Less than a week after former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez hung himself in his solitary jail cell, the details of his short and unhappy life are coming more into focus.
Newsweek confirmed that Hernandez, 27, left a suicide note for his female fiancee, his daughter, and the boyfriend he met at the Souza Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley, Mass, where he was serving a life sentence for murder. Hernandez's boyfriend, who has not been named by the media, is under suicide watch.
Hernandez was convicted for the murder of his one-time friend, Odin Lloyd. A motive for the 2013 killing was never clear, but Newsweek and other outlets reported that Lloyd was aware Hernandez was bisexual and had carried on a long-time affair with a male friend from high school. At the time of his death, Lloyd was dating the sister of Hernandez's fiancee; it's believed Hernandez was fearful word of his bisexuality would reach his fiancee.
Lloyd also allegedly called Hernandez a "smoocher," which the football star believed was an antigay slur. Later, a man accused of helping Hernandez attempt to conceal Lloyd's murder told his girlfriend he would not have helped him had he known he was a "limp wrist."
Hernandez, born in Bristol, Conn., in 1989, lost his father at the age of 16. Even with a promising football future at the University of Florida, Hernandez could not escape a life of crime and violence. He was accused of taking part in a 2007 double-shooting that left two men injured in Gainseville, Fla.; he was not convicted. Five years later, he was connected to a shooting in Boston that left two men dead, but was found not guilty of that crime five days before he committed suicide.
Even before Lloyd's murder in 2013, Hernandez was accused of shooting another friend of his and leaving him to die on the side of a south Florida road. The victim survived.
When Hernandez's body was discovered this week — the same day his former teammates traveled to the White House to celebrate their Super Bowl win in February — he had a Bible verse scrawled on his forehead and red ink on his hands and feet, imitating the stigmata.