Tragedy of ‘golden’ daughter’s fall resonates with Asian immigrants

Straight A student to murderer: Tragedy of ‘golden’ daughter’s fall resonates with Asian immigrants

 | July 27, 2015 | Last Updated: Jul 27 4:54 PM ET
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Jennifer Pan's  trial, for plotting with hit men to kill her parents, ended in January, and she's serving a long sentence. But the full story of this troubled young woman is just now being told as a complete and powerful narrative by someone who knew her.

For a while, Tragedy of ‘golden’ daughter’s fall resonates with Asian immigrants’s parents regarded her as their “golden” child.

The young Canadian woman, who lived in the city of Markham just north of Toronto, was a straight A student at a Catholic school who won scholarships and early acceptance to college. True to her father’s wishes, she graduated from the University of Toronto’s prestigious pharmacology program and went on to work at a blood-testing lab at SickKids hospital.

Pan’s accomplishments used to make her mother and father, Bich Ha and Huei Hann Pan, brim with pride. After all, they had arrived in Toronto as refugees from Vietnam, working as labourers for an auto parts manufacturer so their two kids could have the bright future that they couldn’t attain for themselves.

But in Pan’s case, that perfect fate was all an elaborate lie. She failed to graduate from high school, let alone the University of Toronto, as she had told her parents. Her trial, for plotting with hit men to kill her parents, ended in January, and she’s serving a long sentence. But the full story of this troubled young woman is just now being told as a complete and powerful narrative by someone who knew her.

A social butterfly with an easy, high-pitched laugh, she mixed with guys, girls, Asians, Caucasians, jocks, nerds, people deep into the arts

In a story published in Toronto Life magazine last week, reporter Karen Ho detailed the intricate web of deception that her high school classmate at Mary Ward Catholic Secondary School in north Scarborough spun to prevent her parents from discovering the unimaginable: that their golden child was, in fact, failing. Using court documents and interviews, Ho pieced together Pan’s descent from a precocious elementary schooler to a chronic liar who forged report cards, scholarship letters and university transcripts — all to preserve an image of perfection. The headline: “Jennifer Pan’s Revenge: the inside story of a golden child, the killers she hired, and the parents she wanted dead.”


Harinder Singh Cheema extradited back to Canada, wanted for wife’s murder

Man wanted for wife’s murder extradited back to Canada

Harinder Singh Cheema, 36Harinder Singh Cheema had been on the lam for more than seven years.

CTV Montreal
Published Thursday, July 23, 2015 5:39PM EDT
Last Updated Friday, July 24, 2015 8:07AM EDT

One of Quebec’s most wanted is now back in Montreal.

Harinder Singh Cheema was brought back to Canada from California last night.

Cheema is facing second-degree murder charges for the 2007 stabbing death of his wife.

He was found through his fingerprints when he made an application for permanent residency status in the United States. He had been living in San Francisco under a false name.

Iranian man convicted of sex assault of ex-girlfriend

A North Vancouver man has been convicted of assaulting and sexually assaulting his former girlfriend.

The pair, young adults of Iranian heritage, met in late 2012 and began a romantic relationship that the victim, who is only identified by the initials S.M. in a court ruling, described as being initially “generally satisfying and pleasant.”

But S.M. had some concerns about her boyfriend, only identified as M.H., because he was suspicious of her and tried to prevent her from socializing with her friends.

She testified that in May 2013, following a conversation, he slapped her twice across the face, causing a nose bleed and injuries to her lip and eye.

S.M. told the court that she didn’t want anyone in the Iranian community to know what had happened because nothing like that had ever happened to her before, she was an independent person and did not want to be seen to be a victim.

RICHMOND, B.C.: Darwin Lescano suspected of murdering his mother, Redelma Belisario

Courtesy IHIT
Police are searching for Darwin Lescano, who is suspected of killing his mom after her body was found in a Richmond, B.C., home on Tuesday.

Homicide police are searching for a man suspected of killing his mother in Richmond, B.C., on Tuesday.

Redelma Belisario, 62, was found dead by family members just after 3:30 p.m. in a home in the 11000-block of Woodhead Road, according to Sgt. Stephanie Ashton of the RCMP’s Integrated Homicide Investigation Team.

Ashton said an autopsy is needed to confirm the cause of death but said it appears to be a case of foul play.

She said police are searching for the victim’s 38-year-old son Darwin Lescano, who has not been found and is believed to be a suspect.

“It is the priority of IHIT to locate Mr. Lescano,” Ashton said in a media release. “We are asking that anyone who knows where Mr. Lescano may be or if you see him that you call police immediately, do not approach him.”

Lescano is described is five-foot-six, 141 pounds with black hair, brown eyes and a slim build. He may have a shaved head or close cropped hair.

Anyone with information about Lescano’s whereabouts is asked to call IHIT at 1-877-551-4448 or email

Mohammad Shafia and his gang terrorize inmates to attend Friday prayers

Senate committee hears about Shafia, serving life sentence for 2009 murders of 1st wife, 3 daughters

CBC News Posted: May 05, 2015 11:22 AM ET Last Updated: May 05, 2015 12:42 PM ET

Mohammad Shafia, his wife, Tooba Yahya and their son, Hamed, were convicted in 2012 of the murders of the couple's three daughters and Shafia's first wife. A national security committee was told Tuesday that Mohammad Shafia intimidated inmates into attending prayers.Mohammad Shafia, his wife, Tooba Yahya and their son, Hamed, were convicted in 2012 of the murders of the couple’s three daughters and Shafia’s first wife. A national security committee was told Tuesday that Mohammad Shafia intimidated inmates into attending prayers.
The Montreal man serving a life sentence for killing his wife and three teenage daughters intimidated other prisoners to the point that one asked to be put in isolation, a Senate committee has heard. Psychologist Robert Groves, who worked in Kingston Penitentiary, testified Monday before the national security and defence committee hearing on security threats facing Canada. He said he met with one particular non-Muslim inmate who went to great lengths to avoid Shafia.

“It turned out that he felt so intimidated by Shafia and some of his lieutenants, that he chose to give up his relative freedom of movement on the range in the general population for a much more restricted life on a social isolation range,” Groves said. “He could no longer come to see me. I had to go to his cell on the isolation range. He advised me that confinement was worth it to avoid the hassle of dealing with ‘the Muslims’” After his first-degree murder conviction in 2012, Shafia took on a religious leadership role at the Kingston Penitentiary — the onetime maximum-security prison — organizing Friday prayers when the sole Imam permitted to minister to inmates in Canada was not available, according to Groves.

TORONTO: Peer Mohammad Khairi, who almost decapitated wife, loses appeal

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By: Diana Mehta The Canadian Press, Published on Wed Apr 22 2015

Ontario’s highest court upheld the second-degree murder conviction of an Afghan immigrant who nearly decapitated his wife, calling the woman’s death a “horrific” killing in a decision released Wednesday.

Peer Mohammad Khairi, a father of six, had argued that the judge who presided over his trial made several errors, and asked the appeal court for a new trial.

If a fresh trial couldn’t be ordered, Khairi had asked that his period of parole ineligibility — currently set at 15 years after he was sentenced to life in prison — be lowered to 10 or 11 years.

He was turned down by Ontario’s Court of Appeal on both fronts.

“The conviction appeal is dismissed. While we grant leave to appeal the sentence, the sentence appeal is dismissed,” the court’s decision said.

Khairi had admitted to killing his wife in March 2008, it was the circumstances of the death that had been in dispute at his trial, the court noted.

“He contended that he lacked the intent for murder due to mental health issues. Alternatively, he claimed that he stabbed his wife in the heat of passion, caused by her allegedly provocative words and conduct,” the appeal court wrote.

A jury deliberated for three days in 2012 before finding Khairi guilty of second-degree murder.

In his appeal, Khairi argued that the trial judge erred by not declaring a mistrial after what was allegedly an “improper” opening statement from Crown prosecutors, whose effect was allegedly to prevent him from receiving a fair trial. He also claimed the prosecution’s closing address was inflammatory.

The appeal court agreed that the Crown’s opening statement was improper, but found that the trial judge adequately instructed the jury that the Crown’s remarks exceeded the scope of a proper opening statement.


Khairi, who was born in Afghanistan, immigrated to Canada with his wife and children in 2003 after having spent the previous 15 years in India.

The family settled in Toronto but due to the couple’s limited education and inability to speak English, neither of them could find work, court documents have noted.

In 2006, the family had financial troubles and the relationship between Khairi and his wife became strained, the documents said.