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.

CREDIT: (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.

CTE Scans
CREDIT: *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.

CREDIT: (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.

LLoyd Hernandez
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.

Screen Shot 2017-04-25 at 11.10.16 AM
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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New Trailer Released For The 3-Part Aaron Hernandez Documentary Coming To Netflix

Entertainment

New Trailer Released For The 3-Part Aaron Hernandez Documentary Coming To Netflix

Netflix / YouTube

If we’re learned anything from the powerful documentaries of late (Surviving R. Kelly, Leaving Neverland, etc.) is that our perceived notions of what we thought was the whole story were nothing compared to the truth. In other words, these hard-hitting documentaries explore a person or topic with a deeper lens, which in turn opens the door wide open to a full new understanding. This latest documentary is showing that we only knew a portion of the truth. 

“Killer Inside: The Mind of Aaron Hernandez” is a new documentary on Netflix that will be premiering on Jan. 15.

Credit: Netflix/ YouTube

The 3-part series looks into the story of the former NFL player who reportedly committed suicide inside his prison cell in 2017. If the documentary is anything like the trailer, we’re in for a crazy ride — and not the right kind, but the ones that leave you bewildered. 

While the public has some perspective on the situation that landed Hernandez in jail, the show goes in deeper into his childhood, family, and life before he became a superstar athlete. 

The series takes a look at the making of the NFL pro and how Hernandez was propelled from high school football player to a multi-million dollar contract. 

Credit: Netflix / YouTube

It’s a fascinating look to see how this charming young kid turned out to be a killer. If we have learned from any other True Crime stories is that a killer isn’t just a sociopath, sometimes this killer tendencies develope over time, and we never know what was at the root of their issues. 

With Hernandez, we learn through this series that his family had a lot to do with how his life would play out later.

Credit: Netflix / YouTube

The trailer includes conversations that he had over the phone with his mother, including one in which he tells her that there was no way he would ever turn out to be an angel, especially because she was never there for him. 

The show will also include the turbulent relationship he had with his abusive father. An investigative report in Spotlight inside the Boston Globe released in 2018 added detailed accounts of how Hernandez suffered at the hands of his father. 

“Aaron and his older brother were often beaten and brutalized by their dad,” the Boston Globe reports. “Aaron didn’t cry at his father’s funeral, and people took note. He kept it all inside.” His brother said that they both lived in “constant fear of their father’s beatings.” 

Hernandez and his mother also had a very tumultuous relationship. It seemed as if football was his only way out of that chaotic family life. His high school friends recall him as a kind person, amusing, and said he didn’t pick on other kids. 

When the Patriots gave him a $40 million contract, Hernandez’s life just got more out of control. 

Credit: Netflix / YouTube

The trailer shows that all the suffering he went through at home, combined with superstardom, the pressures of delivering for the Patriots, “made him a ticking time bomb.” Not only did Hernandez get into a life of alcohol, drugs, and weapons, and as a witness in his trial said, “it was like he was out to prove something.” 

In 2015, Hernandez was charged for the murder of Odin Lloyd, a former football player who was dating the sister of Hernandez’s fiancee, Shayanna Jenkins. Hernandez was let go from the team even though he told his coach he had nothing to do with the murder. As the documentary shows, he was able to play a successful season with the Patriots even though he had killed someone. 

The trailer also explores one of the most interesting aspects of the life of Hernandez, which concerned his mental health caused by CTE.

Credit: Netflix / YouTube

The documentary shows how Hernandez went from being a fun-loving yet troubled kid to an angry adult that would get violent at the drop of a dime. That kind of drastic change, including his suicide, is speculated to have been a result of his diagnosis of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). CTE is caused after a person receives multiple blows to the head. It’s been highly reported that, more often than not, NFL players have been diagnosed with CTE. The unfortunate aspect of this illness is that people cannot be diagnosed until they are dead. That is when their brains can be studied. 

The symptoms of CTE include memory loss, confusion, impaired judgment, impulse control problems, aggression, depression, anxiety, suicidality, parkinsonism, and, eventually, progressive dementia.  Hernandez clearly showed many of these symptoms, including his eventual suicide in 2017. 

Check out the trailer below. 

READ: After Aaron Hernandez’s Brain Was Donated For CTE Research, It Was Found That He Had The Worst Case Of CTE For Someone His Age

Four Guards At Rikers Island Have Been Suspended Because They Are Believed To Have Let An Teenager Commit Suicide

Things That Matter

Four Guards At Rikers Island Have Been Suspended Because They Are Believed To Have Let An Teenager Commit Suicide

mitchjackson / Instagram

Four New York City Rikers Island correction officers, including a captain, have been suspended for knowingly failing to intervene in a teen detainee’s suicide attempt for seven minutes. The night before Thanksgiving, Nicholas Feliciano, 18, was jumped by seven other inmates and left with a gash on his face. Instead of taking him to the infirmary, guards placed him in a holding cell where he hung himself from a pipe with his shirt. Whistleblowers from the prison have told The New York Times that one guard actually opened Feliciano’s cell door to find him hanging from the pipe, closed the door, and walked away. A witness told The New York Times that, after Feliciano stepped off the toilet partition, he changed his mind and tried to find the partition to free himself from the makeshift noose. Feliciano hung for seven minutes without any intervention, and it was more than a half-hour before paramedics were able to whisk him away from the prison complex. 

Feliciano was taken to Elmhurst Hospital, where he was put into an induced coma on Tuesday. He has yet to show signs of brain activity.

At first, the Department of Corrections wouldn’t allow Feliciano’s family to visit him in the hospital.

CREDIT: LEGAL AID SOCIETY

The Legal Aid Society, which has taken up Feliciano’s case, penned a letter to the DOC to request charges against the teen be dropped. “This is unacceptable. He poses no security risk and needs his family at his bedside at this critical time,” the letter reads. According to Legal Aid Society, the family had to wait to be cleared by DOC to visit him, were not allowed to bring anything inside his hospital room, or even photograph him. 

In response, the New York State Department of Correction and Community Supervision canceled Feliciano’s parole warrant.

CREDIT: @LEGALAIDNYC / TWITTER

That meant that Feliciano was no longer in the custody of the state, and his family was free to visit him at their leisure. “We are relieved that the New York State Department of Correction and Community Supervision canceled the parole warrant pending against Nicholas Feliciano, our client who is still battling for his life at Elmhurst Hospital in Queens,” reads a statement from The Legal Aid Society. The organization maintains that the act is too little too late for the much more serious “concerns over the New York City Department of Correction’s failure to properly screen and address Mr. Feliciano’s mental health issues, which were known to the City at the time of his remand,” the statement continues. 

Feliciano was charged with robbery, but because of his age, the court gave him a short sentence and kept his criminal record sealed. Within weeks of his release, Feliciano had violated his parole by testing positive for drugs, skipping mandated programs, attempting to purchase a gun, and traveling past state lines to visit a girlfriend. When Feliciano arrived at his parole meeting, he was taken into custody and scheduled to be arraigned more than a month later. The Legal Aid Society of New York is using Feliciano as a tragic example for “the need for Albany to enact comprehensive parole reform legislation immediately next session to address cases like Nicholas’, where the alleged violation of parole does not rise to the level of a new criminal charge.”

Feliciano has a history of mental illness, including suicide attempts, says the Legal Aid Society. 

CREDIT: @RENTALSINMIAMI / TWITTER

According to The New York Times’s report, Feliciano was taken out of the general population holding area after getting into a fight in order to get him medical attention. He waited for six hours in a holding cell without medical attention. An hour before he attempted suicide, he was taken out of a two-person cell and placed in a cell by himself. An hour and a half later, he was hanging off a pipe while correction officers stood by. An off-duty captain saw closed-circuit surveillance footage of Feliciano hanging and rushed to take him down. According to The New York Times, an official said Feliciano didn’t have a pulse for two minutes. 

In response, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted, “The people in our jails are human beings. Their well-being is our responsibility. These allegations are deeply troubling. The 3 officers and their supervisor have been suspended and an investigation is underway. We’re taking immediate action.” The New York City Council voted October 17 to close Rikers prison complex and the chapter on its disturbing human rights violations.

READ: NYC Determines Layleen Polanco’s Death Might Have Had To Do With Her State In Solitary Confinement