Mother Raising Money For Trip To See Daughter's Killer Executed

Tina Curl is determined to see the man who raped and killed her daughter die.

August 21, 2012— -- Tina Curl will find justice only when Donald Moeller is strapped to a gurney, fighting for his final breath. It's something she needs to see with her own eyes, she said.

Curl, 50, is trying to raise money to fund her trip from New York to South Dakota where she hopes for a "front row seat" to watch the execution of the man who raped and murdered her 9-year-old daughter. Moeller is scheduled to be executed between Oct. 28 and Nov. 3.

"I have waited 22 long years for this," Curl told "He watched her die and I am going to watch him die."

Becky O'Connell went to the convenience store to buy candy on May 8, 1990. The following morning, her body was found in a wooded area in Lincoln County, S.D.

An autopsy found Becky had been raped vaginally and anally and died of a cut to the jugular vein of her neck, according to court documents.

Curl and her husband, Dave, who was Becky's stepfather, had lived in South Dakota for five months at the time of the murder. The couple later relocated to Lake Luzerne, N.Y.

"After this she wasn't going to stay in that state," said Rhonda Springer, a longtime friend of Curl who is helping to spearhead the fundraiser to send Tina and Dave Curl to South Dakota to witness the execution.

In order to make the trip from her home in New York to Sioux Falls, S.D., Curl and her husband will have to drive, since she said she has a bad heart and is unable to fly.

The couple said they can't afford the $3,000 to $4,000 they estimated they will need to travel to South Dakota and stay in a motel during the one week time frame when Moeller is scheduled to die.

Tina Curl said she receives a $721 disability check each month that "doesn't even cover the bills." Dave Curl is currently laid off and looking for work.

Curl said she hasn't seen the support she was hoping for.

To date, $890 has been raised through donations to a bank account and from a fundraiser at a bar.

"I don't know if it's because of the death penalty or what," she said. "I see on different sites that people are putting me down because I am asking for help. I guess they think that's wrong."

Although a one week window has been set for Moeller's execution, the actual date of lethal injection is at the warden's discretion, with 48 hours' notice required, Curl said.

With two months to go, Curl said she is losing hope she'll raise enough money to watch the man who brutally raped and killed her daughter die, but she can't give up just yet.

"It means everything," she said. "I ain't only doing it for me. I am doing it for Becky."

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