Aaron Hernandez: Death of role-model father when NFL star was just a teen made him 'void of emotions'

Things were going stellar for the 16-year-old when his world came crashing down in 2006 when he was told his father had passed away


                            Aaron Hernandez: Death of role-model father when NFL star was just a teen made him 'void of emotions'
Aaron Hernandez (Netflix)

Aaron Hernandez, the youngest star player of the National Football League in 2010, sent shockwaves across the sports world when he was arrested for the murder of Odin Lloyd, the boyfriend of his fiancée’s sister in 2013. Lloyd's body was found in an industrial park, less than a mile away from Hernandez's home.

Police also found a rental car hired in the then New England Patriot's star's name, which became a key piece of the murder puzzle. As evidence began piling up against Hernandez, his friends, family, and teammates could hardly believe the quiet, reserved, and hard-working person they knew the 23-year-old to be, could be behind the brutal murder. Lloyd was shot six times.

Hernandez grew up in a near-perfect family, almost tailor-made to churn out sports stars. The NFL player's father, Dennis Hernandez was also a star athlete in the 1970s. He played with the University of Connecticut (Uconn) and wanted his two sons — Aaron and Jonathan — to follow suit.

They were known as the sports family in the neighborhood, even their dog was named Uconn. Dennis was well-respected in the community and was often called "the King" owing to the respect he commanded.

Hernandez aspired to be like his father, and in most aspects, he succeeded. However, there were gaping holes in the veneer of their perfect family. Dennis drank. "Father sometimes drank and you felt it," Jonathan Hernadez says in the Netflix documentary 'Killer Inside: The Mind of Aaron Hernandez.' 

Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots chats with Aaron Hernandez #81 against the Houston Texans at Gillette Stadium on December 10, 2012 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Getty Images)

Under the strict regimen of his father, Hernandez received good grades, excelled at most games at school but football was the one where he shined the most. Everyone knew the teen was gifted.

Things were going stellar for the 16-year-old when his world came crashing down in 2006. He was told his father had passed away. The whole community was shocked and stood in long queues to pay their respects to him but many noted a strange change in Hernandez — he became void of emotions.

The teen's only role model he had always looked up to and modeled his life on, was snatched away. This became a turning point in Aaron Hernandez's life.

He was a teenager then. With no father figure to guide him, he began losing his sense of direction. There was still hope of his mother supporting him but that was soon thwarted when Terry Hernandez began a relationship with his cousin's husband just over a month after his father's death.

The husband even moved to Hernandez's house, and that is when he stepped out, never to look back again. He began staying at his cousin's house where he met people he should not have been consorting with at his age, including two men who were later declared Hernandez's accomplices in Lloyd's murder. 

"I was the happiest little kid and you f****d me up," Hernandez told his mom Terry during a prison phone call. "I lost my father, had to go to college, I had nobody. What the f**k did you expect I was going to do? Become a perfect angel?" 

Netflix's 'Killer Inside: The Mind of Aaron Hernandez' airs on January 15, 2020. 

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