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The Anger and Sadness of a South Dakota mother: Tina Curl

I have been told, “Burying your child is the hardest thing you will ever do.” Going to the funeral of a child is very difficult. Tears flow easily at the loss of the young.

Being inside the heart and soul of Becky O’Connell’s mother, Tina Curl, must be a very hard place to be. She buried her child. She buried that child as the result of a kidnapping, rape, torture, and murder. And she has stated, she still feels responsible for allowing Becky to shop for sugar on her own. The child never returned. 

According to Jeff Masten, Lincoln County State’s attorney at the time(1990) and in the jurisdiction where the murder took place, Becky was the first child, kidnapped, raped, and murdered in records of South Dakota history. It woke all of us up to the evils that can be around us. When Becky died, much of our innocence and naivete died with her.

Twenty-two years later, the murderer, Donald Moeller, met the same fate as Becky, but much more humanely.

Tina Curl’s anger at the murderer is understandable, as is the guilt she has expressed about allowing Becky to go out alone.  Forgiving the killer, the system which kept him alive for 22 years, and herself for what she believes was her error, seems like an insurmountable task. 

Many of you probably belong to a church. You may be part of a prayer group. It feels to me, Tina Curl and her family need our strong prayers, to help them heal from the continuing pain of a 22 year ordeal.

We shouldn’t expect her to forget.

I believe we should hope and pray that she can, with God’s grace, forgive.

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