Shining Stars Teen Excellence

Mother's fundraising efforts to see execution falling short of goals

2012-08-18T17:53:00Z Mother's fundraising efforts to see execution falling short of goalsJON ALEXANDER--jalexander@poststar.com Glens Falls Post-Star

QUEENSBURY -- Tina Curl just wants to see her daughter’s murderer die at the hands of the South Dakota justice system.

But capital punishment is a politically charged issue and the bereaved mother is having a difficult time raising cash for the trip.

“He watched her die and I want to watch him die,” Curl said Saturday at a fundraising benefit for the trip at Randy’s Roost in Queensbury of Donald Moeller, who was convicted in 1997 of the 1990 rape and murder of 9-year-old Becky O’Connell. “I know it’s not going to bring her back, or make me miss her less, but I want him dead.”

The pub on South Western Avenue was the site of a benefit to raise the $3,000 to $4,000 Curl believes it will cost for her and her husband, Dave, to drive to South Dakota and await the execution, which is slated from between Oct. 28 and Nov. 3.

Only about two dozen family members and close friends attended the event.

“I just hoped there would be more people here,” said Tony Geppner, who along with his wife, Julea, are neighbors and close friends of the Lake Luzerne couple.

A lack of support has been a consistent problem over the past month of the fundraiser, Curl and others said.

A “Justice for Becky” account at the Hudson River Community Credit Union has less than $150 in it after four weeks, Curl said, and many of the region’s larger businesses declined when asked to contribute gift certificates or other door prizes to Saturday’s fundraiser. Gift certificates for Outback Steakhouse, Hot Tropix, Ciro’s Restaurant and Fanstastic Sams were among those displayed on a table of available door prizes.

The ownership of Randy’s Roost pledged 10 percent of the bar’s receipts from between 2 to 6 p.m. Saturday toward the effort.

“I don’t know if it’s because it involves a death penalty or what,” Curl said of the problems raising the cash.

Tina Curl is disabled and unable to work, or fly, and Dave Curl is currently laid off.

Julea Geppner has worked alongside Curl in the fundraising push, managing the effort’s Facebook page and helping when she could.

“It’s not like they’re well-to-do,” she said of the Curls.

Moeller’s execution has been repeatedly stalled over the past 22 years because of appeals.

And for a mother who has thought about little but his eventual demise, seeing his death is the only hope she has for catharsis.

“He won’t be able to see me, because of one-way glass, but I wish he could,” she said. “If it’s the last thing I do, I will see him die.”

Copyright 2015 Glens Falls Post-Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(9) Comments

  1. independentguy
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    independentguy - August 20, 2012 2:23 pm
    what ever happened to the victims fund? why can't the county here or there help pay for this trip through a crime victims budget? just a thought since it is a family of a murdered victim.
  2. do_over
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    do_over - August 19, 2012 8:04 pm
    I am sympathetic regarding her daughter's death, however, it's been 22 years since the conviction. That equates to about $15 a month for the $4000 they say it costs. If it is that important to her, she should have been ready especially at the pace the judicial system works.
  3. gizmo
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    gizmo - August 19, 2012 6:25 pm
    I am so sorry for this family for their loss. I do have to wonder why it would possibly cost so much. I have driven South 4 times in the past to see a loved one off to deployment and home...it only cost me around $400 for the weeks time and gas. Where are they getting their cost from? It sounds as if they are being taken advantage of.
    Good luck. Seems this could be done on very little.
  4. drwho13
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    drwho13 - August 19, 2012 4:33 pm
    I certainly hope they can go, but $3,000 - $4,000 for travel and R&B for a few days in South Dakota? They're being over charged on something!
  5. sfarmer
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    sfarmer - August 19, 2012 9:59 am
    Being a mother of 4, I sincerely feel for the parents, but possibly they can petition the governor of that state and the warden to have this occurrence skyped personally for only their viewing.
    I feel the fund raiser would have been more productive and accepted, if used for prevention of this ever occurring to another child or for a scholarship in the child's name in criminal justice or child protection. Even if the scholarship is for only $50.00 each year...memorial of her and her name will carry on for years! Possibly if you head in this direction you'd have a much better outcome and more beneficial satisfaction. Like I said earlier, I fully understand your grief and your reasoning's, but please consider the above to get the closure you need and this could be more beneficial for the future safety of young children.
  6. justmetoo
    Report Abuse
    justmetoo - August 19, 2012 9:55 am
    take the train at a tremendous savings over flying out there, that might help also..good luck & god Bless..
  7. jawjew2jab
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    jawjew2jab - August 19, 2012 9:34 am
    the victims advocates for NY may be able to help also. Good luck.
  8. 5756917
    Report Abuse
    5756917 - August 18, 2012 10:06 pm
    she should check with the victims advocate services in South Dakota
  9. JennyGirl
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    JennyGirl - August 18, 2012 6:39 pm
    I personally feel with the parents who want to go on this trip. Their daughter was raped and murdered. I know the death penalty is a touchy subject, but put yourself in their shoes. I would want to be there if it were my child. I wish them luck.

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