Justice for Vicki Lynne -Part 3

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Vicki Lynne, 4

Vicki Lynne, 4

Today we returned to court to listen to the closing arguments in the Evidentiary Hearing in the case of the State of Arizona vs. Frank Atwood.

First and foremost, I want to point out that I feel a tremendous amount of respect for the State of Arizona, and the Attorney General’s Office. Lacey Gard, along with her team, did an outstanding job. I feel without a doubt, that they have poured an incredible amount of time and preparation in making sure there will be justice for Vicki. What I respected most about the closing arguments today was Mrs. Gards ability to stand in front of the judge and speak from what she confidentially knew. I always appreciate an argument that comes from the heart and not from a scripted speech, if only we all lived more from our heart…

The defense team has a enormous amount of responsibility to prove both ineffective counsel along with their claims that Frank Atwood suffered from PTSD at the time he murdered my sister. I do not feel that the defense had enough evidence to substantiate both claims. In closing arguments, the defense team was able to recite many cases that could have an effect on the outcome of this particular hearing, but were unable to present solid factual evidence to support their claims.

To clearly show ineffective counsel, they are second guessing strategic legal decisions that were made 29 years ago. As I look back and investigate the case, I feel that Stanton Bloom, trial attorney, was forward thinking and ahead of his peers in those days, he continued to build an impeccable career even after losing the Atwood case. I feel that the defense was also unable to clearly point out where Mrs. Ryan & Mr. (Dan) Davis (deceased), Frank Atwood’s first two appellate attorneys, were also ineffective in this case.

In the argument that he suffered from PTSD, no one can pin point “trauma” in any of his prior records. Even though PTSD may not have been a established medical diagnosis in the 1970s and into the early 1980s, if true trauma was being displayed by Atwood, the countless physicians, therapists, nurses or staff that interacted with Atwood during his stints in and out of treatment and jail would have still notated “trauma” somewhere. There is no record. It is said that the two medical experts who testified in this hearing on Monday read in access of 11,000 pages of documents to prepare for their testimony. The States expert spent more than double the time preparing for her testimony than the doctor the defense team presented. When the States doctor testified, the doctor that represented the defense could not argue any of the claims or diagnosis that the States doctor made. I feel if there was anything solid and compelling to support the claim of PTSD, the defense would have brought back to the stand their expert to rebut the testimony made by the states medical expert. One other significant point in the testimony is how Atwood, through the years bragged about his “ability to fool mental health professionals”. He is an extremely intelligent, manipulating, conniving, and disturbing person.

What I found most interesting as I reflect back on the last three days, is that Frank Atwood and his defense team, are blaming his parents for his actions.  The judge put a halt to the defenses line of questioning when it came to his parents, as they were not present to defend themselves, but the defense found other ways to try to state that it was their fault their son suffers from anti-social disorder, pedophilia and is a sociopath. I find it ironic that Atwood waitied until his parents were both deceased to bring up this part of his past. He continues to tarnish the reputation of his father, who was a wealthy, well respected man in his community, and a decorated brigadier general.

At the time of his arrest for the kidnapping and murder of my sister, Frank Atwood was in the process of setting up a multi-state drug ring. And, in letters which were submitted into evidence, Atwood clearly stated he was looking for another child, this time though, that child would not live to talk. A planned, thoughtful, premeditated process. He was in complete control of his actions then and now.

Over the course of the last three days people have filed in and out of the court room, many who I knew…some I didn’t. But I was approached at one point and the person privately shared with me that they had followed this case since the day that Vicki disappeared and have never forgotten her. That they needed to share with me that Frank Atwood still reminded them of Charles Manson and they only hoped that justice will prevail. Why do I share this? Because in the thousand plus emails, texts or conversations I have had in recent months, it was amazing that a total stranger would seek me out after so many years and bare such personal feelings.

Tonight, as I sit looking out onto the lights of the city that I grew up in, a million things are flashing through my mind but the most significant is that while the city has grown, so has it’s dedication in bringing justice to Vicki. Thank you for not forgetting Vicki Lynne…


  1. Tennille Jennifer McQuoid-Kunkel says

    Reading this really makes me think back to my childhood……I remember this day very well…..I remember my best friend Vicki lynn……I remember her stopping at my house and asking me if I could ride with her to circle k to mail a letter, my mom said I couldnt go……she went alone…..that was the last time I seen my friend……I remember the whole neighborhood that night walking calling her name, I remember holding my daddies hand looking for my friend, I remember charles atwood 2 days before parked in front of my house dwatching me and my sister Demarla play in our front yard….I remember my brother John calling us inside when he seen the guys car door open….I remember writing a note to put in a time capsule planted in our school yard at Homer Davis…..She was my friend…..this changed my life even now with my own children……I trust no one around my children in public…..I knew how much it hurt losing her as a friend……I can’t imagine the pain her family felt and still feels……I dont believe he suffered from ptsd he was deliberately looking and preying in our neighborhood. I dont think he deserves for anyone to take mercy on him. He had no mercy….If anyone knows the story and the fate of my friend…..He needs to be executed, he needs to meet his maker.

    • Jennifer,

      Thank you for sharing your memories of that fateful day and those that followed. How can any of us ever forget? To try to explain it to those who didn’t experience it is almost impossible… It was a pivotal moment in all of our lives.

      We will continue to fight for justice for Vicki, and it is coming!

      We appreciate your love, support and most importantly for never forgetting Vicki Lynne!

      All my love,

  2. Tennille Jennifer McQuoid-Kunkel says

    Sorry for my typo.Frank Atwood not Charles

  3. Tina LaSure says

    Tucson will never forget Vicki Lynne. The day Frank Atwood tragically took Vicki Lynne from her family, he changed Tucson forever. Kids kept their eyes open for strangers and parents made us all come home before dark, while checking in throughout the day. No child or parent felt safe.

    Thoughts and Prayers go out to your family that Justice will be served for Vicki Lynne.

    • Thank you Tina for your thoughts, and prayers, but most importantly for never forgetting Vicki Lynne!


  4. Mackenzie says

    I might not have known my aunt Vicki but the only reason that I never got to meet one person I admire most is because of Frank Atwood I’m not very public about it but I don’t think that man should live another day he had no right to take my aunt from my mom Stephanie my grandma and my grandpa my uncle and my aunt also my wheel chair papa (died last year) I feel this man should have no right at all to even step on this planet ever again but there were so many people in Tucson AZ not just my family but everyone she knew I do not know how some one could look at an innocent child and see their frightened face and be able to kill them no one should have to feel that pain and to you Jennifer I can’t imagine what that was like to see that man and only think about what happened to your best friend if only I could meet you Vicki Lynne in my life as your niece I wear your number 8 for you I will never forget you Vicki Lynne