Former NFL player Aaron Hernandez was considered one of the all-time best tight ends. But his career would be derailed by a timeline of legal run-ins, including
being convicted of first-degree murder plus weapons charges in the death of Odin Lloyd. He was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. On April 19, 2017, the 27-year-old was found hanging in his cell.
Oxygen's new docu-series “Aaron Hernandez Uncovered” unravels the football star's shocking death with unprecedented access to those that knew the athelete best. The two part docu-series premieres March 17 at 7/6c on Oxygen.
Here are five questions we still have about his suicide.
Did He Know That His Conviction Would Be Erased?
After his suicide, Hernandez's murder conviction in the Lloyd case was voided. How? Massachusetts has recognized a legal rule called "abatement ab initio," which essentially means that convictions are thrown out if a defendant dies before an appeal is allowed to be heard. It's a controversial announcement. Did Hernandez know this?
Did Brain Injury Cause The Suicide?
Following his autopsy, Hernandez's lawyer said that he suffered from a degenerative brain disease called chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). Researchers who looked at his brain determined it was “the most severe case they had ever seen in someone of Aaron’s age,” said lawyer Jose Baez. He explained at the time that Hernandez's brain showed a level of damage more in line with players in their 60s.
Could severe brain trauma have caused—or at the least, contributed to—Hernandez's violent behavior and suicidal thoughts?
Was Money A Factor?
In 2012, Hernandez signed a lucrative, five-year contract with the Patriots for $40 million. With that bonus, it was the second-highest contract for a tight end. When Hernandez killed himself, he left behind a fiance and a young daughter with no will. Some speculated, as People reported, that the aforementioned voided murder charge meant that his family could stand to get $6.5 million in held contract money by the New England Patriots.
Who Did Aaron Leave A Letter Behind For?
Who did Hernandez leave a suicide note for? There's conflicting reports. His fiance, Shayanna Jenkins, did receive a note and there was initial speculation that a fellow inmate received one too. The latter sparked rumors of a same-sex romance. Hernandez's attorney dismissed this, saying a letter was left for him and that there was no romance with an inmate.
What Was In His Suicide Letters?
A suicide note often shares a victim's innermost feelings and a motive for taking their own life. What was in Hernandez's notes to fiance or his attorney? Could his words be a window into his mental state and shed light into his mysterious death?
[Photos: Getty Images]