The first installment of a six-part investigative series by The Boston Globe claims former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez was sexually molested as a boy. The newspaper’s acclaimed “Spotlight” investigative team researched Hernandez’s life from birth until he killed himself in prison.
Hernandez was sentenced to life in prison for the 2013 killing of friend Odin Lloyd. Using “interviews, thousands of court and government records, text messages, emails and images Hernandez sent,” and nearly 300 phone calls Hernandez received while in a Massachusetts prison, the Globe uncovered secrets about Hernandez’s life that revealed a tumultuous childhood that included sexual abuse, drug abuse and questions about his sexuality.
Here’s how ESPN sums up the incredibly long but worth every word Globe piece.
Hernandez and his brother, Jonathan, were often beaten by their father, Dennis, while growing up in Bristol, Connecticut. The beatings were sometimes related to Dennis Hernandez’s drinking.
Aaron Hernandez started smoking marijuana in high school with a teammate before school, before football practice and after games.
The teammate, Dennis SanSoucie, told the Globe that he had a sexual relationship with Hernandez in junior high and high school and that the two tried to hide it.
Speaking to The Boston Globe, Dennis SanSoucie says his friendship with Hernandez began in middle school when they both played on the same youth football team and continued all through high school.
The relationship allegedly revolved around three things: playing football, smoking weed, and hooking up.
The Boston Globe reports:
He and Hernandez smoked a lot of marijuana–before school, before practices, and after games. It would become the beginning of Hernandez’s lifelong relationship with getting high, even before big games.
Dennis SanSoucie recalled the first day of junior year walking with Hernandez near the high school.
“We were baked,” said SanSoucie, who later joined the Marines.
The sex is something SanSoucie, who came out as gay in his late 20s, has never told anyone about. Until now.
“Me and him were very much into trying to hide what we were doing,” he explains. “We didn’t want people to know.”
SanSoucie said he and Hernandez worked hard to keep their relationship a secret. In their traditional community of Bristol, where Dennis was bound for the military and Aaron for big-time football, it was not something they wanted people to know about.
Asked how he thinks Hernandez would feel about him talking about their relationship today, SanSoucie says he believes he would be OK with it.
“I really truly feel in my heart I got the thumbs-up from him,” he says.
Jonathan Hernandez told the Globe that Aaron Hernandez disclosed later in his adult life that he had been molested as a young boy. One of Aaron’s lawyers in his criminal case also said Aaron spoke to him of sexual abuse as a child. Neither was willing to identify the perpetrator to the Globe.
Aaron Hernandez was close to a cousin, Tanya Singleton, and he was crushed when he learned that his mother, Terri, was in a serious romantic relationship with Singleton’s husband, Jeff Cummings.
On April 17, 2017, Hernandez was found not guilty of two counts of murder. Hernandez had been accused of killing two men in a drive-by shooting some five years earlier outside a Boston nightclub. On the same day Hernandez was found not guilty, author Michele McPhee appeared on the “The Kirk & Callahan Show” to talk about her new book, “Maximum Harm,” a look back at the Boston Marathon bombing.
The hosts and McPhee began discussing a possible motive behind the Hernandez killing of one-time friend Lloyd.
“This rumor,” Callahan said on air, “this Aaron Hernandez rumor—which is so juicy. . . . It is big.”
“It’s something we can certainly play with as the days go on,” Kirk Minihane said. “I’m not sure how comfortable Michele is in talking about it.”
The hosts and McPhee began joking about Hernandez’s sexuality and rumors they’d heard, calling him a “tight end on the field” and a “wide-receiver” off it, The New Yorker reports.
Two days later, Hernandez was found dead hanging from a bed sheet in his cell. He’d scrawled the John 3:16 Bible verse across his forehead and his cell walls in blood.