Thursday, June 27, 2013

I think most of us were surprised when New England Patriots star tight end Aaron Hernandez was arrested and charged with murder yesterday. Rumors and speculation had been building for more than a week, after the body of Odin Lloyd was found in a field in North Attleboro, Massachusetts, but it largely alluded to Aaron being charged with something like obstruction of justice. Even though we don't know all of the facts of this case yet, it's clear that Odin is the victim here, and my thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends. At 27 years old, it's sad that his life was taken away. Another tragedy in this case: Aaron Hernandez.

Aaron Hernandez during better days. Credit:

Yes, if Aaron committed or is responsible for Odin's murder, he should be punished to the fullest extent of the law. And the case against him, while still in its early stages, looks strong. But as I watched his bail review hearing this afternoon live on ESPN, I couldn't help but feel sorry for him. Here's a 23-year-old, who had a great career, a lucrative ($40 million) NFL contract (the Patriots released him from the team an hour after he was arrested Wednesday), and a fiancĂ© and eight-month-old daughter at home (7,000-square-foot home at that), who seems to have thrown it all away. After statements from the defense and the prosecutor, the judge denied Aaron's request to be granted bail. So, he'll sit in jail for at least the next year or so until he goes to trial.

It seems likely that Aaron will never see the outside world again. But one thing's for certain: Odin will never see life again.

It's always baffling to me when a person senselessly takes the life of another human being. Don't they realize they're taking that person's life, ruining that person's family's lives, AND destroying their own life as well as devastating the lives of the people who love them?

Aaron Hernandez (left) and Rae Carruth.

The Aaron Hernandez case is quickly drawing comparisons to Rae Carruth, the then-25-year-old Carolina Panthers wide receiver who, in November 1999, hired hitmen to shoot and kill his pregnant girlfriend. In 2009, I wrote a cover story for Creative Loafing, titled "Remembering Infamy: The life and crimes of Rae Carruth — 10 years later," that I think is worth revisiting in light of this new case. Like Aaron--if he's guilty--Rae ruined many lives, including his own.


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