September 17, 2015

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September. The start of fall, absolutely my favorite season, yet a time that holds my heart completely hostage. This year I would equate my emotions to that of a “soup sandwich”. I’ve wore my feelings on my sleeve and the battle in my mind has gotten the best of me more days than not. It’s a relentless war that started 31 years ago and still wages on as we continue our legal fight to bring justice for my sissy.

In reality, the middle of August is when I started to feel the spiral of emotions happen and in one conversation with Mackenzie, it’s as if the dam broke… 

I had kept telling myself my emotions were crazy because summer was coming to an end. (Is it possible to have a “summer hangover”?) We had a hectic but great time with family & friends, memories made and lots of miles traveled, with school starting it would come to an end. And then the reality of my talk with Mackenzie made me realize that what happened to me 5 years ago when our oldest, Madison, started 3rd grade was happening again. 

Why are some years so hard? 

Vicki Lynne 1984

Vicki Lynne 1984

Accepting things you can’t change or control and rationally asking your heart to work through them can be the single most difficult thing a person will ever do. I had to face the fact that my 8 year old daughter would be starting the 3rd grade, she’s the same age and grade as Vicki was when she was taken from us. Coupled with the fact that Mackenzie resembles Vicki not only in looks but personality, has stopped me in my tracks a thousands times, sometimes taking my breathe away. There isn’t a moment that I look at Mackenzie and don’t think about or see Vicki, from her freckled face and gapped tooth smile to her witty personality.

Can you imagine a fear that some days is almost paralyzing? Flashes of feelings from my childhood while telling my 42 year old mind everything will be ok is the toughest thing I have ever done. I feel as though I am telling myself every 5 minutes I can work through it because I have a two beautiful girls who are walking this world and I will do everything I can everyday to keep them safe. 

When Mady started 3rd grade, I did my best to keep it together. I cried every day for weeks as I left her at school, some days sobbing so uncontrollably in the school parking lot I couldn’t even drive. I still think Mady’s teacher is a saint, she was so patient and gracious when dealing with me, the ultimate crazy mom.

And to be completely honest, I truly thought this year, would be easier than what I experienced with Mady. Things are supposed to be smoother with your second child, right? It’s true for many things, not this… I’ve been prickly most days, and feel so blessed that my family, friends and co-workers have loved me without truly understanding the battle in my heart and mind. Mackenzie’s teacher has embraced her with a special heart that I’m not sure I could ever properly thank her for, and she is patient with me, the ultimate crazy mom. Fourteen days into the school year and I’ve cried every one, but am so thankful that I am in a position that I can grab a hug & kiss from Mackenzie anytime during the day. 

As far as the conversation I had with Mackenzie the middle of August, I will share that some day, but the dam it broke is meant to help heal emotions that I need to make peace with. Each day is a new beginning, and I will be stronger tomorrow.  “After your season of suffering, God in all His grace will restore, confirm, strengthen and establish you.” 1 Peter 5:10

Our legal battle continues on, the defense has until September 25, to file their Reply Brief to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. I will assume they will ask for an extension, and expect another delay, because one thing Atwood’s counsel has shown us is they are really good at delaying everything they can as many times as they can, buying a child murderer more time on our tax paying dime. Once the defense files their brief, we will wait to see if the 9th Circuit will hold a hearing in the matter, and that date. And the time continues to tick by as the fate of the man who took Vicki from us still fights the system while dragging us through hell.

31 years later, September 17th, the battle continues but we will win the war. 

Today, I hope that everyone who was touched by her life takes a moment to share a memory. This day will always be one to reflect on and honor the life of a very special freckled faced, blue eyed angel, my sissy. Don’t forget Vicki Lynne.


  1. Tennille Mcquoid-Kent says

    Vicki Lynn was my bestfriend…I will always remember our days at Homer davis, I regret not going with her to circle k that day. Maybe things would of been different.

  2. Donna Warren says

    I remember this all too well I cried as I rocked and held tightly to my new born son My heart went out to your family and each time I hear that murderer name my blood boils I have continued to follow your sister’s story every step of the way and will forever, my wish is that he is put to death before I die my regret is I cannot be the one to put the noose around his neck .May God be with you and continue to watch over your baby girls. RIP VICKI LYNN

  3. I will never forget that day!!Nancy Crawley and I were Vicki’s 2nd grade teachers at Homer Davis. I have my yellow ribbon that I wore to always remember her!

  4. I remember that day very well. A cousin of a friend of mine was friends with Vicki Lynne. My daughters were elementary age at that time and it was a very hard, scary time for us all. The 3 of us went on “the walk”.
    My girls remember it to this day. We moved away from Tucson but we will never forget.

  5. Leesajean Penton says

    I remember Vickie Lynne. We were classmates at Homer Davis Elementary. I lived in the trailer park that shared a fence with the school. Vickie Lynne and I played together during recess. She was my friend. I still remember the day she went missing. I don’t think my mom ever let me go anywhere alone again. Things changed forever in my world. She is the reason that I don’t let my own children out on their own. I can only imagine your pain and suffering. I am so sorry for your loss. Please know… Vickie Lynne will never be forgotten!

  6. ty for your words.

  7. Carolyn Irwin Drakulich says

    I was a year older than Vickie Lynne and went to Homer Davis with her. My cousin is the PE coach that took down the license plate number of the car that was driving around the school that day. The number that led the to that awful man. I will never forget Vickie Lynne. The impact of her murder stays with me every day when I take my own girls to school. A school in a town with a huge crime rate and a district who refuses to properly secure the playground to keep the students safe. I use this case to plead my case as to why they need to secure the playground. I am the mom I am today because of Vickie’s story, an overprotective mom who never lets her kids out of her sight. I walk them to the classroom door every morning and pick them up there every afternoon. I think of you all often, even though we never met. Prayers for you all during this time and always. You do an amazing job keeping her memory alive!

  8. Diana Melton says

    Not an easy thing to remember….
    I was working a night asphalt job as a dispatcher for Tanner Co. There was so much commotion along the frontage road. The police came into the yard and told me that they were going to search the pit for a little lost girl. After awhile, they left and I turned on the radio and heard Vicki Lynne’s name. I was shocked at the last name and asked the hot plant operator how old Ron’s little girls were. Early in the morning I left work and went to the Circle K and bought a paper only to see the picture of a friend and co-worker sitting on the curb with his head in his hands. I have children that were the same age at the time and it forever changed the way I looked at every person and car in our neighborhood. Such a hard loss – I’m so sorry.

  9. Christopher LaRose says

    Just saw Vicki’s story on FBI Files on Netflix. They said at the end of the show that he got death, but they never said if he died. So i Googled and found out the piece of shit unbelievably was still alive, married, with college degrees and writing books! What kind of freaking justice is that! Has a death date been set? Is there anything that i can do to help? This is just ridiculous, he did it and everybody knows it. He has had 31 years of the legal system on his side, while your family and especially sweet little Vicki still wait for his official sentence to be carried out.

  10. I remember Vicki Lynne’s disappearance very clearly. Although it may sound corny, that was the day my innocence died. I was a young teen who lived in my neighborhood my whole life and up till that day I never feared being out in my yard or riding my bike in my neighborhood. That all changed that day. RIP Vicki Lynne and rot in hell Frank Jarvis Atwood

  11. Jennifer Mettler says

    I will never for Vicki Lynne… We were good friends, had a little group of us girls together. I remember birthday parties and sleep overs….what an innocent time back then….but then it happened… I will never forget this day so long ago…or how everyone reacted, the school..cops…parents especially. We hoped things would turn out ok, but then came the news…that they had found her. It was scary and horrible for most of us students and those who were close to her. I remember some time later, all of us putting somethings in a time capsule for her and burying it in the middle of the school yard and planting the tree there. I remember going to the races and supporting her family there as well….
    No, I will never forget Vicki Lynne… I don’t know how anyone could, for she touched our lives in more ways then one.
    Thankyou for never forgetting

  12. She was my childhood best friend…I will always hold her dear to my heart and miss her smile that always made me happy. Memories of riding our bikes through the neighborhood, laughing and having the best time. I know she has always been my guardian Angel. I love you dearly my friend Vicki Lynn.

  13. Joyce Ragels says

    I have never forgotten Vicki Lynne and never will. Her savage murder thrust me into a world I did not think would ever touch me. When someone is stolen from you by a depraved person, there is never understanding. In order to survive, you have to accept and learn to live as best you can knowing your own heart will be forever broken.

    On this day and all others I wish kindness and warm hugs for those who knew her personally.

  14. don (bobby) shick says

    attended Homer-Davis Elementary and lived locally where this happened in 1984. Never forgotten after all these years. so sad, so tragic. could have been anyone of us who lived in this area. Will NEVER forget Vicki Lynne!!!! We will always keep your memory alive!!!

  15. I remember this day most vivid, my husband at the time helped with the search while I stayed home rocking my newborn son and cried and prayed she would be found alive ,sadly my prayers were unanswered since then I have followed every piece of news on Vicki Lynn now I pray for justice, That monster should be put to death I pray this one is answered. RIP Vicki Lynn