News and Interviews

The WAR Series: Writers as Readers, with Jeremy Grimaldi


Journalist Jeremy Grimaldi had a front row seat, as a court reporter, to one of the strangest murder cases in Canadian history. When 24 year-old Jennifer Pan, outwardly a successful Scarborough student, was arrested for hiring a hitman to kill her parents, the country was dumbfounded. During the trial, Pan's double life (including the fact that she fabricated her university acceptance), as well as her victims' repressive parenting style, were revealed. The case dominated the media for some time, with Pan and her accomplices each eventually receiving life sentences. 

Grimaldi drew on his firsthand knowledge of the bizarre case to write A Daughters' Deadly Deception: The Jennifer Pan Story (Dundurn Press), which has been praised as "pure story: chronological, downhill, fast" and "hair-raising and revealing".

We're pleased to welcome Jeremy to Open Book today to talk to us about his life as a writer and a reader, in our WAR Series: Writers as Readers. He lets us into his reading life, telling us about the books that made him cry and laugh and revealing the classic true crime tome that influenced him as a crime reporter. 

The first book I remember reading on my own:

This Can’t be Happening at Macdonald Hall

A book that made me cry:

The World According to Garp

The first adult book I read:

The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz

A book that made me laugh out loud:

The Dog Who Wouldn’t Be

The book I have re-read many times:


A book I feel like I should have read, but haven't:

War and Peace

The book I would give my seventeen year-old self, if I could:


A book I feel strongly influenced me as a writer and why:

In Cold Blood 

The best book I read in the past six months:

Fight Club

The book I plan on reading next:

The 100-year-old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared

A possible title for my autobiography:

The Idiot


Jeremy Grimaldi is a journalist who has travelled through forty countries and worked in both Canada and the UK. He is currently the Crime and Justice Reporter for While working as a court reporter, he covered the Jennifer Pan story for ten months. He lives in Toronto.

Buy the Book

A Daughter's Deadly Deception: The Jennifer Pan Story

A sinister plot by a young woman left her mother dead and her father riddled with bullets.

From the outside looking in, Jennifer Pan seemed like a model daughter living a perfect life. The ideal child, the one her immigrant parents saw, was studying to become a pharmacist at the University of Toronto. But there was a dark, deceptive side to the angelic young woman.

In reality, Jennifer spent her days in the arms of her high school sweetheart, Daniel. In an attempt to lead the life she dreamed of, she would do almost anything: lie about her whereabouts, forge school documents, and invent fake jobs and a fictitious apartment. For many years she led this double life. But when her father discovered her web of lies, his ultimatum was severe. And so, too, was her revenge: a plan that culminated in cold-blooded murder. And it almost worked, except for one bad shot.

The story of Jennifer Pan is one of all-consuming love and devious betrayal that led to a cold-hearted plan hatched by a group of youths who thought they could pull off the perfect crime.