Pet Star 20 Under 40

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 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
    Report Abuse
    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
    Report Abuse
    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
    Report Abuse
    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 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
    Report Abuse
    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
    Report Abuse
    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 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
    Report Abuse
    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
    Report Abuse
    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.


1) Comments must be contained to the topic of the articles only. Comments that stray from the direct subject of the article will be deleted.

2) Readers are free to comment on and debate other readers' comments, but comments must specifically address the issue(s) raised. Comments containing personal insults directed toward another reader in any form will be deleted.

3) Comments must be civil in tone, and there will be no name calling of any kind. Uncivil or inappropriate comments will be deleted, as will any comment containing profanities.

4) Comments critical of crime or accident victims will be deleted.

5) Comments that are potentially libelous, including those that contain accusations not supported by facts, will be deleted.

Commenters who abuse these policies will have their e-mail registrations revoked.


View the full commenting policy.

Thank you, and we hope you enjoy interacting with us and the community.

Add Comment
You must Login to comment.

Click here to get an account it's free and quick


Search Homes for Sale

Search Classifieds