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Frank J. Atwood, now forty-five years old and having been imprisoned for nearly seventeen years (since September 1984), is one of only a few on death row who can make an absolute case on the facts in support of his innocence.
prior to the trial by jury and subsequent to the death
sentence provide incontrovertible proof of Frank's innocence, as the
following facts conclusively demonstrate:
1. No crime was ever proven to
have occurred; no evidence exists in
support of the kidnap charge and no cause or time of death was
established in support of the murder charge.
2. Three government witnesses
testified that at the time Vicki Lynne
Hoskinson (VLH) disappeared that Frank was several blocks away,
alone, and traveling away from where VLH disappeared.
3. Evidence presented by government
witnesses established that VLH
disappeared between 3:15 pm and 3:20 pm and that at least one hour of
driving time was required. Both government and defense witnesses
testified that Frank returned to a park prior to 4:00 pm.
4. Four independent witnesses
testified to having seen VLH in the
company of a woman in a mall after 6:30 pm, a time when government
acknowledged that Frank was with government witnesses.
5. Searches and tests conducted
by the FBI and other law enforcement
labs determined there was no trace (hair, fingerprints, fiber, etc.)
of VLH in Frank's car — there was trace evidence of persons who had
been in his car several weeks prior to VLH disappearing.
6. A thin smear of paint on Frank's
car bumper was alleged to have
originated from VLH's bicycle; however, FBI photos and at least two
FBI searches prove there was no such paint smear on the car bumper
during the first few days after Frank's arrest.
7. Partial remains were found
in an area that had been previously
searched while Frank was in jail.
8. Government covered up the fact that VLH was buried.
9. Burial, for a minimum of two
months, required excavation by
humans and placement of partial remains after November 1984. Frank
has been incarcerated since September 1984.
10. The required two hours or
longer to dig a grave exonerates
Frank. Those two hours plus the one hour driving time, coupled with
a 3:15 pm disappearance, would take until at least 6:15 pm. Not even
government contended that Frank returned that late.
11. Frank's appeal has been subjected
to concerted bias, including
but not limited to the state supreme court finding him guilty of a
crime that he was never charged with.
12. Manipulation by state trial
and appellate courts have kept
Frank's case in limbo by initially refusing to appoint an attorney
and subsequently denying mandated evidentiary hearings.
It is apparent that Frank languishes
on death row for a crime he had
no part of. In fact, from the very beginning Frank has offered to
take a polygraph test to verify his innocence. However, the fact
remains that orchestrated hysteria in the press, by politicians in
search of higher office, had Frank on death row from day one.
Local attorneys admit that what is happening
is pressure by officials
to protect what is known to be an unjust conviction. The disastrous
results, obtained thus far, prove that Frank's only chance for
vindication and survival exists in gaining grass roots support which
is not subject to the local power elite. While Frank had a good
attorney at trial, he could not match the hysteria built on leaks
from the government about the fact that he had previously been
convicted for sexual offenses involving minors. Based upon these
priors, Frank was tried in the press and back rooms of Arizona and
the judicial system has refused to function in the face of it.
The following sections document additional
details in support of
Frank's innocence. You are invited to read them and to then make
contact with frank. Frank simply needs your help in gaining a trial
where he is judged on the evidence rather than on rank speculation.
1. Government presented witnesses
showing that Frank left a downtown
park in Tucson alone at about 2:00 pm.
2. Government witnesses verified
that Frank left the park to commit
a burglary and then meet a drug dealer at a trailer — where Frank had
stayed over the weekend and which was about twenty minutes from the
downtown park and within a half mile or so from where VLH
disappeared. [See attached map]
3. A purported paint smudge, which
government said was from VLH's
bicycle, on Frank's car bumper was used to assert that Frank knocked
VLH off her bicycle and forced her into his car at about 3:15 pm. It
is important to know that not only did no one claim to have seen or
heard this supposed crash and kidnap, in the middle of a street, but
that not one single person ever claimed to have seen Frank on that
It must also be noted that the alleged paint smear on the car bumper
was not miraculously found until days after Frank's arrest, after
searches of the car by FBI field agents and the transport of the car
to an isolated FBI garage. Moreover, a fairly recent government
investigation of the same section of the FBI lab that tested the
paint smear and bicycle paint exposed numerous routine improprieties,
including misleading and inaccurate trial testimony.
4. Government claimed that Frank
drove over twenty miles, with VLH
in his car, to a remote desert area by presenting three witnesses who
claimed to have seen Frank in his car with a small, young person.
To begin with, the timing makes Frank's involvement impossible. VLH
disappeared around 3:15 pm and the over twenty mile drive would have
required over half an hour. However, several prosecution witnesses
placed Frank alone in an alley between 3:20 pm and 3:40 pm; at a time
and in a location which categorically proves he could not have been
driving in the opposite direction with VLH in his car.
Furthermore, for VLH to have ever been in Frank's car is impossible.
The FBI dismantled and searched Frank's car within days of VLH's
disappearance but, despite locating traces of persons who were in
Frank's car weeks before VLH disappeared (showing the car had not
been cleaned of evidence), no trace evidence from VLH was in Frank's
car. An FBI agent, when speaking with Frank's father, summed it up
this way: "Finding no trace evidence in your son's car means the girl
could never have been in it."
Finally, in addition to the time line and absence of trace evidence
exposing the falsity of government witnesses' testimony, it must be
noted that these three witnesses could not initially identify Frank,
only doing so after numerous views of him on television and in
newspapers. Also, none of these "witnesses" ever identified VLH as
the person they claimed was in Frank's car. Other inconsistencies
include claiming to have seen the hair on Frank's left arm but
swearing Frank had no tattoos on that arm (in fact, there are half a
dozen large tattoos on Frank's left arm) and initially claiming to
have seen Frank alone but eight to nine months later claiming a young
person was also in Frank's car.
5. Government claimed Frank murdered
VLH, at the remote desert
location where partial remains were found seven months after VLH had
disappeared, and then returned to the park downtown.
First of all, any allegation of murder exists as rank speculation
because no cause of death was ever established. Aside from that, the
time line once again proves Frank's innocence because he returned to
the park before 4:00 pm and in the words of the lead detective at
trial: "If he [Frank] returned to the park prior to 5:00 pm then he
could not have done it [kidnap and murder]." One witness was able to
place Frank's return to the park at before 4:00 pm because Frank
arrived at his house at the conclusion of a television show — the
witness being upset over the interruption. Another government
witness also verified the before 4:00 pm return by Frank when
testifying that a friend saw Frank return to the park and then
thumbed a ride to this witnesses house — a journey, to catch rides
and the drive, that took thirty to forty minutes – arriving prior to
Additionally, the claim that Frank murdered VLH was disproven by four
independent witnesses placing VLH in a mall after 6:30 pm; way after
government admits Frank had returned.
6. Consequently, Frank had a reason
to be in the area from which VLH
disappeared and was seen by government witnesses at a time and
location which precludes any possibility of Frank having kidnaped
VLH. Also barring even the slightest chance that Frank kidnaped VLH
is the FBI verification that, due to the absence of any trace
evidence, VLH was never in Frank's car. As for murder, prosecution
witnesses place Frank's return to the park at a time that proves he
could have not driven to the remote desert location and then to the
park in the available time. There also exists the four witnesses
placing VLH in the mall after 6:30 pm, which again proves that Frank
could not have killed her. Finally, not only did government fail to
prove Frank's involvement in kidnap and/or murder but they also
failed to even prove that a kidnap and/or murder, that any crime, had
The government covered up the fact that
VLH had to have been buried.
However, Frank's attorney, nearly ten years after trial, discovered
the government cover-up and the fact that burial was a scientific
necessity. Not the least bit dissuaded, prosecutors and state courts
continued to disregard scientific facts by still maintaining that
burial never occurred. Even government experts, in two recent
television programs, admitted that a grave was likely. The attached
chart demonstrates the scientific facts — the requirements for
adipocere [called "grave wax"], which is what proves burial, as
established by government and defense experts — and exposes the
absurd contentions by prosecutors and state courts.
The desperation by government to cover-up
burial exists because the
additional two hours to dig a grave totally exonerates Frank. Also,
the body would have had to have been buried for at least two months,
the time required for adipocere to develop, and then disinterred by
humans after that. More facts that government desperately seeks to
suppress — Frank being in jail since 20 September and VLH having to
be buried until at least November shows Frank could not have dug up
and placed partial remains where eventually found. Quite simply,
burial proves that Frank could not have kidnaped and murdered VLH and
the government seeks to cover up the fact of Frank's innocence.
Of course, something has gone horribly
wrong when prosecutors and
state courts willfully disregard all of the scientific evidence and
instead rely on lay opinions that even government experts refute.
Unfortunately, this is not the extent of egregious government
misconduct. Consider these examples:
1. A prosecutor, after having
opposed, both orally and in writing,
Frank's motion for disclosure and his motion for experts, went on to
later claim that Frank had never requested either disclosure or
appointment of experts.
2. When attempting to have Frank's
appeal dismissed a prosecutor
claimed that Frank had never requested an attorney. Then, once Frank
pointed to his motion for counsel, the prosecutor argued that the
request came too late and even contended subsequently that Frank had
always been represented by an attorney.
3. A trial court refused to appoint
an attorney to represent Frank
for nearly a year, despite two orders by the state supreme court to
4. The state supreme court found
that Frank had raped VLH, even
though no evidence of sexual action existed, no sexual charges were
ever brought, and the trial court ruled that this was not a sex case.
This willingness by government to engage
in continued misconduct and
to use patently fabricated evidence to send a man, whom they know is
innocent, to his death in the gas chamber is terrifying and shows
Frank' need for your support. To discuss ways to support Frank, or
just to offer some words of encouragement, contact:
Frank J. Atwood #062887
Box 3400 - SMUII
ABC Dijon (Attn: Ronan)
21014 Dijon Cedex
Claims by Prosecutors and
State Courts Government and/or Defense Expert Statements
Less than 2" of rain in 6 days Desert requires virtual monsoon rains
Body alone is insufficient Desert requires
virtual monsoon rains Anaerobic environment not needed
Anaerobic environment required No intact body and soft tissue
Must have soft tissue and intact body
Carnivores and insects okay Must avoid carnivores and insects On desert floor okay At least a 2' deep grave required
Warm temp (+70º f) unnecessary Must have warm (+70º f) temperature Body skeletonizes in 2-6 months Body skeletonizes in 2-4 weeks Adipocere in 2½-3 weeks Adipocere takes at least 2 weeks
INFROMATION ON THIS WEBPAGE WAS COMPILED FROM INFORMATION AVAILABLE FROM ANARCHIST BLACK CROSS LUXEMBOURG'S EMAIL LIST AT: http://reflect.cat.org.au/lists/spanet/msg00938.html E-Mail list in English with infos on repression and political prisoners. To subscribe to this list, send a blank email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Anarchist Black Cross (ABC) is an international network of anarchist groups and individuals, which work in practical solidarity with prisoners. We support: anarchists, revolutionaries and others, who have been imprisoned because of their resistance against those in power and their system. We support persons, who have been arrested because they tried to survive or people who got arrested by the police. We support and make public the strives of prisoners behind bars, fighting against the system. Moreover we also support prisoners, who have been politicised through their imprisonment, and who had not to go to prison initially because of a political activity or idea. For more information about Anarchist Black Cross Luxembourg - contact: ABC Luxembourg Poste Restante 3401 Dudelange Luxembourg e-mail: email@example.com http://www.freespeech.org/entfesselt
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