The discovery of 14-year-old Jenny Lin’s dead body at their home in Castro Valley, California, devastated her parents, John and Mei-Lian Lin. Over the years, the loving parents have desperately searched for answers but haven’t found many. Nobody knows who killed Jenny and why, but John and Mei-Lian have continued to fight for justice. ‘MURDERED: Jenny Lin’ is a two-parter from Crime Junkie Podcast that delves into this very case. So, if you’re curious to find out more about Jenny’s parents, here’s what we know.
Who Are Jenny Lin’s Parents?
John and Mei-Lian Lin, originally from Taiwan, moved to the United States to pursue their master’s degrees. They arrived in 1973, marrying the following year. Their first child, Rhoda, was born in 1975, while they stayed apart to finish their degrees. Eventually, the family moved to California and settled in Castro Valley, with Jenny being born in 1980. By 1991, the Lins had moved to a new home, and all seemed well with the family.
However, on May 27, 1994, John returned from work at around 6:45 PM to find Jenny in a pool of blood in the master bathroom. Distraught, the father tried calling his wife but couldn’t reach her. John then called 911 and attempted CPR on Jenny, but she was already dead. The police arrived, and Mei-Lian eventually learned of her daughter’s terrible fate. But as the days passed, the family struggled to answer why it happened. So, loved ones decided to try and do everything they could to figure it out.
John said, “Jenny is too precious, too important, for us to just try to hide away from her death. If I don’t come out and do something, there’s no way I can feel peace in myself.” Apart from setting up a toll-free hotline in the months after the murder, they organized a candlelight vigil and a fundraiser to keep the spotlight firmly on Jenny’s case. John also told the police about an unsettling encounter he had a few weeks before the murder. While John was at the train station, a man came up to him claiming they had his daughter and that he had a deal for him. At the time, John ignored the person and drove home.
John’s daughters were safe, and he didn’t think much of it. The authorities, though, didn’t think this had anything to do with Jenny’s murder. John and Mei-Lian’s perseverance seemed to pay off in 2006 when the authorities announced that Sebastian Shaw, a serial killer in prison in Oregon, was the prime suspect in Jenny’s death. Mei-Lian said, “I have no way I could imagine that this person would want to hurt her. He is not a normal person. We have mixed feelings. We feel relieved that the suspect has been named. But we are still very hurt by this. We still feel very hurt that our daughter was killed.”
Where Are Jenny Lin’s Parents Today?
The case remained unsolved over the years, with Sebastian Shaw being ruled out as a suspect in June 2022. John said in response, “We are still pretty frustrated that after all these years, the case is still not solved. However, we are encouraged.” That was because the authorities had submitted evidence to be analyzed using new DNA technology. The family also set up the Jenny Lin Foundation, which promotes child safety and music education for youth. Apart from sponsoring several events, the foundation offers free music camps and scholarships for budding musicians.
The family also holds a memorial for Jeremy every year in Castro Valley. Furthermore, the foundation has used its platform to raise awareness about gun safety. Today, it appears that John and Mei-Lian live in Southern California. John has a master’s degree in computer science and has previously worked for the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, California. Mei-Lian has a master’s degree in biochemistry and, in the past, has worked for investment and retail firms. Apart from being on the Board of Directors for the Jenny Lin Foundation, she currently works as the Director of Information Technology for Continuing Education of the Bar, a law practice in Oakland, California.
Read More: How Did Jenny Lin Die?