I was wrong. D-Day Massacre is a terrific if terrifying book - a detailed, behind the scenes, account of a Lehigh Valley monster. Twenty years ago, Martin Appel viciously executed three bank employees during a planned bank robbery near Bath. Morganelli's chilling account of this triple homicide and bizarre aftermath are eerily reminiscent of Vincent Bugliosi's Helter Skelter. Because it depicts events close to home, Morganelli's book is even more frightening for LV residents. His dispassionate and detailed narration contrasts starkly with Appel's inhumanity and a disinterested state government.
A defiant Appel had warned that, unless executed, "Guards are going to die and I will escape." He also taunted a bank employee who had miraculously survived three 9mm bullet wounds, including one right through her head. Here's part of his letter to her from hell. "Don't be stupid all your life. Why waste your time and [what] little money you have by suing me. You'll only give yourselves more headaches. Besides, I don't have a penny to my name. And now I know where you live. Real dumb move on your part. Bye Bye. 9mm."
When Governor Casey refused to sign Appel's death warrant, Appel's letter was sent to him. "I'm sure Appel would have been tickled to death knowing the effect it had on me."
Amazingly, Casey never had the courtesy even to acknowledge this victim's plight, a disgusting display of insensitivity that has now become all too commonplace in the land of midnight payraises.
D-Day's a good read, even for folks like me who oppose the death penalty. It's a dark and vivid reminder that evil exists, and can't be exterminated. Morganelli intends to share any profits with Turning Point of Lehigh Valley and the Crime Victims Council.