Once upon a time, Aaron Hernandez seemed to have the world at his feet. He was an up-and-coming star on the most successful football team in the NFL, and then one day, it was suddenly all gone.
Hernandez was arrested on suspicion of murder, and all of America learned just how troubled and angry this young man was. We learned about his dangerous friends, his violent tendencies, and his penchant for flashing a gun. While fans of the NFL are used to their stars being found to have difficulties with anger, short tempers, and the occasional outbursts of physical violence… the Hernandez saga took the entire trope to a new level.
What may have been even more amazing, is that Hernandez was found guilty, in a day and age when far too many sports stars seem to defy the odds and walk away from crime unscathed.
This past week, Hernandez already serving life in prison, won an enormous legal victory when he was found “Not Guilty” of two more murders from before his first conviction. Hernandez broke down in tears as the verdict was read, obviously moved by the win. However, just a few days later, the 27-year old Hernandez, is dead.
Early Wednesday morning, guards found the former NFL prodigy dead in his cell. Hernandez seems to have used the sheets from his bad to fashion a noose and hang himself from the bars on his cell window.
There was no suicide note, and the prison had not been worried about Hernandez’ mental health, but to the state this seems to be a case of suicide. Hernandez’ former agent, Brian Murphy, disagrees arguing that there was “absolutely no chance,” that Hernandez committed suicide. “Chico was not a saint, but my family and I loved him and he would never take his own life,” Murphy told ESPN.
Former Patriot Dan Gronkowski (brother to superstar Rob Gronkowski) made similar comments, remembering his teammate as someone wholly different from the man convicted of murder in 2013.
“When I was on the team with (Aaron Hernandez) it was Rob (Gronkowski), myself and (him). We all got along and had a good time. We didn’t have any issues with Aaron ever,” he told ESPN’s Josina Anderson. “So I mean, that was all just a side thing that no one knew what was going on. We didn’t even know that that was even happening. It wasn’t even like we thought something like that was going on. So, it’s just sad to hear that, knowing that you (knew) somebody that has gone through that stuff and chose that route.”