June 7th, 2017

Share this

On Wednesday, June 7th, 2017, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments in our case.

It’s been two months since that hearing and I’ve written this and walked away, trying to find the right words to say what I wanted … The brutal truth is that I feel that the hearing on June 7th was the opportunity for the defense to have their final moment in the sun and they failed miserably.

There were three points brought forward that day:

1. Law Enforcement Misconduct. 

I was shocked they brought this out as I thought this argument had been previously ruled on and settled. I could give Mr. Hammond a list of software and apps I can use to enhance photographs. What he is trying to bring forward is “new photographic evidence” to argue that multiple law enforcement agencies collaborated across states in September of 1984 to frame Atwood in the kidnapping of a child whom was not recovered at the time, with photographs that are not date stamped. This seems to be one of the furthest stretching plots of a bad B movie I’ve heard. I actually feel bad that they still want to argue this theory, it was 1984. Why would any one person, let alone multiple Law Enforcement Agents from multiple agencies try to frame Atwood just days after the disappearance of my sister? If I were going to give the defense any advice, I’d say give up on this one….

2 & 3. PTSD and Ineffective Counsel.

It’s easier to group these two together for me, my brain hops back and forth with the two points, because I feel they actually meld together.

The claim or question is, did Atwood suffer from “Post Traumatic Stress Disorder” at the time he drove through our neighborhood, kidnapped my sister as she rode her bike innocently on a sunny afternoon, sexually assaulted her and then left her for dead in the dessert? And, why is this diagnosis important for the defense?

If it’s proved it would alert the sentencing that was handed down in May of 1987.

In 2013, in 3 days of testimony in the district court by Mental Health Professionals brought forward by both sides, they testified that Atwood did not suffer from PTSD until Post Incarceration, meaning after he had been in prison for the kidnapping & murder of my sister.  The Mental Health Professionals also agreed on the fact that they could diagnose him with Sociopath, Antti-Social Disorder & Pedophilia,

During the trial, Atwood’s attorney successful suppressed from the jury Atwood’s previous offenses that included the “groping and kissing” of 10 year old girl, the more violent sexual misconduct of a 4 year old boy, and I’m not sure if it is shown in any of the pre-trial or trial documentation but it was reported at one point that Atwood’s first offense was actually against an 18 month old baby, but because of his age and that of the child’s it was not presented in court.

Atwood does not think sex with children should be illegal. You should STOP reading this if you think sex with a child is ok….

At the time of trial Stanton Bloom had 2 of the 3 aggravating charges dropped. I’m not sure how people who have been through traumatic event’s in their life remember things, but for me, I remember things in parts and pieces like a putting a puzzle together, I was 11 when my life was ripped apart by Atwood’s crime. And my memories are often triggered by events like the hearing in June. What came out for me were raw emotions similar to what I felt in the days probably close to the time when Bloom successfully had 2 of the 3 aggravating charges dropped…  knowing the jury wouldn’t hear everything I thought they should, knowing Atwood is guilty of the murder of my sister, knowing it’s been proven, knowing the horrible things he did to children prior to taking her life, and knowing that the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals could rule today and he could walk a free man. 

It’s a fear that is crippling in unexplainable ways to my family and I….

What I didn’t understand back from the time Bloom came to represent Atwood was that he was a pioneer in his field, Atwood’s parents went to the best to represent their son in one of the most notorious crimes in Southern Arizona in the 1980’s and his parents banked their money and prestige would once again free their son from yet another crime. They hired the best. They paid the best. And even though Atwood would swear he wanted his attorney to do something different 30 years ago to save his white ass from the punishment he’s going to receive in the murder of my sister, I didn’t understand that what Bloom would do all those years ago, his work, would actually help us today. And I believe that the Justices will agree with us on this point.

I haven’t spoken to one person in the years following that would say that Bloom did anything less than fight with passion to represent his client, by the law, even if he knew the truth. And I find it hard to believe that a defendant would beg their attorney to please make sure the jury knows they think it should be legal to have sex with children. Oh, and please please tell them about how I have been institutionalized and the crimes I’ve committed prior, and let me read the letter I wrote to my lover in Oklahoma in which I stated I would make sure the next child I sexually assaulted wouldn’t live to tell. Because anyone in their right mind listening to these arguments would not find sympathy in any defendant.

Which brings us to the ineffective counsel claim.

I’ll be honest, as a child thrusted into this reality, I thought Bloom was the most vile man aside from his client until many years later when I realized how hard he fought to defend Atwood would actually help us. He was a pioneer in his field, and continued to lead a very successful career up until his death. Regardless of his clients guilt, he fought tooth and nail to defend him.

And, I’m not surprised that Atwood would throw Bloom to the wolves now to save his own life, even though Atwood was uncooperative and adamant that Bloom make sure his history wasn’t revealed in court then, he’s been sitting in prison a long time, on Death Row, getting a college education, being married and breathing every day. He’s had a lot of time to reconsider what should have been done…. it boils down to the fact that Bloom represented Atwood in a way no other attorney was capable of in that era. And, I feel very strongly that the money that Atwood’s parents paid to have Bloom represent him has paid dividends for us now. His parents just banked on their money freeing their son once again from the punishment he rightfully deserved.

The most comical point of Hammond’s arguments from June 7th was when he emotionally claimed to the court that his client was “the most vilified criminal” in Southern Arizona. I could NOT believe my ears… literal jaw drop.

Sociopath. Pedophile. Anti-Social Disorder. Those are diagnosis by “Mental Health Professionals” given to his client, but he graveled to the court how his poor client had been “Vilified” and compared to Charles Manson. Pathetic argument at best. If I was a friend to Mr. Hammond, I would have felt very sorry for him watching …

But it lead me to wonder if Mr Hammond is successful in this appellate process to free Atwood, his poor vilified client, would he move Atwood into his neighborhood to roam freely, unsupervised? Better yet, I wonder if he would invite Atwood stay with The Hammond Family and their grandchildren, without supervision, of course, and prove to all of us that this poor vilified man won’t harm anyone.

Who am I kidding? Hammond isn’t gonna have Atwood over for dinner or let his client near his grandchildren. He represents one of the most vile people to walk this earth, but we wouldn’t want this man free in his neighborhood…

I’d like you to raise your hand if you could walk into a court room and be juror and know:

  1. The defendant has had sexual misconduct with children as young as 18 months.
  2. He was institutionalized and released because he wasn’t rehabilitatable (How is this even possible?)
  3. He thinks sex with children should be legal
  4. Even in prison he has tried to contact children
  5. He promised the next child wouldn’t talk

And not convict him on the scientific evidence that was presented in court without knowing his confession of the crime down to the details of her last cries.

What it boils down to, as we wait of the 9th Circuit to make a ruling is this:

  1. Can the court find truth in the photographic evidence?
  2. Does the court believe that multiple agencies collaborated to frame Atwood in the days following my sisters death without a body to prove she was even dead? She was missing a few days while this was going on.
  3. Bloom did not effectively represent his client.

In the weeks following the hearing the most common thing people said about it, aside from details that they never realized about his criminal history, was that in the hearing Vicki was never referred to by her name but as the victim.

I didn’t really know how to explain it to people other than to say that in the eyes of the court & attorney’s, she isn’t their daughter, sister, niece, cousin, friend…. she’s just another case… and it’s not to say they don’t care, they just still aren’t living this nightmare like we continue to.

So, we will remember her wisdom eyes, those glossy blues that were bigger than life. That she was a competitor whether you met her on the playground to play tether ball or on the fields to play softball, she meant business and you better be ready. That she may have wondered why you slept with socks on. That she didn’t like pizza but Vicki Lynne Hoskinson, 4tacos weren’t safe if she showed up at the table. That we drove the yellow Barbie jeep around the house what may have been a 1,000 miles and when we got in trouble we would still play together passing our things through our secret hole in our closet wall. She captivated an audience with her presence …. she just had this magic about her.

Vicki is more than a case to so many people, we are her voice, she will never be forgotten…

Comments

  1. Stacy Davis says:

    I can’t help but allow tears to fall down my cheeks as I read this. Vicki Lynne is so incredibly blessed to have the family she does. She will forever remain in my heart and Stephanie, you will always be that shining star for your beautiful sister. I consider myself so very lucky to have been touched on both ends (happy and sad) of the spectrum by your family. I continue to pray that justice will prevail. My heart is always with you and Vicki Lynne. Thank you for showing us all what true love is. ❤️

  2. Mary Harris says:

    I love you!!!! Praying mamas 💛💛💛💛

  3. Donna Clayton says:

    Along with you and your family, I also pray for Justice. Never forget 💛

  4. Kathy Alcock says:

    I hope, with all my heart, your family gets the closure you so richly deserve. I am so sorry your family’s life has been absorbed with trying to get justice. You must know how many people feel sorrow and pain for you.

Speak Your Mind

*