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.”

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B.C.: Refugee family from Saudi Arabia built notorious family crime empire in Canada

B.C. parents learn hard $170,000 lesson in breeding ‘family crime empire’

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 | June 11, 2015 10:56 PM ET
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The family’s fourth son, Mahmoud Alkhalil, was one of three people killed in a notorious gunfight in 2003 in Vancouver’s Loft Six nightclub.

Nick Procaylo/Postmedia News/Files The family’s fourth son, Mahmoud Alkhalil, was one of three people killed in a notorious gunfight in 2003 in Vancouver’s Loft Six nightclub.

Two of their sons died in gangland shootouts, two others face drug trafficking or murder charges from mob-related incidents, and a fifth is on the run abroad. Now, their parents are learning another hard lesson in breeding a self-made crime group — they’ve lost the $170,000 they posted to have their eldest son released from jail.

Hossein Al Khalil and Soumayya Azzam were fighting in court to salvage bond money paid to have Nabil Alkhalil released. Their bond was lost when he fled Canada on a bogus passport soon after.

The judge’s ruling against them — with Nabil still a fugitive — is but one entry in an unrelenting stream of bad news involving their sons.

Toronto Police Service

Toronto Police Service Rabih Alkhalil is charged in a Vancouver hit and in a shooting at a cafe patio in Toronto’s Little Italy.

These two parents of five sons came to Canada, presumably to make a better life for themselves. Now, having buried two kids before they reached the age of 20, they have two more facing the possibility of a long time in prison,” said Sgt. Lindsey Houghton of B.C.’s Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit.

“The actions of these boys have destroyed that family.”

The family arrived in Canada from Saudi Arabia as refugees in 1990, although their roots are believed to be in Iran, and settled in Surrey, B.C. After two sons were killed in gangland violence, they moved to Ottawa and Montreal.

“They took all of their organized crime and gang connections with them,” said Houghton.

The couple’s second son had been the first to die.

In 2001, Khalil Alkhalil, 19, was shot dead in Surrey in a gunfight over a drug debt. His killer claimed self-defence and was freed. The shooter’s lawyer was beaten up in court by angry supporters of Alkhalil, and the shooter himself was later gunned down in Kelowna in a case that remains unsolved.

The fourth son, Mahmoud Alkhalil, was one of three people killed in a notorious gunfight in 2003 between gang rivals in Vancouver’s Loft Six nightclub. He made it out of the building, but was found bleeding and unconscious after crashing his car 20 blocks away. When he succumbed to his injuries at age 19, he already had a lengthy criminal record.

The youngest son, Rabih “Robby” Alkhalil, was only two when he came to Canada.

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.

Marc Wabafiyebazu pleads not guilty to murder in Florida drug-related shootout

The Associated Press Posted: Apr 20, 2015 11:51 AM ET Last Updated: Apr 20, 2015 4:28 PM ET

The 15-year-old son of a Canadian diplomat has pleaded not guilty to murder charges in a Miami drug-related shootout that killed his older brother.

Marc Wabafiyebazu 20150408Marc Wabafiyebazu is the son of a Canadian diplomat who police say was involved in a drug-related shootout that killed his brother and another teenager. (Handout/Canadian Press)

The attorney for Marc Wabafiyebazu entered the plea Monday on his behalf to adult felony murder, attempted murder and other charges.

Wabafiyebazu waived his appearance in court. Circuit Judge Richard Hersch set a tentative July 20 trial date.

Wabafiyebazu is the son of Roxanne Dubé, the Canadian consul general in Miami. Her other son, Jean Wabafiyebazu, was fatally shot in the March 30 confrontation over a marijuana deal that also left 17-year-old Joshua Wright dead.

Two other young men also pleaded not guilty Monday in the case.

Police say the gunfire erupted after the Wabafiyebazu brothers tried to rob the drug dealers.

Ottawa police seeking help to identify man and woman for questioning on stabbing death of Connor Stevenson

Published on: April 19, 2015
Last Updated: April 19, 2015 9:57 PM EDT

The Ottawa police major crime section is seeking help to identify two individuals who may have important information related to a homicide on Jasmine Crescent.Ottawa police

Police hope someone will come forward to identity two people — a man and a woman — whom investigators believe have “important information” in connection with the recent stabbing death of Connor Stevenson.

Early last week, the 18-year-old, a one-time Gloucester High School student, became the city’s second homicide of year after being stabbed at least three times in the chest while in the sixth floor stairwell of Sutton Place, part of a two-tower highrise complex at 2020 Jasmine Cres., in Ottawa’s east side, where he lived with his mother and stepfather. He was pronounced dead after being rushed to hospital.

The Ottawa police major crime section released photos Sunday of a man and woman, both black, they want to identify, saying the two “may have important information related to a homicide on Jasmine Crescent.”

One photo shows a hooded young woman in a bright pinkish coat talking on a cellphone while riding an elevator in the building. Another shows her in the hallway approaching the elevators still on a cellphone.

The man’s pictures show him wearing a black leather coat over a hoodie, with the hood on his head. Despite the hood, man’s face is revealed both as he enters an elevator and when as he looks up at the floor indicator on the elevator.

“The man and woman shown in these images were at the building at the time of the incident, and investigators believe they have important information to contribute to the investigation,” major crimes Staff Sgt. Robert Drummond said Sunday.

Marc Wabafiyebazu, 15, charged with first-degree murder in drug-related shootout

Marc Wabafiyebazu, 15, indicted on first-degree murder charge

The Canadian Press Posted: Apr 15, 2015 2:02 PM ET Last Updated: Apr 15, 2015 5:08 PM ET

Marc Wabafiyebazu, the son of a Canadian diplomat , was charged with first-degree murder in what police say was a drug-related shootout.Marc Wabafiyebazu, the son of a Canadian diplomat , was charged with first-degree murder in what police say was a drug-related shootout. (Handout/Canadian Press)

 A Canadian diplomat’s teenage son accused of involvement in a drug-related shootout that killed his older brother in Florida has been charged with murder and will be tried as an adult.

A Miami-Dade County grand jury indicted 15-year-old Marc Wabafiyebazu on first-degree felony murder charges Wednesday.