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A new docu-series examines some of the fractured relationships that the late, troubled NFL player Aaron Hernandez had in his life.
Netflix’s “Killer Inside: The Mind of Aaron Hernandez” dives deep into Hernandez’s legal woes and personal struggles, all while laying out the circumstances surrounding his 2017 suicide.
The former New England Patriots tight end died in prison while serving a life sentence for the 2013 murder of Odin Lloyd, a semi-professional football player who was dating the sister of Hernandez’s fiancée. He had been acquitted of a separate set of murders — the 2012 shootings Safiro Furtado and Daniel de Abreu — only a few days prior.
Above all, Hernandez’s life was complicated. As friends and loved ones expressed in the docu-series, his father’s death, seemingly volatile temper and reported struggles with sexuality may have made it difficult for him to connect completely and honestly with others.
Jailhouse calls featured docu-series also show that he had a fractured relationship with his own mother, Terri Hernandez.
In one conversation that Hernandez had with his mother from behind bars, he expressed to her that he didn't feel like he could talk to her.
"There's so many things I'd love to talk to you so you could know me as a person, but I never could tell you. And you're gonna die without even knowing your son,” Hernandez said.
In a more heated conversation, he told her, “You f**ked my whole life up.”
Hernandez went on to say he forgave his mother, but he also appeared to blame her for some of his bad behavior.
”I was the happiest f**king little kid in the world, and you f**ked me up. And I just lost my father, and I had to go to college and I had nobody,” he said.
“What the f**k did you think I was gonna do? Become a perfect angel?” he continued. “Oh my God, if I was with you right now, I would've probably punched the s**t out of you, like I don't even know why you bring me to this level.”
Where was this anger toward his mother coming from?
Well, according to the docu-series, the resentment stemmed from the aftermath of his father, Dennis Hernadez’s, death. Dennis, Terri’s former husband, died unexpectedly during a routine hernia surgery in 2006.
Aaron was only 16 when he lost his dad.
Those close to him explain in the docu-series that Aaron was very close to Dennis and often mirrored his behavior. Aaron took his death extremely hard, and “there was clear tumult in his life that was not there before," Hartford Courant reporter Dave Altimari told Oxygen’s 2018 documentary special “Aaron Hernandez Uncovered.”
Family friend Tim SanSoucie, whose son grew up playing football Aaron, noted in “Killer Inside” that it “would have been nice if he had a mother that could have mourned with him.”
“Instead, she [Terri] chose to engage in a relationship with” Jeffrey Cummings, who was married to Aaron's cousin, Tanya Singleton, said SanSoucie.
“I mean, to deal with the death of your father is one thing, but to deal with the fact that your mother then goes out within a matter of months and has a relationship with a family member's husband, and he goes then to live in Aaron's house,” Sansoucie said.
Aaron responded by finding a new mother figure in his cousin Singleton.
"Tanya Singleton was the closest relative to Aaron Hernandez despite the fact that she was only a cousin,” former prosecutor Patrick Haggan noted in the docu-series, adding that Aaron felt “closer to her than his own mother.”
Singleton even refused to testify against Aaron at his murder trial, and she received two years of probation after pleading guilty to a contempt charge, reported The Boston Globe.
Other calls between mother and son, chronicled in the docu-series, show Terri checking in on Aaron and his wellbeing.
Oxygen.com has reached out to Terri Hernandez, but she has yet to respond to a request for comment.
"Killer Inside: The Mind of Aaron Hernandez" premieres Jan. 15 on Netflix.
To hear more about Hernandez’s case, stream “Aaron Hernandez Uncovered" now on Oxygen.
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