That’s what Rolling Stone magazine says in a new investigative piece.
New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez is in jail, indicted for first degree murder and waiting for his arraignment. He was arrested 27 June 2013 for killing 27 year-old Odin Lloyd, a semi-professional football player.
The two had been hanging out and carousing, but something made Hernandez mad at Lloyd. Hernandez and his two pals, Ernest Wallace and Carlos Ortiz, picked up Lloyd one night in June, drove him to an industrial park and shot him five times. Now Ortiz is saying that Hernandez pulled the trigger. Wallace has also been indicted in connection with Lloyd’s killing.
The details of the case have been in the news all summer. Hernandez captured himself on his own video surveillance cameras at his home in North Attleboro, Massachusetts, and left a trail of incriminating text messages.
In addition, while Hernandez has been in jail, two of his relatives have been killed in freak auto mishaps. One of those was a cousin who was being investigated by authorities in connection to a different shooting involving Aaron Hernandez. He was traveling at high speed when he flew past a corner and hit a building. The other was an uncle who lost control of his moped.
The Rolling Stone piece, by Paul Solotaroff and Ron Borges, plays up the “thug life” aspect of Hernandez’s past. The story goes that Hernandez started to go bad after his father died suddenly. Aaron was 16 at the time, and his older brother was off to college (also playing ball).
Hernandez went off to the University of Florida, and, according to Rolling Stone, had trouble passing drug tests and got mixed up in some violent encounters. After three successful years as a Gator, Hernandez went pro — but didn’t make a splash in the draft because of his checkered past.
For their part, the University of Florida doesn’t want anything to do with Hernandez. After he was arrested and charged, they wiped away any trace of him on campus.
The article points to his mother’s criminal record, his father’s criminal record, his uncle’s criminal record and his friends’ criminal records. The article hints that Hernandez has gang connections. It says he was addicted to PCP, “angel dust.” It mentions his tattoos, which have since been deemed not gang related by authorities.
It also takes a swipe at Urban Meyer, his coach at the University of Florida. The Alligator Army doesn’t take kindly to the insinuation that their winning head coach covered up Hernandez’s misdeeds.
And, while the prosecution case against Hernandez sounds pretty strong, the thug life connection sounds pretty weak. That is, Rolling Stone tries to make the case that the New England Patriots should have known that Aaron Hernandez would turn out to be a murderer. It’s a good read, however, a long and detailed investigative piece that piles up plenty of circumstantial evidence.
For more, read the Who2 biography of Aaron Hernandez.
Here he is in better days — a compilation of some of his highlights at the University of Florida: