Less than a week after being acquitted of double murder in the deaths of Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado, former New England Patriots Aaron Hernandez is dead. According to Massachusetts prisons officials, Hernandez, who was surviving a life sentence in the death of Odin Lloyd, hung himself in his cell.
Boston Globe NFL writer Ben Volin joined The Jim Rome Show on Wednesday and shared his reaction to the surprising news of Hernandez’s death. “That to me was really shocking. You know, I’ve been catching heat over this but I feel a little bit of sadness about it too,” Volin said. “Aaron Hernandez, there’s no question committed some really heinous acts, he killed Odin Lloyd and was certainly present and probably involved in the death of these other two young men who had no connection to Hernandez and just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. But I feel sadness for Hernandez, that a kid who had so much going for him, $40 million contract, he was only 23-years-old at the time of his arrest. A tremendous young athlete, an All-American in college, he had everything in front of him, and he just couldn’t get out of his own way, couldn’t get rid of the bad influences in his life, couldn’t realize everything he had going for him.”
Volin expressed sadness for not only Hernandez but all the lives he ruined along the way.
“At the time of his arrest, he had a baby daughter who was only seven months old. She’s now 4-and-a-half years old. She’s going to grow up now without a father. Eventually she’s going to learn about all the heinous things that he did,” Volin said. “So while his death is certainly, it comes as justice almost for Aaron Hernandez in a sense. This whole thing is just sad, for Hernandez and his family and what they have to live through and the family of the victims, that’s obviously who you most feel sad for, and just shocking too because Hernandez, he was just acquitted, and now his attorney was going to try to go appeal the other previous conviction, and it seemed like he finally had a glimmer of hope.
“So to see five days later that he killed himself is just very surprising and shocking.”
Volin tried to make sense of Hernandez’s life and how it could get so far off-track.
“It’s not like he grew up in a terrible household. He’s from Bristol, Connecticut, more of a blue-collar place, but he had good influences in his life, until his father passed away when he was a senior in high school. I believe it was in 2006,” Volin said. “Aaron was only 17-years-old at the time and people close to him kind of point to that as the moment where he lost his mentor and a role model for him and someone who had played a big role in his life always coaching him in his sports and taking him and Aaron’s brother, D.J., under his wing.
“So people point to that as maybe a turning point for Aaron and his life, but he’s also responsible for his own actions, and this is a guy who kind of glorified the gangster lifestyle, and we saw it with the tattoos, and he had several gun incidents when he was down at Florida, and then with the Patriots, he was in to drugs and a lot of bad things and just didn’t realize when you’re a professional athlete and you’ve got all this money now and this attention, you need to remove some of those influences from your life, and he just wasn’t able to do it.
“Again, the whole thing is just shocking and sad but again Aaron Hernandez is the one who is responsible for his actions.”