Premieres Saturday, January 20 at 10:00 PM ET/PT on CBS
Best-selling author James Patterson investigates the life and death of convicted murderer and former New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez in “All-American Murder,” a one-hour 48 HOURS special.
Hernandez seemed to have it all. He turned a hardscrabble childhood into superstar NFL dreams. In 2012 he was on one of the all-time best teams in the NFL and was armed with a new $40 million contract extension. But then it all fell apart when he was arrested for the 2013 murder of semi-pro linebacker Odin Lloyd in North Attleboro, Mass. He was convicted of murdering Lloyd in 2015, and in April 2017, Hernandez committed suicide in a Massachusetts prison where he was serving a life sentence. He was 27.
“I believe this is the most fascinating, complicated and troubling crime story of our times,” Patterson says. “And you don’t know the half of it yet. ”Patterson and 48 HOURS take viewers on a journey through Hernandez’s life – as a child growing up in Bristol, Conn., where football glory got him into college – and then to the NFL. But, despite the on-field accolades, as Patterson reports, he could never outrun his history, including the impact the death of his father had on him, and his other personal demons, which remained hidden behind the mask of a celebrity football player. In addition to being charged and convicted of killing Lloyd, Hernandez was also charged and acquitted of killing two others.
“You hear stories about the fall from grace,” says Urban Meyer, who coached Hernandez at the University of Florida. “And this might be one of the most tragic of all time.” Off the field, Hernandez hung out with a bad crowd and used drugs, police say. After his death, doctors learned, the countless hits he took playing football may have caused Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, better known as CTE, a degenerative brain disease found in people who have suffered repeated trauma to the head. The illness can’t be identified until the person has died. In November 2017, researchers at Boston University revealed that Hernandez had the most severe case of CTE they’d ever found in a brain of someone his age, which, they said at the time, would have impacted his decision-making, inhibition of controlling aggression, emotional volatility and rage behaviors.