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Ex Patriots star Hernandez commits suicide in prison


BeaverFever @ Wed Apr 19, 2017 6:56 pm

Ex-New England Patriots star Aaron Hernandez commits suicide in prison cell

John Kryk
Today at 7:36 PM

While we may never know for sure how many other lives he ended, Aaron Hernandez decided early Wednesday morning to end his own.

A mere hours before the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots were scheduled to visit U.S. President Donald Trump at the White House, the former Patriots tight end was found dead in his cell at a maximum-security prison on the western outskirts of Greater Boston.

Hernandez hung himself with a bed sheet, authorities at the Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center said. His lifeless body was rushed to UMass Memorial Hospital in nearby Leominster, where he was officially pronounced dead at 4:07 a.m. EDT.

The 27-year-old had been serving a life sentence without parole for the 2013 first-degree murder of his fiancee’s sister’s boyfriend, Odin Lloyd.

Just last Friday, Hernandez was found not guilty in the 2012 drive-by gunshot murders of two men in Boston’s South End, and in the subsequent 2013 shooting in Miami, Fla., of a principal witness to those ‘Southie’ killings.

Hernandez, however, was found guilty on Friday of illegal possession of a handgun, and the trial judge added 4-5 years to his life sentence.

What possibly could have compelled one of the most promising NFLers this decade to embrace so ruthless and self-destructive an existence?

Some among us will feel nothing but disgust for the last stupid, cowardly act of a man who so cruelly inflicted pain and misery on others in throwing away a dream life -- with contracted tens of millions of dollars yet to earn just for playing a game.

Others among us, especially those whose hearts tend to easily bleed, will point with overriding compassion to the shattering event that -- starting in January 2006 -- kept shoving, with brute force, this once generally well-behaved, focused, high school football star in Bristol, Conn., down increasingly darker paths of confusion, anger, rebelliousness, mischief and, ultimately, violent lawlessness.

That is, the sudden death of his father, Dennis Hernandez, to hernia surgery gone wrong. Aaron was 16 at the time.
Years later Aaron said, “Everyone was close to my father, but I was the closest. I was with him more than my friends. When that happened, who do I talk to? Who do I hang with? It was tough.”

Aaron’s mother, Terri Hernandez, three years later told USA Today her son changed, profoundly, for the worse. Overnight.
Hernandez made all the wrong choices. He sought solace in drugs. He constantly berated family members. And he further acted out by befriending the worst characters on the streets of Bristol.

An eff-you to life, basically.

“He would rebel. It was very, very hard, and he was very, very angry,” Terri Hernandez told USA Today. “He wasn’t the same kid, the way he spoke to me. The shock of losing his dad, there was so much anger.”

Hernandez in 2005 had set a U.S. high school record by averaging 181 yards per game receiving as a junior tight end at Bristol Central High, according to a 2013 feature at Against an entirely different life’s backdrop in his senior year in 2006, Hernandez still found a way to excel, with college recruiters hot to sign him. He caught 17 touchdowns. ranked him as the No. 2 tight end in the country, and a Top 100 prospect.

University of Florida head coach Urban Meyer convinced Hernandez to drop plans to follow in his father’s footsteps to the University of Connecticut, and instead relocate to the north-central Florida city of Gainesville. One report said Hernandez, in agreeing to do so, wanted to “get away” from bad influences in Bristol.

But in Gainesville, Fla., Hernandez found more. Meyer was building one of the top college-football dynasties of the young century -- behind an evangelically pure quarterback in Tim Tebow, yes, but also thanks to a talent-soaked Gators team that, unfortunately, doubled as maybe the most notorious college-sport roster of law-breakers yet assembled.

According to a 2013 New York Times investigation, various UF players in the Meyer era (2005-10) were arrested a belief-defying 31 times.

“Many of the charges,” the Times reported, “were typical of college campuses: under-age drinking, disorderly conduct, violations of open-container laws.

“But other, more serious charges included aggravated stalking, domestic violence by strangulation, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny and fraudulent use of credit cards, according to criminal record databases. Most of the cases never went to trial, the charges having been dropped or pleaded down.”
Into that toxic environment went the emotionally troubled Hernandez in January 2007, as an early enrolee. He quickly contributed to the above dishonour roll.

As a 17-year-old freshman, Hernandez allegedly punched a bar employee in the ear upon being escorted out as an under-ager. The man’s eardrum reportedly shattered. Although Gainesville police recommended felony battery charges be filed against Hernandez, local prosecutors did not pursue the case.
Worse, in that same 2007 season the Orlando Sentinel reported that Hernandez and three other Gators players were questioned after two men were wounded in shootings following a UF game. Friends of Hernandez’s from Bristol were visiting, the Sentinel reported. No charges were filed.

Hernandez was suspended for UF’s 2008 opener after testing positive for marijuana, he later admitted.

It was at that point that Hernandez got his act together for the final 16 months of his college tenure. It probably helped that Meyer and his wife Shelley reportedly held Bible-study sessions in their home with Hernandez.

Meyer later told USA Today he believed Hernandez at that point finally smartened up, now two-plus years after the death of his dad.

“When your guy, your idol, your soul is taken from you, how do you deal with that?” Meyer told the newspaper. “I just think there’s a part of his life that was not there. He needed discipline; he needed someone to talk to.”
Hernandez’s mother Terri told USA Today in 2009 that “he’s my Aaron again. Just now everything’s getting better, and it took him three years. I thought I lost him for good. He wasn’t the same kid. Now he’s back, the same fun-loving Aaron.”
After Hernandez in 2008 became an integral element in the Gators’ attack, in 2009 he was a star, catching 68 passes for 850 yards and five touchdowns and winning the John Mackey Award as the top tight end in college football. He decided to turn pro early.

In the early months of 2010, reports said some NFL teams were unconvinced of Hernandez’s turnaround, remaining so leery of his past behaviours and actions as to deem him undraftable. Indeed, Hernandez was seen as a first-round talent. But he watched on TV as 98 other players were drafted on Days 1 and 2.

Patriots head coach and football-ops czar Bill Belichick finally selected Hernandez on Day 3, with the 113th pick overall, in the fourth round.

In the lethal Patriots’ offence commandeered by QB Tom Brady, Hernandez proved exhilaratingly good as an NFLer, from the get-go. At 6-foot-2 and 250 pounds he possessed the speed, athleticism, instincts and soft hands of a top wideout -- yet the size and toughness to run-block effectively enough.
Soon he would be regarded as a -- maybe even the -- prototypical 2010s tight end.

Hernandez and similarly skilled Rob Gronkowski formed a theretofore unseen tight-end combo that allowed New England to line up in any formation without substituting -- from five-wide passing, to bunched short-yardage rushing.

And Hernandez was so young. He played in seven NFL games and caught 29 passes before his 21st birthday on Nov. 6, 2010. In Week 2 of his rookie season he reportedly became the first 20-year-old NFLer in 50 years to amass 100 receiving yards in a game (with 101 vs. the New York Jets).

After a second impactful season in 2011 (79 catches, 910 yards, seven TDs) Hernandez was named to the Pro Bowl.
On the eve of the 2012 season, Belichick signed Hernandez to a lucrative contract extension: $40 million over five years, through 2018. Belichick rarely has so rewarded a player after just two seasons.

Injuries slowed Hernandez’s production in 2012; he missed six games.

Of course no one knew it at the time, but on Jan. 20, 2013 -- at age 23 years, two months -- Hernandez played in his last football game: a 28-13 home-field loss to the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC championship game. Hernandez snared nine of Tom Brady’s passes that evening for 83 yards.

Some five months later, in June 2013, shocking reports emanating from Boston said police might be investigating Hernandez for murder. Days later police walked him out of his own home in handcuffs.

By then, later reports would later reveal, Hernandez for more than a year had begun hanging out with thugs again. And distancing himself from teammates. And acting strange.
He’d toggled up all of his old self-destruct switches again. And found and switched on many more.

Just four weeks after the season-ending loss to the Ravens, in February 2013, Hernandez allegedly shot an acquaintance, Alexander S. Bradley, in the face while the two drove together on I-95 in Palm Beach County, Florida. Bradley would claim to have lost an eye in the shooting.

An intimidation charge from that incident eventually was folded into this year’s double-homicide trial, as Bradley had been the man accompanying Hernandez during the two killings. But Hernandez last Friday was found not guilty of the gunfire intimidation charge, too.

As for the July 2012 double homicide, prosecutors unconvincingly claimed Hernandez and Bradley had just had a run-in with the deceased at a Boston night club, and in Hernandez’s SUV followed the twosome (plus others in their vehicle) as their vehicle sped off. At a red light, Hernandez’s car was alleged to have pulled up alongside the other vehicle, and the NFLer fired a .38-calibre revolver five times into that car, killing both men.

Jurors ultimately were unconvinced it was Hernandez who did the shooting.

It has been alleged that Odin Lloyd, the man Hernandez was convicted in 2015 of killing 11 months after the double homicide, knew of Hernandez’s role in the street murders, hence Hernandez’s motivation to shut up Lloyd permanently -- even if Lloyd might have become his brother-in-law.

That Hernandez took his own life on Wednesday, just five days after the above acquittals, might be coincidence. Ditto that he killed himself on the day his former team was set to visit the White House to celebrate the second Super Bowl championship the team has won since Hernandez was jailed in June 2013.
Only 12 players on the 2016 New England team -- which overcame a 25-point deficit to defeat the Atlanta Falcons in overtime in February’s Super Bowl -- remained from the last Patriots team Hernandez played on, in 2012. Namely: QB Brady, kicker Stephen Gostkowski, receivers Matthew Slater and Julian Edelman, defensive backs Devin McCourty and Nate Ebner, offensive linemen Nate Solder and Marcus Cannon, linebackers Rob Ninkovich and Dont’a Hightower, and running backs Brandon Bolden and James Develin. None of the other 40-odd victorious Patriots had ever shared a locker room with Hernandez.

While most of them were asleep before meeting the President, Hernandez attempted to jam the door of his single-cell, general-population housing unit in Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center, before killing himself by hanging from a bed sheet tied to the cell window.

That Hernandez took his own life, and so soon into his life sentence, is a surprise.

That he was snubbing, evading and fooling authority to the last should not come as a surprise, given the way his outlook on life had devolved in the 11 years and three months since his father’s death.

Beyond the sympathy we all should have for his victims and their loved ones, what are we to feel about the tragic figure of Aaron Hernandez himself?

Sadness? Disgust? Grief? Anger?

Maybe the only takeaway is this. His story is an empty, unneeded, gut-punch of a reminder of how not to cope with such piercing, jumbled feelings.


Freakinoldguy @ Wed Apr 19, 2017 9:43 pm

Given his gang affiliations I wonder if it really was suicide?

Here's a funny article about Hernandez and his choice of friends in prison.,

Less than 24 hours after Aaron Hernandez was sentenced to life in prison for first-degree murder, the ex-NFL star has already signed a four-year contract with one of the most threatening gangs in the prison system today, Nuestra Familia.

apparently he dissed alot of great teams.

Nuestra Familia made Hernandez their first pick, beating out other gangs such as Ñetas and the Mexican Mafia who were also scoping out the season’s most sought-after murderer. The Aryan Brotherhood was apparently also considering drafting Hernandez, but decided a half-white member wasn’t a risk they were willing to take; instead, they went with Robert Durst. ... ra-familia


ShepherdsDog @ Thu Apr 20, 2017 8:00 am

The garbage took itself out.


BartSimpson @ Thu Apr 20, 2017 8:04 am

ShepherdsDog ShepherdsDog:
The garbage took itself out.

You should have written the original article. :wink:


Lemmy @ Thu Apr 20, 2017 8:26 am



ShepherdsDog @ Thu Apr 20, 2017 9:32 am

Then there's the NBA....