A Perplexing Dilemma; The Mind of Aaron Hernandezcsudhbulletin February 19, 2020 0 COMMENTS
I usually log in to Twitter expecting quality memes, heart-warming videos of animals or last-minute news, but for three days straight, all that seemed to appear in my feed was Aaron Hernandez and this so-called “Killer Inside: The Mind of Aaron Hernandez,” documentary.
My first thought was, “Who is Aaron Hernandez?”
I’m sorry football fans, I grew up in a household where football and soccer were used interchangeably and meant having 11 players kicking the ball trying to score a goal with their feet.
After a quick Google search I found out he was a:
2. Connecticut native.
3. Very talented tight end for the New England Patriots of the National Football League.
4. Convicted murder.
5. Dead man.
I was immediately intrigued, and moments later, after reading his online profile, I hit play. Less than five minutes into the first episode, the footage of Hernandez’s arrest is shown, handcuffed, in red shorts, white tee and with his head held up high – at first, the images gave me hope that he was actually innocent.
He was a person of color, young, talented, a family man. Of course, I was hoping he was innocent, but he wasn’t.
Hernandez went from a charismatic, popular high-school kid to a well-paid Super Bowl star, only to end up hanging himself in a prison cell – two years after being convicted of the murder of his brother-in-law, Oydin Lloyd and incriminated in two others.
There is absolutely no true-crime mystery in this documentary. Hernandez scattered evidence of his crime like breadcrumbs. The Netflix original relied on old footage of the trials, phone call recordings, and a few pieces of breaking news footage.
And of course lots of unnecessary commentary; so much commentary that you would think it would help you connect the puzzle to unravel this man’s death.
Why would he throw away his luxurious and promising life by murdering someone, and then decide to kill himself? you might ask.
I know, because I asked myself the same thing- and spoiler alert, the three-part documentary doesn’t answer this. In fact, it leaves you with more questions than answers.
The documentary doesn’t
do well on various things, but what it does excels on, is formulating many speculations, one right after the other – feeding viewers unsubstantiated suppositions that go nowhere and don’t answer why Hernandez became a murderer.
His dad was always on his ass! No, he was actually too distant! His mother remarried after his dad died and he was left all alone! He smoked too much weed! The pressure from the NFL made him stress! He had anger issues! And the most mentioned one, was Hernandez gay?
The answer is: we’ll never know. If he was gay, bisexual or just a little unsure about his sexuality. And we’ll never know because the only person who could conclusively prove it, Aaron Hernandez, is dead.
And in all honesty, why is that a factor in this story? Why does Netflix spend all three episodes obsessively dispersing an alleged story of Hernandez’s relationship with a man?
A speculation that was backed up by one single source; Dennis SanSoucie. A childhood best friend, (according to SanSoucie) who testified in the documentary, that he and Hernandez “experimented” sexually in high school.
With the most amount of screen time in this documentary, SanSoucie affirmed that he was in a relationship with Hernandez, and then quickly added, “but at the time, you don’t look at it like that.”
Hernandez being gay, was not in any way verified at any point in the documentary.
Yes, there were rumors, many of which mainstream media spread like fire.
Yes, journalist Michele McPhee did go on a live radio station to spread allusions of Hernandez sexuality, even if as a journalist (or anyone really) it’s ethically incorrect to “out” someone like that.
Hernandez never addressed any of these rumors. It is not to question SanSoucie’s legitimacy or validity of his experience, but it’s important to note how Netflix has used these speculations as the center focus of a horrifying killing.
“Killer Inside” makes several points that postulate, (both explicitly and implicitly) that Hernandez’s discomfort with his sexual identity manifested itself in cruel, murderous outbursts, that possibly made him murder his victims.
In reality, he was a killer, he was guilty, and his sexuality had nothing to do with it.