Tom and Jackie Hawks bought a boat named Well Deserved and they were living their dream life. They found out that their son was going to be a father and they decided it was time to sell their boat so they could be close to their new grandchild. The couple put the boat for sale and they were soon contacted by a prospective buyer. Tom and Jackie accidentally boarded the boat with a gang member, a convict, and a jail security officer.
If you grew up in the 90s, you have probably watched the Power Rangers, or at least heard of them. I was the pink one for Halloween one year. The Power Rangers are protectors of the Earth, but have you ever heard of the Power Rangers curse?
The Red Ranger: Pua Magasiva (pUa MagasEEva) was found dead in his home at age 38, the cause of death is unknown.
The Yellow Ranger, Thuy Trang (Twee Trang), died in a car accident at age 27
Eric Frank worked behind the scenes on Power Rangers and eventually landed the role of Gold Ranger. He died at age 29 of an unknown illness.
Ricardo Medina Jr played Red Lion Ranger and he ended up slaying his roomate with a sword.
White Mystic Ranger Peta Rutter died at age 50 from a brain tumor.
Richard Genelle played Ernie and he died from a heart attack at age 47.
Machiko Soga played Rita and she died from pancreatic cancer at age 68.
Robert L Manahan was the voice of Zordon and he died at age 43 from a heart aneurysm.
Richard Rabago played Master Lee and he died at age 68, a cause of death hasn't been released.
Maruice Mendoza played Richie, died at age 39 from unknown causes.
Edward Laurence Albert played Mr. Collins, he died at age 55 from lung cancer.
Bob Papenbrook was a voice actor that died at age 50 from a lung condition.
Maybe it's a coincidence that deaths at a young age and trouble seems to follow the Power Rangers? We are adding another Power Ranger character to the list, but this one didn't die, they took three lives in a twisted and disgusting way. I just want to clarify that I do NOT believe that the murders in this story are due to a curse. I just wanted to bring it up because it's something that I've heard about for many years.
This story takes place at Newport Beach which is located in between Los Angeles and Sandiego. It's an upscale area that stretches for miles and lots of huge boats or yachts are docked there.
Tom Hawks and his brother, Jim, grew up on a farm in California. They liked to go surfing and sailing and eventually, Tom Hawks went into the military and then he was a probation officer after that. Jim Hawks became a police officer and went on to be a police chief. Tom got married and they had two children, but the marriage didn't work out. After the divorce, Tom took his two boys and raised them. Tom was extremely into fitness and was really built, he had huge muscles. He met Jackie and she was really down to earth, everyone just loved her. Tom's boys started calling her mom and were so happy to have her in their lives. They were an adventure-loving couple and they were also very family oriented.
Tom and Jackie were very frugal and had saved their money well over the years. Tom invested in properties and made enough to retire in his 50's, but they would need to make sure that they didn't spend a lot. They didn't have a huge amount of money, but it was enough to live comfortable. Tom had a dream of buying a boat that they could both live on and, so they could travel around. He went to every boat show that he could attend and subscribed to every yachting magazine. Tom was always tinkering around in his garage workshop, but he could be lured out when his wife would announce that a new boating magazine had arrived. They ended up paying $300k for a boat it was named, Well Deserved. It was a 55 foot yacht and they put a bunch of work into it. They updated it and installed a high end GPS. Tom added wooden racks for a kayak and windsurfer. A wooden locker up on deck held barbells and other weights. There were fishing poles and gear stashed in a compartment and the boat was tidy and well maintained. Renovations took about 9 months, but Well Deserved was finally ready to sail the sea.
The couple lived on the boat for two years, but they found out that Tom's son, Matthew was going to be a father soon. This would be their first grandchild and Tom and Jackie were crazy excited. When Jackie was 22 years old, she was in a motorcycle accident that caused internal damage and she was no longer able to have children of her own. They decided to sell the yacht, so they could be involved in the new baby's life. They were still going to buy a smaller boat and would dock it in Mexico, get a small house, and they'd still be close enough to visit their new grandson in Arizona. At this time, Tom was 57 and Jackie was 47. They were living their dream life.
They decided to bypass getting a broker and sell the boat on their own. The Well Deserved was listed in Yachting World Magazine for $435k. It didn't take long for Tom to receive a call from a buyer. The person was young, 25 years old, but they told Tom that they were a child actor that had also made money in real estate and they had lots of cash. Tom and Jackie went on one last trip in their big boat to Catalina Island on November 15th, 2004. and they had a little party. Tom's brother, Jim met up with them as well. On this trip, Tom and Jackie told their friends and family that they had sold the boat and the sale was going to take place in a few days. After this, Tom and Jackie vanished. Even though they often traveled, they always kept in touch with friends and family and people could easily reach them. So it was very abnormal when they weren't returning any calls. Their son Ryan was trying to locate them and he ended up calling his uncle Jim, since he used to be chief of police for Carlsbad Police Department.
Jim drove over to the spot where Tom and Jackie kept their yacht and there it was, in it's usual spot in Newport Beach. Jim did notice that the couple's car was nowhere to be found. Jim Hawks took out his business card that had his phone number and he placed this on the yacht asking for the current owners to contact him. As far as his family knew, the Hawks were supposed to meet up with the new yacht buyer, so they may be the last person to see them. Before Jim left, he took his friend, Carter Ford on the yacht with him and they looked around for clues. The Well Deserved boat has an 11-foot dingy, which is a small boat that you pull behind a yacht or big boat. While the men were looking around, they noticed that the Dingy wasn't tied properly to the dock. Tom and Jackie had been boating for so long, they would know how to tie a proper knot. They also noticed that the boat wasn't neat and tidy which is unlike Tom and Jackie. Jim took out his business card and wrote that he was a retired police officer and he wanted to talk to the person that bought the boat and he left his contact information on it and placed the card on the boat.
On November 15th, 2004, friends and family members knew that Tom and Jackie were meeting up with a prospective buyer and doing a test drive with their boat. In fact, Jackie left a message for a friend that day stating they were out at sea doing the test drive and she would be in touch soon. Tom had told family members that the buyer was a child actor. His brother, Jim, the retired officer, did get a call after he left his business card on the boat. The caller was named Jennifer Deleon and she explained that her and her husband, Skylar did purchase the boat and paid the full amount in cash. She said they didn't know where the Hawks were and they actually wanted to find them because they had some questions about the boat. Jennifer said after they bought the boat, the Hawks drove off and had told them they were going to Mexico.
Jim thought the call was a bit strange and he decided to call a friend of the Hawks named Patricia. She was a very trusted friend that was in charge of their taxes and finances when they were out at sea. If the boat had been sold, the money should be deposited into their bank account, right? Well, there wasn't any activity in their account and Patricia wasn't aware of this transaction, so Jim contacted the police. He had already done his own homework and was able to give the police enough details to get them started right away.
Skylar Deleon was the one that purchased the boat. Police saw that Skylar was a convicted felon who happened to be on probation at that time for burglary. Skylar was originally named John Julius Jacobson, but changed the name later. Skylar never made it big in Hollywood and was an extra in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers with two minor non-speaking roles. Skylar actually hated acting and flat couldn't remember the lines. Skylar's father was known for yelling on set when Skylar forgot things or didn't do very well and they ended up getting a bad reputation. As a child, Skylar was accused of being too feminine by the dad. He also started abusing Skylar who evenutally ended up joining the marines. This was an odd choice, but it seemed like Skylar just wanted approval so desperately. This is the point where John Julius Jacobson changed their name to Skylar Deleon and the reason on the paperwork stated that they didn't want to be associated with the father. Skylar's wife, Jennifer had a VERY different kind of life. She grew up in a very religious home with loving parents. The two met online and they decided to meet at a mall. They hit it off and after a year of dating, they got married. Jennifer was a hairstylist and Skylar didn't have any career or job. They got to the point where they owed about $90k in debt and things got so bad, they had to live in the garage next to Jennifer's parents house. They didn't have a bathroom or kitchen, so they had to go to the main house for that. The couple also had a baby girl, and another baby was on the way. Does this sound like a couple that could afford a boat?
A detective got a search warrant and was sent to the boat to look around. He found a Target receipt and the purchase was for bleach, garbage bags, and tums. Target security pulled up the purchase and they had no idea who this guy was. The police realized the man was Jennifer's father. They asked him why he purchased the items and he was like, oh my daughter bought a boat and asked me to pick these items up for her because the boat needed to be cleaned. Police asked where Jennifer was and her dad tells them that Jennifer and Skylar are down the street at a church helping them clean. This kind of made police feel better, or more at ease. They went to talk to Jennifer and she said she had been trying to get ahold of the Hawks as well. She explained that they still had belongings on the boat and they wanted to give it back. Skylar had a bill of sale that had fingerprints, signatures, and had been notarized.
The police were like ok, everything looks legit with the sale, but things still aren't adding up. How did Jennifer and Skylar go from having no money, living in her parent's garage, to suddenly having enough money to buy a boat? Skylar says that the previous armed burglary was a drug ripoff. Skylar says the money is illegal and the only way to get rid of it is by money laundering. The transaction took place in a parking lot and the Hawks were handed a briefcase full of cash and it was stacks of $100 bills. The cop that was interviewing Skylar, worked narcotics and knew that you would never get a bunch of perfectly stacked $100 bills, you would get a mixture of whatever's there. Skylar says on the day of the deal, the briefcase was opened and Tom saw all of the money and was like, oh shit, close that thing and appeared to be excited, but nervous. After the deal was complete, Tom and Jackie got in their vehicle and drove away.
Detectives had a video of Skylar and Jennifer attempting to pull money from the Hawks' account and they found out that they had been given power of attorney. Skylar Deleon had complete control of their assets. Like what? When Jennifer and Skylar attempted to get money from the account, they went into a bank and handed the power of attorney paperwork to the bank manager. It was properly notarized and looked legit, but the bank manager denied it.
Skylar told police that he had dual citizenship and was experienced in buying properties in Mexico. The plan was to help the Hawks get a property in Mexico since they gave the Deleon's such a good deal on the boat. Skylar says we also have witnesses to all of this as well. Skylar said Alonso Machain was a witness on the bill of sale. He was a friend from Mexico and they met in jail. Alonso was a guard in the jail and Skylar was able to get work release and would leave jail during the day and go hangout with Alonso.
Police went and interviewed Alonso and he had a very similar story to Skylar. They also brought in the notary and she had the same story as well. Well, what the fuck? What happened to the Tom and Jackie Hawks then? The police had nothing, but they knew something was going on. They decided to go to the media and posted a picture of the vehicle that was missing. They said that Tom and Jackie had a silver 1998 Honda CRV with an Arizona license plate 774 CPH. A woman in Mexico called and said the vehicle was parked in the lot by her home. She sent the police a picture and sure enough, it was the vehicle they had been searching for. The vehicle was parked in a mobile home lot in front of a man's house. The police knocked on his door and he says oh this isn't my car, it belongs to my friend, Skylar Deleon. The police instantly knew that Skylar had murdered the Hawks. One of the investigators had an old boating buddy named Salty Sam. On a whim, he gives Salty Sam a call and he asked him, if I was trying to figure out if a murder was committed on a boat, what should I look for? Immediately, Salty Sam tells him to look for a missing anchor. The detective hurries back to the boat and sure enough, they see that there is only one anchor, instead of two. In every single photo of the boat, there were two anchors.
Police call Skylar back in for an interview and he fucking shows up with his baby daughter. He was arrested the next day on December 17th, 2004 and they got him for suspicion of money laundering so they'd be able to hold him. The garage that Skylar and Jennifer lived in was searched and they found Tom and Jackie's laptop and they also found their video camera. The video camera had a lot of Tom and Jackie's adventures and all of a sudden, the footage cuts out and jumps to Skylar and Jennifer and they fucking filmed their family having Thanksgiving dinner. There was also another crazy find in this garage apartment. Police found a business card for LA Police officer Joe Bahena. He's a detective assigned at Interpol to act as a liason when there's a crime committed that Mexican police need investigated.
Police called up Joe Bahena and they're like, hey, why is your business card in the possession of our suspect? Detective Bahena said John Jarvi was found with his throat slit and Skylar was a suspect in the case. Wait what? We need to rewind here. A year earlier, in December 2003, John Jarvi and Skylar met in jail. Skylar told him he was from a very wealthy family and he was getting into a big investment deal. He wanted John Jarvi to give him $50k in cash and they could drive down to Mexico to do the deal. After John Jarvi was released, he kept in touch with Skylar and decided to go through with the deal. Skylar was on work release one day and met up with John Jarvi. John brought the money, and they drove to Mexico where Skylar murdered him. Skylar brought him down to a ravine, slit his throat, and left him to die by the side of the road. WHAT? How did Skylar leave jail, cross the border, murder someone, and get back without anyone finding out? Police did end up interviewing Skylar about this murder, but it doesn't seem like they had anything that necessarily tied Skylar to the murder.
Things just weren't adding up to the police and there was one piece to the puzzle that really stumped them. Everything was pointing towards a murder case, but the fact that there was a notary present at the time of this deal was so odd. It would mean that the deal really did take place and they needed to know what happened to the money. Investigators decided to bring the notary, Kathleen Harris in again. She was a professional notary and had no criminal background. She said she watched the transaction, got fingerprints, and notarized the documents. She was adamant that she followed normal procedures to notarize, but she seemed very nervous. Investigators asked Kathleen to describe Tom and Jackie. She described Tom without a problem. She said that Jackie had brown curly hair, but that's not true. Jackie had cut her hair, spiked it, and dyed it blonde. After investigators cracked down on her pretty hard, they got a call from her attorney and her story had changed. She never met Tom and Jackie Hawks. She was paid to notarize the documents and backdate them. Boom. The case just blew up.
Alonso Machain, the guy who was a prison guard when Skylar was locked up, decided to cooperate to save his own ass. Skylar told Alonso about being an international hitman that only murders bad people. Skylar receives a contract to do a hit on someone, they are brought onto a boat, and tossed in the sea. Skylar explained that help was needed with the upcoming contract and Alonso would get $1million for the job. They would also get the boat and the couple's savings.
When Skylar and Alonso actually met Tom and Jackie Hawks, things didn't go super smooth right off the bat. Remember, Tom was a probation officer previously. He felt that something was off with the two of them. Tom was very suspicious, so Skylar called his wife, Jennifer and asked her to bring their baby girl on the boat to put the couple at ease and unfortunately, it worked. A pregnant lady is standing there with a baby in her arms, and it just made everyone calmer. Skylar did realize that Tom was a body builder, he was a pretty big dude, so he wasn't going to be easily overpowered. A friend of Skylar's, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, was brought with to be the muscle. John Kennedy was a former member of the Insane Crips gang in Long Beach. So Tom and Jackie Hawks accidentally boarded the boat with a gang member, a convict, and a jail security officer.
The plan was to make sure Tom and Jackie got separated during this boat trip. Skylar and John Kennedy went downstairs with Tom, and Jackie was in the kitchen. Jackie started hearing some commotion and that was the sound of John Kennedy restraining Tom in the bedroom. Alonso Machain had stayed in the kitchen and it was his job to restrain her. Tom and Jackie were handcuffed and laid on the bed together. Jackie was begging for her life and kept saying that she just wanted to stay alive to see her new grandson. She's like, how could you do this to us? We met your wife and daughter. Tom tried to comfort his wife by stroking her hands and told her that everything was fine because they'd be together. Tom and Jackie were forced to sign the documents at this point to give their boat to Skylar. Jackie was so damn smart, she spelled her name incorrectly. Her last name is HAWKS, but she left the S off. Someone did go back and add the S later, but it's very different from her signature, it didn't match at all.
The couple was told that they would get to live if they signed over the boat to Skylar. This was obviously a lie. Skylar set the GPS for the deepest part of the ocean, 3,500 feet and grabbed an anchor. Tom and Jackie were handcuffed to the anchor. Tom did kick back really hard and he got Skylar in the groin. Skylar smirked, grabed the anchor and tossed it off the boat. The rope pulled tight and Tom and Jackie were violently yanked across the deck. Jackie's head smashed into the boat and they were ripped off the boat and pulled into the sea while they were alive. Skylar was such a piece of shit and goes Woohoo and leans over and watches as Tom and Jackie disappeared. The boat was turned around and John Kennedy grabs beer out of the fridge. He grabbed Tom's beer, then grabbed his fishing pole and decided to fish on the way back. That's how chill and casual he was about everything.
Skylar's wife, Jennifer Deleon, was offered THE deal. Police offered her immunity if she testified against Skylar and she chose not to take it. And I'm so glad she made that decision. She was arrested just weeks after giving birth to her second child. As the evidence unfolded, police realized Skylar was never the one in charge of this murder plot. It was Jennifer Deleon. Skylar called Jennifer several times on the day of the murder. Jennifer received a call when they got to the beach, when the boat headed out, when the Hawks were tied to the anchor, Jennifer was part of the whole thing. She wanted a fairy tale life with nice things and she wanted to move out of her parent's place. Jennifer Deleon received 2 life sentences without the possibility of parole.
John F. Kennedy, the muscle, was sentenced to death.
Alonso Machain, the prison guard, received a 20 year sentence since he cooperated.
We learn later that there was another possible motive for the murder. You may have noticed that I didn't use any pronouns for Skylar throughout this story. That's because Skylar later came out as transgender and a possible motive could have been for the money to pay for surgery. In 2009, Skylar tied a sheet around their penis and attempted to cut it off. It didn't work and Skylar was rushed to the hospital. Investigators discovered that Skylar had put money down on a gender reassignment surgery. Skylar was found guilty of the murders of Tom and Jackie Hawks and the murder of John Jarvi, the guy that was murdered in Mexico. Skylar was sentenced to death. Laws have changed overtime and Skylar was able to transition, goes by she and changed her name to Skylar Preciosa Deleon. She has been moved to a women's jail.
20/20 S42 E14 Overboard
Overboard 20/20 Season 42 Episode 14