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.”