Couple tied to their own yacht and thrown overboard to drown in horror hijack

A couple were harrowingly killed after trying to sell their yacht to a potential buyer, who turned out to be the evil mastermind in an attempt to steal their vessel.

Ex-parole officer Tom, 57, and his wife Jackie Hawks, 47, worked hard to retire from their careers early to live on a 55-foot yacht, dubbed Well Deserved, in Newport Beach, California. However, after two years at sea, the couple decided to sell their yacht.

This led to former child actor Skylar DeLeon to make contact after seeing the for sale advert. DeLeon, who once starred in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, could not afford the boat so hatched a sinister plot on the couple on November 15 in 2004.

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The murderer and his then pregnant wife, Jennifer, came to look at the boat with two accomplices. They were welcomed on board by the Hawks but as they set sail, the meeting turned violent.

The couple were overpowered and tortured with tasers, forcing them to sign over their assets to DeLeon. Once he had the signature, they were harrowingly drowned to death after being tied to the boat's anchor and then tossed overboard.

The Hawks bodies were never recovered. DeLeon, now owner of the yacht, then tried clearing out his victims bank account, but it is unknown how much the couple had.

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His crimes only came to light several years later following suspicions over the missing couple and when one of the accomplices, Alonso Machain, confessed to the crimes.

Machain avoided the death penalty for cooperating with authorities and was sentenced to 20 years in prison, while Jennifer DeLeon was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

The other accomplice, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, was sentenced to death, according to

DeLeon was sentenced to die by lethal injection but due to California’s moratorium on the death penalty, he is now forced to live out his days on Death Row.

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During an interview to ABC News following the sentencing, DeLeon said: "I've never really felt evil. I felt more of, 'I don't care. I don't care about my life. I don't care about what happens to you.'"

DeLeon, who was in debt at the time, gave some reasoning to the plot by saying his wife “ wanted that fairy-tale life.”

The couple were not even DeLeon’s first victims as it was discovered he had killed a man a year earlier in 2003.

He murdered Jon Jarvi in Mexico after receiving $50,000 (around £41,000) from him for a fake investment opportunity.

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