The story of Aaron Hernandez, the New England Patriots star turned convicted assassin, all the time comes right down to why.
Why would Hernandez kill his buddy Odin Lloyd, when he was on prime of the world after signing a $40 million contract extension with the Patriots? By what means did he keep away from accountability for violent outbursts relationship again to his faculty days? How might an individual described at occasions as fun-loving, delicate and susceptible flip to homicidal aggression?
Attainable solutions to these questions emerge within the Netflix documentary collection “Killer Inside: The Thoughts of Aaron Hernandez,” directed by Geno McDermott. The collection, advised in three components, is now in rivalry for Emmy nominations.
“I feel he was residing a double life,” McDermott says of Hernandez. “He was in a position to, in the course of the day, be an incredible athlete, wonderful soccer participant. He was in a position to fold into the Patriots group. Then at evening he was in a position to change over into this darkish facet and fully change. It’s simply wonderful he was in a position to get by life like that.”
“Killer Inside” explores how Hernandez grew up in an abusive family, dominated by an alcoholic and homophobic father. Aaron could have been homosexual, however could have saved that hidden not solely given his dad however the hyper-masculine world of soccer.
Hernandez excelled on the punishing sport and have become an All-American on the College of Florida, a key a part of a nationwide championship squad. There have been troubling indicators about his conduct there — an assault on a bar supervisor and potential involvement in a taking pictures. However Hernandez by no means confronted expenses in these instances; McDermott suggests that will have given the standout a way of being above the legislation.
“With Aaron, I feel you had somebody for years who was in all probability committing crimes,” notes the director. “There was a number of him suspected of committing a number of crimes and getting away with them as a result of he was an [all-star] athlete.”
When Hernandez entered the NFL draft after his junior yr, a number of groups handed on him due to questions on his character. The documentary studies scouts gave him the bottom potential rating on a scale of “social maturity.” Nonetheless, the Pats underneath coach Invoice Belichick chosen him within the fourth spherical.
Hernandez shortly grew to become an affect participant on an excellent group, paired at tight finish with one other main expertise, Rob Gronkowski. Then, in 2013, got here the bombshell—Hernandez’s arrest within the loss of life of Lloyd, whose bullet-ridden physique was discovered a few mile from Aaron’s mansion in North Attleborough, Massachusetts. Ample information factors tied Hernandez to the taking pictures, together with cellular phone data and DNA on a marijuana blunt discovered by the physique.
“It was a really sloppy homicide,” McDermott feedback. “There was a lot proof.”
The ensuing trial grew to become a media sensation.
“I personally assume it was the most important trial, particularly within the sports activities world, on this century,” the director observes. “In some methods greater than O.J. Simpson’s, as a result of Aaron Hernandez was an energetic NFL participant. He was a star. O.J. Simpson had been retired for a few years. I feel that’s what made it so huge, was as a result of he was an energetic participant and nobody might have ever thought that he was chargeable for one thing like this.”
‘He was in a position to change over into this darkish facet and fully change.’
To assemble his collection, McDermott drew from jailhouse audio of Hernandez speaking with pals, household and his fiancée. At occasions on the cellphone Hernandez is self-deprecating, and even sweetly asks his mom to get him some “Harry Potter” books.
“I feel [the calls] present us that he was very a lot a chameleon. He modified the best way he talked, relying upon who he was speaking to,” McDermott concludes. “If it was his mother, he talked to his mother in a sure method. If it was some buddies from a earlier group, he would speak to them in a sure method. I feel it actually exemplified him with the ability to be a little bit of a shape-shifter.”
In 2015 Hernandez was convicted of first-degree homicide and sentenced to life in jail with out parole. Later, he was tried however acquitted in a separate double-murder case involving two males Hernandez allegedly gunned down after a tiff at a bar. Simply 5 days after that acquittal, Hernandez hanged himself in his jail cell. He had written “John 3:16” in ink on his brow, a reference to the bible passage that alludes to everlasting life.
McDermott interviewed quite a few folks for the collection, together with Hernandez’s childhood buddy and soccer teammate, Dennis SanSoucie. SanSoucie recollects Hernandez confirmed no emotion on the funeral of Aaron’s father, who died out of the blue when Hernandez was 16. And SanSoucie sheds extra mild on Hernandez’s sexuality, revealing they had been in a sexual relationship from the seventh to 11th grades.
“Particularly in male-dominated sports activities like soccer, it’s very exhausting for somebody to return out,” McDermott observes. “It’s very exhausting for somebody to mainly be gay, and it was apparent that was the case for Dennis and Aaron after they had been rising up by late center college into highschool.”
After his loss of life Hernandez’s mind was studied. He was discovered to have superior continual traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a situation related to repeated head trauma that has been detected autopsy in plenty of professional soccer gamers.
Might CTE, which may produce temper and conduct issues, clarify Hernandez’s disturbing sample of violence? It’s one other unanswerable query.
“It actually says so much about the kind of ache and struggling Aaron was in all probability going by bodily,” McDermott feedback, including, “I don’t assume they’ve ever been in a position to tie CTE to somebody committing homicide, or committing crime. There’s lots of people that play contact sports activities which can be in all probability affected by CTE that haven’t carried out these sorts of issues. In order that’s all the time my rebuttal when somebody tries responsible it on CTE. That’s why I feel Aaron and the story is so multifaceted as a result of it could possibly be certainly one of many, many various components for the the explanation why he dedicated crime.”
McDermott describes his documentary collection as “a really layered story.” It’s up for Excellent Documentary or Nonfiction Sequence on the Emmys.
“We had been in a position to take this past true crime and create conversations in America in regards to the entitlement of athletes, sexuality and sports activities, CTE, double life,” he tells Deadline. “It was half sports activities doc, it was half popular culture, it was half true crime; then, there was the sexuality angle. I feel it was very relatable and approachable to many individuals. So I’m hoping this one can break by on the Emmys.”