Inside Aaron Hernandez’s life behind bars — and the person who tried to save lots of him

It was a spectacular fall — from All-Professional tight finish for the New England Patriots to suspect within the homicide of his fiancée’s sister’s fiancé. Now, Hernandez was in jail, and his jailer, Sheriff Thomas Hodgson, thought he may the previous participant’s soul. However this excerpt from James Patterson’s new e book, “All-American Homicide,” poses the query: Was Hodgson a saint or self-aggrandizer?

It was somewhat previous 9 within the morning, on Feb. 25, 2014, and Aaron Hernandez was in his cell within the special-management unit. On a earlier event, as corrections officers had been locking him in for the evening, Hernandez had crushed his chest like King Kong. “I’m like that truck,” he had stated. “Robust. I’m constructed for this s–t.” Now, Aaron got down to show how robust he was. Exiting his cell, which was unlocked at that hour, he approached Corrections Officer Kevin Sousa, who was escorting a shackled inmate down a set of stairs.

In keeping with Sousa, Hernandez “had a smile on his face.” Nonetheless, Sousa was suspicious. He ordered Hernandez to again up and return to his cell. However Hernandez refused the order and punched the shackled inmate within the face.

One other corrections officer referred to as a “Code Blue.” Two COs restrained Hernandez, who turned to the inmate he had punched and stated, “Go forward, run your mouth now!” When the scuffle was over, the inmate Hernandez had punched defined that, on a earlier event, Hernandez had handed by his cell and stated, “Why you me?”

“I’m a Patriots fan,” the inmate had stated. In keeping with him, the meat was simply “typical jail s–t.”

“I don’t need to press expenses towards Hernandez, and you’ll by no means get me in court docket to testify,” the inmate informed the COs. He had a bruised elbow and a bump on his head. (“I may give two s–ts a couple of bump and a bruise,” the inmate stated.) However he was happy with getting within the final phrase. “You’re a bitch,” he’d informed Hernandez, as they had been being separated. “I nonetheless look ok to f–ok your lady.”

Afterward, Hernandez was charged with assault and battery and given two weeks of straight-up solitary confinement. Publicly, Sheriff Thomas Hodgson voiced his shock over the incident. “We had been so frightened about defending him,” he stated, “we by no means thought that he can be the aggressor.”

Privately, Hodgson had already gotten to know Hernandez properly sufficient to see simply how troublesome he could possibly be.

Inside just a few weeks of arriving on the jail, Hernandez had been led out into the corridor for a routine search of his cell. Watching the officers going by way of his correspondence, he had gotten upset.

“You’re not allowed to learn my authorized mail,” Hernandez yelled. 3 times, he needed to be informed to again away. When the search ended, the officers requested Hernandez a couple of piece of paper he was holding in his hand. They’d seen what Aaron had written on it: “MOB.”

Hernandez informed them that the acronym meant “Cash Over Bitches.” The officers informed him that, in jail, “MOB” meant “Member Of Bloods.”

Hernandez turned enraged. “What if I don’t give this again to you?” he requested. “What the f–ok you all gonna do about it?” The officers informed Hernandez that he can be given a disciplinary report. “I don’t give a f–ok about no disciplinary report,” he replied. “I’ll eat the motherf–ker.”

Ultimately, Aaron did get the report — and, to the officers’ amazement, he did eat it.

When Sheriff Hodgson discovered, he went to see Hernandez in his cell.

The Souza-Baranowski Correctional HeartAP

“I walked by way of the door,” Hodgson would say, “and I checked out him and simply went, ‘I’m so dissatisfied in you. I can’t imagine that you simply acted the best way you acted.’ ”

“Nicely, that’s bulls–t,” Aaron replied, testily. “They was going by way of my stuff!”

“Excuse me,” the sheriff stated. “Why are you yelling at me? Am I yelling at you? What I’m seeing proper now, that’s not the Aaron Hernandez I do know.”

Hernandez calmed down. He had grown to respect the sheriff, even to belief him to an extent. On a number of events, the lads talked about their lives, their religion and classes imparted by their fathers. However whereas Hodgson administered pep talks, it fell to his employees to self-discipline Hernandez.

As soon as, after Aaron had been positioned on disciplinary detention standing, he managed to have a care bundle delivered from the jail’s commissary: truffles, breakfast and two dozen honey buns.

“I’m good, dude,” Hernandez informed Maj. James Lancaster, the next day, when corrections officers requested him concerning the supply. “I knew you had been going to be coming this morning for these things.” When Lancaster informed Hernandez he was not allowed to order meals in detention, Hernandez stated, “I do know. That’s why I ate as a lot of the meals as I may earlier than you got here in.” Lancaster ended up confiscating 4 honey buns. True to his phrase, Hernandez had eaten the opposite 20 and saved the wrappers to indicate the officers, in case they accused him of passing honey buns out to different inmates.

“Might I eat the final 4 honey buns?” he requested. “No.” “Why?” Hernandez stated. “I’m so hungry!”

Different infractions had been way more severe. One month after testing constructive for the ache remedy Neurontin, Hernandez was cited for possessing paraphernalia signaling his allegiance to the Bloods. 5 weeks later, when a corrections officer denied him an additional meal, he referred to as the officer “a scared bitch” and stated that, when he obtained out, he would kill the officer and shoot his household.

“After stating this, inmate Hernandez appeared to make a noise that gave the impression of a machine gun,” the officer wrote in his report.

“I didn’t say I used to be going to kill him or his household,” Hernandez stated, in his personal protection. “I stated if I see COs that act robust in jail, out of jail, I’m going to slap the s–t out of them.”

A number of disciplinary experiences describe fights that Hernandez obtained into with different inmates and events when he was discovered with improvised tattoo weapons or “fishing traces” that had been produced from torn sheets and tubes of toothpaste, and utilized by prisoners to go notes.

“He’s always kicking his cell door and screaming on the prime of his lungs,” Corrections Officer Joshua Pacheco wrote in a single report, “using profanity at instances when he desires one thing, no matter how minuscule it’s. It’s not unusual for Hernandez to kick his cell door always till an officer approaches his cell merely to ask the officer for the present time. This to him is comical, inflicting a disruption in regular operation throughout the unit.”

All in all, in the midst of 10 months that he spent in Massachusetts’ Bristol County jail’s segregated unit, Hernandez racked up 120 days in solitary confinement. He appeared to carry Officer Pacheco in particular contempt. As soon as, whereas Aaron was in the midst of considered one of his exercises, he informed the officer that he had a peculiar dream: Because of a disciplinary report that Pacheco had given him, Aaron had dreamed that an upcoming visitation together with his daughter had been canceled.

“However,” Aaron informed the officer, “the dream modified places. You and your loved ones had been on trip, and I used to be chasing you.” Hernandez was obvious exhausting at Pacheco as he stated this. The one weapon at Pacheco’s disposal was a canister of Mace. He was considering of reaching for it when Aaron stated, “Then the dream ended,” and turned again to his exercise.

Pacheco reported the incident as a menace to his household. Hernandez denied this. “It was only a dream,” he defined. “Was not meant to be threatening and was taken out of context.”

Hernandez obtained off with a verbal warning. However a month later, in July, he had one other run-in with Pacheco. Lunch for the special-management inmates arrived in Styrofoam containers. The stench of the grey meals inside crept into each nook of the unit. On July 5, it was Officer Pacheco’s flip to ship it. As Hernandez noticed the officer strategy, he yelled, “I have to be your father determine and present you be a person! Present you have your balls drop! I didn’t know the Military created little boys and never males!” When Pacheco left the unit, Hernandez referred to as out once more. “I haven’t had any extra goals about you,” he hollered.

Fatherhood, and father figures, got here up usually in Hernandez’s conversations with Sheriff Hodgson. “There’s a saying my father used to at all times use with my 12 brothers and sisters,” the sheriff remembers telling him. “He used to say, ‘All the time bear in mind, God writes straight with crooked traces.’ ”

“What does that imply?” Hernandez had requested.

“That there are particular issues which might be going to occur, you’re not going to know why or how, however they’re going to occur. Do you learn the Bible?”

“I used to. My coach in Florida used to get me into the Bible stuff.”

“Did you discover it helpful?”

“Yeah, I did.”

“Nicely, you’ve obtained a Bible in your cell. Once you get again there, I would like you to learn it, and discuss to your father and take into consideration what I informed you about crooked traces.”

Thomas HodgsonGetty Pictures

“I can’t discuss to my father,” Hernandez stated.

“Should you don’t, you then received’t be capable to entry all the issues that he taught you.”

“I’ve solely gone to my father’s grave as soon as.”

“That’s one thing you’re going to need to do,” the sheriff stated. “You place an emotional wall up since you had been so harm by the lack of your father. The entire classes he taught you might be on the opposite aspect of that wall. The one means you’re going to drag the wall down is to speak to him.”

“I don’t know if I can do this.”

“OK,” stated the sheriff and left it at that. However when he noticed Hernandez once more, he introduced the matter again up.

“I didn’t discuss to my father,” Hernandez stated. “However I did learn the Bible. The weirdest factor occurred: I opened it, randomly, and it was all about me.”

“You bear in mind what I informed you about crooked traces?” stated the sheriff. “Opening that e book randomly, and discovering one thing about your self, is what I used to be speaking about.”

On one more event, Hernandez informed Hodgson that studying the Bible had precipitated him to cry. “My father informed me by no means to cry in entrance of one other ,” Hernandez stated.

A photograph of the tattooed arm of Aaron Hernandez taken whereas in jail.AP

“Actually? Why would he let you know that?”

“I don’t know. My father cried about all the pieces. And he had an unpleasant cry.”

“When would your father cry?”

“At my soccer video games.”

“Since you misplaced?”

“No. Even once we received.”

“You already know why that’s?”


“It’s as a result of your father was sitting there watching you, feeling so proud about what an excellent participant you had turn into.”

‘Aaron’s father was 13 when his father died,” Hodgson explains. “I stated to him, ‘Your father is sitting there, considering, not solely how proud he’s, however how unhappy it’s that his father couldn’t be there to see you play. That’s what your father was crying about. He wasn’t telling you to not cry in actual . He was telling you to not cry out on the soccer area.’ ”

Hernandez appeared to take all of it in. He informed the sheriff that he felt himself altering. Even his fiancé, Shayanna Jenkins, had remarked, throughout a cellphone name, upon how calm he appeared and the way good he was being to her. Possibly, Aaron stated, the sheriff had had one thing to do with it.

However the conversations with the sheriff weren’t staying between the 2 of them.

On Friday, June 20, Hernandez’s attorneys filed a movement to have him moved to a jail nearer to Boston. The movement contained a number of e-mails between Sheriff Hodgson and prosecutors. In keeping with the attorneys, they prompt an unprecedented diploma of cooperation between DAs and the sheriff. Hodgson had “deserted his function as an expert jailer and energetically embraced his function as a full-time agent of the district legal professional,” the attorneys claimed, taking each alternative to talk, publicly, about his most well-known inmate and interesting in “self-promotion and just about continuous publicity of each conceivable form.”

Sheriff Hodgson denied all of those expenses, and stated that talking publicly about Hernandez offered the previous NFL star’s followers with a useful object lesson. Nonetheless, on July 7, the attorneys’ movement was granted. Two days later, Hernandez was moved to Boston’s Suffolk County jail.

Aaron Hernandez can be discovered responsible of 1 homicide and acquitted on different expenses. On April 19, 2017, he dedicated suicide in his cell at age 27. He had written John three:16 on his brow and left his Bible open to that verse — “For God so liked the world that he gave his one and solely Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish however have everlasting life.”

From the e book “All-American Homicide” by James Patterson and Alex Abramovich with Mike Harvkey. Copyright © 2018 by James Patterson. Reprinted by permission of Little, Brown and Firm, New York, NY. All rights reserved.

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