It’s been one week since former New England Patriots tight end and convicted murderer Aaron Hernandez was found dead in his cell at Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center in Lancaster, Massachusetts.
While certain key questions about Hernandez’s suicide have been answered by the ensuing investigation, many more have arisen.
Most of those questions concern Hernandez’s mindset in the moments before he decided to hang himself hang himself with a bed sheet.
Curiously, the suicide happened just days after Hernandez was acquitted on double murder charges.
He was already serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole at the time of the verdict, but there was hope amongst Hernandez’s attorneys that the acquittal would improve his chances of being found not guilty on appeal.
Much of the speculation about Hernandez’s final days has centered around his alleged prison love affair with Kyle Kennedy, a fellow inmate at Souza-Baranowski.
Sources say Hernandez was devastated when his request to share a cell with Kennedy was denied, and in his already-fragile emotional state, the news was more than he could take.
Now, a new factor in the 27-year-old’s tragic decision may have emerged thanks to a Newsweek report that claims Hernandez was high on synthetic marijuana at the time of his death.
According to the report, medical investigators found evidence of the drug known as K2 in Hernandez’s system during a kidney fluid screen.
It may seem unlikely that marijuana would cause someone to take their own life, but in many cases, synthetic substitutes are marijuana in name only.
It’s also been speculated that Hernandez may have experienced highly unusual reactions to THC and other drugs due to the presence of CTE or other brain injuries incurred on the playing field.
At one point, his attorneys planned to argue in court that past violent incidents had been prompted by Hernandez’s marijuana use.
Officials suspect that a liquid version of K2 was smuggled into the prison by an associate of Hernandez’s.
An investigation has been launched into how the contraband wound up in his cell.
Prison authorities say the drug is notoriously difficult to intercept, as such a small amount is needed to get high that it can be sent undetected through the mail.
Officials may never found out how the drug ended up in Hernandez’s possession or whether it played a role in his decision to commit suicide, but the fact that he was under the influence is just one more strange detail in an increasingly macabre case.