The Writ of Habeas Corpus

Vicki Lynne, Age2

Vicki Lynne, Age2

The days in recent weeks have been a blur of activity as we prepared to travel to Arizona  to attend an Evidentiary Hearing that will be held on Monday, October 7, 2013.  During this hearing, the defense will attempt to prove that there was ineffective counsel during the original sentencing and initial appellate phase AND that his supposed mental illness (PTSD – post traumatic stress disorder) was never entered into evidence – all in an effort to have his current sentence altered and the death sentence removed.

From September 1984 to now, we have battled Frank Atwood and the criminal justice system to bring justice for Vicki. He was sentenced to death in May of 1987, and since then this case has made its way to the U. S. Supreme Court, first on an automatic appeal, and again during the Post Conviction Release Appeal, both of which were denied. The Writ of Habeas Corpus, (the petition in which we are dealing with now) was filed in March of 1998. In this petition there were 43 claims, all which have been denied, except this last one, the reason for the Evidentiary Hearing on Monday.

When my sister was kidnapped and murdered 29 years ago, I would have never imagined that I would still be dealing with her murderer today. And, although I could have never truly imagined that our journey would have gone the way it has, I would have never thought that I would be packing my family and traveling to Arizona for one last hearing.

We will attend the proceedings to represent Vicki. To say that we feel an incredible amount of injustice at the length of time we have had to battle this would be an understatement, but we continue with our family, our friends and our community to seek justice for Vicki. And, it is close.

29 years after her death, Vicki Lynne’s killer gets a hearing | KVOA.com | Tucson, Arizona

Vicki Lynne Hoskinson, 4

29 years after her death, Vicki Lynne’s killer gets a hearing | KVOA.com | Tucson, Arizona.

Vicki Lynne remembered 10 days before killer’s hearing | KVOA.com | Tucson, Arizona

Vicki Lynne, 4

Vicki Lynne, 4

 

Thank you KVOA’s Kristi Tedesco & Samantha Ptashkin for your coverage of last night’s Arizona Homicide Survivors candlelight vigil in honor of our loved ones.

Video Link to Friday’s story: http://www.kvoa.com/videoplayer/?video_id=15868&categories=2,15,390,416

Article: Vicki Lynne remembered 10 days before killer’s hearing | KVOA.com | Tucson, Arizona.

Keeping Tucson clean one mile at a time!

It’s time for the quarterly cleanup of SR-77, mile 89-90, “Don’t Forget Vicki Lynne” 2/2/76 – 9/17/84 .

Our family has joined with two others to keep three miles of highway clean in north Tucson in memory of our loved ones. We break into groups, if you show up to do Vicki’s mile, you will actually be cleaning up her mile.

The date has been set for 8:00 am on Sunday, September 29th, 2013

My sister, Carie, has taken over the primary responsibility for the mile in honor of Vicki as our parents are now here in Montana. With the help of our brother Brian, they can use a few volunteers to clean the mile.

We ask that if you can attend that you meet at Anthony & Crystal Cillittos house at 8:00 am. You can shuttle over to the mile sites from there.

Crystal will go over the rules with you before you start. Remember to bring gloves, a garbage picker upper (if you have one), hat, water etc. Safety vests will be provided. No children under 12 allowed. (State rules…sorry) wear good shoes, no sandals or shorts.*NOTE: It is snake season and likely that we may encounter one on the highway. Please be sure to wear long pants and boots/hiking shoes if possible!

Anthony’s address: 15431 N. Coronado Forest Dr. in Catalina.

The clean up normally takes about 1- 1 1/2 hours depending on the number of people who show up to volunteer.

Please do not hesitate to contact me directly with any questions you may have. Our family is so incredibly grateful for those who can help us give back to our community.

Thank you for your continued love and support!!!

Vicki Lynne 1984

Vicki Lynne 1984

National Day of Remembrance for Murder Victim’s Candlelight Vigil

Dont Forget Vicki Lynne

On Friday, September 27th at 6:30 pm Arizona Homicide Survivors is having a candlelight vigil to remember those we have lost due to murder. It is a way for us to honor our loved one, and meet other survivors. We are inviting our Arizona family & friends to attend not only in support of Vicki Lynne, but for all those who have lost their life in such a tragic way.  We encourage you to wear your Remember Vicki Lynne T-shirts or a yellow ribbon on her behalf.

The Vigil will take place at Reid Park, ramada #3, east of the rose garden by the big lake.  Candles will be provided by Arizona Homicide Survivors and they will also be displaying memory boards of our loved ones.

Arizona Homicide Survivors has supported our family for the last 29 years. They are a wonderful organization that helps people when they are faced with unspeakable tragedy. I hope that you can help us show our support back to them for all that they have given to us.

Follow them on Facebook or http://www.azhomicidesurvivors.org.

September 17, 1984

It’s hard to imagine that day was 29 years ago, sometimes I feel it like it is now.

As another year passes, I would like to take today to honor the anniversary of Vicki Lynne’s death with stories and memories, whether you knew her or if her life impacted yours, I invite you to share. How Vicki died is not the most important part, it was just the beginning of many things. How Vicki continues to live in our hearts and how she touches our souls is so much more.

I see her in the faces of my two girls everyday, especially in my youngest daughter, Mackenzie. She has her Aunt Vicki’s blue eyes, her freckled face, her gapped tooth smile, and witty personality.  Boy, can she entertain you… just like Vicki used to… Mackenzie also has her love for softball. Last Wednesday night they got their team shirts for fall league, Mackenzie is sporting a pink #8 … Vicki’s favorite color and the age she was when she left us. And, although Madison favors me in her appearance, she has many mannerisms that remind me of Vicki, the way her eyes look at you, how she giggles and how gentle her soul is.  These are daily gifts that bless my life.

And, I have many memories to share … but if I were to share one of our favorite things to do, it comes from a picture that caught us nose to nose sitting in the back of our boat at Apache Lake (AZ) with our father skiing behind us.  We loved going to the lake, swimming, playing, water skiing but laying underneath the night sky counting the stars above tops my favorites. I still find myself staring off into the sky at night and waiting for a shooting star, which I know are her gifts to me.

Apache Lake, AZ, Vicki & I

Apache Lake, AZ, Vicki & I

So today, share with me, your stories, your memories or how she impacted your life. Help me honor her memory in a positive way. And thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for never forgetting Vicki Lynne…

 

September…

The start of fall, back to school and routines, which I love after a fun Montana summer and this one has been a good one! The days are starting to get shorter, the mornings are cool, crisp and smell like a little bit of heaven. We are harvesting our garden and enjoying the fruits of our labor. The leaves are starting to change, one of the things that I love the most about living here in God’s country.

We will celebrate birthday’s and wedding anniversaries, play softball, enjoy some day trips to explore in our “backyard” and hopefully get some fishing in. Life is really good…

But, as I reflect and enjoy all the amazing things around me, I still have that stinging sadness, as September marks another year that my sister has been gone… It’s hard to explain, because like I said, life is good. It just seems when the calendar turns and September comes my heart feels different, even after 29 years…

There is a lot happening right now, so I recognize that I am feeling a little more sensitive than most years, so today when I received an email from my cousin, Rebecca, I was really touched. She wants to pay tribute to Vicki this month and ask our family and friends to tie yellow ribbons to their car antennas, mailboxes or even wear them as a symbol that ‘we will not forget Vicki Lynne’. When Vicki disappeared, Tucson turned into a sea of yellow ribbons, yellow bumper stickers reading “Don’t forget Vicki Lynne” were on cars at every intersection and occasionally I have people tell me they still see them on cars driving down the road… 29 years later…

So, I invite you to join us in honoring Vicki this September as we mark the 29th anniversary of her death. Tie a yellow ribbon to your car antenna… your mailbox… or wear one. Share with us, stories, memories and make this a time of positive reflection on the little girl who changed our community. Don’t forget Vicki Lynne.

Tree Planting Broadway & Randolph,  Tucson, AZ December 1984

Tree Planting Broadway & Randolph,
Tucson, AZ December 1984

 

 

 

Vicki Lynne Mile Clean Up

It is time for the quarterly clean up of the mile in Memory of Vicki Lynne.

Vicki 1984

Vicki 1984

As you may know, our family has joined with two others to keep three miles of highway clean in north Tucson in memory of our loved ones. We break into groups, if you show up to do Vicki’s mile, you will actually be cleaning up her mile.

The date has been set for 7:00 am on Sunday, June 30th. 

My sister, Carie, has taken over the primary responsibility for the mile in honor of Vicki as our parents are now here in Montana. She has the support and help of our brother, Brian as well. We ask that if you can attend that you meet at Anthony & Crystal Cillittos house at 7:00 am. You can shuttle over to the mile sites from there.

Crystal will go over the rules with you before you start. Remember to bring gloves, a garbage picker upper (if you have one), hat, water etc. Safety vests will be provided. No children under 12 allowed. (State rules…sorry) wear good shoes, no sandals or shorts.*NOTE: It is snake season and likely that we may encounter one on the highway. Please be sure to wear long pants and boots/hiking shoes if possible!

Anthony’s address: 15431 N. Coronado Forest Dr. in Catalina.

The clean up normally takes about 1- 1 1/2 hours depending on the number of people who show up to volunteer.

Please do not hesitate to contact me directly with any questions you may have.

Our family is so incredibly grateful for those who can help us give back to our community.

Thank you for your continued love and support!!!

Honoring Victim’s Rights

April is National Crime Victim’s Rights Month, it has been honored since 1981.

In September of 1984, when my younger sister, Vicki Lynne, was murdered, Arizona did not have legislation in place to protect us as victim’s of this crime or give us equal rights in the courtroom as we watched the conviction of her murderer take place.

In 1990, after years of hard work by people, including my mom, Debbie Carlson, Arizona  voters passed legislation to implement the Victim’s Bill of Rights, it went into affect in 1991. Today, the Pima County Attorney, Barbara Lawall, and her office still work passionately to keep this legislation in tact, and grow the Victim Witness Program to lead our nation in this movement. It has been a tremendous battle in the years since the changes in these laws have taken place, and such a crucial part of helping victim’s when dealing with heinous crimes.

This past Monday, I took part in a radio interview on the John C. Scott Show (Arizona), with Barbara Lawall to help promote Victim’s Right’s Week and talk about some of the things that happened to us as victim’s prior to the legislative changes that were made in 1991.

02 Stephanie (Hoskinson) Brandt Interview

(Audio Clip from John C. Scott Show, Monday April 15,2013)

During the interview we discussed the hours of depositions that my mom and I were subjected to by the defense counsel and the unfair treatment we had in the courtroom during the sentencing hearing. Two instances in which we, as victims, were treated so unfairly. Today, because of the Victim’s Bill of Rights, this would not happen.

There are many stories to share from our 28 1/2 year journey, many of them start out so inconceivable and end incredibly positive like the legislative changes that were made in 1991.

I hope that we all can take a moment to not only honor Victim’s Rights as a whole, but to also give thanks to those who give so unconditionally in the wake of crime and terror to make a positive impact to those, like ourselves, who are directly affected. There will alway be horrible, terrible people in this world, but the good will always prevail.

 

Yellow Ribbon in Memory  of Vicki Lynne

Yellow Ribbon in Memory
of Vicki Lynne

Reflecting Back on April 12, 1985…

Re-sharing last years blog about April 12, 1985…

Today marks a significant anniversary in my life. It is a day that is forever etched in my mind, a day to reflect and a day to be thankful for.

On September 17, 1984, my 8 year old sister, Vicki Lynne Hoskinson, disappeared from our neighborhood. She had gone on her bike to mail a birthday card to our Aunt Lori for our mom. When she didn’t come home, I road my bike to find her. At that time, being 11, there was no doubt in my mind that she had stopped off at a neighbors or was playing with kids from the neighborhood and had lost track of time. We lived in a community and time when you left the house, played outside & people watched out for each other. Kids didn’t just disappear, and if they did it happened on T.V. and not on your street, let alone to your sister.

Vicki had been gone 6 months, 26 days…. or 207 days total. 

April 12, 1985 was a friday, and I was sitting in Mr. Abrams 6th grade core class. When the door opened and one of the ladies from the office walked in, I knew she was there for me.  Mr. Abrams paused, looking down and then up at me. He squeaked out the the words that I needed to gather my things and go to the office.

I sat in the yellow polyester cushioned chair against the windows that looked down the sidewalk and out into the parking lot. I was 11, and trying to understand the world that I had been thrusted into so many months before. There, in the office of the junior high school, everyone was quiet, and working just as hard at keeping it together as they were trying to act like they were working.

I can not tell you how long I sat in that chair in the window, but I knew when I looked over my left shoulder and saw my parents walking down the sidewalk it’s as if the world stopped.

They had found my sister….

Today, 28 years, 6 months and 26 days later, I can close my eyes and remember that day. The warmth of the Arizona sun through the window in the office, the look first on Mr. Abrams face, then on that of my parents, and the feeling of despair by those who surrounded me.

There are no words to express how incredibly grateful I am for the man who went looking for his dog that day and stumbled upon her remains, for at least we could have closure and lay her to rest.

If I had a penny for every time I thanked him, and those who gave so unconditionally those months we searched for her I would have enough money to buy the world.

Today, I miss Vicki just the same as I have in the 28 1/2 years it has been since she was taken from us. And I appreciate how incredibly blessed I have been in my journey between here and there…

Favorite picture of Vicki & I

Favorite picture of Vicki & I