The Loving Grandparents Sold Their Yacht — Only to Be Shoved Overboard

The tragic murders of the Hawks

Thomas and Jackie Hawks (family photo)

“Why are you doing this to us? We just met your wife. I just held your baby.” Jackie confronted Skylar.

Skylar completely ignored Jackie. He went upstairs and piloted the yacht towards the deepest part of the ocean.

At the scene, Thomas comforted his wife, Jackie.

He had managed to pull his hand up, stroking Jackie’s hand. He said to her, “It’s gonna be okay. No matter what happens to us, we’ll be together.”

Who Were Thomas And Jackie

In 1986, Thomas Hawks was a 39-year-old divorcee and a father of two teenage boys.

He lived in Newport Beach, California.

One day, whilst Thomas and his sons attended a local chili cook-off, he met Jackie. Thomas was immediately drawn to her and vice-versa.

The two jumped straight into a relationship and got married.

In 2002, Thomas’s sons left the house.

Thomas and Jackie decided to spend their days traveling on the sea. They purchased a yacht and called it “THE WELL DESERVED.”

Two years later, one of their sons was expecting to be a father.

Thomas and Jackie decided to sell the yacht. They wanted to spend more time with their family and enjoy being grandparents.

The Sale of The Yacht

Soon enough, a young couple was interested in buying the yacht.

So Thomas and Jackie told their sons that they would finalize the yacht’s sale in a couple of days. But, many days went by, and the sons couldn’t reach either Thomas or Jackie.

The sons told Jim, a brother of Thomas, about this sudden silence from their parents. So, Jim went to look for Thomas and Jackie on their yacht.

Lines were hanging over the side of the boat. Also, a couple of tarps that went over some of the control panels were taken off.

The scene was odd because Jim knew Thomas was incredibly meticulous and orderly.

Jim got the impression that Thomas and Jackie had already sold the yacht.

So, Jim left his business card and a message that he wanted to speak with the new owners.

Later that day, Jim received a call from a 21-year-old woman, Jennifer Henderson. Jennifer told Jim that they couldn’t get in touch with Thomas and Jackie.

Jennifer and her husband, Skylar, were the new owners.

The last time that Jennifer saw Thomas and Jackie was when the yacht sale was finalized. Thomas and Jackie took the money, jumped into their car, and drove away.

So, Jim called the Newport Beach police department, and he officially reported Thomas and Jackie missing.

The Newport Beach police department did some digging on the new buyers of the yacht, the Deleons. They discovered that the 25-year-old Skylar had been arrested before and convicted of armed robbery.

The police were immediately suspicious of him.

The Detectives Brought in Skylar for Questioning

Skylar told the investigators that he saw an ad in a fishing magazine for a yacht.

Skylar was interested. He contacted Thomas and Jackie, and they went for a sea trial.

On November 15th, Skylar, his pregnant wife, his young daughter, a notary, and a witness, met with Thomas and Jackie in the dock’s parking lot. They signed the sale documentation.

Skylar handed Thomas and Jackie a suitcase full of cash, and the couple drove away.

Skylar’s wife, Jennifer, the notary, and the witness also gave similar accounts of their last interaction with Thomas and Jackie.

A couple of days later, Thomas and Jackie’s SUV was discovered in Mexico.

The house owner where the vehicle was parked told the police that the SUV belonged to Skylar.

The police realized that Skylar had lied to them.

They arrested him on money laundering charges. And they searched his home. The police found things that belonged to Thomas and Jackie inside Skylar’s home (laptops, video cameras, and other gadgets).

The police decided to reinterview the notary and the witness.

The notary, Kathleen Harris, finally broke.

She told the police that she had never met Thomas and Jackie. Skylar paid her upfront to backdate the sale documents that had already been signed.

The witness, Alonso Machain, was offered a deal if he cooperated with the police.

So, he narrated what had happened.

The Details of a Pre-meditated Murder

In 2004, Skylar approached Alonso with a murder deal. In return, Skylar would pay Alonso 1 million US dollars.

Skylar, Alonso, and John Kennedy met Thomas and Jackie at the dock’s parking lot. Skylar wanted a sea trial in the yacht before the purchase.

But, Thomas was skeptical about going on a sea trial with the three strange men. So, Skylar called Jennifer.

Jennifer showed up with their one-year-old daughter and met with Thomas and Jackie. Jennifer later said she couldn’t join them because of the baby.

Thomas and Jackie had loosed up, so they went along with the three men.

As Thomas piloted the boat, Skylar and John wanted to show him something in the yacht’s lower levels.

Thomas went with them. Meanwhile, Alonso and Jackie were in the kitchen, right above the bedroom.

Alonso and Jackie heard a very loud commotion coming from the lower bedroom.

Then, Alonso grabbed Jackie, threw her to the ground, and handcuffed her.

Skylar and John came upstairs and took Jackie. They threw Jackie onto the bed right next to Thomas (also handcuffed).

Jackie asked Skylar why he was doing that to them.

Thomas had managed to pull his hand up, stroking Jackie’s hand. And he said to her,” It’s gonna be okay. No matter what happens to us, we’ll be together.”

Suddenly the boat stopped.

Skylar forced Thomas and Jackie to sign the sale documentation for the yacht and additional paperwork that gave Skylar access to their bank accounts.

Jackie pleaded with the men to let them go and see their grandchild.

Skylar grabbed the long metal chain that came off of the anchor, and he connected that portion of the chain to Thomas and Jackie’s handcuffs. Then he threw the anchor into the water.

Thomas and Jackie desperately tried to fight against the anchor’s weight that was pulling them off of the boat. In the end, they were very slowly pulled off the boat into the water.

About Jennifer

Jennifer was equally involved in the murders, even though she wasn’t on the boat at the time of the act. It turned out that the attack was her idea.

She wanted more money, and she came up with the murder scheme.

When Jennifer showed up at the dock parking lot with her baby, she did that intentionally to trap Thomas and Jackie. Jennifer was sentenced to life behind bars without the possibility of parole.

Alonso was sentenced to 20 years and four months in prison. And John and Skylar were sentenced to death.