Throughout our lives, most of us will fall in love with at least a few people. Often, we’re hardwired to love and be loved, seeking affection from the people around us. Love can inspire us to be better people than we innately are. Jennifer Pan was a woman who was deeply in love and who was lucky enough to meet the love of her life while still in high school.
At first, it looked like Jennifer Pan could have become a powerhouse in this world. She had a strict upbringing from her immigrant parents, Hann and Bich Pan, and excelled in everything she put her mind to. Whether it was school, figure skating, piano, or martial arts, it seemed like Jennifer had a gift for whatever she tried, or at the very least, the determination to excel. By the time she was in her early twenties, Jennifer was on top of the world.
Jennifer Pan was enrolled in the Pharmacology program at the University of Toronto, one of the most prestigious universities in Canada. Beyond that, she was volunteering for Toronto Sick Kids Hospital, and consistently bringing home incredible grades. While most university students stumble in their first year, Jennifer maintained a high grade-point average and looked like she was going to exceed every dream and hope her parents ever had for her.
From the outside looking in, people would see a focused and entrepreneurial young woman. She was incredibly close with her family, had a boyfriend who loved her, and somehow managed to juggle what seemed like an impossible workload. Jennifer Pan was going places and nothing was going to stop her.
Except… she had never gone to University. She wasn’t volunteering at Sick Kids Hospital. In fact, Jennifer had never finished high school.
Jennifer would later blame her parents for the elaborate web of lies she spun, but from an early age she began doctoring her report cards. When she found out that she wasn’t going to be able to graduate and her early admission from Ryerson University was rescinded, Jennifer took the easy way out. She lied.
In fact, she went one step further than a simple lie.
Jennifer fabricated an entire life for herself as a university student and lived that lie for four years. She pretended to go to school, filled notebook after notebook with fake notes, and even made up stories about her professors to tell her parents about. To her parents, Bich and Hann, Jennifer was studying up to 18 hours a day in order to excel in the pharmacology field.1
Instead, Jennifer would work at restaurants and meet with her boyfriend, Daniel Wong.
Initially, it had to have seemed like they were good for each other. The two lovers met in eleventh grade and although Jennifer had another boyfriend at the time, she couldn’t help but be drawn to the affection that Daniel gave to her.
He helped her through a panic attack, calming down her fears while they were on a trip to Europe and soon enough they were inseparable. School became less important for Jennifer. Obsessed with Daniel and the way that he made her feel, she started to structure her life around him. She loved talking to him, texting him, or, as alleged by Grimaldi, even just listening to him breathe2.
They came up with the same kind of eye-rolling nicknames that you would expect from a clingy couple of teenagers. Jennifer had a collection of stuffed monkeys and so Daniel called her ‘Munkie’ or ‘Munk-Munk’. Daniel, for some reason, was called Mr. Bubbles which was the same name that Jennifer’s stuffed animal had.
They referred to themselves as “mesa” instead of saying “I’m” which made their baby talk take on tone reminiscent of Jar Jar Binks.
hang in there munkey, mr bawbos c u soon3
As insipid as the texts are, they demonstrate the amount of reliance that the pair had on each other. They were in almost constant communication with Grimaldi even highlighting the fact that they’d share their toilet time with each other. In A Daughter’s Deadly Deception, Grimaldi points out a text that Daniel sent to Jennifer which simply stated “mesa dumping now“4.
They even managed to have a sex life despite the hiding they had to do. Daniel and Jennifer “…usually pressed for time and often without an appropriate venue, frequently engaged in sex in Daniel’s car.”5 Daniel, apparently, was a man with a high sex drive and would get Jennifer to sext him and share pictures of herself with him.
Jennifer shaped her entire life around Daniel, including getting a job at the Boston Pizza that he worked at and lying to her parents about staying with a friend so she could sleep over at his house. According to an article in Toronto Life, “Monday through Wednesday, she stayed with Daniel and his family at their home in Ajax, a large house on a quiet, tree-lined street.”6
But eventually, her lies were caught.
Jennifer was given the choice between her family and Daniel. And quietly, she did her best to get the best of both worlds, living at home while still texting Daniel.
Daniel, fed up with the off and on relationship and constantly having to hide his relationship from Jennifer’s parents. He broke up with Jennifer shortly before the murder and moved on with a new woman named Katrina.
It was shortly after this that the text messages started. The texts and the harassing phone calls to Katrina, Daniel, and Jennifer.
Jennifer claimed that these were from Katrina and that she was threatening Jennifer’s life. She claimed to find a bullet in her mailbox that she knew was from Katrina, all in Jennifer’s misguided attempt to keep her claws in Daniel.
She even went further, claiming that her home had been broken into. Jennifer told Daniel that “…a man had knocked on her door and flashed what looked like a police badge. When she opened the door, a group of men rushed in, overpowered her and gang-raped her in the foyer of her house.”8[/efn_note]
She wrote long text messages to Daniel where her disdain for Katrina was obvious.
“Forward this to Katrina. Congratulations to you and your friends for winning and putting me through not only emotional pain but physical. They raped me and beat me and yet you win the only person that meant anything to me. Please just tell these people to leave me alone so that I may rest in peace and so that I may go easy. I have suffered enough and I don’t want to suffer in my last days. Good luck and take care of Daniel for me. He is everything to me but sadly I was never enough for him to love.”9
For his part, Daniel was reluctant to leave Jennifer alone. Whether through her manipulations or his own weakness, he continued conversations with both women. Even the baby talk continued as outlined by a text conversation they had after they’d broken up and were planning their crimes.
D: Mama mesa fewing dwn
D: And dun wanna talk on the phone.
D: Any chance u can come tomolo?
J: I will try. Fine.
J: Wat time?
D: Come over for breakfast.
D: Contact homeboy.
J: I will in the morning. Runs away boohoo.
D: Pls tke care of my monkie mr chipmunk and mr bawbos.
D: Good nite.
J: Good nit monkey head
D: Y u down munkeyhead?
J: Sad u pomiss to call. I kno wat u said but still sad. No seep fo me.10
The romance escalated and changed, with Daniel becoming so central to Jennifer’s future that she would do anything to keep him. On November 8th, after Jennifer unlocked the front door, three men made their way into the house. They attacked and subdued Bich before dragging Hann out of his bed to be downstairs with his wife.
Jennifer handed over money when she was asked to and then, according to Jennifer, was tied to the bannister upstairs with a shoelace. Her mother, Bich, was shot in the head and killed instantly. Her father, Hann, suffered multiple gunshot wounds and then had been shot in the face. Jennifer claimed to be just as terrorized as her father and can be heard pleading for help in a frantic 911 call.
It was through a long court case and a series of police interrogations that the extent of Jennifer’s lies came to light. Hann Pan miraculously managed to survive, his testimony conflicting with his daughter’s. Jennifer, according to Hann, was left untied and was speaking calmly with the assailants all the while knowing that her parents were about to be murdered.11
Jennifer claimed that her parents were abusive. She said the strict lifestyle that she had been brought up in drove her to murder her mother, but her true motive was the twisted love and desperation for Daniel.
When confronted with the idea that Daniel felt for Katrina how Jennifer felt with Daniel, she threatened to call the whole crime off.
D: I feel the way u feel.
D: But about her.
D: I’m sorry.
J: What do you mean? Can you please clarify for me because I think I am misunderstanding.
J: What do you mean when you say that you feel for her the way I feel about who?
J: What are you sorry for?
J: Hello? This delay isn’t making feel very good. Could you please answer?
J: Do you feel for her what I feel for her? Or you feel for her what I feel for you? Which is why you would be sorry? I’m trying to clarify. The suspense is making me all clammy hands and heart racing.
J: Pls hurry to answer this.
D: I dunno how to say this.
J: So you feel for her what I feel for you. Then call it off with Homeboy.12
Lovesick, Jennifer Pan may have been, but even now she was manipulating Daniel. She asked him how he could protect her from the people who were threatening her. Jennifer offered confusing, contradicting messages and promised to do better. Daniel’s confusion was obvious.
His text read: Call it off with homeboy? U said u wanted this with or without me.13
Jennifer, after telling Daniel that he couldn’t protect Jennifer from the crank calls while being with Katrina, coldly texted back: I want it for me.14
To Grimaldi, this was the nail in the coffin for Jennifer’s excuses.
In sending that text, Jennifer “…tacitly admitted the simple reasoning: If you don’t want to be with me, there’s no point in killing my parents.”15
The manipulations continued. Jennifer claimed that she’d been shot at while trying to visit Daniel at work. She got more brazen in her determination to hold on to what little her and Daniel had left.
Jennifer was so wrapped up with Daniel that he took over everything else. Even on the day of the home invasion, she was more focused on flirting with Daniel through baby talk than the impending death of her parents.
D: What is it munky?
J: *pokes munkie side*
D: huh? Watsa rong?
J: *squishy face* craving attention.
J: chickens go cluck. And munkie say…?
D: Oooo oo oooo mmmeeee meeee meee
J: mesa no sued munkie make meeeee sound.
D: Mmeee meee mooo ooo
D: Monikes go e e e o o o 16
Daniel, however, was far from innocent no matter what his lawyers claimed. He was the one who introduced Jennifer to the people who would kill their parents. He knew about the plan to murder two innocent people and didn’t mention it to the police, going out of his way to lead the police in the wrong direction.
When weed was still illegal, he would deal drugs to make extra money and although he was a manager at his local Boston Pizza, that wasn’t enough for him. And, to add insult to injury, he told Jennifer that Katrina wasn’t as good as Jennifer was to him in a sickening text exchange.
D: Mesa dun have my monkie.
J: You have a mama better than munkie making you happy. No one wants a munkie that isn’t good enough.
J: I love you though.
D: She’s not my mama.
D: She dun take care of me like u do 🙁
D: Mesa sad.
J: *Kiss forehead be happy.
J: You don’t like that? *hangs head low*
J: See not good enough. 🙁
D: I do but me missy u.
J: Mesa miss you more.17
And in the end, they were both judged by a jury of their peers to be guilty. Bich Pan was dead. Hann Pan, and his son Felix, were forever scarred by the experience and broken.18
And Jennifer Pan, desperate for the love of Daniel Wong, was forbidden from speaking to him again while incarcerated. Beyond that, she had to watch his lawyers place the entirety of the blame on her, leaving her alone and friendless. Her family requested that she be barred from reaching out to them as well and have cut off all contact with her.
The love of Jennifer Pan was a deadly one, leaving four people behind bars, a mother murdered, and multiple families destroyed. Jennifer will be over 50 before she’s even eligible for parole and despite still professing her love for Daniel, it is likely she will be alone and lonely for the rest of her life.
- Grimaldi, Jeremy. “The Story behind the Confession of Jennifer Pan.” Thestar.com, Toronto Star, 13 Nov. 2016, www.thestar.com/news/insight/2016/11/13/youre-a-good-person-thats-made-a-mistake-here.html.
- “A Daughter’s Deadly Deception: the Jennifer Pan Story.” A Daughter’s Deadly Deception: the Jennifer Pan Story, by Jeremy Grimaldi, Dundurn, 2018, pp. 255.
- “A Daughter’s Deadly Deception: the Jennifer Pan Story.” A Daughter’s Deadly Deception: the Jennifer Pan Story, by Jeremy Grimaldi, Dundurn, 2018, pp. 256.
- “A Daughter’s Deadly Deception: the Jennifer Pan Story.” A Daughter’s Deadly Deception: the Jennifer Pan Story, by Jeremy Grimaldi, Dundurn, 2018, pp. 254.
- Ho, Karen K. “Jennifer Pan’s Revenge.” Toronto Life, 27 Sept. 2018, torontolife.com/city/crime/jennifer-pan-revenge/.
- “A Daughter’s Deadly Deception: the Jennifer Pan Story.” A Daughter’s Deadly Deception: the Jennifer Pan Story, by Jeremy Grimaldi, Dundurn, 2018, pp. 346.
- “A Daughter’s Deadly Deception: the Jennifer Pan Story.” A Daughter’s Deadly Deception: the Jennifer Pan Story, by Jeremy Grimaldi, Dundurn, 2018, pp. 339.
- “A Daughter’s Deadly Deception: the Jennifer Pan Story.” A Daughter’s Deadly Deception: the Jennifer Pan Story, by Jeremy Grimaldi, Dundurn, 2018, pp. 343.
- Maclauchlan, Jennifer. “Daniel Wong’s Closing – Accused of ‘Murder by Text.” Regina vs. Pan Et Al., 28 Nov. 2014, jenniferpantrial.wordpress.com/2014/11/28/daniel-wongs-closing-accused-of-murder-by-text/.