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tv   2020  ABC  July 23, 2021 9:01pm-11:00pm PDT

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this is captain tomahawks on "well deserved." >> i'm so glad you could join us on our last voyage on "well deserved." >> this is not right. >> last thing we know, no one can get ahold of them. >> oh, my god. oh, my god. >> tom and jackie hawks are nowhere to be found. they tell friends and family, hey, we think we've sold our boat. we've met this rich kid, and he really wants it. >> who ishi guy? >> skylar deleon is a child actor. >> he was in "the power rangers." >> skylar said, i had a briefcase full of cash. handed it to tom, and he was thrilled. >> he told police, i don't know what happened to the hawks.
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all they said was they were driving off to mexico. >> jeez. this doesn't sound good right now. >> it became more and more sinister in the fact that nobody had heard from them. >> we are hoping, thinking we are going find them. >> people are missing. >> i think people are dead! >> a hollywood screenwriter can't come up with this. >> i mean, there's really no other word to describe it -- it's evil. newport beach is the dream that a lot of people think of when they think of california. >> everybody surfs every day. everybody goes on boats every day. it's southern california on steroids is really what it is. >> it's in between los angeles and san diego along this gorgeous coastline. a lot of people with money live in newport beach, so a lot of people with gorgeous boats, including some pretty nice
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yachts, will pull up at the port there. >> it's one of the few places in the united states that you can buy a multimillion dollar home and have a dock ready to accommodate a 50, 60, 100-foot yacht. >> oh, yeah. i'm here. and i'm the captain of this boat, doing an outstanding job. >> tom hawks was just one of these all-around good guys. he grew up in california. >> he grew up on a farm with a brother, jim hawks. they liked to go surfing. they liked to go sailing. >> he was in the military. he saw some fighting in vietnam. >> he became a probation officer. his brother became a police officer and then later a police chief, so he came from a law enforcement family. >> eventually tom got married and had two boys, ryan and matthew hawks, and he ends up
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raising them after he ended up getting a divorce. >> i met tom's son ryan in newport beach when we first started doing this story in 2009. how close were you guys, growing up, even? >> very close. my parents divorced when i was probably, like, 5. he pretty much raised me all the way to adulthood made me who i am today. >> jackie, hello. >> hi, honey. i'm so glad to be home. >> she's home. >> jackie was a very down to earth, really sweet woman. >> when he met jackie, he called me and said, hey, i finally met somebody. and if you guys hit it off, i know i finally found the right one. and jackie and i hit it off. and we did everything together. >> they had a lot of friends, 150 people at their wedding. the boys called her mom, even though their mother was still alive. >> the more you learned about tom and jackie, the more you liked them. they were rich in love, not so much in the pocketbook.
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they saved their money. they were frugal. they worked hard. >> even though he never made a lot of money in his lifetime, he was a saver, and he did invest in a couple of small properties and made a little money on that. but really at the end of the day, he found himself in his 50s able to retire if he wanted to, and jackie was all for it. >> he had a dream. he wanted to buy a boat and live on the boat. >> he buys the boat. it was about $300,000. "well deserved." everybody agreed, that's the perfect name because she was. >> and we just came across these beautiful dolphins. aren't they beautiful? i love how they play with the boat. >> the "well deserved" is a 55-foot trawler. it's kind of a smaller yacht, but you can live on it.
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>> tom had outfitted this vessel with everything. inside was beautiful teak. it was immaculate. >> they put in a lot of up-to-date equipment and a gps system and all kinds of other stuff that really made it nice. >> this is our gps. this is where our boat is and approximately our eta, et cetera. >> their boat was moored in newport harbor right off 15th street, and they would use their small boat to travel back and forth from the dock to the well-deserved. >> this is the first day of our new cruising season. jackie's kind of at the helm. and there is isla san pedro. >> they spent their time going from newport beach up through the california coastline into mexico. >> we just arrived on isla coronado. tom is setting anchor, and we are going to get ready and explore. >> tom was a crazy fitness guy. >> he's like an ox, look at his muscles straining. >> how to stay in shape at sea
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was one of his obsessions. he had weights that he would lift, he'd do pull ups off the side of the boat. >> here's tom doing his workout. he's looking good. >> they had a wonderful love affair. they worked together as a team like no other. they were true first mates and captain. >> another picture of the sun. it's getting a little bigger. this is what cruising is all about. >> so, this was their life for two years, until some pretty dramatic news came their way. matt, their youngest son, was about to have a baby. >> all right, there he is. what a doll face. >> it was going to be their first grandchild, and this was a big deal for tom, but it was probably an even bigger deal for jackie. >> jackie was involved in a motorcycle accident when she was 22 years old and had some internal damage and, tragically, was unable to have children of her own. when her stepson matt had that
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baby, she really wanted to play the role of devoted grandmother. >> oh, you're so beautiful. >> they were planning on selling this yacht, taking the proceeds from it, and moving close to this grandbaby. >> hi, gabe! you going to say hi to grandpa? you are getting so big. >> i think it just hit home with them how important family was. >> there's grandpa, holding his little grand boy. >> how are you? you're not going poop on me, are you? >> the hawks decided to downsize. they were going to go from that huge boat to a small boat, dock it in mexico, get a little house there, and still be close enough to go see the grandson who lived in arizona. >> so, they were willing to sell the "well deserved," and being very frugal, they wanted to bypass the broker and just sell the boat on their own. so they took out an ad in a boating magazine. >> they went on one last trip to catalina island.
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jim hawks, tom's brother, brought his boat, and they all had this little party. >> okay, here we are on catalina island. this is our last trip to the island because we sold the boat, and we are all having a really good time. >> so, after this last catalina cruise, tom and jackie had told jim hawks and other people that the sale was going to take place in the next few days. >> so, we'll see what happens. hopefully we'll be all right, but you don't know what's going to happen. >> next thing you know is no one could get a hold of them. for them just to shut off their cell phones and drop off the face of the earth is extremely out of character. >> and when ryan and his brother matt tried calling them and they weren't answering, they knew something was really up. >> ryan's in arizona, so ryan puts in a call to his uncle,
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jim hawks, who lives in san diego. he used to be the chief of police for carlsbad police department. jim hawks jumps in his car and gets down there. >> don treffin and jim hawks are looking for jackie and tom, so they go to newport beach. there, they find the "well deserved," but no couple. >> when we were there we looked for their car. we, you know, walked around a couple of blocks where they would park. couldn't find their car. >> "well deserved" is there. but tom's not around. jackie's not around. it's pretty quickly evident to everybody that's something is amiss. >> we went over to the dinghy dock. this "well deserved" dinghy was there. it wasn't properly tied. and i just told jim -- i go, you know, this is not right. something's going on here. >> my uncle knew something was wrong right away -- your dad didn't tie the dinghy, your dad didn't put the motor down. >> we met with carter ford and
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we went out to the boat. >> from a distance, you probably wouldn't notice too much, but as you got closer, the first thing you notice is the boat was tied, but the lines were hanging, kind of over the side of the boat. >> as we came up on the boat, i noticed that the tarps were all off, all the controls were just kind of peeled back, and there was a to youle hanging out one of the portholes. and i got a sick feeling in my stomach just like something wasn't right. my plaque psoriasis... ...the itching ...the burning. the stinging. my skin was no longer mine. my psoriatic arthritis, made my joints stiff, swollen... painful. emerge tremfyant™. with tremfya®, adults with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis... ...can uncover clearer skin and improve symptoms at 16 weeks. tremfya® is the only medication of its kind also approved for adults with active psoriatic arthritis. serious allergic reactions may occur. tremfya® may increase your risk of infections and lower your ability to fight them. tell your doctor if you have an infection or symptoms
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by november 16, 2004, it's obvious something's wrong. tom and jackie hawks were nowhere to be found. >> the other part to this was the "well deserved," the yacht, was back in its right spot in newport beach harbor. their honda crv was nowhere to be found, and they were nowhere to be found either. something was really up. >> and there's the kid. >> what's happening? >> they were a very close-knit family, so if they couldn't be reached over a certain period of time, all kinds of alarm bells went off. >> family and friends are already desperate. they start tracing and backtracking their steps to see what might have happened to
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them. >> i knew they thought they might be selling the boat. that's what they were hoping to do. >> they believed that they had found a buyer to the boat, that they essentially gotten the price that they wanted. >> they were excited. they thought, we've got a buyer. we've got someone. we're going to sell this boat. >> jackie had told me that this person was going to be coming back to take a test drive on the boat the next day. >> before you sell a vessel, they take a sea trial. they take the vessel out. it's like a test run on a car. >> the only thing we know about this trip is that it indeed happened. and that's because jackie calls and leaves a message with a dear friend. >> they bid me good-bye on the phone monday morning. the next thing i heard was a voicemail from jackie, said that we're still at sea, i'll be in touch with you again.
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>> rocking and rolling on "well deserved". >> she left a voicemail. it basically said that tom and jackie were out at sea with the purchaser and that she'd get back to him. >> so as far as friends and family knew, on november 15, 2004, they were meeting some prospective buyers, and they were going to sail out a bit towards catalina island. the sale would likely happen, and jackie and tom would be home, with any luck, before thanksgiving. >> before they disappeared, tom had mentioned to family members that this guy who was a child actor was going to be the buyer. >> for me, it was a worrisome mystery. i wanted more information. i wanted to know, who is this would-be buyer? >> jim hawks wants to talk to whoever brought in the "well deserved," so he takes out a card, and he writes on the back of it, "i am a retired police officer and i'd like to speak to whoever bought the boat. tom and jackie hawks are missing, and i need to chat with you." he leaves his phone number.
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>> and the person that contacted him was jennifer deleon. >> jim's like, look, did you buy the boat? yep, we sure did. and she is super-duper sweet. >> jennifer has an explanation. she tells jim that she and her husband skylar bought the boat in cash, in full. >> jennifer says, we don't know where the hawks are, and we still want to find out where they are because we still need some information about how to use this boat that we now have. we bought the boat. they drove away. you know, we haven't heard from them, and we don't know where they are either. >> she says, i think they were going to go off to mexico. >> locals playing soccer. oh, and there's a gringo. >> and that's pretty much it. she's pretty short on that phone call. this might be a little m though- suspicious. so he called arizona to one of their friends. >> patricia schutz, who they put in charge of essentially paying the bills and taking care of their finances while they were
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down in mexico, because during this time, way harder to deal with that from a foreign country, especially on a boat which may or may not have internet access. >> tom and jackie, if they would have sold that boat, they would have deposited that money into their bank account. but there was no activity on their account, so we knew that something was really wrong. jim hawks, he told me that he was going to contact the police department and file a missing person's report friday morning. >> most missing persons investigations, the person's found in a very short amount of time. >> there's jackie working the email. >> it's either a lack of communication, or perhaps they went somewhere else they weren't expected to. jim hawks, tom hawks' brother, he had already done his homework on his own. once our investigators start talking with him, we knew we needed to really start looking
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hard. >> this case lands on dave byington's desk, and at this point, he'd been a cop a long time. and he's a cop's cop. the minute he sees jim hawks and reads the details of this case, he knew this family had reason to worry. >> this couple, tom and jackie hawks, had lived on their yacht and newport, were in the process of selling or sold the vessel to this other couple, skylar and jennifer deleon. >> so newport police start digging, looking at skylar and jennifer. and you know what? they find stuff. troubling stuff. >> skylar happens to be a convicted felon. he's on probation. i go, jeez. so my first indication, okay, well, this doesn't sound good right now. >> sergeant dave byington, he sends out a detective to go out to the boat. and so the guy gets to the boat, and he's looking around, and he sees this receipt on the floor.
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>> the receipt on the boat is from target, and it has a bizarre shopping list on it. >> the minute detective byington sees that receipt, he knows something's off. ♪ [upbeat music] ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ pringles original, barbecue, pizza. the barbecue pizza stack.
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before thanksgiving when i haven't heard from them. >> i asked him, "are you sure they just didn't -- they're an adventurous couple. are you sure they just didn't take off for a week or two?" and he, without hesitation said, no, they would not just disappear. >> this is captain tom hawks on "well deserved." out. >> tom and jackie hawks were in the process of selling the vessel to this other couple, skylar and jennifer deleon. we ran both of them to figure out -- because they were probably or potentially the last people to see the hawks. when we ran skylar, we automatically find out that he's got a record. he had done jail time for an armed burglary where he broke into a house with a weapon and was on probation. >> his original name at birth was john julius jacobson. >> when i think of him when i was raising him, i still refer to him sometimes as little
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johnny. he wanted to make everyone happy. he was just always right there trying to make you smile, trying to make things better. >> lisa left skylar's father when he was just a little kid. >> skylar grew up in a crazy house. >> how did you grow up? tell me a little bit about the situation. >> i pretty much primarily grew up with my dad. >> and what kind of guy was he? >> not the best. not the best dad. >> and in fact he was involved with drugs and was frequently in trouble with the law. >> yes. yes. he was into manufacturing speed and pretty much anything that he could make money with. >> his father got him into acting, but it was never about skylar. you know, he wanted skylar to act so he could make money off of him.
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>> ready. and action! >> he never really made it big in the business. he had parts in commercials, and i think his biggest role was probably as an extra in "the mighty morphin power rangers." ♪ go go power rangers ♪ >> a tv series which was pretty popular in the early 1990s. >> you guys were great. >> now the problem is, skylar could never remember his lines. and his dad would yell at him on the set until the producers were basically like, get that guy out of here. he's really -- he's upsetting skylar, he's upsetting everyone else. and skylar hated acting. >> you're not good enough for this, you're not good enough for that. why aren't you this? why aren't you that? there's an expectation or a level that you always try to rise up to, but you can never meet, no matter how hard you try. >> skylar is kind of a weak kid, kind of a little bit effeminate maybe. skylar's dad pretty much despised him for that and started knocking him around.
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>> so, skylar joined the united states marine corps. >> he probably never would have joined the marines, but for he thought this would make him look like a man. and as much as he hated his dad, he was also always trying to impress his dad. >> he said he was marine corps force recon, which for those who don't know, is one of the elite military forces in the united states military. he got a marine corps force recon tattoo. and he would explain that he had attended all these classes and all this training and he had 62 confirmed kills. >> when he got out of the marines, he wanted to change his name to skylar deleon. on the paperwork it says, doesn't want to be associated by the same name as his father because his father is a bad person and a criminal. it was right before he met jennifer that he changed his name. >> jennifer henderson grew up in a way that was the very
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opposite of how skylar grew up. she had loving parents. they were very religious. they went to church. >> we actually met online. >> we just kind of started chatting and then, you know, we went from there to all of a sudden we started talking on the phone. and then one day we were like, you know what? we want to meet. >> so they arrange a rendezvous at a local mall. they go to a movie, they spend the whole day together, and that was it. from that moment on, they were pretty much inseparable. >> we dated for about a year, and he proposed to me in catalina. we actually had two weddings, a quick one in corona del mar on the beach. just family, close friends, barefoot, shorts, very casual. it was very fun. and then the big, formal wedding. >> who knows why jennifer ends
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up saying yes to skylar. they're so different in so many ways. he grows up this troubled childhood. she grows up with all these advantages. she has a little bit of a profession going for herself. he's got no career path that we can see. >> i am a hair stylist, and i've done that for five years. and he was actually working as an electrician. he had the job. he just hadn't started yet. >> according to jennifer's mother, she thinks that they got pregnant on their wedding night, because the timing of it was just so. so, yeah, they had a little girl, hailie. and then they got pregnant again. >> they really don't have a lot of assets. jennifer is the breadwinner. >> they were deep in debt. they owed nearly $90,000. they were so poor that they were living in the garage next to jennifer's parents' home.
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they had no bathroom, they had no kitchen. they had to go to the main house for that. they already had a very young daughter, and there was a second baby on the way. >> you put that all together, and these two young people are clearly not qualified to own a 55-foot boat. w warrant to at the boat, and they find a bunchings interest. they find that it's -- number one, that it's messy. so, tom hawks has not left it that way. and they find a receipt from a target store. >> and that receipt shows a purchase of trash bags, tums, and bleach. >> and dave byington goes, that's a kill kit if i ever heard one. >> if i was going to kill somebody, i'd have my clean kit. and it would be bags to get rid of evidence, bleach to wipe down the scene, and maybe, if i had a conscience, some tums to settle my stomach after killing some poor people. >> target security was able to pull up that specific purchase
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of these items. >> and they're expecting it to be skylar. and they know what skylar looks like because he's got a record and he's in the database. but it's not skylar. >> i was looking at an obese man, which was not skylar deleon. now we have another little straw in the camel's back saying, okay, who is this guy? and why is this receipt on this boat? who is this clown?
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it's been two weeks since tom and jackie have disappeared,
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and the police go onboard the "well deserved," which is moored exactly where it was left. >> they find a receipt from a target store. and every time you purchase anything from a target store, you were photographed at the cash register, and you're photographed leaving. so we get this photograph of this guy, and police trace it back, and it is steve henderson, jennifer's father, who actually made this purchase. so newport's detectives go to his house in long beach, and they say, is this you in this photograph buying these items? we found this receipt on a boat. he immediately says, yeah, my daughter and son-in-law purchased that boat. >> it turns out jennifer had sent her dad to the store to buy the bleach, the tums, and the trash bags. >> jen's father brings back bleach and some bags. all, they say, to help clean their new boat. so, logically police ask him, does he know where jennifer and skylar are? >> he says, they're helping to clean a church right down the
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street. i think they're there now. >> when i see a family volunteering in a church, i was put at ease a little bit with that, thinking, okay, this is going to turn out okay. the hawks are fine. these people will tell us what happened, and we'll be able to i was talking to jennifer and basically said, we're looking for the hawks. the family's very concerned. and she said, we're really concerned, too. and she was very genuine. >> it's like we know those people. or you don't really know somebody meeting them, but just your nerves kind of go everywhere, and -- >> she goes, we've been trying to reach out to them continually since we bought it. she said they have a lot of property, clothes and stuff on the vessel. we don't know what to do. so she was very specific and seemed very genuine in her concern for the hawks and finding them. >> skylar says, we purchased it. all the documents were proper. they signed them. we recorded them. i don't know what else to tell
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you. >> we told skylar that we needed copies of the paperwork. he told us that he had certified, notarized paperwork regarding the sale, so the sale was legitimate. >> he produces these documents indicating that skylar and jennifer had purchased the boat from tom and jackie hawks. there are signatures on it. there are fingerprints on it. >> a notary public had already certified these documents that tom and jackie were present when selling. everything was legitimate. everything was on the up and up. >> i was shaking my head going, okay, i still can't get a handle on this guy. the following day, he agreed to go to the newport beach police department where we had him in a proper interview and recorded the interview. >> have a seat, skylar. we're still in the same position we were yesterday. >> okay. >> these folks are still missing. >> mm-hmm. >> the family is very concerned, and that's very understandable.
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skylar was very forthright. he was very, very interested in finding where the hawks were. how did you hear about the -- the vessel being sold? >> in the "sport fishing" magazine. >> "sport fishing"? >> yeah, i get it every month. >> were you looking to buy a boat? >> i'm pretty much always looking. >> uh-huh. >> it strikes the cops odd that his young guy who doesn't really seem to have a lot of means had nearly $500,000 to buy this boat. >> we spent like $485,000 on it. >> of course, one of the big questions is, well, hey, man, where'd you get the money? and he goes, look, as you look at my background, you're going to see i was involved in a burglary. in reality, that was a part of a dope rip. that was a drug ripoff. >> no matter what, the truth -- it will come out no matter what. >> at this point, i already knew skylar was on probation for armed burglary, so he's a felon. and now he said, i'm telling you, sergeant, i want to go straight with my family. i'm a father now. i have another child on the way. so i'm trying to invest this money in a way that i can support them. >> i have a bunch of money that i have no way to spend.
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>> right. >> and if i bring it here, i'm going to get in trouble. i can't really go to mexico to spend it because i'm on probation. >> okay. >> i'm kind of in a rock and hard place. >> i go, so you're legitimizing this money that was illegal, and he copped out basically to money laundering. >> it is rather disarming when you're trying to find the hawks, and he's admitting to the money laundering piece on his side. it was unusual that someone would admit that to the police. >> you could have told me, hey, man, i inherited the money, whatever. you were very honest with me, and that is all i'm asking for. >> who would come up with a story that they used money -- laundered drug money to buy a boat unless it was really true? >> skylar is so cool, calm and collected. he said, look, we went out, took the boat for a run. we all came back. we loved the boat. >> so you've got the money. and do you initiate a call to the hawks? >> yeah. i call him up and tell him, hey, you know, i'm ready, and ask him if it was okay if i came down with my wife. and they said you know, that would be fine. >> okay.
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where did they meet you? >> at the little -- >> 15th street? >> yeah, 15th street. >> okay. >> this transaction allegedly occurred in the parking lot at the 15th street dock, basically on the trunk of a car with a suitcase full of money. >> and that was cash, right? >> yeah. >> that you paid him that day? >> yeah. >> i was asking him, what kind of container was this money? was it loose bills? was it all hundreds? >> all hundred dollar bills? >> yeah. >> all hundreds. in stacks about that big. >> okay. i just know working narcotics, that it was just a mish mosh of cash. it was never something where you'd go to a bank vault and see perfectly stacked thousands of dollars within bank wrappers. so that kind of raised a flag. and you flashed the cash to him? >> yeah. >> did you still have the briefcase, or did you give it to him? how did that happen? >> no, we went to the back of the car, like, here it is. he's like, close that thing. >> skylar was very descriptive on tom's reaction when he opened the briefcase and it was full of cash.
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>> he was excited but nervous. >> and did he say anything to that affect, or is this something you got a feeling on? >> no, he was just like, let's just close this up. >> according to skylar, tom asked him, is it all here? skylar kind of giggled at me and said, yep, it's all there. and so they basically said, here's the keys to the yacht. tom and jackie drove off in their honda, and skylar and jennifer said that was the last time that they saw them. >> he was saying that him and his wife, they were looking at places in san carlos. >> uh-huh. >> he's like, we want to get another boat. >> hey, i'm the captain of this boat. >> they were talking about buying a home in mexico, and we corroborated that from other sources. tom was interested in that. >> skylar, you got nothing to do with his disappearance, right? >> no. >> and your wife doesn't either? >> no. >> nobody in your family, your dad -- nobody, right? >> no. >> okay. >> when you look at the interview, skylar is leaning over to these detectives and he is so convincing. >> from what i gather from him, i almost guarantee he's down there.
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>> causing you all this grief. >> yes. i'll almost guarantee it. >> but the detectives have one more key piece of evidence they want skylar to take a look at. it's this video. video of jennifer and skylar trying to take money out of the hawks' account in arizona. >> why is it you guys have power of attorney? this is a big stumbling point for the family. they said that there's no way that their family members would give power of attorney to anybody. power of attorney, that was a pretty powerful document because what i was looking at was that tom and jackie hawks had basically gave skylar deleon complete control of their assets, which made absolutely no sense. serena: it's my 3:10 no-exit-in-sight migraine medicine. it's ubrelvy. for anytime, anywhere migraine strikes, without worrying if it's too late, or where i am. one dose can quickly stop my migraine in its tracks within two hours. unlike older medicines, ubrelvy is a pill that directly blocks cgrp protein, believed to be a cause of migraine. do not take with strong cyp3a4 inhibitors.
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and jackie. and the bank called. and they told me that there was somebody trying to access tom and jackie's account. >>ennifer and skylar walk in, and they have this durable power of attorney. so the bank manager looks at this. it's been properly recorded. their signatures are on it. it's been properly notarized and takes one look at it and goes, no way am i giving you access to their accounts. >> the bank manager told me that there was a gentleman by the name of skylar trying to access their accounts. i'm thinking, oh, my god, oh, my god. >> have a seat, skylar. i'm going to borrow you for a minute because i had to go over a few more questions on this thing. why is it you guys have power of attorney? >> the cops think this is weird. i mean, it's one thing to sell somebody a boat. it's another thing to give him power of attorney. but skylar, just smooth as silk,
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tells them, look, they wanted to buy some property up in mexico. >> you can't finance a house in mexico unless you're a mexican citizen or unless you've established residency and you have a bank account and all of that stuff. >> skylar volunteered that he's very experienced in purchasing property there, that he had dual citizenship. he was of mexican descent and that he could facilitate a sale, you know. since he's giving him such a great deal on the yacht, he would help them out to get this money. and skylar proceeded to tell us that tom was very interested. >> i said, well, i'll help you out. i'll get you an account down there. i told him like, you know, you have nothing to lose by opening up an account, and, you know, you can take care of everything from right there. >> we talked to friends and family of tom and jackie hawks. sure enough, tom had been talking to people about buying a little house in the sea of cortez. >> he literally said, i had a briefcase full of cash. i handed it to tom and he was thrilled. they had the money and the means now to go to mexico and they
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did. skylar tells detectives, i got witnesses. >> who's present? >> me, my wife, daughter, tom, jackie, the notary, and alonso. >> alonso machain, his name was there in full print as a witness on this bill of sale. and when i asked skylar, who's alonso machain? he says, oh, he's a friend of mine that i've met, and he's from mexico. well, our investigation shows that alonso happened to meet skylar while skylar was doing jail time. >> alonso machain was actually a guard in the jail. and they became fast friends, really. i think machain was quite young. he was in his early 20s. he lived at home with his parents. skylar was on a work release program, so he was allowed to leave at certain points during the day. during that time, alonso, they would do things that friends would do.
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they would hang out, they would have pizza, they'd watch tv. >> i'm going to be contacting alonso because he's also one of the last people to see them, so that helps us. >> yeah. >> okay, good. >> yeah, that's fine. >> they go and they interview alonso, and alonso tells essentially the same story. we're they're in the parking lot. i watched skylar hand this money over to this guy. they drive out in their car. the other person they interviewed was kathleen harris. kathleen harris, she was a professional notary, never been in trouble a day in her life. and she told a very similar story. they were down there. she watched this transaction, she notarized the documents. we hit a dead end in this investigation. we had a group of people who were all telling the same story. we had no physical evidence of a crime. we had no word from tom and jackie hawks. we had no break in the case at all. >> brother, i don't want to keep you here anymore. i appreciate you driving down here.
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>> so, the cops are at a little bit of a dead end. they're not really sure where to go next. and so they do the thing that a lot of investigators are reluctant to do but often is a necessary evil -- they go to the media. >> turning to another story in california, this morning police in the southern part of that state are asking for the public's help in a very mysterious disappearance. joining us from newport beach, california, one of the couple's two sons, ryan hawks and sergeant steve shulman. >> the biggest thing that we can do as a family was to reach out in the media and find someone maybe willing to talk, someone that maybe seen them, know of their last location, know about their safety. you know, i think something's wrong. i think something's missing. i think something is really wrong. but, um, you know, my first priority is, you know, to find about the whereabouts of my parents.
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>> many times when there's a missing person's case, the family might provide one or two photos of their loved one. but in this case, ryan came out with probably 15 or 20 photos of tom and jackie. so it really showed that this was a family that cared about one another, and that kind of brought the seriousness of their disappearance up quite a bit of a notch. >> the biggest thing was their car, and if we could find their car, we know we could kind of back-trace their steps or what happened to them. >> right now our focus is on locating them and also the vehicle that they own, this 1998 honda crv with an arizona license plate. >> the next day, the police department gets a call from this woman who had seen the show, and she basically said, i'm looking at this car right now. i live in mexico, and i'm in a trailer park, and it's in the parking lot. >> i was so relieved. i was overwhelmed and choked up. >> please be the hawks.
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if i was going to kill somebody, i would have my clean kit -- bags to get rid of evidence, bleach to wipe down the scene and maybe if i had a conscious, tums to settle my stomach after killing some people. >> they tell friends and family we met this rich kid, and he really wants it. >> skylar says, i purchased the boat. >> give me a break. my 4-year-old could do better than this. i want the truth. i want to know the truth. >> they're heading out to sea. jackie is begging. how could you do this to us? >> everybody knew who was in charge and it wasn't skylar. >> they scare the hell out of me. they're evil personified.
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>> was she the brains in the family? >> yeah. i think for the most part, i'm a nice person. i treat everybody nice. i'm always -- everything like that. >> all right, folks, here we go. quiet please. five seconds to charlie. four, three, two -- >> turning to another story in california. this morning, police in the southern part of that state are asking for the public's help in a very mysterious disappearance that occurred three weeks ago. >> we'd been in a dead end for weeks. and we made the decision that we needed to get some media attention to the case. >> and that proves to be a critical turning point. >> a couple by the name of thomas and jackie hawks told a friend that they were showing their 55-foot boat to a prospective buyer. but then the couple simply vanished without a trace. days later, the boat was found
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in its usual spot, but the couples' car was missing. >> we're splashing the license plate, the vehicle description, the picture of the hawks everywhere we could. >> so, it's important for the public to look out for that car, because that will give us some clue as to where they went to or if in fact there is a crime involved. >> sergeant shulman, what do we know about the buyer of this boat, and is there any suspicion attached to them? >> well, our detectives are conducting an investigation, and i'm not at liberty to discuss their interview. >> what skylar says is, look, i bought the boat from these people, and last i saw was they were leaving the parking lot with a suitcase full of cash that i paid them. >> he was saying that him and his wife, they were looking at places in san carlos. he was like, well, now i can go down there and get myself a house and get another boat down there. >> once the press hit, immediately our tip line started going off. >> we get a call from a retired couple that lived in san miguel, mexico.
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and i go, put it on speaker. and this gal says -- >> i'm looking at this car right now. >> it's right there. she snapped a photograph of it and sent it to us. and here we are looking at the hawks' vehicle. >> hundreds of miles away in ensenada, mexico, another piece of the puzzle has been found, the hawks' suv. >> this was the first break in the case, and they were pretty excited about it. >> that car was the missing piece we needed to solve the case. >> and then the next question -- well, are they there with the car? >> we're hoping -- we're thinking we're going to find them. >> please be the hawks. i wanted to find them alive. >> at first, the family and friends are thinking, all right, there's a glimmer of hope. >> the cops make it down to ensenada right away. >> mexican authorities were taking the lead, and they knock on the door of the house. >> the guy who owns the house comes out and starts chatting with them.
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>> they're speaking in spanish, but i'm making enough out of what's going on. >> and the guy says, no, it's not my car. it belongs to some friends of mine. and they went, oh, okay. tom and jackie hawks? no. >> and english i hear skylar deleon. >> and i remember byington just kind of looks at me and just goes -- >> skylar murdered these people. >> and i go -- >> and at that moment, then i just said, ugh. any possibility that the hawks were still alive died right there, unfortunately. because, as soon as i heard that i go, no. >> they called me on their way up. it's like, yep, we got it on the back of flat bed of a truck. we got it. we caught him in a lie. it was key. it was so essential. >> the fact that skylar dropped that car off, huge break. >> skylar deleon has already told police, i don't know what happened to the hawks. all they said was they were driving off to mexico. >> they realized that skylar deleon and jennifer,
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who is also described, had been down there. they had now witnesses who knew them. and they said, they gave us this car. >> skylar had befriended this gentleman's son years earlier. and skylar was an avid surfer and would go down and surf and would stay with that family. >> that family had no idea who that car belonged to or the circumstances. >> i was about 99% sure that my parents were murdered. but i still had 1% hope. but when they found that car, that 1% was wiped out. >> the same day the hawks' car is found down in mexico, skylar deleon is back in newport beach talking to the police. >> skylar shows up, and he brings his little daughter, hailie, with him. i guess he's thinking, you can't arrest me if i've got a toddler with me. >> this is the big urgency
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we have right now. these people are still missing. i am -- i am fearful that they are not alive. >> newport detectives wanted to interview him as much as possible, because this story was starting to fray around the edges. >> you're saying you have nothing to do with their disappearance? >> no. >> you -- as far as you know, they're alive? >> yeah. >> and what you've told us so far is the truth regarding you getting money smuggled up here? >> hi. >> hi. yeah. >> and skylar knows immediately, i'm in trouble. >> skylar became nervous, and that little girl, maybe she sensed it. >> i've only got -- oh, baby. >> we got tissues here? >> the baby suddenly spits up all over him, and so it interrupts the interview. >> want to leave the bag, or you all right with it? >> no, i'm good. >> okay. >> there goes sklyar, thinking he's a free man, but not for long. the very next day, skylar is under arrest. >> police have arrested 25-year-old skylar deleon on
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suspicion of money laundering after he bought the couple's boat. prosecutors say the investigation continues. they have not ruled out the possibility there may be more arrests in connection with the murders of thomas and jackie hawks. after a brief break in court, deleon returned teary-eyed. >> at the time i can remember, in court, he seemed like such a little man. and in his -- one of the first court hearings, he started crying. and at first, you kind of think, do they have the right guy? the police searched deleon's little apartment in the garage, and it's a treasure trove of evidence. >> they go through top to bottom this little garage turned apartment. and what do they find? >> one of the first things detectives find is tom and jackie's laptop. >> and the most heartbreaking part of all -- >> they find a video camera. >> "well deserved." what's the name of the next
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boat? or whatever. >> the film that was in it was of all the hawks' adventures out at sea, and then it abruptly ends. >> and suddenly the footage cuts to skylar and jennifer. >> skylar and jennifer were using tom and jackie's camcorder to record their family thanksgiving. >> there's no way tom and jackie would have left that camera behind. >> i was at their house the night it was searched by newport beach pd. and jennifer was just flat-line watching the beginning of her life as she knew it come to an end. >> at that point, i knew that skylar had killed the hawks. what i didn't know was the extent of jennifer's involvement. >> did you know anything of this alleged crime?
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police have arrested 25-year-old skylar deleon. >> skylar deleon is now in custody. >> arrested yesterday at his home in long beach. police won't say if deleon is a suspect in the hawks' disappearance. >> they get skylar out of the house and arrest him, and they go inside. >> it's during the search of jennifer and skylar's little makeshift apartment that they come across another interesting find. >> a fellow detective of mine, jay short, had found a business card. >> an lapd officer named joe bahena. he's a detective assigned to interpol, and basically it's his job, whenever there's a crime committed that mexican police need to investigate, he's their liaison officer. >> it was curious to us why skylar deleon had this business card in his property. >> that's an interesting clue. why is your business card in the home of our suspect? >> and that's when we first heard the name jon jarvi.
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>> come to find out, detective bahena had been helping the ensenada state police come up here to california because of jon jarvi, who was found with his throat slit. >> jon jarvi was a petty counterfeiter, and he met skylar deleon while they were both serving time in the seal beach jail. they kept in contact afterwards. >> jarvi, after he's freed from jail, keeps in contact with skylar because he remembers being promised a big score. >> skylar has told him that he's from a wealthy family and he has big-time investments. and he starts telling him, in fact, i've got a really sweet investment that i'm going to get into. >> all jon jarvi needs to do is give skylar $50,000 in cash. and then they'll go down mexico, do this big score. >> skylar is on this work release program, which allows him to leave during certain parts of the day.
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they drive down to mexico. jon jarvi is thinking, you know, i'm going to make some great money here. >> and they drive down to mexico outside of ensenada. >> except jon jarvi didn't come back. >> skylar takes him down to a ravine, slits his throat, and leaves him to die on the side of a road in mexico. >> there never was any deal in mexico. he took my brother down there specifically with the role of murdering him. >> that evening after jarvi disappears, skylar's got to hurry back. not home, mind you -- to jail. don't forget, he's still in jail while this is going on, so he has to hurry back from the border so he can make his nightly check-in over at the jail. >> my wife wakes me up -- jeff, they're -- you got to get up, your brother's been murdered in mexico. >> thinking of his last minutes, what they must've been. that's what i wake up to every night. >> when you think of how good of
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a con man skylar was to convince this man to take out $50,000 and drive him across the border and then slit his throat and leave him to die on the side of the road, it's horrifying. >> mexican police had interviewed skylar deleon way back in 2003 about the murder of jon jarvi. but that case was totally unresolved until the newport beach case came along. >> i don't think john jarvi's homicide would have ever been solved had it not been for our department getting involved. absolutely not. >> but then police are looking for a break in the hawks' case. >> the other person they interviewed was kathleen harris. kathleen harris had no criminal background at all. she was a professional notary. never been in trouble a day in her life. >> still trying to track that book down. i just talked to them today and they're still, uh, they're still looking for it. >> kathleen harris was a notary who was introduced to the deleons. >> she says she was there when skylar bought the boat from the hawks.
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>> i drove down to newport, met skylar and his wife and, um, the couple. >> her story was that tom and jackie hawks had signed these documents in front of her. >> she watched this transaction, she notarized the documents. >> it just didn't make sense. there's no way kathleen harris saw tom and jackie hawks. >> we had to interview kathleen harris, i want to say, four or five times and she would not come off her story. >> and i got there, and i just notarized the documents. >> keith and i were having a pretty heated argument about it. >> i told him, i said, you need to have someone else interview kathleen harris. and he goes, fine. you want to interview her? you call her in and interview her. >> this is -- come on in. >> hi, i'm keith krallman. >> nice to meet you. >> nice to meet you. >> i just remember trying to confront her to tell the truth. >> i'm asking for your help. >> i know. >> are you part of these peoples' disappearance? >> no. >> did you hurt these people that are missing? >> no. >> i knew she was lying. i just -- i knew it, just by her nonverbal, her body language.
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there's no doubt in your mind that two people signed these documents in front of you. right now. see, you're hesitating. no, baloney. this is [ bleep ] this is what i'm talking about. listen to me very well. tell me right now the truth. those people that are missing signed those documents is what you're telling me? >> yes. >> i don't believe you. you were hesitant to begin with. tell me the truth, kathleen. >> i'm -- >> tell me the truth. >> i am. >> she was nervous, her voice was cracking, she was looking down. kathleen, these people didn't sign these documents in front of you did they? >> when i filled out the log they have to sign it and put their thumbprints. >> okay, and you took their thumbprints. >> i'm 90% sure. >> no, there's no 90%! kathleen, there's no 90%! it's either 100% or it's nothing. you're being wishy-washy. >> yes. they did. >> kathleen, give me a break. i mean, my 4-year-old would do better than this. >> honestly -- >> kathleen, no honestly. i want to know the truth. i want to know the truth.
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>> i know and i'm telling you what happened. >> she stuck to her story. she didn't come off it. she didn't change it. >> i remember keith coming out saying, "i'm sorry," and i'm thinking, are you kidding? i go, i think you pushed her. i think we got her. the next call we got was from an attorney representing her saying that she wanted to come and make a statement. >> and she finally says, no, we were not in the parking lot like i said before. >> she'd never met tom and jackie hawks. she was given documents and paid in cash to backdate the documents. that was one of the most significant breaks we had in investigation, because now we knew skylar and jennifer never had that notarized with tom and jackie and that that was false. >> that was the first domino to fall. then we started pressuring everybody else then, because we knew everybody else had lied to us, too. >> you know, likely this case very easily could have never been solved. it could have, like that, just been another unsolved missing persons' case except for one thing. alonzo machain. he's about to give cops the break they need to bring the
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still no sign of thomas and jackie hawks, but bit by bit, police are slowly beginning to unravel the mysteries surrounding their disappearance. >> good morning, alonso. >> good morning. >> we just want to know what you know. >> alonso machain was actually a jailer in the seal beach city jail where skylar was serving time for the burglary, so that's how they meet. >> we focused on alonso because we thought he would be a weak link, too. >> he is going to save his own skin.
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he's not going to go down for this. >> he turned himself in, and alonso machain took us detail by detail, through the conspiracy to murder tom and jackie hawks. >> when i met skylar, he started talking about that he had all this money, that he was a part of the power rangers. >> the chilling details were laid out by one of the people who was on board that yacht and who took part in their murders. >> he said that he was going to do something, that he was going to make some money, a couple million dollars. >> skylar tells him that he's an international hitman. >> he gets his contracts out on people and they're all on bad people because he'll only kill bad people. he won't kill good people. so he's an assassin with a conscience. >> he said what i do is just take them out to sea and toss them overboard. >> skylar promised alonso $1 million. >> all you had to do is kill this couple and we could get their boat and their savings,
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and for whatever reason, alonso machain thought, that's a good idea. i'll go along with it. >> alonso and skylar go aboard the ""well deserved." >> tom had worked in probation. he worked with ex-cons. his suspicions immediately went up meeting skylar deleon and alonso machain because they just didn't seem like the type of guys who could afford to buy a yacht going for more than $400,000. >> so what does skylar do to solve that problem? he immediately calls jennifer and says, you've got to bring hailie down, their 1-year-old, and put these people at ease. >> jennifer shows up and she completely charms jackie. jackie, the one who wanted to go and play with her grandson. >> my stepmother definitely fell hook, line and sinker, for that woman and her, uh, baby. >> that's actually the linchpin in the whole thing. had it not been for that, tom and jackie hawks would still be alive today.
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>> at the same time, skylar's sizing up tom, and he knows he's going need more help, because he can't overpower him on his own. >> he started sizing up mr. hawk, and he said well, i could, i could take him but it's better to have somebody else. >> skylar realizes if they're going to actually pull this thing off, they need to get a big guy to sign onto this. >> skylar meets john f. kennedy through a mutual friend who skylar had worked with. >> john fitzgerald kennedy was an original founding member of the long beach insane crips. so he became the muscle in this whole scheme. >> they're leaving newport beach harbor like they've done many, many times before. on board is skylar deleon, alonso machain, and john f. kennedy. tom and jackie hawks think they're just taking this boat out for a test run. they have no idea what's in store for them. >> a long beach gang member, a seal beach jail security officer, and skylar deleon. weird.
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so, they just leave newport harbor and set a course out towards catalina. >> as they're heading out, the plan kind of goes into formation. >> at some point they get jackie and tom separated. sr kenne w downstairs with tom hawks. meanwhile, jackie's in the kitchen and she hears this ruckus. >> and alonso knows, oh, it's going down. it's going down right now. >> that struggle is kennedy overpowering tom hawks. >> he was able to restrain tom hawks long enough to get him handcuffed. meanwhile, it's alonso's job to subdue jackie hawks. >> jackie's here, alonso's here, and then that's where thomas hawks, skylar and jfk are on the bottom, and jackie hears the commotion. she looks down this way and this is where alonso overpowers her.
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>> they're laid down next to each other on the bed. jackie was pleading for her life. she was saying, you know, i just want to see my grandson. >> jackie is begging. and she says to skylar, how could you do this? how could you do this to us? you brought your pregnant wife on board. we met your daughter. >> she's screaming to skylar, we trusted you. why are you doing this? >> mr. and mrs. hawks tied up together. >> tom is stroking her hand, trying to comfort her. >> this is when hear the part about tom stroking her hand, it occurs down here, to put her at ease. i don't like being down here. >> it's one of the most poignant things i've ever heard in my career. it's okay, sweetheart, we're going to be together. where we're going, we're going to be together.
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>> each of them is brought up to sign documents. essentially turning the boat over to skylar deleon and giving him access to their bank accounts. >> you need to sign this and if you cooperate, we'll let you go. interesting about the way jackie hawks with a "s" signed her name. it's h-a-w-k. >> she's smart enough to mess up her signature. she signs it, hawk instead of hawks with an "s." >> she was sending a signal -- i'm doing this under duress. >> and it looked like somebody went back later and put in an "s" totally inconsistent with any way she'd ever signed her name. this is a woman who knows that she is going to her death. this is a woman who knows that she's about to be murdered and she is sending this flare up into the future for somebody to make it right. >> meanwhile, skylar, he's up setting the gps to go out to the
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deepest point in the ocean. it's 3,500 feet. it's the deepest place. >> then skylar said he had seen a -- an anchor. >> went to the front and grabbed this huge anchor and brought it back. put it in the back of the boat. >> and they handcuffed them to the anchor. and at that point, tom, his fight instinct kicks in. >> he kicks backwards and he kicked so hard, he kicks skylar in the groin and hard enough that he almost falls over. that was the last act of defiance. >> skylar stands up with a smirk, tosses this huge anchor off the side of the boat. >> the weight of the anchor, it goes tight. and suddenly they're being pulled across the deck. jackie's head knocks into the side. boom, you can hear it. >> and then out an open door. and they both fall into the ocean.
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>> they were very much alive when they were dumped into the ocean. >> the weight of the anchor pulls them down to the bottom of the deepest part of the sea. >> skylar gives out a whoo-hoo after it happens and then leans overboard and watches until the water becomes still. and that's what happened. >> how was skylar acting maybe while this was happening? >> he was calm. it was like it was the most normal thing. >> and then they actually turn the boat around. >> then kennedy found a fishing pole. >> decides he's going to fish on the way back to newport harbor. >> then john f. kennedy took a beer from the hawks' fridge. >> takes one of tom hawks' beers. >> no problem, just ended two people's lives. let's have a beer. ridiculous. >> it's hard to believe anybody could do such a terrible crime,
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especially a guy like mild-mannered skylar deleon. and then, there's the motive. >> was it just for the boat? was that it? but maybe that wasn't all as we'd learned later. >> what else should we know? rets have a black owner. that needs to change. so, i did something. i created a black business accelerator at amazon. and now we have a program that's dedicated to making tomorrow a better day for black businesses. ♪ ♪ i am tiffany. and this is just the beginning. ♪ ♪ (vo) nature... it energizes us. that's why nature valley restored access to 10,000 miles of trails... for everyone to enjoy. so, experience the power of nature, and take in the outdoors with nature valley.
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here. smell the flowers. can you smell them? >> once skylar was arrested, jennifer was still out of custody. we still didn't have enough information or evidence against her to prosecute her on much of anything at that point. >> she -- at the time, she stuck by her man.
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>> all right, we are rolling. >> how confident are you that skylar had nothing do with tom and jackie hawks presumably being murdered or at least missing? >> i am very confident, as confident as i can be, that skylar will be home soon. >> what we still don't know is jennifer's role. >> there was a split of opinions within newport beach pd. some thought she was the ice queen and the second coming of satan herself, and others thought that she was just the dutiful wife who got caught up in her husband's nefarious dealings. >> did you know anything about the crime? >> no. >> we extended immunity to jennifer. we said, look, tell us what happened. >> it was the ultimate offer. it was a get out of jail free card. all she would've had to do was testify against her husband. >> and incredibly, she turned it down. >> she had a chance to save herself, and she chose to stick by skylar. >> they almost completed each other.
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jennifer and skylar, before they met, hadn't committed any crimes that we're aware of, really, as individuals. but when they met, it was like fire and gasoline. >> and do you have any fear -- i know it's been speculated that they may arrest you. >> most definitely. not knowing if -- you know, if that is something that happens is to constantly be wondering, you know, i nurse my son, is this the last time i'm going to nurse my child? is this the last time i'm going to tuck hailie into bed? it's terrifying. >> 23-year-old jennifer just feet behind her 25-year-old husband skylar as their attorneys enter their plea. >> jennifer deleon is finally arrested, and that is really surprising because she was not on the boat at the time of the murders. and at that point, everybody's wndering, well, how did she play a part? >> the attorney for jennifer deleon, who just gave
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birth to her second child several weeks ago, says she wants her tried separately. >> the first person to go on trial was jennifer deleon. and i think that she was still operating under the belief that she could blame skylar for everything that had happened. >> deleon's attorney during the trial insisted she did not know what her husband was planning until after the hawks were killed. she only did what she did out of fear of her husband. >> the defense for jennifer was that she was not a part of this whole thing. she didn't know what was going to happen. she was forced into it. >> but as the evidence unfolded, nobody bought that. everybody knew who was in charge, and it wasn't skylar. >> how much in charge was jen? >> i think our -- probably we had our roles reversed. >> was she the brains in the -- in the family?
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>> yeah. >> skylar did not make a move without running it by jennifer. at every significant event during the murder of tom and jackie hawks, he called jennifer. they get down to newport beach, he calls jennifer. they get on the boat, out to sea, he calls jennifer. they get out where they tie tom and jackie hawks to that anchor, begging for their lives -- the first thing skylar did is call jennifer. >> she knew exactly what was going on because skylar kept her informed before, during and after the murders. >> that woman was physically not on the boat during the murders, but she was absolutely on the boat with guidance in spirit. >> jennifer was always on skylar for nice things. she wanted to move out. and she put a lot of pressure on skylar to make that happen for her. >> well, i mean, she wanted that fairytale life. >> jennifer is seen with a grin on her face as they're trying to take money out of the hawks' accounts after they murdered them.
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>> and her whole defense was she was terrified of skylar. she only went along with it because she was afraid that skylar might kill her, too. and she has a gigantic grin on her face. the look of a woman whose financial problems and debt problems were about to be solved. not somebody that's afraid of the man that she's with. >> for her to say that she was not involved in any way was an outright lie. >> jennifer deleon was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison. >> jennifer deleon, mother of two, was convicted of their murders. >> she was convicted of the murders of tom and jackie hawks and received a sentence of life without the possibility of parole. >> although her family suffers because she's loved, they will still get a chance to see her, say their last words and say their thoughts. they will be seeing her through plexiglass. but, you know, to see my parents, i have to look through 3,600 of the cold pacific ocean. >> so here's the question -- why did they do it? why did they go after these complete strangers, murdered them so coldly? was it just for the boat? was that it? but maybe that wasn't all, as we'd learn later.
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>> during the investigation, there were some points that came up where skylar's gender identity was questioned, that he believes he was transgender. and that was possibly a motive for not only the jarvi homicide, but the hawks homicide, to facilitate payment for his transgender surgery. >> i interviewed skylar deleon in jail in 2009. just before the interview, skylar was rushed to the hospital after an incident at the jail. >> he actually tries to cut his own penis off in jail. >> i basically took a ripped piece of sheet and tied it around my lower extremity and i went to cut it off. >> had this been something you had been thinking about for a while? >> yeah, for a long time. >> tell me about what's behind that. >> well, i guess it's something
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that i've always felt like as young as i can remember i always wanted. >> to be a woman? >> yes. but i'm not attracted to guys, and -- but i wanted the surgery. >> so when you get to jail, did you figure you were never going get the surgery, so might as well try it yourself? >> i guess so. kind of, in a way, i just said, you know what? i'll do it myself. but they got me too quick. so you're still a man. >> unfortunately. >> skylar deleon had put money down to get a sex change prior to this crime. >> we found, actually, a receipt where skylar had paid $500 to a surgeon who specialized in gender reassignment surgery. >> i mean, he lies so much, you never know when you're getting wrapped up in yet another con job. maybe he just wanted to say, how could i do it? i'm weak, i'm frail. i'm practically a woman. right? maybe it's just yet another con job.
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>> should we walk away from this program, this interview, knowing only that you cold-bloodedly killed three people? >> no. >> what else should we know? here we go. ♪ ♪ so i'd like to know where you got the notion ♪ ♪ to rock the boat don't rock the boat, baby ♪ ♪ rock the boat don't tip the boat over ♪ ♪ rock the boat don't rock the boat, baby ♪ ♪ rock the boat ♪ see disney's jungle cruise. it's time to rock the boat, america. get ready to set them up with everything they need. ♪ here we go ♪ everything. you got this. ♪ ♪ he looked after his community.
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a former child actor will stand trial for murder in a scheme to steal a yacht from a retired couple. >> they disappeared four years ago. >> their bodies were never recovered. >> my family and i have been waiting for this day for a long time. >> so, skylar deleon goes on trial in the fall of 2008, two years after his wife had been convicted. >> he's charged with murdering tom and jackie hawks and also jon jarvi in mexico. >> ryan hawks sat just feet away from the man who allegedly murdered his father and mother,
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thomas and jackie hawks, for their boat and life savings. >> i want him to know that i'm there. i want him to realize, you know, that this is what he took from me and the rest of my family. >> jurors also deciding if deleon killed jon jarvi. prosecutors allege deleon took $50,000 from jarvi, slit his throat and dumped him in mexico. >> for us the trial was not about revenge. it's about protecting society from this man to do more damage. >> to my surprise, when skylar's attorney got up, he went to a large flip chart. >> stood before jurors and in bold letters wrote, skylar is guilty of all three murders. >> because we were going to lose anyway. he was going to get convicted. >> they had the evidence, and they had somebody who was there confess. >> if i've tried to mislead them during the guilt phase, then they're not going to believe me when i get up there to talk about the penalty phase. >> his defense was that skylar had been abused as a boy. he was abused at the hands of his father.
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>> not only physical abuse, sexual abuse, the emotional abuse, but the abandonment issues. everybody in his life basically abandoned him at one time or another. >> when you think about your childhood, what do you think about it? >> i hated it. i mean, there's lots of times i wished i was dead. i hated my childhood. >> when skylar was caught biting his nails, john would stick toothpicks up in between his nails into his finger beds because that would teach him. >> your dad physically abused you, beat you. >> yeah. >> and then he had a friend who sexually abused you. >> yes. >> so how does that terrible childhood have any relevance to the situation we're in today, where three people are murdered at his hands? >> you try to explain as best you can who the person is, and hopefully get some sympathy from the jury that might impact on whether they vote to impose the death penalty or not. >> i think the defense attorney did the best he could, but he didn't have much to work with. >> there's only one problem with
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skylar's defense. you have to believe him, and he's a proven liar. >> he is a pathetic figure in a lot of ways. and he has a hard time telling the truth. >> in my 26-year career as a prosecutor, skylar deleon is the best liar that i've ever seen. for example, he said he was marine corps force recon. >> to hear skylar tell it, he was this deadly trained sniper. he was sent to the middle east where he would take care of business for the government. >> he did join the marines at one point, but even that he wasn't successful at. he left after about a couple of weeks, went awol. >> you told people you were a sniper. >> oh, yes. >> you weren't, but you told people that. >> yeah. >> give me a little insight on that, skylar. why would you do those things? >> i don't know. i guess just trying to impress people i was around, i guess. >> skylar seemed happy to talk about his gender surgery, but he didn't want to talk about his murder victims. >> jon jarvi. was he a friend of yours? >> acquaintance, i guess. just somebody i had met at the jail. i mean, i didn't even really
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know him that good. >> did you kill him? >> i can't go into that. >> skylar deleon is one of the most haunting figures i've ever interviewed. how he tied these poor people up on an anchor and threw them off the boat while they were still alive. it was just the worst thing i could ever think of. should walk away from this program, this interview, knowing only that you cold-bloodedly killed three people? >> no. >> what else should we know? >> personally i don't think i'm the person that they portrayed 100%. i mean, i think generally, good person just with a really bad decision. for the most part, i mean, i'm, well, i'm nice person. i treat everybody nice. >> what do you want people to know about skylar deleon? >> get it out there, i'm sorry, one thing, you know. take some things back. that's probably one of the biggest things.
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>> ryan hawk, who is the spokesman of course for the family, the son, told us that your apology is more about you, you're sorry that you got caught. but you're not really sorry about his family, his parents. >> well, i would say, you know, i'm definitely sorry to his parents. i wish i could take back the time, you know, and give him back his parents, because now i realize what he's lost. >> deleon was convicted of the murders of thomas and jackie hawks. >> skylar was convicted of the murder of tom and jackie hawks and also jon jarvi. >> the jury took two days to find him worthy of being sntenced to death. i don't think there was any surprise. >> the jury recommended the death penalty. that's what they former child actor got. >> a few months after skylar is convicted, another accomplice, john f. kennedy -- he was the muscle -- he's tried, convicted, and sentenced to death. >> it's a big relief. we've been waiting for this for a very long time.
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skylar deleon and john fitzgerald kennedy received the death penalty, are on death row. jennifer deleon received two life sentences for her involvement. she's in prison now.
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>> at the end of the day, they all get what they deserve. only alonso will ever see the light of day again. >> we decided that a 20-year sentence was appropriate for him, given his cooperation, given his instrumental role in the prosecution of all these other people that were involved in the conspiracy. >> justice was served because these people were found guilty, but it's never a win because ryan and matt lost their parents. mrs. jarvi lost he and now that the gernor has f t table, they're getting three squares a day and living their life. so i have really mixed feelings on that. >> skylar has finally, i think, become the person that she has always wanted to be. skylar is now legally a woman. she has filed court papers and she has changed her name from skylar julius deleon to skylar preciosa deleon.
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>> and it's worth remembering -- i know i do -- that even as we were interviewing him, skylar was already planning how he could live with women in jail and not men. >> there's some talk about one of the reasons why you wanted to do this is you want to be in the women's jail? >> yeah, i would rather be -- i get along a lot better with females than i do with the guys, so if i'm going to be doing time, at least maybe i could do it with females than guys. > over time, he was growing more and more effeminate looking. he asked for female underwear, and a bra, and eventually, as the criminal justice system has been kind of changing with the culture, he -- she was allowed to start wearing those things. and she wants to be called a she. >> he's receiving hormones on the state tax dollars. i think he's petitioned to have the surgery done, but you shouldn't be rewarded for brutally murdering three people so you can get your way. any chance they get to take advantage of the system, to get
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some sort of benefit that they think they deserve, we are sending the wrong message. >> the lingering thoughts i have about the case are just the senselessness of it. stupid people doing stupid things and vicious things. >> this case is probably one of the few that just sheer evil is involved. >> i was a prosecutor for 26 years. this is a case i will personally never forget. >> they're evil personified. scariest people i've ever met. >> i had a recurring nightmare for years where skylar is running and i've got to chase him and tackle him. and it's one of the most gratifying things in my career to have a jury make the right call. and not just once, not just twice, but three times with jennifer, with skylar, and with john kennedy. >> tom and jackie hawks were murdered more than 15 years ago, and this is one of the cases that i still think about when i am looking out toward catalina island, and i look at the ocean, i think of them. >> i'm so glad you could join us
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on our last voyage on "well deserved". got a few boats here on old catalina. so we'll miss it for a while, but we'll be back.
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the original covid virus isn't the one you should be worried about anymore. we'll explain. don't you wish this camera had a nose? we'll take

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