The Brotherhood: Frank Philbrook of Newport
Frank Philbrook, 44, of Newport has not been charged in the 2010 fatal assault of inmate Anthony Renzzulla, but witnesses have told investigators he directed it and the cleanup with the sensitivity of a drill sergeant. He was a “high-ranking” official in the Brotherhood of White Warriors at the time, according to a police affidavit.
Gesturing to Renzzulla’s blood, smeared and spattered in a prison day room, Philbrook told junior BOWW members, “take care of the f---ing s--t,” according to the affidavit.
Assistant Attorney General Peter Hinckley, who is prosecuting Renzzulla’s alleged assailants, said he could not comment on whether Philbrook may face charges in the case, which remains under investigation.
At the time of Renzzulla’s beating, Philbrook was serving a three- to 30-year prison sentence for assaulting staff or civilians during a riot at the Sullivan County jail in 2005. He is still serving that sentence.
His incarcerations began nearly 30 years ago, with juvenile detention at age 16.
Philbrook’s criminal record is described as extensive in one court document, and it spans the state, from a 1992 car theft on the Seacoast to assaults in Laconia and Newport. Since 2005, Philbrook has committed 28 infractions while incarcerated, including the 2005 riot at the Sullivan County jail and attempts to introduce or distribute “intoxicants” at the prison, according to court records.
Philbrook did not respond to a request for an interview.
In a 2004 medical evaluation while incarcerated, Philbrook blamed his alcohol and drug abuse and criminal behavior on his parents’ divorce, according to documents filed in a 2008 federal lawsuit Philbrook brought against jail officials over the riot incident. Philbrook alleged jail officials had assaulted him; he lost the case.
“(He) describes himself as being angry since his father and his mother divorced at age 3,” according to the 2004 medical evaluation. “He says his father was never there for him, and that was a form of mental abuse.”
The year before that evaluation, Philbrook was charged with assaulting his then-wife in Newport as their 5-year-old daughter screamed at him to “stop hitting mommy,” according to a police affidavit. During the assault, Philbrook told his crying daughter to “shut up” and called her a “little c--t,” the affidavit said.
When the police responded to his wife’s call for help, Philbrook ran at the cruiser, pushed one officer and started to swing at another, the affidavit said. Once inside the cruiser, Philbrook, who was intoxicated, tried to kick the officers and the cruiser’s windows.
He also threatened to kill his wife, the police wrote in an affidavit. During the 2004 medical evaluation, Philbrook described that domestic assault to the medical staff this way: “I was drinking and I pushed my wife,” he said. “She called the police and then they showed up and I got into a fight with them.”
While Philbrook was serving jail time in Sullivan County for the domestic assault on his wife, he participated in the riot, according to court records.
According to a 2005 Associated Press story, Philbrook and three other inmates assaulted the jail officers, and another inmate tore a sink from a cell wall and smashed it. “County officials reported inmates in the maximum security tier of the prison had set fire to their bedding and attacked officers during the night,” the AP reported.
The authorities have not said publicly how they determined Philbrook is a member of BOWW, but his tattoos indicate he shares BOWW’s white supremacist philosophy. He had tattoos of a swastika and a “nude in a KKK hood” before becoming a member of BOWW, according to a court record.