Frank Atwood: The Murderer And Child Rapist Who Eastern Orthodox Christians Praise And Defend

In this video I discuss the murderer and child rapist, Frank Atwood, who many Eastern Orthodox Christians have been mourning and defending since the Arizona government had him executed for his horrific crime:


Almost all of the statements that will be presented are from the United States Court of Appeals For the Ninth Circuit, Atwood VS Ryan, filed on September of 2017


—Before the kidnapping and murder convictions at issue in this case, Frank Jarvis Atwood had been convicted twice for sexual incidents involving children. In 1975, Atwood was convicted of engaging in lewd and lascivious conduct with a child under the age of fourteen years in violation of section 288 of the California Penal Code and incarcerated at Atascadero State Hospital (a maximum-security facility for convicts deemed to be mentally ill) until his discharge in 1978

In 1981, Atwood was convicted for kidnapping an eightyear-old boy. Id. at 593, 654. Atwood encountered the boy while riding his motorcycle and offered the boy a ride. Id. at 655. When the boy refused, Atwood threw the boy’s bicycle down and pulled him onto the motorcycle. Id. After kidnapping the victim, Atwood forced him to perform oral sex, “holding his head down so roughly that the boy received visible scratches on his neck” and threatening to kill the boy if he screamed. Id. Atwood was incarcerated in a California State Penitentiary for this offense.

—Among other items in the records, a report included Atwood’s statement that a four-year-old girl that he molested “deserved it” because she was the block “tattletail.” Atwood also stated that he molested the ten-yearold girl because he felt like “scaring someone.”

While in prison, Atwood communicated with Ernest Bernsienne (a member of a religious cult) about his sexual interest in young children. Id. at 596, 634 n.17. In one of his letters to Bernsienne, Atwood disclosed that he had been molested when he was fourteen by a twenty-four-year-old man but stated that he “honestly . . . really enjoyed it!” Atwood asserted in the letter that he saw “no reason that sex between [him] and pre-adolescent kids is not only not allowed but also illegal,” and admitted that when he was fifteen, he and a friend had taken a four-year-old girl into

some bushes to “explain the birds and the bees to [his] young friend, as well as satisfying [Atwood’s] sexual curiosity.” Atwood was released on parole in May 1984. Id. at 593. Bernsienne testified that during a phone call after Atwood’s release, Atwood stated that he was considering “going out and picking up a child” and that “this time he would make sure the child wouldn’t talk.”


— The records documented Atwood’s aggressive pre-incarceration behavior, describing an incident in which Atwood threatened his mother “with a butcher knife and generally terroriz[ed] the family,” and another incident in which Atwood threatened his cousin with a knife.


Atwood’s initial counsel, Lamar Couser, hired two experts, Dr. Philip Keen, the Yavapai County Medical Examiner, and Dr. Hal Chilton, a forensic odontologist, to inspect the remains. See id. at 604. Keen and Chilton agreed that the remains were Vicki’s.

—FBI Agent Declan Hoffman later testified that, as a part of the inspection, he photographed Atwood’s car from numerous angles. (This set of photos is referred to as the Kerrville Suite.) At least one photo included in the Kerrville Suite shows a streak of pink paint on the front bumper of Atwood’s Datsun.

— The same day, the FBI agents transported Atwood’s car to an FBI facility in San Antonio and obtained a search warrant to conduct a more thorough search of the car. Id. On September 22, 1984, the FBI agents executed the search warrant and observed pink paint on the front bumper of Atwood’s car during this search. FBI Agent Edward Burwitz took scrapings of this pink paint from the front bumper, and FBI Agent Hoffman took additional photos. (This set of photos is referred to as the San Antonio Suite.)

—According to the State’s witnesses at trial, laboratory tests established that the pink paint on the front bumper of Atwood’s car had come “from the victim’s bike or from another source exactly like the bike” and that Vicki’s bicycle had nickel particles on it that were consistent with nickel on Atwood’s bumper.

— The State’s accident reconstruction expert, Paul Larmour, testified that “he found a nearly perfect match height wise between the contact area on the backside of the bicycle and the [paint] transfer on the bumper,” id. and that “marks on the car’s gravel pan were consistent with the theory that it struck the bicycle at a low speed and caused the bike to lodge beneath the car,” id.

— On September 27, 1984, Atwood was charged with kidnapping. Id. at 594. Because the investigation was still ongoing at that time, authorities did not know what additional evidence would be found or whether Vicki was still alive. Id. This uncertainty changed on April 11, 1985, when the skull and bones of a child were found in the desert northwest of Tucson [About seven months after Vicki’s disappearance].

— Initially, Atwood’s memorandum submitted in support of his second state habeas petition argued that there was no pink paint on the bumper of his car when he was arrested. Under this theory, Atwood claimed that Agent Burwitz collected paint from the bumper of the car, but it was not pink. According to Atwood’s theory at that time, the scrapings entered into the evidence collection log were replaced with later-obtained pink paint scrapings, requiring evidence log entries to be altered. Atwood later conceded that there was pink paint on his bumper at the time of his arrest, but he now claims it was not pink paint from Vicki’s bicycle.

— From Kent Cattani, chief counsel for the Arizona Attorney General’s Office’s capital litigation division, doesn’t believe Atwood is entitled to an evidentiary hearing. In court documents Cattani said numerous law enforcement officers from multiple agencies would have had to collectively decide to risk their careers to manufacture evidence. For all they knew, Vicki could’ve been alive and able to identify her kidnapper, he said. Or, they could have found her body at any moment and had all the forensic evidence they needed to track her killer.

— Dealing with the adipocere argument

— Atwood obtained the testimony of a new expert, Dr. Kris Lee Sperry, who argued that in order for there to be adipocere on the bones, the body would have had to have been buried at least one foot beneath the ground. Atwood argued that the hard desert ground would have been too tough to bury a body quick enough   

— Prior to trial, Stanton Bloom(Atwood’s attorney) reviewed the report written by Keen, one of the two experts hired by Lamar Couser. He also hired four additional experts, and questioned both of the State’s experts about adipocere. None of the numerous pathologists and anthropologists who examined the remains before trial indicated that burial was a precondition to adipocere formation. In an interview at the state medical examiner’s office, the State’s experts told Bloom and the prosecutor that there was “no indication of burial.”

—In drawing the conclusion that the victim’s body must have been buried (because of the existence of adipocere) and that the skeletal remains must have been later exhumed by a human, Dr. Sperry’s opinion fails to consider the known evidence, such as the weather conditions recorded at the weather station closest to the site where the remains were found, the absence of tool marks on the skeletal remains, and the absence of dirt imbedded in the openings of the bones and skull.



Ten days after Vicki’s disappearance, Atwood was arrested

—  Dental records confirmed they were Vicki’s remains. Traces of adipocere found on the skull fixed the time that the body had been placed in the desert within 48 hours of Vicki’s disappearance.

By day two, about a hundred tips were called into police. One person claimed she saw Vicki with a woman at the Tucson mall, crying and asking to go home. Authorities considered it their best lead at the time but Carlson ultimately testified in 1987 that it wasn’t her daughter because Vicki wore Velcro shoes at the time of her disappearance, not shoes with laces, according to the Daily Star. 


—Sam Hall, a teacher at a Tucson elementary school, noticed a “dark Z car” with California license plates in an alley near the school. Id. at 592. Hall “described the driver as a man with a medium frame, shoulder-length hair, and a dark beard and mustache,” id., a description that fit Atwood at the time, and noted that the man was “making strange gestures and shaking his head,” id. at 593. Because Hall was “somewhat unnerved by the driver’s appearance and behavior, he wrote down the car’s license plate number.”

—At around 3:30 p.m., an eight-year-old girl named Vicki Lynn Hoskinson left her Tucson home on a pink bicycle to drop off a card at a nearby mailbox. … teenage boys in the neighborhood passed Vicki as she was riding her bicycle south toward the intersection of Root Lane and Pocito Place, which was only a few hundred feet from the elementary school where Hall had observed the “dark Z car” with California license plates.

—The boys also passed a man with “long dark hair, a mustache, and the beginnings of a beard” in a “dark Datsun Z car” heading towards the same intersection.

— On September 18, Hall told the authorities about his observations, including the license plate number of the car. Id. at 593. Authorities traced the car to Atwood, id., and agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) contacted his parents for information about his whereabouts, id. at 596. The FBI also obtained a warrant for Atwood’s arrest on kidnapping charges. Id. at 593.

— From

Pretty soon, sheriff’s deputies learned several witnesses had seen a man in a dark-colored Datsun 280Z near Vicki’s school. One little girl said the man had made an obscene gesture at her as he cruised by her house. Another saw the driver of the car back into a telephone pole and a teacher wrote down the car’s license plate. He described getting goose bumps because the driver was making strange gestures, acting upset and having trouble shifting gears.

Other witnesses who observed the car a short time later said they saw a small child in the car.

When deputies traced the plates, they learned the car was registered to Atwood, who was on parole in California for forcing an 8-year-old boy off a bicycle, pulling him onto his motorcycle and forcing him to perform a sex act.


— McDonald heard him say on the phone: “Even if I did do it, you have to help me.” Id. at 637. McDonald also testified that Atwood told him that law enforcement was “trying to stick something on him about a little girl.” Id. Atwood’s parents informed the FBI that Atwood was taking his car to Ken Stoepel Ford in Kerrville, Texas for repair work.

— Atwood, who was financially dependent on his parents, called his mother for money to pay for the car repairs. Id. McDonald heard him say on the phone: “Even if I did do it, you have to help me.” Id. at 637. McDonald also testified that Atwood told him that law enforcement was “trying to stick something on him about a little girl.” Id. Atwood’s parents informed the FBI that Atwood was taking his car to Ken Stoepel Ford in Kerrville, Texas for repair work.


The jury heard testimony that Atwood’s car was seen at Vicki’s school the day of her disappearance, Atwood, 171 Ariz. at 592–93; Atwood was seen driving a Datsun in Vicki’s neighborhood before she disappeared, id. at 593; and Atwood was seen leaving Vicki’s neighborhood with a small child in his car, id. at 595.

— Testimony also placed Atwood in the vicinity of the site where Vicki’s remains were found, id., and witnesses testified that they saw Atwood with a knife and with blood on his hands and clothes on the afternoon of Vicki’s disappearance, id. at 596. The jury also heard evidence that Atwood had admitted he was attracted to children and had told Bernsienne that the next time he picked up a child, he would make sure that the child did not talk.

— Here, the Arizona Supreme Court in 1992 noted: Although we cannot know from the facts presented at trial exactly what happened to the victim when she was taken to the desert, we do know that (1) defendant, a convicted pedophile, was seen within yards of the girl literally seconds before she vanished; (2) witnesses identified defendant as the man they saw driving with a young child in his car; (3) defendant was seen later that afternoon with blood on his hands and clothing; and (4) defendant was also seen with cactus needles in his arms and legs


  September 21, 1984, the FBI transported Atwood to San Antonio, Texas. Id. En route to San Antonio, Atwood changed his story, telling agents that he had returned to De Anza Park at 3:30 p.m. rather than 5:00 p.m.

— On direct appeal, Atwood argued that his 1975 conviction could not be used as an aggravating circumstance under section 13-703(F)(1). Arizona revised its criminal statutes in 1977 to eliminate life imprisonment as a potential punishment for lewd or lascivious conduct with a minor. See 1977 Ariz. Sess. Laws 731 (then codified at Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 13-1412). Therefore, Atwood argued that his 1975 conviction was not a crime for which “a sentence of life imprisonment or death was imposable” under Arizona law because “life imprisonment” was not “imposable” at the time of sentencing. Atwood, 171 Ariz. at 646–48. Atwood also argued that use of section 13-703(F)(1) violated his Eighth Amendment rights (we refer to this claim as the “Eighth Amendment claim”). The Arizona Supreme Court rejected these claims. It interpreted the language in section 13-703(F)(1) as requiring the defendant to be convicted of an offense for which “a sentence of life imprisonment or death was imposable” under Arizona law at the time the defendant committed the offense, not at the time of the sentencing hearing for the subsequent offense, which could be years or decades later.

— If he was truly repentant, he would be deeming himself worthy of death for molesting children

— Atwood argues that had Bloom obtained professionals to look into Atwood’s background and mental health, Bloom could have presented powerful mitigating evidence that Atwood suffered from a trauma-related mental impairment, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which developed after Atwood was molested at the age of fourteen by a twenty-four-year-old.

— The Atascadero records showed that multiple social workers, psychiatrists, and psychologists had interviewed Atwood or considered his case, and none of these professionals indicated that Atwood had any significant mental impairment or disease. N

— According to Stanton Bloom, Atwood did not take being molested by the twenty-four-year-old “very seriously” (he had told Bernsienne that he enjoyed the experience), and he did not appear traumatized by it.

— The four-day evidentiary hearing also included the testimony of mental health professionals who evaluated Atwood for purposes of the hearing. Atwood presented testimony from Dr. Donna Schwartz-Watts, a psychiatrist who evaluated Atwood in October 2012. At the evidentiary hearing, Schwartz-Watts testified that Atwood currently exhibited many of the symptoms of PTSD, but that she could not determine whether Atwood developed PTSD when he was molested at the age of fourteen or in response to other adverse events, such as his experiences in prison. SchwartzWatts conceded that the Atascadero records did not report that Atwood had been traumatized. She also conceded that the records documented a pattern of behavior consistent with antisocial personality disorder, and stated, “it’s very fair to say a lot of [Atwood’s] actions [once he was confined] were sociopathic. They were to get something he wanted. They were to manipulate.”

— Remember, he converted in 2000. Why is he, in 2012, being manipulative?

— Schwartz-Watts also testified that Atwood “technically meets the criteria” for pedophilia.

— He converted in 2000, and in 2012 he is still a pedophile?

— The State presented expert testimony from Dr. Erin Nelson, a psychologist who conducted a mental health evaluation of Atwood in June 2013. Nelson testified that she had diagnosed Atwood with substance abuse disorder, pedophilic disorder, and antisocial personality disorder.

— Nelson concluded that “a large amount of the evidence” indicated that Atwood may have developed PTSD “post incarceration,” pointing out that the Atascadero records contained no discussion of trauma, and that Atwood bragged about his ability to manipulate psychologists.

 Ecclesiastes 8:11: “Because the sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.”