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Donald Moeller Execution: Tina Curl, NY woman, traveled 1,400 miles to watch daughter's killer die in S.D.

Tina Curl on Oct. 30, 2012, the day Donald Moeller, the man convicted of killing her 9-year-old daughter Becky O'Connell, was executed. AP Photo/Amber Hunt

Tina Curl reacts as media witnesses describe the last moments of Donald Moeller, the man convicted of killing her 9-year-old daughter
AP Photo/Amber Hunt

(CBS/AP) SIOUX FALLS, S.D. -  Tina Curl, the mother of Becky O'Connell, was eager to see her daughter's killer executed Tuesday night. She traveled 1,400 miles from her New York home in order to see the execution in South Dakota State Penitentiary.

Pictures: S.D. inmate executed for 1990 murder of little girl

"I was right up to the glass," she told The Associated Press after the execution. "I wanted to see it up close."

Donald Moeller, 60, received a lethal injection as punishment for the 1990 kidnap, rape and killing of 8-year-old Becky.

Curl, who said Moeller's death brought her relief but not closure, was steadfast in her wish to watch Moeller die. She raised funds to cover her expenses to make the from her home in New York to Sioux Falls for the execution.

She said late Tuesday that she will never return to South Dakota.

Moeller kidnapped Becky from a Sioux Falls convenience store where she went to buy sugar to make lemonade at home. He drove her to a secluded area near the Big Sioux River, then raped and stabbed her. Becky's naked body was found the next day. Investigators said her throat had been slashed.

After the execution, Curl showed pictures of Becky at 9-years-old, followed by a framed drawing of how she might have looked had she lived today at age 32.

Curl said she wanted to know details from Moeller about the crime. She wrote to him in prison, but he didn't respond. She was hoping to get that information Tuesday night in Moeller's final statement.

But when asked if he had any last words, Moeller replied, "No sir," and then looked up and said, "They're my fan club?" It's not clear who Moeller was referring to as his fan club.

Moeller then was administered a lethal injection of pentobarbital and took about eight heavy breaths before his breathing stopped. He was pronounced dead at 10:24 p.m.

Gov. Dennis Daugaard said he hoped the execution would bring some peace to Becky's family and he commended Warden Doug Weber and his staff for their professionalism in planning this state's second execution in less than a month.

"I take no pleasure in his death, but there are those who are so vile that executions are warranted," Daugaard said in a statement.

Though he fought his conviction and sentence for years, Moeller said in July he was ready to accept death as the consequence of his actions. He admitted for the first time in court that he killed the girl.

"I killed. I deserve to be killed," he said.

More on Crimesider
Oct. 31, 2012 - South Dakota executes Donald Moeller for rape, murder of 9-year-old girl

  • Crimesider Staff

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