Thursday 17 November 2016

Book ~ "A Daughter's Deadly Deception: The Jennifer Pan Story" (2016) Jeremy Grimaldi

From Goodreads ~ From the outside looking in, Jennifer Pan seemed like a model daughter living a perfect life. The ideal child, the one her immigrant parents saw, was studying to become a pharmacist at the University of Toronto. But there was a dark, deceptive side to the angelic young woman. 

In reality, Jennifer spent her days in the arms of her high school sweetheart, Daniel. In an attempt to lead the life she dreamed of, she would do almost anything: lie about her whereabouts, forge school documents and invent fake jobs and a fictitious apartment. For many years she led this double life. But when her father discovered her web of lies, his ultimatum was severe. And so, too, was her revenge: a plan that culminated in cold-blooded murder. And it almost worked, except for one bad shot. 

The story of Jennifer Pan is one of all-consuming love and devious betrayal that led to a cold-hearted plan hatched by a group of youths who thought they could pull off the perfect crime. 

This is the true story of Bich and Hann Pan, who were Vietnam refugees who eventually settled in Markham, just north of Toronto.  They had two children, Jennifer and Felix, and lived frugally to give their children the best they could.  Bich and Hann had high expectations for their children and were strict disciplinarians.  Jennifer and Felix were expected to get high marks in school and win the awards in whatever they did ... for Jennifer, it was in skating and piano.

After grade eight, Jennifer discovered she wasn't the smartest in school anymore and her grades started slipping.  Rather than let her parents know, she adjusted her report card to keep them impressed and vowed she'd do better next year.  The years ago by and she is stunned to find out that she doesn't have enough credits to graduate from high school.  Rather than tell her parents, she forged a high school diploma.  Then she told them she was going to Ryerson University and a couple years later showed them another forged diploma.  What she was really doing was going to the library, working in a restaurant and hanging out with her boyfriend, Daniel.

Rather than being honest with her parents, she kept digging herself into a deeper hole.  When her parents found out, they were livid and put restrictions on her ... she had to break up with Daniel, she had to quit her job, she had to enrol in university, she wasn't allowed to leave the house.  They ultimately made her choose ... them or Daniel ... and she choose them.

Then she started plotting to have her parents murdered so she would be free from their rules and she could be with Daniel.  In November 2010, in what looked like a home invasion, Bich was murdered, Hann was wounded and Jennifer was left tied "helpless" to a banister.  As the police investigate, they learn the truth.  Jennifer and those involved were convicted and sent to prison.

This book and story caught my eye and I thought it would be interesting and it was.  Surprisingly I don't remember it happening.  I liked the writing style.  There was a lot of information and I thought the author did a good job in presenting it.  Not only does the book tell the story of the Pans and what happened that night in November 2010 but it also covers what happened leading up to it, the trial and where they are now.  In addition, there is interesting information about tiger parenting and analyses by experts of the Han family and Jennifer herself.

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