"Damn! I don't believe this! I almost got the story!"
— Ben to Leon, after being attacked by William Birkin.
Ben Bertolucci was an American investigative journalist who worked in Raccoon City prior to the 1998 Raccoon City Destruction Incident. A familiar of Alyssa Ashcroft,[note 1] another journalist, he also investigated allegations of corruption in the area. Unlike Ashcroft, however, he was arrested when the Chief of Police, Brian Irons, became the target of investigation.
Following the police department's slow response to the the Mansion Incident and S.T.A.R.S.' dismissal, Ben began his own investigation into Brian Irons, the Raccoon City Police Department chief. Examining Chief Irons' financial records, Ben uncovered evidence he was receiving large sums of money from an unnamed benefactor, who he deduced to be the Umbrella Corporation. Concerned over both the town and his own career if Umbrella were to be found out, Irons ordered for Ben's immediate arrest when he found out Ben knew of the bribes.
Before the outbreak, Ben had checked himself into the Apple Inn. He went outside at some point, leaving behind his passport and a book listing possible news stories.
A ticket pass in his name was found in the East concourse, whilst a briefcase with the initials "BB" found in the East entrance may have also been "Ben Bertolucci". The two locations may suggest he was running from the Police. A gun in the briefcase suggests he was preparing to defend himself, though whether from zombies or Umbrella cannot be determined.
Following the collapse of the police force on September 26, there were just over a dozen people left in the Raccoon Police Department. In the confusion, Ben stole the cell keys from one of the police officers. Though he had a means of escape, he refused to leave knowing it was more dangerous in the streets. Around the 27th or 28th there were another two prisoners in the cell next to him; it is possible he let them out. At this point, officer Kevin Rymantook refuge in the police station. Ben provided him with an important crest in order for an escape attempt, provided he delivered the secret paperwork proving Irons' guilt, which had been confiscated.
On September 29, undercover agent Ada Wong entered the police department in search of Ben, having heard he had important information on the disaster that could be useful in her mission. With the help of police officer Leon S. Kennedy, they interrogated Ben. Refusing to leave his cell despite news of the station's fall, Ben alerted the two to a sewer manhole in the nearby dog kennel that could be used as a means of escape. Left alone, he was attacked by Dr. William Birkin, an Umbrella researcher infected with the G-Virus. He survived long enough to tell Leon of Irons' corruption.[note 2]
↑Exactly how Ben dies depends on the scenario: In Leon Scenario A, he is killed from being impregnated with a G-Embryo off-screen and then it bursting out of his chest just after Ben tells Leon to "get that scum" and "make him pay" (referring to Brian Irons and his discovery that Irons was acting as co-conspirator to Umbrella); in Leon Scenario B, he is instead mortally wounded by William Birkin off-screen. A discernible difference between the two scenarios is that in Scenario A, he is apparently lacking of any blood stains, while in Scenario B, he's fully drenched in blood.