Where Are They Now? A TVNewser Series
As we conclude TVNewser’s series “Where Are They Now?”, we talk with former ABC anchor and reporter Steve Bell.
For Steve Bell, it was quite a week at the office. On assignment for ABC News in Cambodia in 1970, he and his crew stumbled upon a major story when — along with two newspaper reporters — they discovered the bodies of 97 murdered ethnic Vietnamese. Bell filed the first report on the gruesome massacre.
One week later, Bell and his crew were held at gunpoint. “We thought we were going into a town controlled by the Cambodians,” Bell tells TVNewser, “and instead, it had been overrun by the Viet Cong.” The journalists were released unharmed within two hours.
“The Vietnam War was a life-changer,” says Bell, 73. “You can’t go through that kind of experience and see what you see and feel what you feel, and not be changed for the rest of your life…I think I’m more sensitive on the one hand, and at the same time, I’m less certain of the supposed certainties of life — it leaves you with a whole new perspective.”
It was a pivotal experience during a long career that formally concluded only last year, with his retirement as a university professor. “I went to college to be a teacher. I just got diverted for 35 years,” jokes Bell.