Blog dedicated primarily to randomly selected news items; comments reflecting personal perceptions

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Practising To Deceive

"She did not work at the hospital. She had not graduated from university. My daughter said she was living with her boyfriend Danny Wong in Ajax."
Huei Hann Pan, Newmarket, Ontario
Jennifer Pan is seen carrying incense at her mother's funeral in November, before she was arrested. To the right is her brother.
Sing Tao, File Photo --
Jennifer Pan is seen carrying incense at her mother's funeral in November, before she was arrested. To the right is her brother.

To understand the significance of those statements and the pain and disbelief that accompanied them one would have to know also that Jennifer Pan, now 27, had informed her parents that she was attending university, that she had moved into an apartment with another student, that she was very committed to becoming a pharmacist and making them proud of her. This went on for years, and her loving, doting parents provided the funds to enable her to attend university and live on her own.

They were, however, confused at her evasiveness. Something didn't seem quite right. Not like with their son Felix who was studying engineering. Eventually Huei Hann Pan became so suspicious that something was afoot that they had no idea about, and wanted to investigate he was prepared to do so, to spy on his daughter. But his wife, Jennifer's mother Bich Ha Pan, restrained her husband.

She calmed him, saying that their daughter was "already a grown-up. You have to let her be herself; too much interference will not be good for her". And so, they waited, and hoped, and trusted. At the very least, they tamped down their unease over the fact that something was being withheld from them. Jennifer had invented a story about volunteering at the Hospital for Sick Children, and a job she had at a Walmart pharmacy.

Her father once offered to drive her to the hospital. Her mother attempted to follow her into the hospital, but Jennifer disappeared through the corridors and that effort led to nothing. They wanted tickets to attend their daughter's 'graduation' as proud parents. None was available, because there were none left. "I said, 'Maybe I can stand outside, looking in, OK by me", her father said.

Then later, after a few days had passed, Jennifer brought home the "degree" she had earned for her parents to see. No photographs accompanied the degree, and her father enquired why this might be. She had an excuse for that, too. Eventually they learned she was actually living with a young man. They asked her to come home, where she was given an ultimatum: Forget the boyfriend, return to school.

"You have to wait until I'm dead", her father told Jennifer, as the alternative to his insistent demand. Mr. and Mrs. Pan came separately to Canada as refugees from Vietnam, and met here. They married, and worked hard and their industrious life led them to comforts and a good life. They wanted a good life for their children too, and that good life, they reasoned, could be attained with a good education leading to a profession.

Jennifer Pan was not happy at the way things had worked out. On November 8, 2010, her father went to bed early, Jennifer was in her bedroom, and her mother had just arrived home from an evening out, line-dancing. Her father, testifying as a witness at a murder trial, recounted the events of that evening. Mr. Pan awoke to find a "colour-skinned person was pointing a gun in my face", softly hissing "Where's the f--king money?"

He was taken downstairs, and caught a glimpse of his daughter at her bedroom door, speaking with another man holding a gun, but not holding it threatening toward Jennifer. Nor was she restrained. Downstairs, followed by the gunman, he saw his wife with a third man standing behind her, a gun pointed at her back. "How could they enter our house?", his wife asked in Cantonese. "I said, 'I don't know; I was sleeping'."

Bich Ha Pan, 53 years old, was shot three times, twice in the back of the head. She died. Her husband, 60, was shot two times, and he survived. While he was in hospital after that dreadful night freshly out of a coma, recovering from the home invasion, Jennifer arrived to visit her father. "My daughter said to me she had to pay $1,200", asking for the money, Mr. Pan informed Ontario Superior Court Judge Cary Boswell.

She wanted the money, she said, for college tuition. The trial that Mr. Pan is testifying at is one that is judging five people charged with murder. There is Jennifer Pan, her former boyfriend Daniel Wong, David Mylaganam, Eric Carty and Lenford Crawford. All of whom have pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder in Mrs. Pan's death, and not guilty to attempted murder in the wounding of Mr. Pan.

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home

()() Follow @rheytah Tweet