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“What Jennifer Did”: Is it Worth the Watch?

Paige Fenley
“What Jennifer Did”; rated and reviewed on IMDb

“What Jennifer Did” premiered on Netflix on April 10, 2024, as a crime documentary describing the life and crime of a young Canadian woman, Jennifer Pan. A lot of conspiracies and predictions arose throughout her case trial, and even after her conviction, but at the age of 28, Jennifer was found guilty of her successful plot to murder her parents in a brutal “murder-for-hire” scheme. Directed by Jenny Popplewell, this hour-and-a-half-long documentary takes its viewers through the events of 2010 through 2015, as the horrifying truth of Jennifer’s schemes is unraveled.
Gaining ratings of 49% on Rotten Tomatoes and a 6/10 on both IMdB and IGN, “What Jennifer Did” was released on Netflix in April of this year.

Jennifer Pan, having been 24 at the time, was a young woman who plotted a “murder-for-hire” scheme to kill her parents after hiring Lenford Crawford, David Mylvaganam, and her boyfriend, Daniel Wong, who she’d been in an on-and-off relationship with. The documentary follows Jennifer and police members who interrogated her through the years leading to 2014, when Jennifer was found guilty of first-degree murder of her mother, Bich Ha Pan, as well as the attempted murder of her father, Huei Hann Pan, who fell into a coma after undergoing severe injuries and later waking up, able to provide the police with the crucial information that put Jennifer behind bars for life with no parole until 25 years.

This documentary has already gained the attention of many crime-lovers, and the film’s reviews aren’t failing to express viewers’ likes or dislikes of the documentary. The film’s reviews describe how the film shows real detective interrogation techniques and ways of questioning that lead the suspect to disclose information. A couple of dislikes have emerged, though, including the suspicion of uses of AI in some evidence in the film, such as pictures of Jennifer that look slightly unrealistic, and some people also wish Popplewell had included more information about Jennifer’s brother who was practically never mentioned in the film. Thomas Costa, a senior at Pennridge High School, describes this film as, “Horrifying” and states, “I couldn’t imagine a child plotting her parents’ murder; it’s so weird to think that something like this is real.” Overall, the reviews for this film are very positive and promote a lot of attention to the documentary.

Tyler Murphy, a Criminology teacher at Pennridge High School, has always been interested in true crime. He states that one of the best things about true crime is that “you get to see the dark side of people, and that’s fun.” Jennifer Pan’s story leads viewers through a lot of twists and turns while trying to find out exactly what her story is, along with the detectives, all the way up until her secrets are finally revealed. Murphy also states that one of the main things he believes killers miss when trying to cover up their murder is “Usually some common mistake they make is a partial fingerprint or they don’t take all of the things they use, or bury too close to where they do it.” In Jennifer’s case, though, she covered up her crimes very well, until detectives finally put together the pieces that her story did not match up the way she had told it in the multiple interviews. While disturbing and very unusual, this film seems like a must-watch to many, and may just make the perfect twisted movie for your next stormy night.


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About the Contributor
Paige Fenley, Student Writer
Paige Fenley, Grade 11. Her interests/hobbies include playing hockey for Pennridge Girls Ice Hockey, going hiking, drawing, creative writing, hanging out with friends and family, traveling, listening to music, and attending concerts of her choice, and many others. With a year still left at PHS, she plans to begin applying to colleges such as SUNY New Paltz University, Boulder University, and the University of Oregon.  She hopes to study an English-related career path, now becoming interested in pursuing Journalism as an option.

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