WNYT.com

22 years later, woman sees her daughter's murderer executed

Posted at: 10/30/2012 11:11 PM
Updated at: 10/31/2012 4:37 PM
By: Jessica Layton

A local woman whose cried countless tears and suffered immeasurable pain over the past 22 years says she feels like she is now getting some piece of justice.

The man who brutally murdered her little girl was executed in South Dakota, Tuesday night.

Tina Curl made the trip from Lake Luzerne to Sioux Falls to see it happen.

Becky O'Connell would have been a young woman - possibly married - maybe a mother. But her mother will never know what dreams she could have fulfilled - Becky was kidnapped, raped and murdered when she was nine years old.

“I want to bid him farewell as he rots in hell,” says Curl.

Curl will watch as the man who tormented her little girl to death - is put to death. The Warren County woman is in Sioux Falls South Dakota to witness Donald Moeller die by lethal injection. It's the moment of justice she's says she's been hoping for - for 22 years.

It was a story that dominated the headlines in South Dakota in the spring of 1990: the tragedy of a child snatched from a convenience store. A day later, authorities found Becky's lifeless body in a secluded area near a river - her throat slashed, she'd been stabbed several times.

Authorities found Moeller nine months after he took off to Washington State. He was convicted of the rape and murder in 1992. Then his conviction was overturned on a technicality before he was re-tried and re-convicted. Back in July - his execution date was set. The time has come. It may mean some closure for Curl, but there will never be peace.

In an interview with her earlier this month at her Lake Luzerne home, she told NewsChannel 13 that she wrote Moeller a letter, asking for details of how he killed her daughter.

“Just asking if he'd be man enough before he rots in hell to tell me how he got my daughter and if she called for me. But I don't expect an answer,” says Curl.

She has been saving money for a while now to make the 14-hundred-mile trip to watch her daughter's killer be put to death.    

This was the third execution at the South Dakota State Penitentiary in 65 years.