Things That Matter

All Of Aaron Hernandez’s Secrets Came To The Light After His Suicide

After one of the strangest murder trials to involve an NFL athlete since OJ Simpson, Aaron Hernandez was found dead last week in his cell in an apparent suicide. During Hernandez’s trial for the murder of two men in 2012, his previous frenemy Alexander Bradley — who Hernandez apparently shot in the face (causing him to lose an eye) — testified against him, but it wasn’t enough to convict him. Hernandez was acquitted of a double murder, all while serving a life sentence for another murder, which is only a part of Hernandez’s complicated story, if you can believe it. Here’s what we know after Hernandez’s death:

1. Hernandez hanged himself in his prison cell with a bed sheet.

(Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

2. The floors of his cell were soapy and he was found naked.

According to corrections officers, it was done on purpose, so that if he changed his mind last minute, he’d have no choice but to follow through, as the floor would be too slippery to gain footing. He also made sure no one would be able to enter the cell to stop him, jamming the door with cardboard.


3. He had a reference to biblical text written on his forehead.

According to CBS Sports, Hernandez was found with the title of a famous bible verse written on his forehead in blood-red marker. The specific bible verse was John 3:16.


4. His bible was left open to the page with John 3:16 on it.

Credit: Wikimedia

John 3:16 reads “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” Those in the Christian faith see this as a verse that speaks to God’s love and his extreme sacrifice.


5. Markings were found on his hands and feet.

Signifying that perhaps he thought he was being crucified, like Jesus, as an innocent. Reports also said law enforcement was looking into whether he was smoking K2, a synthetic form of marijuana, right before he took his life.


6. His suicide came just days after his acquittal for a double murder and on the same day the Patriots visited The White House.

Some have found it suspicious, including his lawyer and agent, both of whom were surprised that he’d taken his life only five days after being acquitted of a double murder. After the acquittal, it was assumed by several news sources that an appeal would be filed for the murder he had already been convicted of and was serving a life sentence for.

7. His brain has been donated to science.

*Scans of several NFL player brains in CTE research, not of Hernandez’s.
Via: CNN / Bennet Omalu

To add to the strangeness of it all, within a day of his suicide it was revealed that his brain had been donated to research on CTE a disorder affecting NFL players and athletes. Chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a degenerative brain condition that some researchers think led to the suicides of Hall of Famer Junior Seau and former Bears defensive back Dave Duerson.


8. Hernandez left behind three suicide notes — this information wasn’t immediately divulged to the public.

(Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

One was to his fiancé, another to his daughter and a third to his prison lover, confirming suspicions that Hernandez was bisexual. During Hernandez’s first murder case, investigators speculated that Hernandez’s attempt to hide his sexuality may have played a part in the motive.


9. The secrecy of his bisexuality is now being considered as one of the main motives for his previous murder conviction.

Via: Wikipedia / Jeffrey Beall / Flickr

Investigators are now saying that the murder of Odin Lloyd may have occurred so Hernandez could keep his sexuality secret. Lloyd had allegedly called Hernandez a “schmoocher,” which Hernandez took for a gay slur, as one co-defendant told detectives in the case. As Newsweek reported, Hernandez’s long time high-school lover was compensated handsomely shortly before Hernandez’s arrest for Lloyd’s murder in a possible attempt to keep his sexuality a secret.

Michele McPhee of Newsweek reported on an interesting detail about Hernandez’s finances:

“Hernandez’s alleged longtime male lover, the high school friend, was interviewed extensively by authorities after Lloyd’s murder, and was forced to testify in front of a grand jury. Law enforcement officials also say Hernandez moved a large amount of money into three accounts shortly before his arrest for the Lloyd killing: one account was for his fiancée; a second was for his daughter; the third, where the most money was moved, was for that friend.”

Although some may find the lengths to which Hernandez would go to keep his sexuality secret — paying people off or even killing them – as extreme measures, the stress, the denial and the pain that can occur from suppressing or hiding one’s sexual identity can be dangerous to a person’s health.

According to a piece in LGBT Weekly, some of the many harmful things that can occur from the stress of hiding one’s sexuality, something Hernandez may have felt compelled to do as an NFL star, are dissociative identity disorder, chronic depression, self-disgust, self-hatred, low self-esteem and negative self-view, alcohol & drug-abuse and suicidal thoughts.


10. Apparently, right before committing suicide, a $50,000 watch was gifted to the family of his prison lover.

Via: Northbridge Police

His prison lover has recently been identified as Kyle Kennedy, a 22-year-old, in prison for armed robbery according to a piece in the Daily Mail.


11. Kennedy is now on what is called “eyeball suicide watch.”

People were shocked when Aaron Hernandez took his own life, it’s no wonder watching Kennedy has become a priority with officers on him 24/7.


Aaron Hernandez left a mess in the wake of his suicide, unsolved murders, saddened loved ones, an undecided estate, and there’s no telling what is still yet to be uncovered in this case. We have a feeling we haven’t heard the last of it all. We may never know what was going through his mind when he decided to do what he did, but we can’t help but wonder what strange twists are left to be uncovered.


[H/T] AARON HERNANDEZ’S SEX LIFE PROBED AS MURDER MOTIVE, POLICE SOURCE SAYS

READ: Those Close To Aaron Hernandez Don’t Believe He Committed Suicide

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Mariah Carey Perfectly Shades the NFL By Calling Super Bowl Sunday ‘Colin Kaepernick Appreciation Day’

Entertainment

Mariah Carey Perfectly Shades the NFL By Calling Super Bowl Sunday ‘Colin Kaepernick Appreciation Day’

Credit: mariahcarey/Instagram

Mariah Carey continues to show us that it’s her world and we’re just living in it. The Songbird Supreme has never been shy about standing up for what she believes in, now matter how salty her critics can get.

On Sunday, when the rest of America was glued to their TV screens watching the Super Bowl, Mariah Carey tweeted out: “Happy Colin Kaepernick Appreciation Day!”

Man interpreted the tweet as shade directed at the NFL for airing a seemingly anti-racism commercial that simultaneously revealed that the organization would be committing $250 million to ending systematic racism.

The commercial consisted of an inspirational speech being played over footage of Black Lives Matter protests.

“Football is a microcosm of America. All races, religions, living, playing, competing, side by side,” said the commercial.

Many viewers pegged the ad and announcement as tone-deaf, considering the NFL’s containing failure to support Colin Kaepernick’s (and now other Black football players’) protests against police brutality.

“Just saw a commercial that the NFL is committing $250 Million to end systemic racism yet they can’t even commit a couple million to get Colin Kaepernick signed to a team…” wrote one skeptical Twitter user.

“The NFL creating a commercial that shows players kneeling, putting “Breonna Taylor” on the back of their helmets, and ends with the league committing $250 million to end systemic racism must have @Kaepernick7 feeling some type of way,” wrote another.

This isn’t the first time Mariah has publicly showed her support for the former quarterback for the 49ers.

In 2018, Carey posted a picture on her Instagram of herself and Kaepernick together in a photo-op that (most of) her fans were going crazy over. She captioned the picture: “Such an honor to meet @kaepernick7 today!”

Carey, who is of Afro-Venezuelan descent, has always been frank about her support of racial equality and the end to police violence. She notably postponed the release of her 30th anniversary album to not detract attention from the BLM movement.

“As we continue to fight for equality and justice within our broken systems, I thank you for using your platforms to educate, inform and invoke change. Together let’s bring on a change,” she wrote on her Instagram.

While she was at it, Mariah also used her Twitter account to bring attention to another grave injustice that took place at a previous Super Bowl: the blackballing of Janet Jackson.

When one fan replied to her “Colin Kapppp appreciation thread” with the tweet, “Don’t forget it’s also Janet Jackson appreciation day,” she responded with a sly: “Yes it is! *Heart emoji*”

Sigh. No one is able to shade like the Queen.

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Gloria Estefan Reveals She Contemplated Suicide In Her Teens In Episode of ‘Red Table Talk: The Estefans’

Things That Matter

Gloria Estefan Reveals She Contemplated Suicide In Her Teens In Episode of ‘Red Table Talk: The Estefans’

Photo: Lars Niki/Getty Images

In an emotional “Red Table Talk: The Estefans” episode, Gloria Estefan opened up about a particularly dark time in her life.

In the special episode dedicated to mental health, Estefan revealed to her daughter, Emily and her niece, Lili, that she once contemplated suicide as a teenager.

“I’ve always felt very good in my own skin, except when I was fifteen, and my dad had already spent a year at home and I was taking care of him. And he was heading downhill fast,” she explained on RTT.

Photo: Red Table Talk: The Estefans/ Facebook Watch

Estefan went on to describe how her mental health crisis was largely due to her father’s declining emotional state and physical health after he returned from fighting in the Vietnam War.

“Even though my father survived the Vietnam War, he still became a casualty of combat,” she said. “His exposure to ‘Agent Orange’–a poison used for warfare–resulted in his diagnosis of multiple sclerosis.”

According to Estefan, being a teenaged girl having to take care of her sick father took a deep emotional toll on her.

“He lost his ability to speak, he couldn’t walk, he would stand up to try to go to the bathroom and he would fall and he would soil himself,” she said. “I would have to bathe him. He would be crying, embarrassed. And trying to make me feel better. That’s what would kill me.”

She also explained that she didn’t want to burden her loved ones with her painful feelings. “I didn’t want to tell my mother that I was starting to feel cracks in my armor. I didn’t want to tell my grandmother because I didn’t want to worry her,” she said.

Estefan was visibly emotional as she told her daughter and niece that she even had specific fantasies about taking her own life–which is one of the major warning signs of a suicidal person.

“I knew where [my father’s] gun was and I started having desperation thoughts,” she said. “I remember going to the place thinking, okay the gun is there, but what if instead I hang myself because that might be bloody? I had even picked out the tree that I might do it on.” Her daughter Lili looked distressed as Estefan recounted this painful time in her life.

Estefan says what “got her through” her suicidal episode was “thinking of other people that she loved” and how they would react to living without her. “I took myself through the whole process [of what would happen afterward],” she said. “I think it helped, for me, to imagine what life was going to be like forever for the people that I loved.”

After she got through this dark emotional period, Estefan said she got her life back by “focusing on school” and eventually meeting her husband, Emilio, which also helped bring her out of her depression.

The powerful episode aired on Wednesday and includes special guests Karla Souza and Lele Pons who also talk about their mental health battles. You can watch it on Facebook Watch here.

If you or someone you love is depressed or contemplating suicide, please don’t hesitate to call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) at any time for support.

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