Dead Reckoning

Caitlin Rother (MSJ87)

Tom and Jackie Hawks loved their life in retirement, sailing on their yacht, the Well Deserved. But when the birth of a new grandson called them back to Arizona, they put the boat up for sale. Skylar Deleon and his pregnant wife Jennifer showed up as prospective buyers, with their baby in a stroller, and the Hawkses thought they had a deal. Soon after a sea trial and an alleged purchase, however, the older couple disappeared and the Deleons promptly tried to access the Hawkses’ bank accounts.

As police investigated the case, they not only found a third homicide victim with ties to Skylar, they also uncovered an unexpected and unusual motive: Skylar had wanted gender reassignment surgery for years. By killing the Hawkses with a motley crew of assailants and plundering the couple’s assets, the Deleons had planned to clear their $100,000 in debts and still have money for the surgery, which Skylar had already scheduled.

Now, in this up-to-the-minute updated edition of DEAD RECKONING, which includes extensive new material, New York Times bestselling author Rother presents the latest breaking developments in the case. Skylar, who was ultimately sentenced to death row for the three murders, transitioned to a woman via hormones while living in the psych unit at San Quentin prison. Recently, she legally changed her name and gender to female, apparently a strategic step in her quest to obtain taxpayer-subsidized gender confirmation surgery and transfer to a women’s prison. Combined with Governor Gavin Newsom’s recent moratorium on executions, this only adds insult to injury for the victims’ families, who want Skylar to receive the ultimate punishment for her crimes.

Event Photos Uncategorized

Michelle Kosinksi (BSJ, MSJ95), Jeff Mason (BSJ98, MSJ99), Prof. Ellen Shearer, Elena Schneider (BSJ13, MSJ14), Dean Charles Whitaker, Nikole Killion (BSJ/MSJ ’99) and Rafael Bernal (MSJ13) at a pre-election panel event in DC on Nov. 21, 2019. Photo: Kenneth Edward Piner

  • Rafael Bernal (MSJ ’13) – Staff Writer, The Hill
  • Nikole Killion (BSJ/MSJ ’99) – Correspondent, CBS News
  • Michelle Kosinski (BSJ/MSJ ’95) – Senior Diplomatic Correspondent, CNN
  • Jeff Mason (BSJ ’98, MSJ ’99) – White House Correspondent, Reuters
  • Elena Schneider (BSJ ’13, MSJ ’14) – National Political Reporter, POLITICO

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Medill Women Entrepreneurs Panel in Chicago 2/21 featuring Medill alums

Want to learn the secrets of success–and life–from Medill alumnae? Don’t miss this panel discussion featuring top female entrepreneurs who are also Medillians.

When: Friday, Feb. 21, 2020
Who: Medill alumni and current IMC and MSJ students
Where: Medill Chicago, 303 E. Wacker – 16th Floor

Panel discussion – 6-7:30 p.m.
Networking reception to follow with food and drinks provided by Medill Alumni Relations

Nikitta Foston (MSJ14) Host, Pivotal Moment Podcast at iHeartMedia

Puja Mohindra (BSJ00) – Actor, writer, producer
Harriet White (MSJ18) – Product Manager – Audience UX at Newsy // Media Innovation, Human-Centered Design and Product Strategy
Kimberley Rudd (BSJ88) – President, Rudd Resources LLC
Sandy Marsico (IMC06) – Founder & CEO, Sandstorm®
Isabella Jiao (MSJ18) – VP of Marketing at FanFood

Ticket: $10 helps support Mediil Club of Chicago programming