Those that know me on a personal level know that I LOVE true crime docu-series (my favorite channel is the ID Network). Usually there are a few episodes where the crime is so horrific or demented that I am compelled to follow up on a Google search for more info, a few really pique my interest to find out as much as possible.
This was the case for a missing Arizona couple who disappeared in Newport Beach, California after showing their yacht to a potential buyer. All of my information I got from docu-series on the crime, the books and articles about it, and Google — Dead Reckoning (the book) was the most informative.
A psychopath, Skylar Deleon, and a cohort of acquaintances (and his own wife!) lured this loving couple to a horrendous death out at sea.
Skylar Deleon had a bad break in life (so did I, but I overcame it for the most part, so he gets no sympathy from me for his sad-ass Charles Dickens upbringing); yet because of that, he grew into a pathological liar with an ability to scope out dimwits who were naive enough to buy whatever bullshit he was selling.
He had an abusive father and an equally unfit cracker mother; he had more stories than Mother Goose; and his biological family might as well have been related to the likes of Charles Manson. Dysfunctional is putting it mildly.
Some things are understandable, like making himself out to be someone he’s not professionally. (I mean, c’mon, how many people lie or embellish themselves to be better than they really are, it’s definitely not unusual); I can ignore that — and believe me, there are certain crimes where I am compassionate to the murderer because of the circumstances or other mitigating factors… but this is not the case with the Deleons.
To break it down, Tom and Jackie Hawks come from stable, loving families; with lots of friends who care for them, and a vibrant life together. The complete opposite of their perpetrators.
The retired couple decided to sell their boat personally instead of through a broker to save from fees, so that they can settle back in Arizona to be a part of their new grandson’s life. (FYI, Tom Hawks looks like a very buff and tanned Tom Selleck; I never thought I would find a man in his 50’s attractive, but he was very handsome!)
An unemployed, broke criminal with a toddler and another baby on the way, living in the garage of his in-laws — answered the for-sale ad, and thus was the beginning of the end for the Hawkses.
Skylar told Tom he could afford the boat because he was a child actor who starred in The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers (an embellishment, no big deal) and had made some good investments. The truth was that he had a non-speaking role as an extra on set in one episode, where the camera showed his face for a few seconds.
The tragic end to the lovely Hawkses was that they were beat, tied up, forced to sign documents and give their personal information to Skylar… and thrown overboard alive, sunk to the bottom by the boat’s anchor, lost out at sea — their bodies never recovered, and assumed to have been taken as part of the marine ecosystem.
What really bother me was all the people involved in this crime, including a notary! I felt she should have gotten some sort of punishment, especially since she aided in the crime.
Unlike other crimes which could take years or even become a dreaded cold-case, this was solved relatively fast. First, because Tom Hawks was a retired probation officer and his older brother was a retired police chief, they knew enough to know enough (if you know what I mean); and mostly because the culprits are fumbling idiots.
A Missing Person’s report was filed with the Newport Beach Police Department, and the Hawkses told their family and friends who they were selling the boat to. Although the family was highly suspicious, the police were at first reserved in their suspicions of Skylar and Jennifer (his wife)… that is until they were caught trying to empty out the Hawkses’ bank account in Arizona, and showed the police a Power of Attorney that basically gave two complete strangers control of all their assets.
They crack the case when the weakest link broke (a dumbass that Skylar conned while he was serving time on a burglary conviction); that’s basically when all the dominoes started falling around the gang of heartless morons.
In the book, I found out Skylar Deleon is not his birth name, but a name that he had legally changed; and that he wanted a sex-change… oh, and that he wears diapers because of a motorcycle accident that left him incontinent (as well as purchasing an anal sex toy that cost like $900); he/she has since grew her hair out and takes hormones and actually looks like a woman now.
Although, I am skeptical of him/her being genuinely transgender. I think that he felt effeminate because he had to wear a diaper; that he was always a psycho and mentally disturbed some way, and that perhaps because of his emasculation and deep humiliation in wearing a diaper, he thought sexual reassignment would fix his incontinence.
Definitely, he was not driven to do this because of gender dysphoria; I mean, Caitlyn Jenner never killed anyone because she felt trapped in a man’s body… and if he is claiming that he was driven because of gender-identity issues, then he definitely wouldn’t be a candidate for sex re-assignment surgery anyway, because you have to be mentally stable to even be qualified for it.
In short, he’s a psycho trying to con anyone he can. That’s his MO, plain and simple… around the same time, he was also convicted and sentenced to death for the murder of a man in Mexico, that crime was committed almost a year before the Hawkses’ murders (for $50,000) and involved Jennifer too, as well as a cousin.
In the end, the monsters on the boat who physically committed the crime were all convicted and sentenced: Alonso was given 20 years, a big black guy named JFK (no kidding!) was sentenced to death along with Skylar; Jennifer Deleon was sentenced to life, she divorced Skylar in prison and now goes by her maiden name, Jennifer Henderson. The others were given immunity or not even charged.
Tom Hawks’ two boys suffered the death of their biological mother from cancer not long after their other parents’ murder.
CBS has a very in depth episode about this crime on their true crime show, 48 Hours; as well as Oxygen, ID Network, and other channels that have true crime shows.