As you’ve likely heard by now, former NFL star and convicted murderer Aaron Hernandez was found dead in his prison cell this morning.
The one-time New England Patriots tight end was 27.
He was found guilty of murdering Odin Lloyd in 2015, but the suicide came on the heels of Hernandez being acquitted of an alleged double murder.
While Hernandez was still serving a life sentence for murder, the recent not guilty verdict significantly improved the chances that a pending appeals trial for the Lloyd case would work out in his favor.
The odd timing of the suicide has led to theories that Hernandez was murdered, a theory espoused by several people in his inner circle.
It may be quite some time before anything resembling a definitive answer takes shape, but in the meantime, new and disturbing details about the case continue to emerge.
WBZ Boston reported moments ago that Hernandez was found dead in his cell with "John 3:16" scrawled on his forehead.
John 3:16 is an apparent reference to the oft-quoted Bible verse. The verse, possibly the most famous in the Bible, reads:
"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."
WBZ is also reporting that authorities are investigating the possibility that Hernandez was high on synthetic marijuana at the time of his suicide.
In another grim detail, Fox 25 in Boston is reporting that authorities who discovered Hernandez’s body found large amounts of blood smeared on the walls of his cell.
Prior to his arrest, Hernandez was considered one of the top tight ends in the NFL, and a huge part of the Patriots’ offensive success.
In 2011 and 2012, he and Rob Gronkowski made history as the only pair of tight ends to catch five touchdowns each in back-to-back seasons.
Before the start of the 2013 season, having just signed a huge contract extension, Hernandez was arrested by police on suspicion of Lloyd’s murder.
He would never again be a free man.
A former semi-pro football player himself, Odin Lloyd was a friend who had previously dated the sister of Aaron’s fiancee.
The nature of their falling out is unclear, but Lloyd was shot several times by a weapon seen in Hernandez’s possession.
Hernandez, who pleaded not guilty, had an appeal pending at the time of his passing, so technically died an innocent man in the eyes of the law.
The Bristol, Conn., native is survived by fiancee Shayanna Jenkins and their four-year-old daughter, Avielle Janelle Jenkins-Hernandez.