Colonel Merton Bell was a former tank commander who was formerly associated with the United States Army. After leaving the army, Bell created and also led a mercenary firm, First Defense PMC, the largest in the United States before Bell himself was killed in May 2010 at the hands of his supposed second-in-command, Jason Paul Dean who was later revealed to be working for the Reynosa Cartel.
NCIS Season 7Edit
After spending two months in a Mexican prison thanks to the actions of NCIS Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs, having been jailed on illegal human trafficking charges, Bell, consumed by a strong, overwhelming desire for revenge began planning to destroy Gibbs's life.
To this end, Bell plotted with his own lawyer, Margaret Allison Hart and even secretly enlisted the help of Paloma Reynosa, who was the head of the Reynosa drug cartel aiding, Hart simply because she believed Bell was a good man while Paloma, like Bell, had a strong grudge against Gibbs because Gibbs had killed her father twenty years ago.
Prior to Patriot Down (episode), Bell decided to up his game and ordered his second-in-command, Dean to send Gibbs a message.
Dean attacked Gibbs's friend, fellow NCIS Special Agent Lara Macy and killed her by viciously slashing her throat, almost decapitating her before he lit a campfire and used the fire to leave Macy's body was left badly disfigured and so unrecognizable that it had to be identified by DNA with Bell believing that the killing was his own arranging when in actuality, Paloma had secretly ordered Dean to carry out Macy's death as a means of sending a message to Gibbs.
As that happened, Bell, having gathered enough information headed for Mexico along with a group of his own, Bell hellbent on targeting and killing former NIS agent Michael Franks and his family, presumably as a means of exacting revenge against Gibbs and to further weaken Gibbs.
Thankfully, Gibbs alerted Mike to what was going on and as such, Mike was able to get his daughter-in-law and young grandddaughter before Mike chose to stand his ground.
In the resulting gunfight that happened between Franks and Bell's own men, several of the cartel's men later arrived on the scene, having arrived on Paloma's orders and with instructions to not only capture Franks so that Paloma could use Franks as leverage against Gibbs but to also kill Bell who Paloma felt had outlived his usefulness altogether and also due to the fault she strongly disagreed with Bell's plan of killing Franks to further cement his desire for revenge against Gibbs.
Now working for the Cartel, Dean responded by killing his former boss by the same means he had used to kill Macy. He used the same knife to viciously slit Bell's throat, almost decapitating Bell with the impact killing Bell instantly. Members of the Cartel later disfigured Bell's remains further by cutting off his head and hands.
Having later captured Gibbs, Paloma revealed that she had originally formed an alliance with Bell to get revenge against Gibbs but that both Bell and his men were only means to an end. Once they had outlived their usefulness to her, she had ordered her men, including Dean, to kill them.
Bell's body (minus head and hands) was returned to Washington D.C. where NCIS Medical Examiner Dr. Donald Mallard performed the autopsy.
NCIS Forensic Scientist Abigail Sciuto later discovered that bullets in Bell's remains were those of Gibbs's SIG-Sauer but Ducky revealed that the bullets had been delivered post-mortem.
Gibbs, therefore, was innocent of Bell's death. Someone had used Gibbs's gun to shoot at Bell's remains after Dean had knocked Gibbs out in the hope of portraying Gibbs as a murderer.
Bell's remains were later signed over to Hart who presumably had them buried.
- Had a tattoo in the center in his chest titled "Liberty or Death".