Vicky Hoskinson was only 8 years old. He was a happy child, who loved his parents and siblings. She loved school and her classmates loved her.
One afternoon in 1984, 8-year-old Vicky left her home in Tuscon, Arizona, to walk half a mile to a nearby mailbox and send a birthday card to a classmate who had a birthday.
Little Vicky never returned home. They were looking for her for months. Her parents hoped that their little girl might be alive and just gone. Until one day after half a year, her remains were found in the desert. Someone had killed her and taken her there. Due to the condition of the child, it was not possible to prove sexual abuse.
The main suspect was considered to be Frank Adwood, a 38-year-old man at the time, who was arrested. In all the trials that took place until the case reached the Supreme Court, Adwood claimed that he did not kill the little girl and that he was innocent.
In all trials, however, the evidence was overwhelming and jurors and judges found him guilty. In fact, he was sentenced to the heaviest sentence. That of execution by lethal injection. He said that the evidence had been “planted” by the police to be convicted and that the real killer was free.
In a few hours the sentence will be executed after the last appeal against the decision was rejected by the Supreme Court. Adwood will be the second executioner to be executed in Arizona in a month.
Lawyers had even argued that a degenerative disease that Adwood has in his spine and spinal cord would make his death excruciatingly painful.
He was baptized Orthodox
During his endless years in prison, Adwood began to read and study religious texts. Thus he came in contact with Orthodoxy. Gradually he began to communicate with monks and spiritual fathers of the Greek Orthodox Church.
He even exchanged letters with the Metropolitan of Nafpaktos and Agios Vlasios and the Vicar of I.M. Hierotheos of Aetolia and Acarnania. Adwood learned Greek and decided to be baptized in prison.
The baptism took place in 2000, in the prison of the abbot Paisios of the orthodox monastery of St. Anthony in the Arizona desert. It was named “Antonios”. During his long imprisonment, Adwood studied English, law and theology. A few hours before his execution, Antonios received the solitary form from the abbot of the same monastery, taking the name Ephraim.
The last letter
On June 6, two days before one of his last e-mails to Metropolitan Hierotheos, Adwood sent: “I’m the most hated prisoner in Arizona. The journey was very long and difficult. Through this, God has carried me with love, and now I approach the door of death with hope, with the hope of the cure, of martyrdom and of Paradise. It seems arrogant to say that! But I begin to understand and embrace the Grace of God. Yes, blessed! Μέ πολλή ἀγάπη ἐν Χριστῷ, Ἀντώνιος (ἕνας ἁμαρτωλός) ».