Phyllis "Bella" Crawford is Jack Crawford's wife and a patient of Dr. Hannibal Lecter. She met Jack when they were both stationed in Italy -Bella working in naval services-. Crawford took to calling her 'Bella', or "beautiful" in Italian, as all the men on the base called her that.
As of early Season 1, she was recently diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer. She at first keeps this from Jack, as she feels he already has too much to worry about. She begins to seek Hannibal's services as a psychiatrist after being guest to a dinner at his home, along with her husband. Hannibal advises her to tell Jack about her cancer, as he would find out anyway and would be heartbroken to know she was keeping it from him.
Jack does begin to suspect something is wrong, but rather than lung cancer, he fears Bella is having an affair. Eventually, he puts it all together and realizes what she's been hiding. He finds her at her appointment with Hannibal to confront her. While Jack wants to help Bella and comfort her by being there for her, she tells him that he can't. This is hard on him, but he understands that what Bella is going through is much harder.
After her cancer was revealed to Jack, Bella began undergoing chemotherapy. However, she was terrified of becoming weak and not being herself as a result of this. She decided that she would rather die by her own choice rather than let the cancer and chemotherapy take away not only her body and mind, but her life as well. She tried to commit suicide by morphine overdose at Hannibal's office, as she didn't want Jack to find her body in their home out of fear that their home would be tainted for him if her dead body was ever there. When Bella begins to pass away, Hannibal flips a coin to decide whether to let her die or not. Based on the result of the coin and his desire to not let Jack be hurt, he revived Bella. She slapped him, angry that her choice had been taken from her.
In the Season 2 finale, after being seriously wounded by Hannibal, Jack attempts to call Bella, presumably because he believes he is dying. However, he appears to stop breathing before Bella can pick up.
In Season 3, Bella passes away. It is implied that Jack helped her death along in some way, most likely assisting her in a morphine overdose.
- "Jack sees the world at its worst. I don't need him seeing me at mine. He already has too much to worry about."(to Lecter)
- "You seem more betrayed by Jack than by your own body."(Lecter)
- "An ethical butcher? Be kind to animals and then eat them?" (To Lecter)
- "The ending is always the same and that same is that it ends." (To Lecter)