The story of Aaron Hernandez, the New England Patriots star turned convicted assassin, all the time comes all the way down to why.
Why would Hernandez kill his pal 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 courting again to his faculty days? How might an individual described at instances as fun-loving, delicate and susceptible flip to homicidal aggression?
Doable solutions to these questions emerge within the Netflix documentary sequence “Killer Inside: The Thoughts of Aaron Hernandez,” directed by Geno McDermott. The sequence, instructed in three elements, is now in competition for Emmy nominations.
“I feel he was residing a double life,” McDermott says of Hernandez. “He was capable of, throughout the day, be an incredible athlete, wonderful soccer participant. He was capable of fold into the Patriots group. Then at night time he was capable of change over into this darkish aspect and fully change. It’s simply wonderful he was capable of get by means of 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 stored 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 habits there — an assault on a bar supervisor and potential involvement in a taking pictures. However Hernandez by no means confronted costs in these instances; McDermott suggests which 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 loads of him suspected of committing loads 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 stories 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 rapidly grew to become an affect participant on an impressive staff, paired at tight finish with one other main expertise, Rob Gronkowski. Then, in 2013, got here the bombshell—Hernandez’s arrest within the demise of Lloyd, whose bullet-ridden physique was discovered a few mile from Aaron’s mansion in North Attleborough, Massachusetts. Ample knowledge factors tied Hernandez to the taking pictures, together with cellphone information 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 suppose 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 large, was as a result of he was an energetic participant and nobody might have ever thought that he was accountable for one thing like this.”
‘He was capable of change over into this darkish aspect and fully change.’
To assemble his sequence, McDermott drew from jailhouse audio of Hernandez speaking with associates, household and his fiancée. At instances on the telephone 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 approach. If it was some buddies from a earlier staff, he would discuss to them in a sure approach. I feel it actually exemplified him having 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 individuals for the sequence, together with Hernandez’s childhood pal and soccer teammate, Dennis SanSoucie. SanSoucie remembers Hernandez confirmed no emotion on the funeral of Aaron’s father, who died immediately when Hernandez was 16. And SanSoucie sheds extra gentle on Hernandez’s sexuality, revealing they have 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 come back out,” McDermott observes. “It’s very exhausting for somebody to principally be gay, and it was apparent that was the case for Dennis and Aaron after they have been rising up by means of late center college into highschool.”
After his demise 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 numerous professional soccer gamers.
May CTE, which might produce temper and habits problems, clarify Hernandez’s disturbing sample of violence? It’s one other unanswerable query.
“It actually says quite a bit about the kind of ache and struggling Aaron was in all probability going by means of bodily,” McDermott feedback, including, “I don’t suppose they’ve ever been capable of tie CTE to somebody committing homicide, or committing crime. There’s lots of people that play contact sports activities which might be in all probability affected by CTE that haven’t accomplished these varieties of issues. In order that’s all the time my rebuttal when somebody tries guilty it on CTE. That’s why I feel Aaron and the story is so multifaceted as a result of it could possibly be one in all many, many various components for the the reason why he dedicated crime.”
McDermott describes his documentary sequence as “a really layered story.” It’s up for Excellent Documentary or Nonfiction Collection on the Emmys.
“We have been capable of 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 means of on the Emmys.”