FLORENCE, Ariz. (KGUN) — A jury found Frank Atwood guilty of kidnapping and killing an 8-year-old girl. 37 years after she died he paid for her death with his life.
Debbie Carlson is the Mother of Vicki Lynne Hoskinson, the little girl Atwood was condemned for killing. She witnessed Atwood’s execution and said: “Today marks final justice for our daughter Vicky Lynne. Our family has waited for 37 years, eight months and 22 days for this day to come.”
In 1984, Vicki Lynne Hoskinson set out on her pink bicycle to mail her aunt a birthday card. Prosecutors convinced a jury Frank Atwood used his car to knock Vicki Lynne off her bike, kidnap and kill her. In the 35 years since Atwood’s trial and conviction, appeals delayed his execution again and again. His last appeal ran out just 40 minutes before his execution, when the US Supreme Court refused to consider his case.
Witnesses said Atwood was calm as prison workers inserted I-V’s, sedated him, and let the lethal drugs flow. Just before, he prayed with a priest of the Greek Orthodox religion he embraced in prison.
Vicki Lynne’s family watched the end of Atwood’s life. Witnesses say he did not acknowledge the family in any way. Afterwards Vicki Lynne’s mom did not acknowledge Atwood but thanked law enforcement, the community and her church for years of support.
Earlier Debbie Carlson told us Atwood’s execution will let her family walk away from a painful past and into a new chapter—-a chapter where they can appreciate their love for each other, forget Vicki Lynne’s killer —and remember the gifts Vickie Lynne shared in her short life.
“Vicki…I want you to be free, little one. Rest easy our precious little girl. May your spirit soar as it continues to live with us in us and through us forever. Till we meet again. We will miss you and we will always love you.”
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Craig Smith is a reporter for KGUN 9. With more than 30 years of reporting in cities like Tampa, Houston and Austin, Craig has covered more than 40 Space Shuttle launches and covered historic hurricanes like Katrina, Ivan, Andrew and Hugo. Share your story ideas and important issues with Craig by emailing email@example.com or by connecting on Facebook and Twitter.