Russell Berry was a good man and a kind employer. When no customers came, he would pay Moe out of his own pocket since the clown had a family to look after. All of the members of the circus respected Russell and he was seen as something of a father figure. When the Dingling brothers were orphaned, he took them in and raised them. They grew up to become the acrobats Acro and Bat, although the ringmaster was initially against the idea as he didn't want to see them hurt themselves.
One day, Bat was involved in an accident (unintentionally caused by Regina) when Léon the lion bit him and put him in a coma. Acro, defending his brother, was paralyzed from the waist down. Russell shot Léon outside after that, and no one spoke of the incident again. However, Acro resented Regina for not taking his brother's condition seriously.
Wanting to keep things fresh, Russell added a new act to his circus, a somewhat narcissistic magician called Max Galactica. This worked fantastically and his circus was given a new lease of life, but Galactica generated some resentment from the other performers due to his egotistical attitude. Galactica also fell in love with Regina, setting off a rivalry with one of the other circus employees, Benjamin Woodman (or, rather, his puppet, "Trilo Quist"). Galactica was able to negotiate a considerable raise with Russell six months after the Léon incident.
A week after the pay raise, an anonymous threatening letter, given to the innocent Regina by Acro in secret, appeared on the bulletin board, calling out the "killer" from six months ago. Fearful, Russell decided to meet the sender in Regina's stead. That night, he talked with Galactica about an incident at breakfast in which the magician had hit Woodman over the head with a bottle. Galactica took this opportunity to discuss with Russell his proposal to marry Regina. Russell then interrupted the meeting to go out and meet the threat to his daughter at a time appointed by the letter.
Russell put on Galactica's costume and stepped out, being witnessed by Woodman and "Trilo" along the way. When he arrived, a wooden box containing only a container of pepper was lying in the snow. He stooped to pick it up, and Acro, not knowing that it was the ringmaster below his window, dropped a bust of Max Galactica out of it, bashing Russell on the head and killing him instantly. Galactica's cloak fell off Russell's shoulders and caught on the bust, so that when it was hoisted back up, Moe the clown thought it was Galactica flying away (the magician being fond of that particular illusion in his act).
Moe's witness testimony led to Galactica's arrest for the murder, but despite both Moe and Woodman's mistaken testimony, Galactica's lawyer, Phoenix Wright, eventually exposed Acro as the real killer.
Although Wright never had the chance to meet the ringmaster, his former employees held him in high regard. His paying of Moe even when no-one came to the circus clearly shows his generous nature, along with his taking in of the Dingling brothers. Russell was also apparently a man of many, often bizarre, talents, as could be seen from the trophies in his room, including: "All Country Quiz Champions", "Ringmaster's Association Mini Golf Master", "Beer Belly Balloon Bounce Champ", and "Pet Grooming Grand Prix". Russell's generosity was also tinted with this oddness; his room contained a line of framed Thank You cards received due to his annual donations to the "Robot Clown Research Center".
His full Japanese name means "700 people come to watch".
"Berry" was likely chosen for the pun-based name of his circus (Berry/Very Big Circus).
"Russell" (and the initials "R.B." that both he and Regina share) may be a reference to the famous Russell Brother's Circus.
His French surname was chosen for the same reason as his English one; to provide the pun-based name of his circus. In the French version, his circus is called "Cirque Hullere" which is a play on the French word "circulaire", meaning "circular". "Loïc Hullere" comes from "l'auriculaire", which means "the auricular" (i.e., pertaining to the ear).
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