Jennifer Parks’ murder featured on Investigation Discovery

Jennifer Parks

Jennifer Parks

Yesterday I noticed a spike in traffic for this site. These spikes are not uncommon. They usually mean that one of the stories I’ve posted about was featured on a TV show somewhere and the viewers want to find more information about it. Usually it’s about the infamous assault on Victoria Lindsay that the made for TV movie Girl Fight was based on. The only thing was the traffic this time wasn’t about Victoria but about the murder of Jennifer Parks.

For those of you unfamiliar with the story on July 30, 2005 16-year-old Jennifer of Randolph, New Jersey was lured to her death by her next door neighbor Jonathan Zarate. She was beaten and stabbed to death by Zarate and his brother James. James was a bully to Jennifer and with the help of her parents and school and the fact that James Zarate got himself arrested for vandalism he was forced to move away. The murder was in retaliation for James Zarate having to move away. After they brutally stabbed and bludgeoned Jennifer they dismembered her body and stuffed it in a trunk then put the trunk in the back of their parents SUV. The Zarate brothers waited a day before trying to dispose of Jennifer’s body in the Passaic River. A passing police officer caught the brothers before they could. Both Zarate brothers were convicted of Jennifer’s murder and sentenced to life in prison.

Last night I reached out to two dear friends of mine who friends with Jennifer’s mother, Laurie Parks. I asked them if they had heard anything about Jennifer’s story being on TV. They told that yes there was something on TV about on the Investigation Discovery channel. The show is called Deadly Sins with the subtitle of this episode being Good Boys Gone Very Bad. It’s Season 3 Episode 6. We’re cord cutters here in my home but I was able to find the episode for sale on Amazon.

The episode had two stories, the first was about Craig Rabinowitz who murdered his wife Stefanie. I was familiar with that story because I lived in the Philadelphia area at the time. Then came the part about Jennifer. I was not prepared for what I was about to watch.

Now I’ve been watching dramatic crime re-enactments since the days of Unsolved Mysteries and America’s Most Wanted. No re-enactment has ever gotten to me until now. Even though I’ve been blogging about this story for 9 years this episode really showed me just how brutal and senseless Jennifer’s murder was. Even though I know it was just an actress portraying Jennifer to see her thrive and become happy in her life after being rid of her tormentor only to have him and his brother savagely take that away from her and take Jennifer away from her loving family. It was hard for me to watch probably because I’ve communicated with Laurie Parks in the past and have friends who are friends with her.

The episode also had a lot of information that I was unaware of especially about how the Zarate brothers themselves were so violent and mentally disturbed. Also there were some details about Jennifer’s murder that I didn’t know as well that I can’t bring myself to write about.

If you have the ID channel on your service I would recommend catching this episode of Deadly Sins. If you’re like me though you can purchase it on Amazon.

(In the interest of transparency this was an unsolicited post and I receive no financial gain from it.)

  • Lee Wilkinson

    I just watched the Deadly Sins with Jennifer Parks, and being a Daddy of two teen girls, the same age as Jennifer at the time of he death..It literally brought tears at the end..Such a beautiful young girl, who did the right thing, by wanting to help other bullied teens to cope with bullying..She was a beautiful young Lady & would have went on & lived a full life & brought nothing but happiness to the world..Rest In Peace Baby Girl, even though I never met you, you touched my heart & obviously many others as well..I Love You as if you were my own Baby Girl & wish I was there to save you from those monsters..I would have died trying to save you..Cause I know you would have done the same for me & anyone else that your story has touched their hearts..RIP Sweet Baby Girl..The world was a better place from the small time you were here with us..I just hope I will have made as big of difference in so many live as you have..