A Fallen Patriot: The Tragic Story Of Aaron Hernandez (Part Three)

TRIGGER WARNING: THIS ARTICLE GOES INTO DETAIL ABOUT SUICIDE!

Aaron Hernandez: In the Patriots locker room
Aaron Hernandez: With fiancée Shayanna Jenkins
Aaron Hernandez: Ready to play

This is it; this is the end, we made it! I have no witty opening for you guys, I apologize. This is the final installment of the Aaron Hernandez story. Thank god because this shit was giving me a headache. In this article, we will talk about what happened after his conviction, personal aspects of his life, and his unfortunate suicide. I’m not sure if any of this will be in order, I found this particular part of my research to be all over the place. There wasn’t a set timeline of these events, but enjoy nonetheless!

On April 14, 2017 Aaron Hernandez was acquitted of any involvement in the double homicide of Jorge Correia de Abreu, and Safiro Teixeira Furtad. After his death, on April 25, 2017, Hernandez’s lawyers filed a motion at the Massachusetts Superior Court to have his murder conviction vacated. The request was granted on May 9, 2017, which is just baffling. This meant Aaron Hernandez technically died an innocent man due to the legal principle of abatement ab initio. Don’t ask me how to say it, I had to google what it means. Under Massachusetts law, “this principle asserts that when a criminal defendant dies but has not exhausted all legal appeals, the case reverts to its status “at the beginning”—the conviction is vacated and the defendant is rendered “innocent”.” At the time of his death, Hernandez was in the process of filing an appeal for his 2015 conviction in the murder of Odin Lloyd. So yeah, he died a free man and the murder was expunged from his criminal records. Capisce? Weird flex Massachusetts but okay.

On the same day of the judge’s ruling to vacate, the Bristol County district attorneys stated they planned to appeal the ruling, to the Massachusetts Supreme Court if it was deemed necessary. The appeal was heard by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court in November 2018, by six justices. On March 13, 2019, the Supreme Judicial Court reinstated Hernandez’s conviction, but stated that the trial record would note that his conviction was “neither affirmed nor reversed”. In the ruling, the court also officially ended the act of ab initio. They ruled that the practice was outdated, never made sense, and “no longer consonant with the circumstances of contemporary life, if, in fact, it ever was.”. I could have told them that. Explain to me how practice ever made sense in the history of ever.

Now on to some of the personal aspects of his life. While in jail Hernandez was reprimanded on multiple occasions but still told his mother that; “I’ve been the most relaxed and less stressed in jail than I have out of jail.”. He isn’t wrapped too tight, who enjoys being in prison? Over the course of his four years behind bars, he increasingly turned to the Bible and became more religious. Hernandez was allowed to speak to Shayanna Jenkins on the phone, and often did twice a day, but during this time she was facing perjury charges related to his case. That’s because my girl got on the witness stand and lied her ass off to cover for him. I’m telling you all right now, if my husband ever pulled some shit like that, I’m getting right on that stand a snitching. I would throw him up the bus then run over him with it. “Your honor, my husband sure as hell did it. He is guilty.” Shitttt, my ass is not about to go to jail.

While in prison Hernandez made amends with his mother, whom he had been estranged from for many years. Aaron was kept in a segregated unit of the prison in a wing that normally housed mentally ill and violent inmates. After his conviction in the Odin Lloyd murder, Hernandez served his sentence at the Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center, a maximum-security prison where inmates typically spend twenty hours a day in their cells. While locked up he continued to work out regularly and anticipated his return to the NFL. Keep on dreaming dude, keep on dreaming. Just two days before his death, reporter Michele McPhee appeared on the Kirk and Callahan sports radio show, during which she and the two hosts implied that Hernandez was gay. It has been suggested that this outing may have played a role in Hernandez’s suicide. So, what if he was? Let the man be gay! What’s the big deal?

Following Aaron Hernandez’s death, Dennis SanSoucie, Hernandez’s high school teammate claimed that the two had a secret sexual relationship from seventh to eleventh grade. He also claimed that Hernandez had many sexual partners during this time, both male and female. Again, what is the big deal? Some people like cats, some people like dogs, and some people like both. Hernandez’s brother and mother both stated that Hernandez’s had come out to them as gay while in prison. I just want to say that if anybody has a problem with any of this you can get off my blog right f now. Hernandez believed that the abuse he suffered as a child caused him to become gay. After listening to 300 recorded prison calls, The Boston Globe reported that Hernandez was “prone to going on homophobic rants” and that, in one phone call, he admitted he was attracted to men and said it made him “angry all the time.” After his death, his fiancée stated that she saw no indication that he was gay. She later told reporters; “I wish I had known how he felt, just so we could have talked about it. I wouldn’t have disowned him. I would have been supportive.”

Prosecutors intended to raise the issue of his sexuality during the 2012 double homicide trial, a prospect that frightened Hernandez. He wanted to keep his sexuality a secret between himself and the people he discussed it with. Hernandez’s brother D.J claimed that Hernandez became increasingly paranoid as an adult, believing that the Federal Bureau of Investigations was out to get him. He stated that Aaron slept with a large knife by his bed and had gathered a collection of weapons in his home for protection. After obtaining weapons for his home Hernandez approached Coach Belichick in a “state of deepening paranoia” telling the coach that he feared for his family’s safety. Hernandez requested a trade to a team on the other side of the country but the request was denied by the New England Patriots. In April 2013, Hernandez purchased a used car with two handguns and two rifles inside. He also purchased a Chevrolet Suburban that had been used as a makeshift armored car. He had secret compartments installed in all his vehicles to store firearms. When he was being driven to places, he refused to get in a car without tinted windows fearing that his “enemies” might spot him. Teammates said that Hernandez was prone to wild mood swings and became more agitated as time passed. As a Patriot, he smoked large quantities of the devil’s lettuce and used other drugs, including cocaine. Cocaine’s a hell of a drug. I’m 120 percent joking! I have never in my life indulged in the booger sugar. Can cocaine make you paranoid? I’m sure it can since it puts you in a hyperactive mood. Doesn’t it? I don’t know everything I learned about coke is from TV.

After his death, researchers at Boston University studied Hernandez’s brain and diagnosed him with chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), stage three of four. This was also brought up in the case of Chris Benoit. Who at the age of forty had the brain of a seventy-year-old suffering from early-onset dementia. CTE is caused by repeated head trauma (repeated blows to the head) over an extended period of time. Hernandez had two confirmed concussions since he started playing football at the age of eight. But no doubt took other hard hits that had not been recorded. The researchers suggested that the CTE, which results in poor judgment, lack of impulse control, or aggression, anger, paranoia, emotional volatility, and rage behaviors, may have explained some of Hernandez’s criminal acts and other behavior. It doesn’t excuse any of it but could have played a factor. Sam Gandy of Mount Sinai Hospital in New York said, “It’s impossible for me to look at the severity of CTE and Mr. Hernandez’s brain and not think that that had a profound effect on his behavior.” While in prison Hernandez suffered from migraines and had memory loss that was considered unusual for a person in their twenties. After the release of the Boston University findings, Hernandez’s fiancée and daughter sued the Patriots and the NFL for causing Hernandez’s death and depriving his daughter of her father’s companionship, arguing that Hernandez’s NFL career had caused what researchers described as “the most severe case of CTE medically seen” in a person at his age, the lawsuit was dismissed in February 2019.

Just a picture to show you the severity of stage three CTE

This next part of this article will be discussing Aaron Hernandez’s suicide. If this will trigger you please skip over the next few paragraphs or stop reading all together right here. As someone who had dealt with suicidal thoughts/ideations in the past and as someone who still actively deals with depression this was difficult for me to write but when I say I’m going to give you guys the whole story, I’m giving you the whole damn story. Again, if talk about suicide will trigger you, skip to the end of the article or do not read beyond this point!

On April 19, 2017, at 3:05 am, five days after Hernandez was acquitted of the 2012 Boston double homicide of Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado correctional officers found Hernandez hanging in his cell at Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center in Lancaster, Massachusetts. He had used his bedsheets as a noose, tying one end around his neck and the other end around a part of the window in his cell. He was quickly transported to UMass Memorial Hospital-Leominster, where he was pronounced dead at 4:07 am, Aaron Hernandez was only twenty-seven years old.  

State Department of Correction spokesman Christopher Fallon first said that no suicide note was found in the initial search of Hernandez’s cell. The next day on April 20th investigators told media outlets that handwritten notes were next to a Bible opened to the passage John 3:16 and that “John 3:16” was written across Aaron’s forehead in red ink. Shampoo was found covering the floor, cardboard was wedged under the cell door to make it difficult for someone to enter, and there were drawings in blood on the walls showing an unfinished pyramid and the all-seeing eye of God, with the word “Illuminati” written in capital letters underneath. Do you guys believe in the Illuminati? I do. Authorities believe Hernandez used the shampoo so his feet could not gain traction when attempting to hang himself. He was tall, standing at six foot one and authorities believe he would easily be able to stand up and therefore the attempt would fail.

One short letter was addressed to Baez, thanking him for securing the acquittal in the double homicide and anticipating an appeal in the Odin Lloyd case. The other two notes were addressed to Hernandez’s fiancée and daughter. You can see a copy of these notes in Baez’s book Unnecessary Roughness. Prison officials had not observed any signs that Hernandez was at risk for suicide in the days leading up to his death, so he had not been put on around-the-clock watch. Upon completion of the autopsy by the medical examiner, the death was officially confirmed as suicide by hanging. Jose Baez quickly disputed any claim of suicide and stated that he would initiate his own investigation of the death. Damn, so he thinks it was murder. However, in 2018, Baez wrote that he was initially suspicious of the suicide finding, given Hernandez’s optimistic demeanor after the acquittal in the double homicide. But he later came to believe Hernandez had taken his own life, with CTE being a major contributing factor. Does Baez know that people who are depressed fake being happy all the damn time? Just because he seemed upbeat and optimistic doesn’t mean he wasn’t depressed.

That ends our tragic tale of Aaron Hernandez, the boy who reached the height of his career only to crash and burn. I don’t really know how to end this, to be honest with you all. Thank you so much for toughing it out. We are done, this story has been told. I shoved all the possible information I could into it. I have nothing more to say on the matter. Case closed.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – 800-273-8255 

Sources:

Unnecessary Roughness: Inside the Trial and Final Days of Aaron Hernandez – Jose Baez

“Aaron Hernandez timeline: From murders and trials to prison suicide” – Sporting News

“The Secret Life of Aaron Hernandez” – YouTube

“Killer Inside: The Mind Of Aaron Hernandez” – Netflix

“Aaron Hernandez: An ID Murder Mystery – Investigation Discovery

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