Anthrax’s Frank Bello ‘Hunted’ His Brother’s Killer
Anthrax bassist Frank Bello recalled patrolling the streets of New York with a gun, searching for the murderer of his younger brother in 1996.
Twenty-three-year-old Anthony Bello was shot three times in the Bronx on March 25 of that year. The case was never solved, although Bello, who was 30 at the time, said he was aware of details he couldn’t discuss.
In a recent episode of No F'n Regrets, Bello told Machine Head frontman and show host Robb Flynn that he still struggled to speak of the tragedy 25 years later. “I pray to God none of the people listening right now ever have to go through that,” he said of the legal procedure that followed the murder. “It was a horror show. It was me, my family and the other side. And you can imagine the [Martin] Scorsese kind of a vibe, very Italian kind of a thing, mob-guy wannabes. There was some speculation – I don't know for sure, so I can't say it. Long story short … the witness disappeared. They can't find him, he disappeared.
“Now, what I hear off the street is there was another story. He didn't disappear, he ran away. You can read between the lines there, right? … Next thing you hear, the detective comes to us and said, ‘We lost the witness, we'll keep trying.’ But as of now, it’s still a cold case that burns through your heart and your stomach every day of your life.”
After that, Bello admitted, he “kind of snapped. ... I didn't know me anymore. … I didn't know this dark side I had. .… I went looking, I hunted, and very discreetly. I didn't tell anybody, I didn't tell my wife, who was my girlfriend at the time. … I never touched a gun in my life, but I went to people I shouldn't have talked to back then, all the things you can think of.”
You can watch the interview below.
Bello imagined the moment when he’d face the person who killed his unarmed brother: “I show no mercy with that, because in that moment, I'm gonna see Anthony … there's no way you gave him a chance," he explained. "You put three in him, dude – you put three in him. One is the warning, right? Two is to kill, so the way I look at it, you didn't give him a fucking chance.”
He said his pursuit continued for a few weeks until he realized, “Look, if I do this, I'm gonna lose my wife, and my mother's gonna lose another son. Either way, either I’m dead or I go to jail. I don’t want to do that. And something came back, a realization: I can’t do this. ... I was going to avenge my brother. … I’m not that guy, but I snapped for a little while. I don't know what came into me, what got me back into reality and not doing that - it was a very scary place where you don't know who you are.”
Bello noted he goes into detail about the episode in his new book, Fathers, Brothers and Sons: Surviving Anguish, Abandonment and Anthrax, because he didn’t want anyone to wind up in the same situation. “If you're going through some kind of severe thing like that or whatever it is – pain in your life … you go to a dark place," he said. "You got to brush that shit off. ... There's a better day ahead. And I don't want to preach, I don't want to sound like that, but I just want to try to pass the torch and say you can do this.”