Murder victim’s mom raises funds to watch executionSIOUX FALLS — A woman whose 9-year-old daughter was kidnapped, raped and slashed to death in South Dakota 22 years ago is trying to raise money so she can attend the convicted killer’s execution.
By: Dirk Lammers, The Associated Press
SIOUX FALLS — A woman whose 9-year-old daughter was kidnapped, raped and slashed to death in South Dakota 22 years ago is trying to raise money so she can attend the convicted killer’s execution.
Tina Curl, who moved to Lake Luzerne, N.Y., shortly after Becky O’Connell’s death in May 1990, said she’s looking forward to hearing Donald Moeller make a snorting sound and watching him make one last gasp for air.
“He watched my daughter take her last breath. I want to watch him take his last breath,” said Curl, 50. “I’m doing this for her and for me.”
Curl, who has battled alcoholism and suffered a heart attack and quadruple bypass in May 2003, is on disability. Her husband, Dave Curl, who is not Becky’s father, has been out of work for about a year. He also is hoping to attend the execution.
She said the $720 a month they bring in from disability payments doesn’t leave enough to fund the 1,400-mile road trip to South Dakota.
Authorities say that Moeller kidnapped the girl from a Sioux Falls convenience store, drove her to a secluded area near the Big Sioux River, then raped and killed her. Her naked body was found the next day. She had been stabbed and her throat was slashed.
Moeller, 60, initially was convicted in 1992, but the state Supreme Court overturned it, ruling that improper evidence was used at trial. He was again convicted and sentenced to die in 1997.
The state Supreme Court affirmed the sentence, and Moeller has lost appeals on both the state and federal levels. In July, a circuit court judge set the execution for between Oct. 28 and Nov. 3, with the exact date and time up to prison officials.
Moeller said through his attorney at the July hearing that he accepts the execution as the consequences of his actions.