Victory for Vicki

On September 13, 2017, our family was notified by the Arizona Attorney General’s Office that the 9th Circuit Court of Appeal had denied Atwood’s Writ of Habeas Corpus. 

The defense had a small window of time to appeal this ruling back to the court. 

On November 3, 2017 they filed a motion for a Panel Rehearing or Rehearing en banc before the 9th Circuit, meaning they were asking to have another chance to plead their case in court in front of a panel of 11 judges. 

The State of Arizona filed their response to this motion on December 5, 2017.

Today, January 11, 2018, our family was informed that the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals denied the motion for Rehearing en banc.

Denied. Home Stretch.

After almost 20 years since the Writ of Habeas Corpus was filed (March of 1998), we are truly on the home stretch. This case has moved at such a glacial pace for so long it’s reassuring the momentum it has gained.

So, what does all of this mean?

In layman’s terms, the defense has 90 days, with one extension of 60 days, to appeal this to the United States Supreme Court. 

150 days.

And, the United States Supreme Court can do one of two things.

  • Grant Oral Arguments in the case
  • Deny the petition 

IF the Supreme Court grants oral arguments, the court would hear arguments and rule by June 2019. 

IF and When they deny the claims presented, a Writ of Execution will be issued. 

Yes, I am going out on a limb and wagering that they will NOT hear Oral Arguments in this matter and a Writ of Execution will be ordered. 

I could give you a list till next Tuesday of the reasons why the court won’t hear this case, but the reality of the claims left to argue in an almost 34 year old case, presented to them already in two other instances with the miles of paperwork, rulings and hearings that have already taken place, I just can not imagine our nations highest court taking this on. 

As the last chapter writes itself, I hope that you know how very much our family appreciates your love and support. Who would have ever imagined a beautiful little 8 year old, blue eyed girl, who loved riding her bike, playing softball & watching her Papas race cars, would impact the hearts of so many? We are Vicki’s voice. Our strength continues to grow with her memory and with you.

Love Never Forgets. 

September 17, 2017

The afternoon of September 17, 1984 the world of my family, friends and community was forever changed. The disappearance of my sister, Vicki Lynne, would become so much more than we ever knew.

In the days and months that she was missing, people tied yellow ribbons to everything as a symbol of hope for her safe return. On February 7, 1985, Vicki had been missing 143 days. To bring a positive token of love and hope for her safe return, our family with students & teachers from Homer Davis Elementary School, planted a Palo Verde tree in the courtyard. Yellow ribbons were tied to the branches of the tree. https://youtu.be/v0W4U0GLhDo

For the next 30 years the tree grew tall and strong, blooming yellow flowers, still representing hope as we fought to bring justice to her. In October of 2015, the tree was uprooted and blown over in a storm. We were devastated that the beautiful symbol of love and hope was forever gone, and although we thought to replace it we knew we never could properly do so.

With the help of some amazing men, we were able to have a bench made from the wood of the Palo Verde tree and just a few short days before school started this August, the bench was placed in the front office of Homer Davis Elementary bringing back to the school the beautiful symbol of hope in Loving Memory of Vicki Lynne.

My mom and dad were able to take a special part of the tree which they will hang in their dining room, it will have the scripture “With God all things are possible” Matthew 19:26 placed with it.

I’m so very grateful for all those involved in making this possible. What started out in February of 1985 to be a positive tribute to my sister, still gets to be part of our lives for years to come.

A very special thanks to Jaime Sirminski who spearheaded the project and was able to put it all together, Rob Assenmacher, of Kevin Stout Operations who did the the CAID laser cut of the butterfly backing, and Matt McDonald of MHM Resources for milling the wood. I hope you realize what an incredible gift you have made by taking something so important to so many and making it beautiful again. 

To Dr. Baker, Superintendent of Flowing Wells Unified School District, Mr. Dunbar, Principal of Homer Davis School,Chad Miller, Principal Flowing Wells Junior High School, and all the staff, thank you for encouraging us to keep a piece of Vicki’s memory forever part of the school.

Vicki lives on in so many of us, our hopes are to continue to honor her in a positive and beautiful way. I encourage you, today especially, on the 33rd anniversary of her disappearance to share any stories you may have about her. If you never had the chance to meet her, share how her life and death impacted you… we will never be able to know all those who she has touched, but we do love to know her voice in strong in us all.

If you happen to stop in and sit on the bench, be sure to share a picture here or via Facebook. 

Today we will honor the beautiful little freckled face, blue eyed girl who lives in our heart forever.

Don’t forget Vicki Lynne.