Aaron Hernandez grew up in the suburban city of Bristol, situated 20 miles south-west of Hartford in Connecticut. The city is around 120 miles south-west of Boston.
If you want to know where it all went wrong for Aaron Hernandez and you’d like to know his story, this one’s for you.
Placed in Harm’s Way
On November 6, 1989, the world welcomed Aaron into the world. Unbeknownst to his parents (Dennis Hernandez and Terri Valentine-Hernandez) at the time, Aaron would only make it 27 years in the wide world before he would say goodbye, leaving behind his young daughter and fiancee.
Statistics published on Rainn’s website suggest that 1 in 53 boys under the age of 18 experienced sexual abuse or assault at the hands of an adult, and it’s often perpetrated by someone the child already knows—in 2016 alone, 57,329 children were victims of sexual abuse in the US, according to this survey conducted by the US Children’s Bureau. Sexual abuse can take many forms.
It is alleged that in Aaron’s case he was molested as a child and engaged in a sexual relationship with his high school quarterback—the legal age of consent in most American states is between 16 and 18, so legally speaking, any kind of sexual relationship before he was 16 would’ve been illegitimate as the age of consent in Connecticut, where he resided, is 16. All things considered, Aaron’s high school sexual relationship could have constituted sexual abuse.
The Tragic Death That Caused His Downfall
In addition to the above, it is speculated that Aaron’s father may have physically abused him on some occasions throughout Aaron’s childhood. Allegedly, Aaron’s father beat him. “I mean, he told me his father used to make him — to shoot 500 shots before he went, sometimes to play with his friends. His dad clearly kept them anchored.” Bristol’s County Sheriff told CNN in 2015.
When Aaron was 16, his father passed away following an infection contracted after hernia surgery. According to a 2018 report by CNN, his father’s death is cited as one of the primary reasons which caused his downfall as it was a tragic loss for him.
Aaron’s career as an NFL football player is one of the reasons why he developed Stage III CTE—a neurological disorder appearing after multiple head injuries. 10 of 24 former NFL players have the disorder according to this report by New York Times, so it’s a fairly common occurrence.
After his death, Hernandez’s family donated his brain to researchers who claim that his brain “reveals the most extensive evidence of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) they’ve ever seen in a person that young.” There are additional reports stating that Aaron’s case of CTE is the most severe researchers have seen. The researchers did not, however, link his violence with the neurological disorder.
Why Did He Kill?
In 2015, Aaron’s world was turned upside down as he became a convicted felon for the murder of Odin Lloyd, his fiancee’s sister’s partner, and a semi-professional football player. He later went to trial on double murder charges for a drive-by shooting in Boston that happened in 2012—he was found not guilty.
But why did he allegedly kill Odin?
According to this report, Aaron’s alleged bisexuality could’ve been a motive, while this report cites his brain damage as a reason why he killed. Upon all the conflicting reports, nobody can really agree upon a singular reason why he killed, it’s all pretty speculatory.