What Jennifer Did

What Jennifer Did
What Jennifer Did
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“What Jennifer Did” Calling 911 on November 8, 2010, Jennifer Pan, a 24-year-old woman reported that three gunmen had entered her Markham, Ontario home.

When the police arrived at their house, Jennifer was unharmed but her parents Bich and Huai were both shot. The father of Jennifer, Huai, however was still alive when he was carried out to the ambulance while Bich died from the gunshots.

When it began as a home invasion case at first. However the police didn’t take long time to start suspecting Jennifer’s participation in this crime. It came out during investigations that she was involved in the crime with revelations that were shocking and bizarre.

The story about Jennifer is contained in What Jennifer Did a recent documentary available for streaming on Netflix. By and large it’s an edge-of-your-seat watch due to the footage of interrogations conducted by detectives against her. Initially she maintains her original story of having nothing to do with attacking her parents. But gradually we see her breaking down under pressure as the truth keeps closing in on her.

So why did she want them dead? Mostly this isn’t going to be explored here because most of those answers are found within documentary itself. But there glaring gaps in doc that should have been filled.

For instance, we learn why she wanted them dead but we don’t find out much about how she thought or felt about herself during this period. At least one policeman refers to her as evil yet no information suggests that she was possessed by something monstrous.

Yes, this decision stemmed from cold blooded calculations on hiring people who would kill both of her parents but what kind of motivation did drive it? We understand that they put too much pressure academically on their daughter besides limiting any interaction with friends made elsewhere away from school boundaries plus they even attempted ending Daniel Wong who was not liked by them relationship between them and his life??

But can someone really kill their parents because of this? It is something that we might imagine doing when our parents act too harshly to us, but it’s not about using a gun. So, there must be more to motive than mere negative sentiment, isn’t it?

In Jennifer’s case, perhaps not. Nevertheless it would have been useful to have more background information on her upbringing so as to get a deeper understanding of the relationship she had with her mom and dad. While they were hard on her, maybe too much so; what impact did this have on her mental health? And I think we also could’ve seen Jennifer in a different light if we knew how tough they were with her.

Moreover, I wanted the examination on how police interrogated Jennifer was further advanced . We are told by one officer who appears for an interview that lying is not bad in Canada. It probably happens all over the world where cops sometimes lie to obtain information that may help them pursue their ambitions. However seeing this particular scene raises a question: If the police want Jennifer to say the truth shouldn’t they themselves tell her exactly what happened in order that they do so?

In one scene Jennifer is tricked into telling a ‘truth expert’ what they want to know. This is uncomfortable to watch, even though Jennifer herself is no innocent. However, there will be no time in this documentary’s course when we might explore morally ambiguous police practices. Although it would make an interesting and damning project on its own part.

The only interviews we have with Jennifer are from the pre-recorded interrogation footage from the police. There were also interviews with Daniel Wong by the police who was complicit in her crime as her former boyfriend. It’s easy to feel sorry for him because of the feeling she led him into her scheme; however, if we consider the kind of crime that took place, we should not have much pity on him either.

We hardly hear about any of the people whom Jennifer hired to kill her parents. This is too bad because more information regarding their backgrounds could provide us with greater insights about why they collaborated with her. Admittedly, though,this film largely focuses on Jennifer Popplewell (as suggested by its title), and since she acted together with others, it might have been useful to include some interviews of other accused persons.

However, despite my objections What Jennifer Did is worth watching due to extensive interview footage featuring an errant daughter whose every sentence amounts to a lie or many lies. This means that watching her speak another makes for compelling viewing as we know she will eventually fall from grace again. She leaves just as many holes in her story as does Jenny Popplewell in her doc—it doesn’t make it less fascinating at all.

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