Victim's mother raises money to watch Moeller's execution - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Victim's mother raises money to watch Moeller's execution

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22 years have passed since Tina Curl's 9-year-old daughter was raped and murdered, yet the heartbroken mother from Lake Luzerne's anger has hardly subsided.

In 1990, curl's only child, Becky O'Connell, was abducted outside a convenience store in South Dakota. In 1997, 59-year-old Donald Moeller was convicted of raping and murdering her.

After more than 20 years in the South Dakota courts, Moeller has finally exhausted his attempts to appeal his fate of death by lethal injection, and is scheduled to be executed by the first week of November.

Curl, who now lives near her family in Lake Luzerne, says she wants to be in Sioux Falls to witness Moeller's execution.

"He watched my daughter die. I want to watch him die," Curl said. "He watched her take her last breath. I want to see him take his last."

But curl is facing a real challenge in witnessing her daughter's murderer take that last breath. She says she can't fly due to a heart condition and so she must drive.

And, driving is also a problem. Curl is disabled and her husband recently lost his job. Curl says they cannot afford the thousands of dollars it will cost to drive and stay at a motel for the week that Moeller is scheduled to be executed. She says the state of South Dakota will not give an exact date in order to avoid protestors.

To raise money for the trip, Curl is asking local establishments to help her host fundraisers. But she is again running into obstacles due to the controversial issue over the death penalty.

One bar, Randy's Roost in Queensbury, held a fundraiser last Saturday. The owner said people told him he "was nuts."

The fundraiser was poorly attended, but Curl is not giving up. She has set up an account at the Hudson River Community Credit Union in Corinth, and she says the next door pub in Queensbury has decided to host a fundraiser on October 20th from 2-6pm.

When asked what she will do if her efforts fail, she said "I will sell everything I have."

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