Jennifer Pan was an accomplished figure skater, budding concert pianist, and a successful pharmacist-in-training. At least, that's what her parents thought of her before she had her mother assassinated on November 8, 2010. But why did Jennifer Pan have her parents killed? There are plenty of people who had their parents murdered, most for insane (or inane) reasons, like the time a 12 year old and her 23-year-old "werewolf" boyfriend killed her family, but Jennifer's case is quite unique.
Jennifer Pan attempted to murder her parents, Huei Hann Pan and Bich Ha, and was actually successful in killing her mother. Her father miraculously survived and in the end, his testimony was the final nail in Pan's coffin. Throughout her interrogation and trial, it became apparent that her personal self-doubts had imploded under the pressure of her parents' exceedingly high expectations of her. According to Pan's testimony, her hardworking, immigrant "tiger" parents had held their daughter to impossibly high standards which ultimately caused her to freak out and retaliate. However, investigation into Pan's life revealed that she had spent years pathologically lying and going to great lengths to cover up her real-life activities while pretending to be someone else entirely.
Pan's story ended tragically, but for her parents it was even worse. Read some of the most fantastic facts about Jennifer Pan's incredible attempts to deceive and ultimately assassinate her parents.
She Staged A Break-In To Cover Up The Murders
With the help of her secret drug-dealing boyfriend, David Wong, Pan conspired with two additional friends to fake a robbery-gone-wrong. The plan was to break into Pan's parents' home, take what they could, tie Jennifer and her parents up, and murder her parents during the fake robbery. Jennifer would then be free of them, and have the perfect alibi.
On the night of the assassination, everything appeared to go according to plan. The guys broke in, demanded cash which Jennifer gave them, shot Pan's parents, and then fled. Jennifer called the cops from a cell phone she'd stuck in the waistband of her pants.
Her mother, Bich (pronounced "Bick"), died of two gunshots to the back and one to the head. However, her father Hann miraculously survived a bullet in the head as well as one to his shoulder. He spent several days in a medically-induced coma but ultimately survived.
Immediately, there were various red flags that alerted the police that something wasn't right; Jennifer was the one who called 911 to get the police to come, but she was also supposedly tied up to the banister on the second floor. If she was tied up then how did she get to the phone?
Pan Was Driven To Murder By Her Strict 'Tiger Parents'
In 2011, Yale law professor Amy Chua published a book entitled Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother. In the book, she noted that tiger parents, as she called them, were rooted in Chinese parental culture: they're incredibly strict, focus solely on academic success, and have high expectations for their children.
Jennifer Pan’s parents — her father Hann especially — were the definition of tiger parents. Jennifer's social life had amounted to nearly zero, packed over the years instead with music and sports lessons as well as an overabundance of time set aside only for study. More than that, she was barred from parties and social gatherings, couldn’t have a boyfriend, and prevented from doing anything that Hann perceived as counterproductive to her success. Pan’s friends saw her parents as extreme with their protectiveness, and controlling in regards to her life. Pan felt she was imprisoned in her own home.
Her Web Of Lies Entangled Her
Because Pan botched her initial cover up and threw suspicion on the whole affair, she was forced to spend the next several weeks after her mother's murder creating even more complicated stories in order to dodge the police investigation. At first, Pan tried to explain away the odd fact that the thieves hadn't taken the keys to the family's cars when they broke in. And why did they shoot only two of three witnesses? Police were suspicious. As Pan's father lay first in a coma and then recovery at a local hospital, authorities decided to monitor Pan's activities.
By November 22, almost two weeks after the murder, the detective on the case brought Pan in for more questioning. Desperate, she tried to change her story and tried to claim that the assassination had actually been a plan to commit suicide since she couldn't carry it out herself.
But instead of killing her, the hired hands had killed her parents instead. She was arrested immediately and from subsequent interrogation and investigation, they tracked down the boyfriend, Wong, and his two accomplices, charging all five.
It Wasn’t Her First Assassination Attempt
Incredibly, the fateful shooting that happened in the Pan household in November 2010 wasn't the first time Jennifer toyed with the idea of assassinating her parents. Around the summer of 2010, Pan met with Ricardo Duncan for bubble tea, and together they conspired to kill her father. She claimed to have paid Duncan $1,300 to perform the job. However, it wasn't long before Duncan stopped answering her calls altogether, and she eventually realized that there was not going to be an assassination attempt.
Of course Duncan denied much of what she said about him. He also said that he was “offended” by her proposition to kill her father, and refused the money she offered to do the job — he claimed it was a mere $200.