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This nerve-shredding true crime doc just rocketed to #1 on Netflix

Published Apr 12th, 2024 2:54PM EDT
What Jennifer Did is a new original true crime documentary from Netflix.
Image: Netflix

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I’m not usually actively searching for true crime documentaries when looking for something new to watch, whether it’s on Netflix or anywhere else. But if a new doc is getting a lot of hype, and I get to hear bits and pieces of what might have happened, sometimes I pay attention. I’d be curious to see why people did what they did and how the cops finally got them. Or if they even caught the bad guys at all.

What Jennifer Did would certainly fit in that category. I want to see why Jennifer Pan tried to have her parents killed in 2010 and how the police eventually caught up to her lies. Also interesting is the mental trauma aspect of the story. Jennifer had been dealing with personal issues and lacked the proper support that might have gotten her through it.

But I’d also be interested in What Jennifer Did because it premiered on Netflix this week and quickly took the #1 spot in Netflix’s Top 10 movie chart. That placement is guaranteed to grab anyone’s attention. Nobody would blame you if you were curious about what Jennifer did. I know I am.

The documentary covers the investigation into Jennifer’s conspiracy to commit murder. She had her mother killed, and her father was injured so badly that he spent a while in a coma after the attack.

The trailer, which you can see below, explains the “action” in this true crime original Netflix documentary, so I won’t spoil it beyond what the clip offers. But I have gone through Netflix’s coverage and our Andy Meek’s preview of What Jennifer Did, and I think I know what she allegedly did. I still want to watch it despite already knowing so much about the case.

In short, Jennifer lied to her parents that she was attending college. In reality, she had forged documents to trick them into thinking she was in school out of fear of disappointing her parents.

Jennifer’s love life wasn’t any less complicated. She was in love with a high school friend whom the family didn’t approve of. Daniel Wong was a drug dealer with a criminal record. Jennifer worked with Wong and three men to organize the murder of her parents, which should have looked like an armed robbery gone wrong that left her as a sole witness.

That was her story, that she was a survivor. But when her father woke up from the coma, he shared a different version of the events on the night of November 8th, 2010.

Separately, the investigators in the case became aware of Jennifer’s lies about her university studies. Once her father came out of the coma, the truth started coming out. Apparently, this was her second attempt to murder her parents.

What Jennifer Did tops Netflix's Top 10 Movies list this week.
What Jennifer Did tops Netflix’s Top 10 Movies list this week. Image source: Netflix

Jennifer eventually confessed but claimed that she hired the men to kill her, not her parents. She was sentenced to life in prison in 2014 with the possibility of parole after 25 years. She is currently serving her sentence and still claims she is innocent.

Moreover, the Supreme Court of Canada will have to decide whether or not to hear a retrial in the case. The Court of Appeal for Ontario overthrew the initial verdicts last year, arguing that the jury should have been given other potential verdicts.

You should have no problem finding What Jennifer Did on Netflix since it’s the #1 movie in the US right now. I’d expect it to get similar placement in other international markets where it’s also streaming. Or, this link will take you straight to the documentary’s Netflix page so you can start streaming.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.