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Crime News Aaron Hernandez Uncovered

Reporter Says Downfall Of Aaron Hernandez Began When His Father Died

"There was clear tumult in his life," reporter Dave Altimari told "Aaron Hernandez Uncovered."

By Aly Vander Hayden

During part one of Oxygen’s special “Aaron Hernandez Uncovered,” reporters speculated that the former NFL player’s downfall was spurred by the death of his father, Dennis Hernandez.

In 2006, when Aaron was still in high school, Dennis died unexpectedly during a routine hernia surgery. The loss came at a vital time in Aaron’s football career, and his mother, Terri Hernandez, worried Aaron would lose his motivation without the influence of his father.

Aaron, however, continued to dominate on the field and became a top prospect for college recruiters. At the time, he told a local newscaster, “I wasn’t number one tight end in the country and then he passed away, and I started to work harder and harder for him.”

Though Aaron’s football future seemed to be lined up for success, his home life was in turmoil. Former Hartford Courant reporter Jenny Wilson told “Aaron Hernandez Uncovered” that after Dennis’ death, Terri began having an affair with a married man, which caused Aaron and his mother to become estranged.

To escape the tension at home, Aaron started spending more time at his cousins’ house. According to Wilson, it was there Aaron met two men — Ernest Wallace and Carlos Ortiz. Aaron became close to both men, and they would later be connected to Aaron’s murder of semiprofessional football player Odin Lloyd.

"It's an interesting set of characters for Hernandez to be friends with, and that would've been when he was still developing as a person," said Hartford Courant reporter Dave Altimari.

[Photo: Getty Images]

"Certainly after his dad died, there was clear tumult in his life that was not there before," he continued.

Mike Farrell, recruiter for Rivals.com, agreed that Aaron’s descent into a life of drugs, crime and eventually murder began when his father died.

"I think his father passing lit the fuse, and the fuse was just a long way from the bomb. But it was progressing toward the bomb for a long time,” Farrell told producers.

To learn more about the case and Hernandez’s tragic fall from sports superstardom, watch “Aaron Hernandez Uncovered,” streaming now on Oxygen.

[Photo: Getty Images]