Netflix has unveiled the trailer for its latest true crime sensation and the subject is someone you’re probably familiar with — Aaron Hernandez, the former tight end for the New England Patriots who killed three people before ultimately killing himself while serving a life sentence in prison.
Killer Inside: The Mind of Aaron Hernandez is a three-part documentary series follows the gifted football player from his early days in Bristol, Connecticut to his time playing college ball for the Florida Gators. He was drafted by the Patriots at the age of 20, and quickly established himself as a dominate force on the field, ultimately signing a five-year, $40 million contract to catch passes from the G.O.A.T., Tom Brady.
Instead, Hernandez caught a murder charge for the brutal killing of his future brother-in-law, Odin Lloyd, and he was subsequently sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. He also killed two Boston-area men, which, led to investigators opening up a Pandora’s box of Hernandez’s secrets. According to Netflix, those include his “tumultuous and often abusive upbringing, a growing fascination with gang life, and other discoveries that painted a maelstrom of motivations behind his violent behavior.”
The series features “exclusive courtroom footage, Hernandez’s phone calls from prison, and interviews with those who knew Hernandez and Lloyd” and “meticulously examines the perfect storm of factors leading to the trial, conviction, and death of an athlete who seemingly had it all,” per the streaming service.
What stood out to me is that in all the footage in this trailer, you never once see Hernandez in a Patriots uniform. I wonder if the NFL simply wouldn’t license any game footage or photos to the filmmakers. Or… maybe it’s just not in the two-minute trailer. What is there, or rather, who is there, is Rob Gronkowski, who, judging by his “no comment,” was well-trained in the wise media ways of former coach/sensei Bill Belichick. Of course, Gronk isn’t in the league anymore, so perhaps he had more freedom to speak freely, shall we say? All I know is, if Tom Brady was in this series, he would definitely be in the trailer, no?
Listen, I read James Patterson‘s All-American Murder: The Rise and Fall of Aaron Hernandez, along with nearly every major article about his crimes, and it’s hard to put into words just how stunning this story is at every turn. Just when you think you know it all, you realize, you don’t. This guy was living a double life. A lot of serial killers do that, but their “regular” lives aren’t as celebrities. Even on TV, Dexter Morgan was just a Miami forensics tech, not the starting running back for the Dolphins. The Hernandez story may not have had the political ramifications that the O.J. Simpson case did, but it is every bit as insane.
The craziest thing about all of this? Killer Inside: The Mind of Aaron Hernandez will debut on Netflix on January 15, which is in 8 days. Surprise! For true crime fans, the New Year is definitely starting with a bang, though I urge you to keep in mind the additional victims — the families of the three slain men — as you watch this series, because it’s the families who are all too often forgotten, or re-traumatized, by this kind of content. Just something I was thinking about while watching Don’t F**k With Cats: The Hunt for an Internet Killer, which was as excellent as it was disturbing.
For a list of the best crime shows on Netflix, click here.