When ex-NFL player Aaron Hernandez was found dead Wednesday from suspected suicide in his prison cell, many questioned why the former Patriots tight end chose that time to die. The longtime gang affiliate had recently been acquitted in two other murders, his old team was visiting the White House, and he had not yet appealed his conviction in court.
According to a report from Newsweek, Hernandez may have been bisexual and worried about people finding out. Law enforcement sources tell the magazine that fear of his sexuality becoming known may have been a motive in the 2013 killing of semi-pro football player Odin Lloyd, who was a friend and the boyfriend of his fiancée’s sister.
Hernandez allegedly had a longterm relationship with a male high school friend. This friend, Newsweek reports, was interviewed by authorities and testified in front of a grand jury in connection with Lloyd’s murder in an attempt to show motive. According to law enforcement sources, police believed Hernandez shot Lloyd to prevent him from telling people that he was bisexual.
According to Newsweek, Lloyd called Hernandez a “schmoocher,” which he interpreted as a gay slur, the night of the shooting. Ernest Wallace, a co-defendant in the Lloyd murder case, was also apparently recorded saying that he wouldn’t have helped Hernandez hide the weapon if he’d known he was a “limp wrist.”
Adding to suspicions about the men’s relationship was that fact that Hernandez reportedly moved large sums of money into accounts for three people before being arrested for Lloyd’s murder. The first two were expected: his fiancée and his daughter. The third account, which held the most money, was for his high school friend.
This circle of three is apparently mirrored in the suicide notes he left behind, alongside a Bible opened to John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son, that whosoever believes in him would not perish but have eternal life.” The verse was also written on his forehead in red ink, and his hands and feet were adorned with red stigmata-like marks.
Hernandez left behind notes for his fiancée, his daughter, and a close prison friend that law enforcement sources described as his boyfriend. According to Newsweek, that man is now on suicide watch.
If you are a trans or gender-nonconforming person in the U.S. considering suicide, Trans Lifeline can be reached at 877-565-8860. LGBT youth (ages 24 and younger) can reach the Trevor Project Lifeline at 1-866-488-7386. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 can also be reached 24 hours a day by people of all ages and identities.