A FORMER CHILD ACTOR TURNED COLD-BLOODED KILLER COMMITS A CRIME THAT HORRIFIED THE TOUGHEST OF COPS
CBS NEWS “48 HOURS MYSTERY,” SATURDAY, MAY 2
Good met evil in the cold waters off Newport Beach, CA on Nov. 15, 2004, when Tom and Jackie Hawks lay on a bed in the cabin of their yacht, handcuffed and blindfolded by Skylar Deleon and two accomplices. The victims of a vicious plot hatched by Deleon and his wife, Jennifer, the couple signed over the yacht and their life savings in the hopes of being spared. They were not. Tied to an anchor, the Hawkses were yanked into the deep ocean.
Tom Hawks was a probation officer and single father of two sons when he fell in love with Jackie. The couple, who married in 1989, shared a love of adventure and upon Tom’s retirement they sold their Arizona home, went to California and purchased the Well Deserved. Life on the 55-foot yacht was an endless fantasy cruise for the couple who would sail up and down the Mexican coast.
Skylar Deleon was living a very different life. A former child actor who appeared in several episodes of “Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers,” Skylar was living with his wife Jennifer and their child in the Long Beach basement apartment of her parents’ house. Unable to hold a job, Skylar found a living in burglary, until it landed him in jail. Soon after his release, the couple found themselves struggling to get out from under $87,000 in debt. They found that way out in a boating magazine.
Newly grandparents and wanting to be close to their family, the Hawkses decided to sell the Well Deserved, placing their ad in a magazine. That’s when they met the Deleons and their baby. Convinced he had a serious buyer Tom agreed to take Skylar and two friends out to test the boat, unaware that he would soon be forced to sign away the life he had worked so hard for to a man who hardly worked an honest day in his life.
“I don’t think anything was even 100-percent serious until it was too late,” Skylar says about that night. In the interview with 48 HOURS MYSTERY Skylar explains that it was actually his wife’s idea to kill the couple. “She threw it out there, ‘what if they’re not here?’ and I agreed.”
In the spring of 2005, Skylar and Jennifer Deleon and their two accomplices were charged with murder. The first to stand trial, Jennifer was found guilty and sentenced to two life terms. On April 10, 2009, Skylar Deleon was sentenced to death.
Tom and Jackie Hawks’ bodies were never found.
Correspondent Maureen Maher reports on “Dark Voyage” Saturday, May 2 (10:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT), on the CBS Television Network. This broadcast is produced by Jamie Stolz. Al Briganti is the executive editor. Susan Zirinsky is the executive producer.