Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Gruesome Yacht Murder Case of Thomas and Jackie Hawks

Modern Day Bonnie and Clyde

Skylar Deleon
Skylar Deleon

Before they met, the Deleons grew up in radically different environments. Jennifer was the product of a close-knit, religious family from Long Beach. Skylar, originally named John Jacobson Jr., grew up in the Midwest. His father, John Jacobson Sr., was convicted of a drug offense in the 1980s and went to prison. So Skylar — then known as John Jr. — enlisted in the Marines after he turned 18.

His military career was short-lived. About a year later, John Jr. went AWOL. When the authorities caught up with him, he gave them the story that he left to help his father and received a dishonorable discharge.

John Jr. ended up in California, had several bit parts on the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers television show and changed his name to Skylar Deleon. He got a job with the mortgage lender Ditech and married Jennifer Henderson. The pair moved into a lean-to located in the backyard of Henderson's family home. Jennifer became pregnant right away.

The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers
The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers

Authorities say the pair established a vicious routine — they wasted money, ran up massive debt and then killed or swindled people to repay their loans. Like so many of his dreams, nothing seemed to come to fruition. He always needed cash to finance existing debt or new ventures. He even conspired to steal his in-laws' 401(k) pension plan, said Jennifer's attorney, Mike Molfetta.

Skylar was an avid scuba diver who was only a few lessons away from becoming a dive master, able to supervise dive activities and assist instructors. He even tattooed himself with a U.S. Navy SEAL insignia, even though he had never qualified for that command. It was his dream to travel to Mexico, using the boat as his business and residence, authorities said.