Who was Vicki Lynne Hoskinson, victim of Arizona inmate Frank Atwood?
Arizona’s second execution up to now this year is scheduled for Wednesday.
Frank Jarvis Atwood was sentenced to dying in 1987 for the kidnapping and homicide of Vicki Lynne Hoskinson. His scheduled execution on Wednesday takes place lower than a month after the May execution of Clarence Dixon — the state’s first since 2014.
Here’s a take a look at Vicki’s story:
Who was Vicki Lynne Hoskinson?
At 8 years previous, Vicki was solely starting to find herself.
She stood about 4 ft tall and her lengthy, auburn hair had simply been minimize brief a number of weeks earlier than she disappeared within the fall of 1984, her mother, Debbie Carlson, mentioned at a clemency listening to for Atwood in March.
Her household lived within the Flowing Wells space of northern Tucson the place almost every other home had a Neighborhood Watch sign in its entrance window. She had additionally simply begun third grade a few mile away at Homer Davis Elementary School.
Vicki preferred taking part in with Barbies and using her pink bike, Carlson mentioned.
Her favourite meals had been Spaghetti O’s and french fries, however she may additionally “put away six or seven tacos in a heartbeat,” Carlson mentioned on the listening to.
She was “kind of quiet” and cautious with strangers, her dad, Ron Hoskinson, informed The Arizona Republic shortly after Vicki’s disappearance in 1984. In truth, she participated in a program in school the earlier year that taught youngsters to steer clear of strangers, and Vicki saved all of the written materials, the Arizona Daily Star reported.
Vicki was additionally feisty and aggressive with a rising ardour for softball, Carlson mentioned on the clemency listening to.
“I could have seen her playing for the U of A,” she told KOLD News 13. “I really could have seen her being an all-around athlete … getting a full-ride scholarship and just making some awesome changes in the world.”
Thirty minutes and never seen again
On the afternoon of Sept. 17, 1984, Vicki disappeared from her neighborhood.
She had just returned home from school when her mom asked her to mail a birthday card to her aunt from a corner mailbox about two blocks from their cul-de-sac on Hadley Street. Her mom said it was the first time she’d been allowed to go out alone on her bike, the Tucson Citizen reported.
And so Vicki — riding her bike in a red, white and blue striped dress — did just that. She even stopped at Pocito Place to visit her friend, Jennifer Spencer, who told officials Vicki said she was going home and would ask her parents if she could come back to play.
“We rode our bikes collectively, performed with Barbies, all these issues,” Spencer recalled of their friendship throughout a 1994 interview with the Tucson Citizen. She was possible the final individual to talk to Vicki earlier than she disappeared.
When about 30 minutes passed, Vicki’s family began to worry. They found her bike a short time later lying in the middle of Pocito Place.
Vicki, however, was nowhere in sight.
The largest investigation in Tucson’s history
The Pima County Sheriff’s Department quickly sprang into action with what was described at the time as the largest criminal investigation in the city’s history.
Several law enforcement agencies, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and about 100 volunteers searched door-to-door for Vicki. Dogs and helicopters were deployed and four-wheel-drive vehicles were used to comb through desert land near her home.
The Sheriff’s Department used a computer probability program from the University of Arizona to assist select which areas to go looking, in line with a 1987 article within the Daily Star. At one level, they even referred to as in a psychic.
By day two, about a hundred tips were called into police. One person claimed she saw Vicki with a woman at the Tucson mall, crying and asking to go home.
Authorities thought of it their finest lead on the time however Carlson ultimately testified in 1987 that it wasn’t her daughter as a result of Vicki wore Velcro footwear on the time of her disappearance, not footwear with laces, in line with the Daily Star.
“We love you, babe. We hope you will be house actual quickly,” Carlson said during a news conference held in front of Vicki’s playhouse days after she disappeared.
“We hope whoever has Vicki or is aware of the place Vicki is will name 911 or the command publish so Vicki will be returned house safely,” she continued while sobbing and holding Vicki’s Cabbage Patch doll in her hand.
It wasn’t till Sam Hall’s call on Sept. 18 that there was a break within the case.
Hall, who at the time was a physical education teacher at Vicki’s school, reported seeing a dark-colored Datsun in an alley near the school on the day Vicki disappeared. Several other witnesses also reported seeing the car but Hall took note of the car’s license plate because he sensed the man inside was “evil,” he told the Tucson Citizen.
“When I noticed the man, I may really feel the hair arise on the again of my neck. I may really feel my pores and skin get goosebumps,” Hall said. “It was a lifetime standing there.”
Authorities on Sept. 20, 1984, found the car in Kerrville, Texas. Its driver, Frank Jarvis Atwood, was arrested for kidnapping and brought back to Tucson. He was 28 years old at the time.
Who is Frank Atwood? What to know about Arizona’s next scheduled execution
When was Vicki Lynne found?
Days after Atwood’s arrest, about 2,500 people marched outside the Tucson mall to protest laws permitting convicted youngster molesters, like Atwood, on parole.
Many carried signs with Vicki’s photo, chanting “Save our kids” and “Change our legal guidelines,” the Tucson Citizen reported. They expressed anger and fear about Atwood’s criminal history.
Less than a year later, a “harmful crimes in opposition to kids” statute was signed into law by then-Arizona Gov. Bruce Babbitt, creating tougher penalties for people who commit sex offenses against children, The Republic reported.
Vicki’s family walked hand-in-hand at the front of the march. Still, they remained hopeful Vicki would one day return.
Even her classmates would write letters and bring Vicki gifts, piling them on her school desk in the front row. They also planned to give her their “particular dragon hat” when she returned. The dragon was the school’s mascot and the hat was given to good students as a reward.
Search efforts across the city continued for months. Billboards, posters and bumper stickers about her disappearance were strewn all across the city.
But all of it got here to an finish on April 12, 1985, when a man strolling in desert land close to Ina and Artesiano roads discovered a small human cranium. Within days, extra bones had been uncovered and they were determined to be Vicki, the Daily Star reported.
Atwood the following month was indicted on charges of first-degree murder.
‘Never forget Vicki Lynne’: Her funeral
Vicki was buried on May 30, 1985, at Evergreen Mortuary and Cemetery in Tucson. Her white casket with gold trim signified innocence and purity, respectively, the Daily Star reported.
About 500 people, many of whom never met Vicki, attended her funeral services at Casa Adobes Baptist Church. Some cars donned yellow “Don’t overlook Vicki Lynne” bumper stickers and missing person flyers in their back windows.
“Because of what has occurred to little Vicki, I do not let these youngsters out of my sight,” Anne Williamson, who attended the service with three children, told The Republic at the time.
Among those in attendance were various law enforcement officials and volunteers who spent months searching for Vicki. The Pima County sheriff at the time, Clarence Dupnik, was also one of the pallbearers.
What does her family think of Atwood’s execution? ‘The right decision’
Atwood’s highly publicized trial was moved to Phoenix to maintain an impartial jury. It lasted about 10 weeks in 1987.
Despite claiming he was innocent, Atwood was convicted on March 26 for Vicki’s kidnapping and murder. He was 31 years old at the time.
Vicki’s family, who took up the entire first row of the gallery behind the prosecutor, reacted with silent tears to the verdict, according to the Arizona Daily Star. More than 100 people were present for the reading.
Carlson said the verdict marked a new beginning for her family. “I’m on high of the world immediately,” she told the newspaper at the time. “Today, justice was served for Vicki Lynne. And for a very long time, we needed to await it.”
The choose presiding over the case, John Hawkins, ordered Atwood be put to death two months after he was discovered responsible in 1987. Carlson on the time mentioned it was “the best determination.”
“It’s great to have this sense of peace inside,” she said.
Atwood over the next three decades challenged his convictions and sentence, exhausting all of his appeals by 2018, according to Carlson. But by then, Arizona paused its executions after the 2014 botched execution of Joseph Wood.
Can’t be delayed:Judge rejects Atwood’s bid to delay execution
Carlson in a 2019 op-ed in The Republic expressed disappointment, stating that “justice (had) nonetheless not been served.” She called on Gov. Doug Ducey to move forward with Atwood’s execution.
“The price to our household through the years goes far past my capacity to convey,” she wrote. “His execution is not going to carry our treasured daughter again however it can fulfill what justice calls for.”
Carlson was not immediately available for an interview with The Republic.
Reach the reporter at [email protected] or comply with her on Twitter @curtis_chels.
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