Delayed until May 11th, 2015

Share this

Someone recently said to me “Can you ask the courts to change Atwood’s sentence to life in prison instead of the death penalty so you don’t have to go through this anymore?”

I said, “Sure, if I want to take the chance of him being a FREE man.”

“Why? I thought if we abolish the death penalty those guys just get life in prison…”

Let’s face it cases just like Vicki’s are classic examples of why the death penalty does not work. Delay after delay, appeal after appeal, hundreds of thousands of dollars spent, and heart ache with each step forward or back.

To honestly answer the question of WHY we don’t fight for life imprisonment for Atwood vs. our continued quest for the death penalty has nothing to do with closure for our family.

Based on the laws at the time of Atwood’s sentencing almost 28 years he would be parole eligible today. And, although I would like to think that a parole board would never grant him parole, I never dreamed in a million years that my family would still be fighting for justice for her 30 years later. The sheer thought of him possibly ever walking the streets as a free man is reason enough to continue my quest to fight for the death penalty.

For those who are under the impression that converting these ‘ol death penalty cases to life imprisonment would be simple and easy think again. It’s not.

Late yesterday we were notified by the Attorney General’s Office that Atwood’s defense team was granted yet another delay to file in their brief to the 9th Circuit Court until May 11th.

I realize that the defense is playing a game with time and lots of money. And, to try to express the frustration and anger is virtually impossible. The delay was well anticipated but the punch in the gut when you receive the news always feels the same.

What we will do is continue to push and fight for justice for a little girl who no longer has a voice. We will do our best to believe in a broken system. We won’t ever give up on her…

Don’t forget Vicki Lynne.

Vicki Lynne 1984

Vicki Lynne 1984


  1. Merrell Richardson says

    I worked as Vickie’s teaching assistant when she was in the third grade. Her and my son, Perry Richardson were friends. I will never forget her and yes they should put Attwood to death. As it says in the Bible ” An eye for an eye.” So should be a ” Life for Life”

  2. I remember Vicki Lynne. I was 11 when she was taken, and I have never forgotten about her.

  3. Cindy Heaton says

    The system does not work in favor of the victim. It seems all the law is on the side of criminal rights. The death penalty should NOT be abolished. Not only should we uphold the death penalty, we should also set limits on how long, how many times, they can appeal their case. The law of statutory limits says if a crime is unreported for long enough, a criminal can’t be tried. There is no such time limit on how long a criminal can drag a victim and family through the courts, or on how much time society has to bear the financial cost of keeping them alive and well,, not to mention entertained.

  4. Delores Quiroz says

    So very sorry your family has not received the justice you and your precious Vicki Lynne so deserve. As part of the Flowing Wells community we feel your pain and will never forget the beautiful smile of your innocent sister.

  5. Joyce Ragels says

    The natural or accidental death of a child can eventually be accepted. The death of a child who was willfully, maliciously, and purposely murdered is a totally different story. A murderer is a broken person. They are not normal and I sincerely believe they can not be rehabilitated. Our justice system should always make decisions based on how to best protect the innocent citizens who have done no wrong. The Criminal Justice System is exactly what it says it is. I never knew Viki’s mother, but I knew Viki’s father, Ron, through Parents of Murdered Children organization’s local branch. My heart went out to them then and still does.

    While there is never any kind of closure on a murder case, one would believe at some point reasonable common sense would prevail. To have the animal who stole the future of a little girl and wounded her family forever someday be allowed to walk among us is unconscionable.

  6. Vicki Hart says

    It really is the criminal’s justice system. The family of Vicki Lynn still being dragged through the system is CRIMINAL.

  7. I think that when convicted of a crime like this and you are sentenced to die then this country should do like China does. You take them out and you hang them, period no 20 years of appeals, no wasting taxpayers money and no putting the family of the victim through years of heartache and headache. If this country is going to demand the guilty party be allowed to continue to waste taxpayers money the the guilty party should have to live with the families of the attorneys and the lawmakers who insist on protecting them.

    • Glenn,

      I’m not going to argue with you there. It’s a shame what we actually put up with in our “criminal’s JUSTICE system”.

      I have a hard time even beginning to understand how people who fight for the rights of these criminals sleep with themselves. I just can not wrap my brain around it… it must take an immense amount of self control & focus to separate their job from the life.

      The amount of tax payer dollars that have been wasted on Atwood is more money than my family will ever dream of making or seeing in our lifetime. What a shame… and a waste…


  8. Diane Lindsay says

    He should be put death. People like this to me, I don’t even consider human. They have no regard for human life and commit these crimes for their own perverse, sick & warped pleasures. I just saw this story this morning on “Unsolved Mysteries” and it broke my heart. I’m a mother of 3 myself and it’s so hard to imagine what your family went through. All I can say is…Atwood will meet his Maker one day, and God help his soul! I believe that God will show him no mercy, just like he showed Vicki no mercy. God bless you and your family and I hope you do get the justice that you so rightfully deserve.

  9. Roy Lorenz says

    I saw this case earlier today on the television show “FBI Files” on Ch46-4 and did a search to see when Atwood was executed. Could not believe he was still alive! I’ve lived in Tucson since Aug 26, 1980 and so clearly remember this horrific act, my own daughter was just four years old at the time. Let’s get on with administering justice in this case and carry out the sentence of the court.

    • Roy… Its amazing that this case has taken so long. It is proof that our justice system is so backwards. I could rant for hours of the countless delays and “injustice” that has happened in our case. The only thing that I can hope and pray for now is for the wheels start to turn a little faster… I never dreamed that our family and our community would still be having to fight so hard more than 30 years later. It’s time… and it’s coming soon.

      All my love,

  10. Karen Pogue says

    I remember the day Vicky was abducted. I was a volunteer who went searching for her and helped with food for the volunteers. I had 2 very small children at the time. I continue to follow this case. It breaks my heart that there is no closure for the family or justice for Vicky. Shame on the skanky justice system what happened to a speedy trial. Something must change in this county. I live in the state of North Carolina. My husband sat on a death penalty case years ago. They found the defendant guilty and sentenced him to death. He continues to follow the case that should of been closed years ago. Like the Hoskins Family this family also awaits justice. It has been 15 years and he still sits comfy in the North Carolina Federal prison. I pray this ends soon for Vicky’s family, survivors , and the lives of so many people that this precious child touched. God Bless you all and let this charade of a poor justice system be ended with his death. Keep fighting for justice.

  11. Nicole plante says

    I just watched an episode of forensic files and this story hit home as I have a precious 8 year old.
    I cannot imagine what your family has gone through. This story brought tears to my eyes. I hope this man finally pays the ultimate price for what he’s done.
    My heart goes out to the family of little Vicky xo