New York Times Bestselling Author
True Crime, Narrative Nonfiction, Memoir, Mystery
"Rother gives readers compelling insight into an unthinkable American nightmare. A gripping read. . . frank and riveting. It sizzles." -- Aphrodite Jones, crime author and TV host
"Rother has produced a superior study of a serial killer and his lost and lonely victims." -- Author Carol Anne Davis
"Well researched and a quick, engrossing read, this should be popular with true crime readers, especially the Ann Rule crowd."
-- Starred review in Library Journal
Revised and updated in 2019
This new version has 30 pages of new material since the first edition was released in 2011. Caitlin covered all three trials for Jennifer Henderson-Deleon, Skylar Deleon, and "Crazy John" Kennedy, all of whom were found guilty of murder and sent to prison in the killings of Tom and Jackie Hawks. (Skylar was also convicted of killing of Jon Jarvi). Jennifer got life without parole, and Skylar and Kennedy were both sent to death row. Now, in this newly updated book readers will get the most recent developments in this tragic but fascinating case. Skylar, who is now living as a transgender female at San Quentin State Prison, killed the Hawkses to cover more than $100K in debts, but her underlying motive was to get money to pay for gender confirmation surgery she couldn't afford. Effectively forced by the court, California has since adopted a policy allowing transgender inmates to get taxpayer-subsidized surgery. Should Skylar, who tried to cut off her genitals with a razor in jail and has lived for years in the psych unit at San Quentin, be granted the surgery when it was her motive for killing the Hawkses? The victims' families say a resounding "no."
Photos below trace the changes in Skylar's appearance: before trial in 2005 and in 2018, after taking hormones, a necessary precursor to the gender confirmation surgery.
"I was with other girls, and they were dressing me up," Skylar said, "and my dad was, like, 'You want to be a girl? I'll treat you like a girl.' "
The three victims in this case are Tom and Jackie Hawks, pictured here at their wedding and later, on their boat, Well Deserved; and Jon Jarvi, whom Skylar killed in Mexico a year before the Hawkses. After tying up Tom and Jackie on the boat, Skylar programmed the GPS on the bridge to travel to the deepest part of the ocean off Newport Beach. He learned about this area while taking scuba diving lessons.
Mug shots, 2005 and more recently: Skylar Deleon's wife Jennifer Henderson Deleon, "Crazy John" Kennedy, and Alonso Machain.
"Wow. How do you make a couple million dollars without it being illegal?" Alonso Machain asked.
"Well," Skylar replied, "It's not really illegal unless you get caught."
Newport Beach police detectives Evan Sailor and David Byington worked the case. Tom's son Ryan and Jon Jarvi's mother, Betty, celebrate after the first of three guilty verdicts. Senior Deputy District Attorney Matt Murphy speaks to the media.
Caitlin poses with NBPD Officer Keith Krallman and two avid readers at her book signing at Barnes & Noble in Huntington Beach in 2011. And, finally, a treasured commemorative pin given in thanks to Caitlin and others, for their work on the case, by Jim Hawks, Tom's brother, former Carlsbad police chief.