Pro-Wrestling Page on Bruiser Brody's Death
Last updated 21 April 2015
After booking the AWF frist tv taping the afternoon of 12/16/91 with Dutch Mantell (along with Shiek and Pez Whatley), and after watching him run tv things at the arena; I know Gordon Scozzari and I both thank him for his extra-beyond the call of duty efforts. Since supposid bookers Ed Gilbert didn't show, and Sonny Beach did very little - Dutch pretty much saved the day so Gordon had 4 hours worth of tv.
Dutch killed three hours with me the next morning at the airport, riddling me with funny stories, but more importantly telling his side of Frank Goodish(Bruiser Brody's) murder for the first time, and I wanted to share it with you. "That evening, Gonzalez was wilder than usual. He had a slimy way of asking-no, telling you to do something that you didn't want to do. I was told to juice, big that night - and I told him - Hell no - I'll blade myself if I'm going to do anything. He was a weird little dude. Another guy who came thru later at the police depositions, Roberto Soto - who I had heat with in Georgia - I never thought would say what he truly say. For some reason, Roberto potatoed me in Georgia a few years back. After the match I kicked the shit out of him in the locker room, and saw all this blood on the ground that I thought was mine from the match - but it turned out it was his. Later still, I was driving to the next town and he tried to push me off the road. So I waved him to pull over and we'd settle it right then and their, but he drove off. I never saw him again until Puerto Rico. Atlas, Jaggers, Ricky Romero's kids (the Youngbloods) were there, along with Ayala and TNT. TNT and Ayala would later testify that Gonzalez cut Brody, and I was proud of TNT - he was yelling - "we have to go to the police and tell them Jose did it." I was pondering what Gonzalez and Colon had told me, and the way the locker room was, the showers were centered and in the back, seperated from the main locker room by a smoky glass window. I was in a walkway on the other side and directly in front of the smoky glass. We all heard a scream, and saw someone's hand with a knife go into a bigger guy. Gonzales ran out a secret hideaway in the back and we all ran in and I knew it was pretty bad. Brody's main chest wound had blood that was bubbling - so I figured his lung (peritonium) had been sliced open. He kept asking Tony (Atlas) to take care of his wife and kid - he knew he was dying, but could talk. It took well over an hour just to get an ambulance there - and it ws a mickey mouse one at that. If this had been the US, a good crew would've been there in no time, and Frank would be with us right now. But things medically are backwards in Puerto Rico. The police were disorganized and got there well before the ambulance and knew nothing about emergency care. Even Jose and Colon were standing over Brody while the police questioned us all - that was sick. We all knew Jose had done it, then ran out the back way. Only Brody and Jose had gone in there, carrying their argument to the back shower area. I tried to clean and compress the wound to stop the bleeding, but we were told hours later that the bleeding just couldn't be stopped. In fact those butchers at the hospital did experimental, observational surgery on him that caused more intense bleeding, and then I got the call he died around 5am the next morning. I called Mrs. Goodish and told her she better come down a few hours before he died - that the rumors she heard were true - it really was bad. Abby met her at the airport as he was boarding a plane home for the US, and told her the news. Tony Atlas and I volunteered to go to the cops- but the cops acted ignorant - like they couldn't understand a word Tony told them. I credit TNT and some others for having the guts to tell the cops it was Jose too - since they were regulars. I couldn't leave right away, and I got the hell out of where the other wrestlers were staying, for my own safety, and got a condo elsewhere on the island."
Dutch might be looking for Stan Hansen in his act which he still role plays today, but he felt danger was looking for him the next few days. "I asked the police for some guard protection, but they didn't have that kind of help there. So I stayed in my condo room, looking out the window and I was one nervous, scared sonofabitch. I kept dreaming Colon and Gonzalez would climb up the stairs to my room, and a couple times I thought I heard my door open and I jumped out the window in fear for my life. If you know anything about Puerto Rico, you know how inept the police are, and how you can be dead like Frank for hours before anyone will help you. But I stayed and saw my part of the depositions through - although most of us discussed and knew justice wouldn't occur. The big arena show at Bayamon, the damn day Brody got cut - Colon asks us all to continue with the show. TNT, the Romeros and most of us all refused to do it no matter how much Colon begged. He finally had to cancel the show, with all the fans there and issue rain checks - so at least the press and all the fans knew what Jose had done - and they weren't happy." Dutch's eyes got really watery discussing this, and how proud he felt at Shohei Baba's deceny in having the memorial shows in Japan with the proceeds going to Mrs. Goodish. "Thank God there are some decent people in this business of ours. I want everyone to know that although Frank was a rascal, he was loved and shouldn't have gone this way."
Sounds like Dutch survived an ordeal - and Puerto Rican crowds have never been the same. it remains the Bermuda Triangle of wrestling destinations, a place where Dutch's enemy, Roberto Soto, will never be allowed to work again because he spoke up and fingered Jose. Dutch and Roberto did the right thing. WT&N salutes all who survived this terrible tour.
If you have any comments, I can be reached via email at Hack-Man@twc-online.com