Aaron Hernandez’s life was on the upswing. At 20 years old, the athlete, who grew up in the working-class neighborhood of Bristol, Connecticut, was drafted by the New England Patriots. He became the youngest player on active roster in the NFL for the 2010 season and he signed a record $40 million contract extension with the team in 2012.
But then, in an instant, he threw it all away. On June 26, 2013, Hernandez was charged with first-degree murder for the slaying of Odin Lloyd. Two years later, he was convicted and sentenced to life. On April 19, 2017 — five days after he was acquitted of the 2012 killings of two other men, Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado — Hernandez’s fate was sealed permanently. He was found dead at age 27 in his jail cell in Lancaster, Massachusetts. Questions about the complicated life of the former tight end have remained unanswered, but the world premiere of the new Aaron Hernandez documentary, Killing Fields, will shed new light on the case.
The new documentary exposes startling evidence as to why the millionaire football star, who was reportedly abused and sexually molested as a child, might have turned to murder. Although a motive for the murder of Lloyd was never determined, it’s believed he knew of Hernandez’s homosexuality and had access to his confidential health records — information the former Patriots player did not want to get out. Before Lloyd was killed on June 17, 2013, a male stripper named Chad, who was invited to Hernandez’s house to perform for the football player and his friends, said that he overheard Hernandez discussing his meds. “They were talking about, ‘Oh, this guy Odin [stole] my medication. I can’t be having that get out,’” Chad claimed, adding that Hernandez allegedly said he’d rather go to jail for “murder.”
Assistant District Attorney Jarrett J. Ferentino, who reviewed Hernandez’s medical record requests during his trial, suggested the footballer could have been concealing an STD or HIV diagnosis. Forensic psychologist Dr. Jeff Gardere believes that Hernandez’s profession may have played a role in his paranoia. “Even though we know that being gay is normal, there are a lot of people who still view it as something that needs to be … closeted away,” he explained. “Especially in professional sports.”
Hernandez was also reportedly linked to a fourth homicide after confiding in his cellmate and alleged lover, Kyle Kennedy. “[Aaron] always used to tell me he had four murders,” Kennedy said. “He’d … joke around saying, ‘I got four bodies.’” Hernandez allegedly assembled a gang to carry out a drive-by shooting to kill Lloyd, but they may have mistakenly killed another man. Jordan Miller, who reportedly looked similar to Lloyd, was gunned down in his home in a still-unsolved murder case. “It’s very possible that Odin Lloyd could’ve been in that apartment,” said former police detective Bo Dietl, “and if they look similar, which I believe they do, they shot the wrong guy that time.”
Aaron Hernandez’s Killing Fields airs on January 18 at 8 p.m. ET on REELZ.