Aaron Hernandez’s life fell apart the day he was accused of killing a man in his inner circle.
The beloved athlete, who was regarded as an NFL treasure, had fame, love, adoration and money, so why did he turn to murder?
The killing of Odin Lloyd, a football player for the Boston Bandits, made headlines when Hernandez was marked as the primary suspect in the case. Hard evidence pointed him to the scene of the crime, as did undeniable family ties. At the time of his death, Lloyd was dating the sister of Hernandez’s fiancée, Shayanna Jenkins.
After a deep investigation, Hernandez was found guilty of murder and sent to prison with a life sentence. On April 19, 2017, he was found hanging inside his prison cell from a suspected suicide.
REELZ’s new docuseries, Aaron Hernandez: Notorious, is exposing all the details.
“Let’s face it, this guy was a household name, he was an NFL player, he’d been in a Super Bowl,” says Robert Thompson, a professor of Media Studies at Syracuse University.
Hernandez was at the height of his fame when his entire life got turned upside down by his crime.
“He was on a pedestal, of his own making as well as that of the public’s; however, once the pieces of that pedestal began to be chipped away, the public then began looking at him as someone different, as a killer,” says FBI profiler Jim Fitzgerald.
As detectives built their case against the football tight end, all the evidence continued to point to him as the killer. At one point, police found a half-smoked marijuana cigarette near Lloyd’s body. They sent it to labs for testing and found Hernandez’s DNA.
Even without a murder weapon, prosecutors now believed they had enough to build a circumstantial case and convict Hernandez of murder.
“Direct evidence is if you look outside and you see it raining, circumstantial evidence is someone comes in with a wet umbrella, they’ve got water on their clothes, but you don’t actually see it raining — but you can reasonably conclude that it’s raining outside,” explains Karen Wentz, a former assistant prosecutor.
Aaron Hernandez: Notorious, airs Saturday, March 30 at 9 ET / PT on REELZ.