Friday, June 14, 2024

Arizona Executes Frank Atwood on June 8, 2022

Frank Atwood, Arizona

Updated: Wednesday, June 8, 2022

Frank Atwood

On Wednesday, June 8, 2022, Arizona executed Frank Jarvis Atwood.  Frank was pronounced dead at 10:16 am local time, inside the execution chamber at the Arizona State Prison Complex in Florence, Arizona.  He was 66 years of age.  He was executed for the murder of eight-year-old Vicki Lynne Hoskinson on September 17, 1984, in Tucson, Arizona. Frank spent the last 35 years of his life on death row in Arizona.

During his time at a private school, Frank Atwood, at the age of 13, was introduced to drugs by another student. He continued using drugs when he was not in prison. Frank was previously convicted of lewd and lascivious conduct with a 14-year-old girl. In 1981, he was convicted of kidnapping an eight-year-old boy and received prison time. While serving time in prison in California, Frank wrote letters in which he confessed his sexual attraction to children.

On September 17, 1984, eight-year-old Vicki Hoskinson rode her bike to the nearby mailbox to send a birthday card. When Vicki did not return home, her mother sent another daughter to go look for her. The other daughter located the bike on which Vicki was riding but could not find Vicki. She immediately told her mother, who called the police.

Police began investigating. They talked to Sam Hall, a teacher at a school near where Mary’s bike was found. On the afternoon of September 17, he noticed a dark car in an alley and its driver. The driver unnerved Sam, prompting him to write down the license plate number. The car belonged to Frank Atwood and was registered in California.

Additionally, two teenage boys observed a dark car driving very slowly toward Mary, who was riding her bike in the opposite direction. The boys did not see Mary come into contact with the dark car.

Police discovered Atwood had previously been arrested in California for kidnapping an eight-year-old boy. He had been released on parole in May 1984, after serving three years in prison. Atwood had also previously been convicted of lewd and lascivious conduct with a 14-year-old girl.

Atwood officially resided in California, however, he often traveled, living out of his car. During his trip to Tucson, he made friends with the local transient population. On the morning of September 17, 1984, Atwood spent time at the park with others. He left in the afternoon and returned shortly before sunset. When he returned, several people noticed he had blood on his hands.

After obtaining an arrest warrant, Atwood was arrested in Kerrville, Texas, where he was having his car repaired on his way to New Orleans, Louisiana. Atwood agreed to have his vehicle searched. Pink paint, matching the paint on Vicki’s bike, was discovered on the car’s bumper.

He was also questioned by investigators. Atwood claimed that on the afternoon of September 17, he met with a drug dealer to discuss buying marijuana and that he visited the home of a friend. Both men denied seeing Atwood on that day.

On September 27, 1984, Atwood was charged with kidnapping. Nearly seven months later, on April 11, 1985, Vicki’s remains were found in the desert of northwest Tucson. Dental records were used to identify the remains. Her cause of death could not be determined. The charges against Atwood were increased to include murder.

He was convicted of kidnapping and murder and sentenced to death on May 8, 1987.  Due to the date which Atwood was sentenced to death, he had the option of choosing between lethal injection and gas for his execution.  He declined to select a method, meaning the state’s default method of execution, lethal injection, was used.

Please pray for peace and healing for the family of Vicki Hoskinson. Pray for strength for the family of Frank Atwood

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