights on and off as a signal for them to come to the house, waiting in her bedroom for the plan to unfold. It’s as sinister as it gets.