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tv   The Last Voyage  MSNBC  August 6, 2011 10:00am-11:00am PDT

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911, what is your emergency? >> we the jury find the defendant -- >> they loved the water. >> we're off again. >> he often said that you'll never discover new horizons if you're afraid to leave the shore. >> but when their grandchild arrived, they decided to sell their boat. the buyer, a one-time child actor. they took one last cruise. then they disappeared. >> i was thinking, you know,
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maybe they're down in mexico sipping on margaritas. >> their family growing frantic. >> tom and jackie do not sound like people who would miss thanksgiving and not tell their family. >> no. >> questions surface about that boat buyer, the last person to see them alive. >> i was very, very concerned. >> but the ocean held onto their secrets. until -- >> it was the biggest break you got? >> absolutely. >> a break and a shattering revelation. >> we were just not prepared for that at all. >> what really happened on "the last voyage"? >> thanks for joining us. i'm ann curry. sit a dream of many couples that retire of a lifetime of hard work. buying a boat and setting off on adventure at sea. for one husband and wife, their dream would end in a experience. it was supposed to be a simple trip on the water, but they never came back. >> generally i'm nice to everybody, and stuff like that. it's just one bad step is enough
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to really knock everything off. >> that one bad step is what this is all about. it's why skylar deleon is here, wearing government orange. what do you want people to know about you? >> i'm not -- not sure what i want them to know about me except for just wanted to apologize, i guess. just get it out there. sorry about some of the circumstances. >> circumstances? one mistake? when you hear his story, you can decide if that's the right way to describe how skylar ended up in jail. another is that skylar had started veering off course years before. by the way, that name, skylar deleon, it's made up. and that's kind of fitting. because as you'll see, skylar is a big pretender. and though it's easy for us to see that he might not be trustworthy, shackled and guarded, when tom and jackie
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hawks met skylar, they probably didn't suspect that this freshly-scrubbed family man, who liked boats, surfing and diving, was anything other than what he seemed. >> and we're off again, after adventures on "well deserved." >> and, of course, tom and jackie were used to meeting all kinds of people in their travels. ryan hawks remembers how his dad and stepmom worked for years, earning their dream of a life on the water. give me some idea of sort of how long in your life they were talking about, we're going to get a boat and we're going to stop working and that's going to be our life? >> gosh, since as far back as i can remember. i remember in high school, and even junior high, there would be stacks of yachting and sea world and boating magazines on my coffee table. >> after years of planning, saving, and dreaming, tom and jackie hawks sold their house, packed up their things, bought a
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trawler aptly called "well deserved," and in 2002, set sail for points west and south. what was the lure of that? >> i guess the lifestyle. just waking up and seeing the curve of the earth, the sense of adventure. and maybe some sense of accomplishment. >> jim hawks recalled his brother's love of the sea. >> he often said you'll never discover new horizons if you're afraid to leave the shore. there was just some lure that the sea seemed to call him. >> that yearning for open water took tom and jackie to mexico's pacific coast, and the sea of cortez, where they soaked up the sun, and the culture. jackie wrote from the tiny towns where they set anchor of tom's great time here with surfing. you'd think he was a teenager all over again. she wrote of the great people they were meeting. of the unpopulated harbors where the water is crystal clear, and the fishing amazing.
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it was truly the time of their lives. >> i'm going to go play some more. >> okay. >> but times changed. on august 16th, 2004. that's when jace hawks was born in prescott, arizona, to tom's younger son matt. >> say hi, grandma. >> uncle ryan remembers that his folks were over the moon with their first grandchild. >> i mean, every other day they're calling him. to talk to that kid. he can't even talk. he's just a baby. >> but long-distance calls and the occasional visit -- >> here's grandpa holding his new grandboy. >> -- weren't good enough. tom and jackie wanted to be there with jace and watch him grow. that meant saying good-bye to the "well deserved" and to life on the ocean. they would get a small house, and a smaller boat. at least that was the plan. >> we're getting ready to enter newport. >> they sailed the "well deserved" north to newport beach, california, and placed an
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ad to sell it. soon they got a call from a young man who said that he liked expensive boats, and that he had show biz money to support his habit. his name was skylar deleon. and he told the hawks that as a kid, he'd been on the "mighty morphin power rangers." for awhile, the hottest kids show on tv. now he's grown up and eager to become the new skipper of the "well deserved." to the hawks, it was almost too good to be true. >> they were excited that this child actor was very interested in the boat, and they felt pretty strongly that he was a legitimate prospective buyer. >> no hint of doubt or suspicion in what you heard from them? >> no. i was somewhat skeptical. he seemed to be young. >> jim hawks sailed out to catalina and met up with tom and jackie to say farewell to "well deserved."
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>> i'm so glad you could join us on our last voyage on "well deserved." jimmy's here. we're all eating down right now on some good old sushi. >> it was a celebration of the good times had on board and the exciting time to come on land. after the weekend farewell, the hawks moored the "well deserved" back in newport beach harbor. their friend carter ford remembers how important it was for tom hawks to teach their prospective buyer, that former child actor, about tom's beloved boat. >> his focus was, i'm going to show him how everything works. i'm going to give it myself. and off they went. >> on november 14th, 2004, around 4:00 p.m. carter ford missed a call from jackie, who left a message that they were out at sea with the new buyer. and then -- nothing. >> i wanted to believe maybe they lived on that boat for so
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long they may have sold it and tom, who is notoriously frugal, took jackie to a nice resort to have dinner out and they're somewhere where their cell phones aren't working. >> you're looking for an explanation? >> we really were. >> i was making stuff up. i was thinking maybe they're down in mexico, you know, sipping on margaritas. >> jim hawks had just retired as police chief of carlsbad, california. like a lot of cops he'd seen a lot of bad things in his career. but he was never concerned about his little brother tom. even as children, growing up on a farm, they'd learned to take care of themselves. as teens, they were already comfortable on the water. tom had served in vietnam. a lifelong athlete, a firefighter, probation officer, a workout zealot. tom hawks was, quite simply, someone who could take care of himself. >> we just didn't worry about him. i'm afraid i may have done what
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i've often criticized other victims or families or reporting parties of doing, and that's kind of being in denial. >> maybe tom and jackie were at some hideaway south of the border with no cell phone service. or maybe they were out at sea. or maybe not. coming up, suspicions are just starting to surface when the family makes a disturbing discovery in the harbor. >> it just appeared as though something was wrong. >> when "the last voyage" continues. every day, all around the world, energy is being produced to power our lives. while energy developement comes with some risk, north america's natural gas producers are committed to safely and responsibly providing decades of cleaner burning energy for our country, drilling thousands of feet below fresh water sources within self contained well systems and using state of the art monitoring technologies,
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november 23rd, 2004. nine days after they met with a young man who wanted to buy their boat, and still no one had
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heard from tom or jackie hawks. so tom's brother jim, an ex-cop, decided to do some legwork himself. and he started in the most obvious place. the hawks were missing, but their boat wasn't. it was back at its mooring in newport harbor. jim hawks rode out to see the "well deserved." hoping to find something. anything. a clue. >> we circled the "well deserved," and immediately became a little concerned. there were things out of place. a towel hanging out of a porthole. >> that was the kind of sloppiness tom would never have tolerated. >> tom always insisted that the portholes be secured. that canvas covering the instruments on the fly bridge be properly secured. and it wasn't. things were flapping in the breeze. it just appeared as though something was wrong. >> but they sold the boat. couldn't this be the new owners? >> it seemed as though they may have sold the boat.
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but, my sail board, tom's custom made surf board, their wet suits were still on the boat. and those weren't things that he would have let go with a sale. >> all of it was strange. very strange. >> i did leave a note on the cabin door. >> which said what? >> that i was trying to locate my brother, tom hawks, and please call me. >> and the next day the phone rang. but it wasn't tom or jackie. it was the wife of that former child actor they had talked about. >> it struck me as a little odd at first. she said i'm pregnant, and at work, and one of my friends found your note on our boat. >> odd, perhaps, but jim was grateful for the call. maybe this young woman would have some information. >> i thought the way she opened the conversation was very unusual. and i had asked her for her name, when she'd indicated they purchased the boat, and she was
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hesitant in responding. and that didn't seem normal to me. >> jim, the ex-cop, wasn't getting a good feeling from this young woman. she was reluctant to say much, and quick to get off the phone. eventually she did give her name. it was jennifer deleon. and her husband's name, skylar. jennifer also gave jim something that at least sounded like a direction to go in. >> she said they'd purchased the boat, and that my brother and his wife had talked of going to san carlos, mexico, and then she said i'm sorry, i'm busy, i've got to go. >> we're traveling up the sea of cortez along the baja coast. >> san carlos, on the sea of cortez, was one of those places tom and jackie loved. it made some sense that they would look to buy a house there. by land it's only a four-hour drive from the arizona border. and from their new grandson. by then, thanksgiving was two
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days away. and the thinking was, they would have to show up. >> tom and jackie do not sound like people who would miss thanksgiving and not tell their families. >> no. >> but thanksgiving came and went, without a word. >> that brought everything to the surface with all of this and all of us, family and friends, and i called ryan, and i said, ryan, you've got to come home. we've got to talk. >> and i immediately hung up and drove straight forward to see my uncle, 3:00 in the morning, the day after thanksgiving and say there's a reason to be concerned. this is what we know. and it wasn't much. >> once jim had gotten skylar's name, he was able to figure out that that was an alias. that skylar deleon was really john jacobson and sometimes went by the stage name john liberty. he also knew it was time to get some on-duty cops involved. so jim filed a missing persons report.
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and then, the phone rang again. jennifer called you back? >> she did. and i tried my best to get a little more information. she indicated that they were trying to locate tom and jackie, as well, and needed information on switching over the fuel tank. >> you've been a cop. what do you think? is this somebody genuinely asking for help or someone trying to cover their tracks? >> certainly, i suspected she was lying. i had searched power ranger productions and saw no indication that a skylar deleon was affiliated with it in any way. and i was very, very concerned. >> this time jim hawks didn't want to let this woman hang up without getting more out of her. >> i mentioned that there were personal items left on the boat. and she said oh, yeah, that we told them they could come back and get them at any time. and then i asked about the sale. i said i don't want to pry into your finances, i tried to be as
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low-key as i could, but did you go to a bank, or provide them with a cashier's check? and then she replied that they had the payment in hand when we left them. >> jim hawks was suspicious of jennifer deleon, and all she had to say. he already knew that no big deposit had gone in to tom and jackie's bank. but he wasn't a cop anymore. this wasn't his case. so where were the hawks? what was their involvement in all this? and could anyone find them? coming up, where were the hawks? and who were the deleons? no one could believe what they were about to hear. he just volunteers that? >> yeah, absolutely. >> when "the last voyage" continues. [ p.a. announcer ] announcing america's favorite cereal is now honey nut cheerios! yup, america's favorite. so we're celebrating the honey sweetness, crunchy oats and... hey! don't forget me!! honey nut cheerios. make it your favorite too!
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dr. scholl's custom fit orthotic center recommends the custom-fit orthotic that's best for your tired feet. foot-care scientists are behind it. you'll get all-day relief. for your tired achy feet. for locations, see thank you... tom and jackie hawks were somewhere in the wind when the missing persons report ended up in the hands of newport beach detectives dave byington and evan sailor. at this point, how long have tom
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and jackie hawks been missing? >> you're looking about a good two weeks now. >> and still no sign of them? >> nothing on their car. we checked with the consulate in mexico, hospitals there, weren't in any traffic accidents in mexico. there was no short wave activity, because they were active on the short wave with other sailing yachts, and so they basically disappeared. >> of course the investigators wanted to talk to the last people who saw them. the buyers of "well deserved." skylar and jennifer deleon. they found the couple and their 1-year-old daughter at church in long beach, california. what were they doing in the church? >> they were cleaning. they were volunteering their time to clean the chapel. so we walk in, skylar, his wife jennifer. they had at the time, she was about a year old, haley their daughter, and she's gosh about seven, eight months pregnant at the time. obviously pregnant at the time and here they are cleaning the chapel. >> they do not seem like hardened criminals? >> no. it was a little awkward for us. we went in there, identified ourselves.
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they were quite friendly. >> the friendly couple seemed candid and not at all nervous about this visit from two detectives. a very pregnant jennifer told the detectives that she was a hairdresser and the primary breadwinner in the family. she said they lived at her parents' house, in a converted garage. skylar told them that he worked sometimes as an electrician. and he freely admitted he was on parole for burglary. >> and i asked him, where would they come up with that much money? and she said skylar had some money from acting royalties as a child actor and also some real estate investments that he had in mexico. >> as byington talked to jennifer, skylar deleon was down the hall telling detective sailor a completely different story, about how they could afford the "well deserved." >> he said he laundered this money, it came up across the border from mexico, it was drug money. >> he just volunteered that? >> yeah, yeah, absolutely. >> amazingly, skylar confessed to detective sailor that he had stowed away a huge amount of
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cash in mexico, that he had earned in a drug deal. >> he basically said that he was involved in a narcotics transaction and these were proceeds from that transaction. >> that he bought the boat with? >> exactly. so he basically admitted to a felony by choice. >> which makes you think, what? that they're telling the truth because he just made a declaration against his own interest? >> yeah, he appeared to be pretty truthful at the time. >> skylar told the cops that he, his wife, their infant daughter, a notary public and a friend acting as a witness, had rendezvoused with tom and jackie right here in newport beach. the "well deserved" would have been moored over there but they never got on the boat that day, skylar said. according to him they met here, signed this paperwork, had it notarized and skylar deleon passed tom hawks a briefcase containing $485,000 in cash and then according to skylar, tom and jackie drove off and that was the last they saw of the
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hawks. the detectives called the two others who'd been present at the sail of the boat. the notary public and the witness. and both backed up skylar's story. if anyone was acting strangely that day, skylar said, it was tom hawks. >> he was excited but nervous. >> and did he say anything to that effect? >> he was just like, let's just close this up. >> the day after the church meeting skylar willingly came into the police department to talk more to the detectives about buying the "well deserved." that conversation was captured on video. >> so he was like -- >> skylar showed detective byington the keys he said tom and jackie gave him. >> do the paperwork, give you the key? >> yeah, he's like this is the key right here. this one. >> by then, the cops had taken
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possession of the "well deserved." >> we still have it today. i told your wife that i know you want to take it out this weekend. we're going to try to get it done by tomorrow. should be able to cut it loose. >> police seem to find skylar credible, and that was extremely upsetting to ryan hawks, who was convinced that his parents had met with foul play. and that skylar was somehow involved. >> you know, i felt skylar's word was more believed than ours. he was giving himself up because he -- he was laundering money. so he's putting himself in jeopardy. six witnesses are copping the same story. there's just no witnesses on my parents' side. >> you were frustrated? >> extremely. there's no way my father would take $400,000 of laundered drug money in a car in a dark parking lot. >> coming up, so what really happened? a clue hidden in these documents. and a tip, not about the hawks' beloved boat, but about their car.
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>> this person called in, says i'm looking at the vehicle now, it's parked in a drive way in mexico. ease of cooking is very important to me. perdue perfect portions is great on busy nights. five chicken breasts individually wrapped,
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hey there, everyone. i'm alex witt. defense officials now reporting that the 31 americans killed in the crash, as many as 20 were navy s.e.a.l.s. five reportedly on the air crew. and among the afghans killed, seven troops and one civilian interpreter. the united states has lost its aaa credit rating for the first time in history after the long drawn out debt fight in washington. more news later. now back to "the last voyage." now to a mystery in newport beach, california. what happened to a couple who disappeared last month after selling their yacht? >> by the first week of
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december, with no word from tom or jackie, and nothing to move the case forward, newport beach detectives went public with the story. with the help of ryan hawks. >> dave byington told me he needs some help to get some leads, and if it was as if he gave me a mission and a task and i can help. >> tom hawks' eldest son expects foul play. >> for them not to be in contact for over two weeks, to be completely missing with personal items and various stuff, you know, it doesn't make sense. >> the meantime the detectives wanted to talk to skylar about something they'd learned that didn't make sense. the hawks had not only signed over the "well deserved" to skylar and jennifer, they had each signed a power of attorney, giving skylar and jennifer control of all their finances. >> why is it you guys have power of attorney? because that's a question that's come up. skylar explained it all. he offered to help tom and jackie open a bank account in mexico.
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where he said he had a connection and citizenship. and having a mexican bank would make it easier for them to buy a house down there. >> i told them 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. >> he told the detective how he and his wife had gone out of their way, even making a trip to tom and jackie's bank in arizona to get everything in order for that new account. and indeed, when police looked, there was the deleons on bank security photos. that's jennifer, all smiles. somehow skylar made it all make sense. >> i sat down and interviewed him for about two hours, and he sat across from me, about as close as we are, and for two hours he told me a story, weaved a story of dope deals and child acting, and purchasing a yacht, and a master diver. and i believed 99% of it. >> skylar seemed truthful, but there was something that wasn't right. those are tom and jackie's
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thumbprints and signatures. except for the "s" in hawks where jackie signed. both times the letter is written in by someone else. why would jackie forget the "s" on her own name? was it a mistake? or was it a message that she hadn't signed that document willingly? there was no way to know. and then, in response to all that tv coverage -- >> the couple's silver honda crv with arizona plates is also missing. >> -- a tip that would change the direction of the case. >> we get a telephone call from an american citizen in mexico, and this person calls up and says i'm looking at the vehicle right now. it's parked in a driveway in mexico. >> at that point that was the biggest break you got? >> absolutely. >> december 16th, 2004. a month and a day after tom and jackie were last seen, detective byington headed to mexico, hoping to find not only their car, but some answers, and maybe them. >> i'm thinking tom and jackie hawks are hiding out in mexico.
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i mean, that was my gut feeling. >> with the help of the local mexican police, byington asked the person at the house where the car was parked, how did it get there? >> owner of the house says, well it was dropped off by one of my son's friends. it's all in spanish, but i hear skylar deleon. >> remember, skylar had told police the last he'd seen of the hawks was when they drove off in that car after the sale. catching skylar in that lie changed everything. >> at that moment, i knew that skylar was good for killing the hawks. >> so byington and sailor brought skylar back to the police station by telling him a little lie themselves. they were going to release the "well deserved." >> we've just gotten word that we found the hawks' vehicle down in mexico, so we decide hey this is it, we're going to jam him. he's got his 1-year-old, jams him. >> you're looking at either homicide which you claim you have nothing to do with. and that may very well be true because this is quite a tale you've weaved about this money coming across. >> he does turn a little shade
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of white. on cue the baby spits up. >> do you have tissues? he tells us he's got to go with the baby. >> i'm going to get her water. >> okay. >> they let him go, but now police had a plan of their own. there wasn't the evidence to charge skylar with murder. but with the help of orange county prosecutor matt murphy, police booked skylar on the white collar crime to which he already confessed. >> mr. deleon has been charged with three counts of money laundering and three counts of possession of financial instruments related to narcotics transactions. and at this point, the investigation is ongoing. >> jennifer deleon came to court to stand by her man. with an attorney by her side. >> mrs. deleon stands behind her husband and she stands behind his innocence and likewise her heart goes out to her husband and her family, there's concern about the hawks and the hope that everything gets turned up, and everything comes back in a
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positive and healthy fashion. >> with skylar locked up, detectives started learning more about him. how he told coworkers at a mortgage company he briefly worked at that his grandfather owned the place. not true. how he bragged about his child acting roles. when really he was on just a few "power rangers" shows standing somewhere in the background. and not much more. his lies were prolific and seemed almost reflexive. and then there are skylar's marine discharge papers. which tell the story of almost a leatherneck legend. >> it shows this guy that's done a four-year tour of service. but in that four years he had gone to some schools that required like a 10 and 15-year enlistment time. he also listed kills in action. >> but those were also lies. skylar deleon had never seen any action. his discharge wasn't honorable. he'd been thrown out after going awol. in fact, the unit it said he was
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assigned to, yankee white 2fr recon is not a real marine unit. investigators say the only place you can serve in that unit is on an xbox game. the deeper they looked, the dirtier skylar seemed. in the search of the couple's house done the day after skylar's arrest, detectives found things that once belonged to tom and jackie. a computer. their dive bags. clothes. and there was something else. >> we find a lone lapd business card. nothing on it. just an lapd business card. kind of thought that was weird. >> you call lapd? >> they said yeah, we dealt with skylar deleon. in fact we came up a year ago, this investigator from ensenada, where there was a homicide down there. >> the lapd tells you skylar was already somebody they interviewed in a separate, unrelated homicide? >> yes. >> coming up, what the case of
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this man would mean for the mystery of the hawks. and then, at last, details about their final, fateful trip on the water. >> we just were not prepared for that at all. >> when "the last voyage continues." [ male announcer ] the network -- a living, breathing intelligence that's helping people rethink how they live. in here, the planned combination of at&t and t-mobile would deliver our next generation mobile broadband experience to 55 million more americans, many in small towns and rural communities, giving them a new choice. ♪ we'll deliver better service, with thousands of new cell sites... for greater access to all the things you want, whenever you want them. it's a network of connections and ideas... open and collaborative... extending far beyond the mobile phone. connecting you to a world of intelligent new devices and technologies. from today's best innovators... and tomorrow's.
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as they tried to find out what had happened to tom and jackie, new port beach detectives looking into the background of skylar deleon found an lapd business card, which led them to a grieving mother, and a murder case that was getting cold. >> when i opened the door, i just looked at jeff and said, how bad is it? and he said as bad as it gets. and i knew immediately. >> you knew j.p. was gone?
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>> i knew he was gone, yeah. >> when betty jarvi got the news that her youngest son john jarvi was found dead, his throat slit near ensenada, mexico, it was two days after christmas 2003. >> it was shock but at the same time, it wasn't surprise. >> you knew he was on the wrong path? >> yeah. >> jeff jarvi described his brother as charming, yet self-destructive. j.p. was a pilot but had a drug problem. jobs came and went. he turned to crime to support his habit. and ended up in jail alongside skylar deleon. who was in for burglary. >> he met skylar in jail, skylar convinced him in the way that skylar deleon can do really well with people that somehow there was this gigantic payoff for jan jarvi if he could just come up with $50,000. >> prosecutor murphy said as soon as j.p. finished serving his time he took a second mortgage out on his condo, got 50 grand in cash, and then went with skylar deleon to mexico.
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>> so in some ways they were cut from the same cloth, but j.p. was no killer? >> absolutely not. i had no fear from my brother, i feared his associates. he brought crummy people around our lives. and i feared for my mother and her safety. but i never had any physical fear of my brother. >> i think i knew when he said he was going to mexico, that it was bad. i didn't know what was going to happen. >> but no good would come of it? >> he had been so frightened for so long. and mexico was not a very good place to go if you're frightened. i just -- it didn't -- i wasn't surprised. it was like waiting for the other shoe to drop. it dropped. >> to the detectives, the jarvi case made them more sure they
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had their man. and they started pressing harder to figure out what had really happened to the hawks. >> we started trying to think who would be a weak link? one was jennifer. here's a wife with a 1-year-old baby and about to have another baby. >> doesn't seem like a hardened criminal. >> no criminal history. no criminal background that we're aware of. and then we had the notary for this alleged transaction that took place. >> no criminal history there, either. but both women were sticking to their stories. until one just couldn't take the pressure anymore. january 4th, 2005, seven weeks after tom and jackie disappeared, the notary, kathleen harris, walked into newport beach p.d. with a completely different version of events. >> there were all these documents laid out, and i just looked at them. >> did you see anything written on the back of them? >> they were signed. >> and who were they signed by? >> the hawks. >> but the bomb she dropped was
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this, skylar had paid her $2,000 to back date and notarize these documents. she was never here on 15th street in newport beach. she never saw the car, the briefcase, or the boat. and, she never met tom or jackie hawks. all of that was a lie skylar gave her to tell police. it was a huge break. the pieces were falling into place. the cops found records of skylar purchasing stun guns, and that his friend alonso buying handcuffs in the weeks before tom and jackie disappeared. and they found phone records. showing skylar's cell phone signal bouncing off a tower on catalina island, 30 miles out at sea on the night the purchase was supposedly taking place on dry land. all of it pointed to something terrible. but the picture was still fuzzy, until alonso machain, skylar's friend who had claimed to have witnessed the sale of the boat,
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turned himself in, asking for leniency for his role in a story more horrifying than anyone imagined. >> for the record, i'm at the d.a.'s office i just want to tell you a couple things at the outset. >> not surprisingly, skylar's con began with a lie. >> he said he had done very well in real estate, his parents were wealthy, and he's been an actor for "the power rangers." >> but the hawks weren't completely buying it. skylar needed to soften his image. so he decided to use his pregnant wife and young daughter to win over tom and jackie. >> he calls his wife and lets her know that she needs to come out to the boat and so they see her. and she's to put them at ease. >> alonso wasn't there when jennifer and her baby visited, but whatever they did worked. when he came back to test drive
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the boat, tom was waiting for them. >> mr. hawks was already at the dock. >> this time in addition to alonso, skylar brought another guy, john kennedy, dressed to play the part of his accountant. but john kennedy was no accountant. he was a sometimes gang member with a long criminal record. and he was there to serve as muscle for the scrawny skylar. and then, they set out to sea. jackie made that last phone call to their friend carter ford to say we're out with the buyer. and then they cut the motor so skylar could check the hull. out at sea, as they'd been so many times before. but this time would be different. below deck, john kennedy and skylar tasered and subdued tom hawks. above, alonso grabbed jackie, and cuffed her. >> what did she say? >> she says what's going on? what is this, you know. she's screaming that we trusted you.
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and your wife came over. you know, you have your kid over, your little girl over. why are you doing this? >> then, alonso described how the hawks were brought to their bed, tied together, back to back. >> he got the tape and he told me to tape their eyes, tape their mouth. skylar went up and programmed their gps system to go out. >> heading farther out to sea now, jackie hawks, her eyes and mouth duct taped, and tied up back to back with tom, started to cry. tom stroked her hand, trying to calm her. then, one at a time, skylar brought each of them up to the galley, loosened their bindings just enough so they could hold a pen and sign away everything they owned. alonso described jackie hawks as shaking with fear. skylar had gotten what he needed, the boat, and those signatures.
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so tom and jackie were brought out to the stern. >> they were like, well, what's going on? why are we at the back of the boat? >> the hawks were tied together, blindfolded and surrounded but tom made one last desperate attempt to try to save himself and his wife. >> mr. hawks was able to lift his legs somehow and he literally tossed skylar off his feet and knocked him on his butt. >> by kicking him? >> yeah. and that behind him just takes the side of his head and i'm pretty sure he knocked him out. >> then skylar deleon tied a line from the boat's anchor to the hawks and then tossed the anchor into the ocean. tom and jackie were pulled in after it. it must have been freezing cold, it was pitch dark. and of course, they were alive.
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>> our minds we always think the crime occurred first, and then you dispose of the bodies. but then when alonso told us this, we just were not prepared for that at all. >> i was -- i walked out of that, we'd been about seven ou. it was about seven hours that interview. i walked out twice. 30 years of doing this, i was drained. i could not imagine anything more horrific than way described. >> she was crying, she was begging for her life. the lingering feeling i always had is how do you cry and hold your breath at the same time? >> as hard as that was to hear, detectives and prosecutor knew they had their case. skylar, jennifer and john kennedy were all tried and convicted of killing tom and jackie hawks. skylar was convicted of murdering john jarvey. alonzo made a deal and is serving 20 years. but it was skylar who was the mastermind. what kind of person could do
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what he did? you're about to find out. coming up, nothing short of diabolical. what were they like, the hawks? >> good people. >> but it didn't make any difference. >> when "the last voyage" continues. well i always worry about what's in the food that i put on my children's plate. that's why we use all-white meat, breading that is whole grain with omega-3 and no preservatives. it is my goal to make the highest quality,
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in january of 2009, i sat down to talk to skylar deleon. small, meek, and soft-spoken. he didn't seem like a monster. but then, skylar's perverse gift is that he can seem like what he isn't. tom and jackie hawks, and j.p. jarvi before them, learned that the hard way. what do you want people to know about you?
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>> well i'm not sure what i want them to know about me except for just wanted to apologize, i guess. just get it out there. sorry about some of the circumstances. >> although he professed to be sorry to the hawks and the jarvis, even this polished con man couldn't make those apologies seem real. what was clearly real was that he could not summon any remorse or empathy for the people he had killed. >> what were they like, the hawks? >> from what i could tell, i mean, good people. >> nice to you? >> yes. >> nice to your wife? >> yes. >> good to each other? >> yes. >> but that didn't make any difference? >> it's not that it didn't make a difference. it's when the difference came time, it was already too late. >> to skylar, tom and jackie were nothing more than the means to an end. >> i wasn't really looking at them trying to go, okay, you know, are these good people, are these bad people? because i think, like, i'm the type person like once you get
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something in my head, it's kind of like it's in my head, and that thing is already going. >> that thing. meaning the double murder. the way you talk about it with me, you say "it" or "the thing," and you kind of like sanded it down and made it some sort of almost like business proposition. but what we're talking about here is murder. >> yeah. >> you killed a couple of people in a horrible way. you can't even bring yourself to say it, can you? >> i guess it's one of those things you just want to try and say you're sorry. but i mean there's -- it's like you -- you know that it happened. but -- >> it didn't just happen. you did it. >> yeah. >> you're apologizing for what? >> well, for my part in the whole situation. >> what's the situation? >> for their murder. that's what i'm apologizing for.
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i'm sorry that they're dead. >> they're not just dead. they're dead because you killed them. >> yeah. >> skylar deleon had lots to tell me about how his father, a career criminal who has since died, plotted out the whole thing. that seems not to be true. he also told me his wife pushed him into it. and that might be. if you weren't a good provider, if you weren't bringing in money, what, she was going to leave you? >> that's one of the things. i'd do anything to make her happy. >> what happened to you? how did you get here in an orange jump suit convicted of murder? >> bad decisions. really bad decisions. >> neither one of you was really up for it, but this was your plan, your dad, you and your wife put together. >> yeah, but i think up until that point, like, it seemed real
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but it didn't seem real. it seemed more of like, okay, it seemed more like talk and something i could just pull out of. >> of course jennifer's attorney says it was she who was the pawn. that she was manipulated by skylar and knew nothing about killing the hawks. even so, she received a life sentence. as i was interviewing skylar, his attorney repeatedly interrupted from the sidelines. >> you're a diver? >> yes. >> one of the things that you go through in training is you're under water, and they tell you to take the air out. >> yes. >> you know what it's like to be under water without any air. okay. his attorney was trying to keep skylar from saying anything that would make it easier for a judge to give him the death penalty. in the end, he got it anyway.
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looking back, it's obvious how much tom and jackie loved each other, and how passionate they were about seeing the world. they were generous, accepting people. in the end, they died in the same ocean that had given them so much happiness. >> they looked in the good in everyone. and i believe the selling point for them with skylar buying the boat was jennifer coming on board, and you know, you show family, and you talk family to my family and they're going to let down their guard. >> tom wasn't naive to criminal behavior or conduct in life. but he had a tendency, as ryan said, to see the best in anyone. as tragic as this is, i wouldn't have wanted him to be any different. for more on this


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