Aaron Hernandez and Football Inc.
Read the series below. Listen to new episodes every Tuesday.
The story of Aaron Hernandez unspooled rapidly in Boston and beyond, with developments almost impossible to digest in real time. The Patriots star tight end dazzled crowds with his spectacular athleticism, only to be implicated in one murder, then two others. There were trials, and verdicts, and a maximum security prison. He took his own life at age 27.
What is the legacy of Aaron Hernandez?
Through documents and audio recordings, some never before made public, and interviews with key people who have never before spoken, the Globe’s Spotlight Team has compiled the story of a profoundly troubled young man and the ugly underside of America’s most popular sport. Its reporters produced not only this six-part series, but also its first-ever multi-episode podcast where you can hear the voices – including that of Aaron Hernandez – that will bring the story alive.
Part I: Bristol
Behind the smile
Hernandez grew up to respect - and fear - his father. He also kept some painful secrets.
Part II: Florida
Lost in “The Swamp”
A rising star with a violent streak enabled by college football
Part III: Foxborough
Running for his life
Hernandez was known within the Patriots as a top star who was beyond odd.
Part IV: Murder
A killer in the huddle
The Patriots became the only NFL team with an active player accused in three murders.
Part V: Prison
A room of his own
Hernandez found a mixture of anguish and solace behind bars, until he chose to end it all.
Part VI: CTE
A terrible thing to waste
Hernandez’s most lasting legacy in football may be one of his organs: His brain.