The Tree

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It’s page 18 of 365 in 2016. One of my favorite quotes is by C.S. Lewis “There are far better things ahead than any we leave behind.” How true is that?

It’s been a busy 3 months since the last update to my blog, but really there has been no forward motion from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in our case since September. Frustrating? Yep. I’ve learned that a 30 year old case with a guilty defendant and miles of boxes full of documents just seems to bog down a very broken system with nothing we can do but keep looking to the horizon…

To be honest, I’ve struggled to write this blog for more than a week. I’m not sure why, when it comes to writing or conversation, I’m not usually a loss for words… those who truly know me can insert your comments and laughs here…

Looking back on all that has happened, both wonderful & amazing and heartbreaking & trying, and I feel I’ve really needed to stop and listen more … Who has truly had “ahhhh haaa” moments? I’ve had quite a few lately…

Vicki Lynne's Tree planted at Homer Davis Elementary School Arbor Day, 1985

Vicki Lynne’s Tree planted at Homer Davis Elementary School Arbor Day, 1985

See in February of 1985, we planted a tree in the courtyard of Homer Davis Elementary School where Vicki & I attended school to bring hope that she would be found alive. When Vicki’s remains were recovered in April of 1985, that tree continued to grow and bloom for 30 years. Last October (2015) it was uprooted and blown over in a storm… it was as if a piece of what we watched grow through our journey was gone and we were absolutely devastated. And, I feel we started to mourn again.

Our initial reaction was to replant a tree to replace it… and in time we realized we could never do that, it would never be the same. Honestly, I know with all my heart Vicki blew the tree over for a reason, and we may not be able to understand it right now, but in time, we will.

We were able to recover a substantial amount of the wood from the fallen tree and have plans as a family to have something made with it and rededicate it to Homer Davis at a later date. We will take the fallen pieces and make them beautiful again… just as we have done with our lives.

I want to make a very public thank you on behalf of myself and my family to Flowing Wells School District. From Dr. Baker, Mr. Miller, Governing Board, and the entire staff with a big SHOUT OUT to the Grounds Crew, each and every person has been so protective, caring and sensitive to us as we have moved through this process. The love that continues to shine in our community is extraordinary and comforting.

I will continue to keep my blog updated as we begin forward motion in the appellate part of this story, and as each day of 2016 unfolds, we will continue to look ahead and embrace our past as it is the seeds that continue to grow our future.

#dontforgetvickilynne #loveneverforgets


  1. Thoughts well written Stephanie. Gathering the pieces of memories in the case of the tree definitely took another part of your soul. It stirred up emotions that live always right below the surface. Keeping your blog going is important to you and those who follow the memories of Vicki Lynn. I pray this year and everytime I read your words that this will be Vicki’s year for justice your year for peace.

  2. I just learned about this case by watching Forensic Files on CNN. I cried for what happened to this precious girl. I will pray for her and wait until the slow justice system acts upon the death sentence. Vermin like this should never be allowed to suck money out of the system. I hope that this bastard gets what he deserves soon!!!

  3. Chris Almirantes says

    The man is a monster, no matter what he has done with his education and writing, forensic’s PROVED it along with eye witness testimony. He thinks he is not the one that took an 8 year old Vicki Lynne and raped and killed her, however, he is, and is paying with his life. He should show respect to Vicki Lynne and her family and confess in another book deal. May he and everyone that thinks he innocent should accept reality and show remorse. NEVER FORGET VICKI LYNNE.

  4. Thank you for sharing your stories. I want to encourage you to keep the faith!

  5. Your words say everything. I’m Brazilian and I watched the episode of this case on Forensic Files last year. Since then, I come here to read your blog. Never forget Vicki Lynne! =´(

    • I am so sorry for what happened to your little girl. I pray that God will give you the comfort, strength, peace and guidance you need to go on with your life and to be a blessing to others. What I’m about to say might not come easy to you to accept(quite understandable) but you have to forgive the man because that’s what the Bible says we’re to do otherwise God will not forgive you for yours. God will help you to do this! When God comes again and judges us, you won’t have anything to worry about because your name will be in the book of life and you will see your little girl again…

  6. Alison Reilly says

    It is despicable that this subterranean vermin is still breathing air. My prayers are with you and your family. This needs to end…the sentence was death and it should have been carried out, thus allowing you and your family to finally breathe..really breathe the relief that is long overdue. Best of luck. I will write to the governor of Arizona next!

  7. John Gilbert says

    I just happened to be watching the FBI files tonight. This prompted me to look this up on the internet. My heart is saddened for your loss. Our world is filled with evil that is only growing. God bless your family and know that her spirit lives on and will be waiting for you on the other side of the veil.

  8. Ms. Hoskinson, I just saw the Forensic Filles episode about your beautiful daughter, Vicki Lynn, and I just had to reach out to you. Believe me, I am an advocate for the death penalty,especially for the animals like Frank Atwood, who should never have been born, and all I can believe is that the Lord works in mysterious ways. I’m hoping that since child killers and molesters are at the bottom of the prison hierarchy, hopefully , this animal is being abused in prison EVERY SINGLE DAY. I can only wish that he prays for death every day,and the Lord has decided to let him sit there in anguish and pain EVERY DAY,of his disgusting sorry life. What an embarrassment he MUST be to his poor family, knowing that so many wish he was already dead or put to death ASAP! Your daughter, in contrast, is beloved and we see her as a beautiful angel in God’s loving arms until the end of time. Please stay strong and don’t let this monster take any more of your life or love with hatred-it will eat you like a cancer-he is the cancer! May God bless you and your family and keep you all safe always,and know that every mother alive knows the fear and desperation you went through when our children disappeared for awhile, but most of us were SO lucky to have found them. We just don’t realize how many horrible monsters are actually out there-and even one is too many. Be strong and know that I will always remember you and your beautiful daughter, and I pray for your well being and faith in God!

  9. vickie Vin sirianni says

    Amazing story so wish the best

  10. Stephanie, I am watching the wrenching story of the disappearance of your little sister Vicki Lynne on Forensic Files. I am deeply sorry for your family’s loss and deep heartache. Being a great believer in God, I believe she is safely & happily Heaven with the Lord.
    In Prayer and Love, Leslie

  11. Virginia Sterling says

    Such a beautiful child. The monster should have been executed a long time ago. I just watched this tragedy on HLN Forensic Files, and I was so saddened as to what happened to your beautiful sister. My thoughts and prayers will be with you and your loved ones. I am honored to share Vicki’s birthday. Love to you all. ♡♡♡♡

  12. I choose to remain anonymous with this, but I work for the Arizona Dept of Corrections and yes I’ve worked death row and placed handcuffs on Frank Atwood and every time I did I always remembered this story and remember growing up and hearing about this story. It sickens me that this Murderer is still alive and I have to face him. Frank Atwood is a baby, whiter, throws fits when he doesn’t get his way. I remember one time that I had to drop his mail off at his cell and he wouldn’t get out of bed and get his mail because I wouldn’t give him nail clippers and so I tossed his mail in his cell and walked away. As I walked away, all I could hear is Frank Atwood complaining he didn’t get what he wanted. Well Vicki Lynne didn’t get what she wanted because of Frank Atwood.

  13. I cannot believe this animal is still alive. How wrong!! There is no acceptable excuse for this. I am so sorry for your loss and for the unending fight you have had for justice. I wonder how the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals would act if they had to endure what Vicki Lynn did. Perhaps, they would stop protecting this piece of shit.