Former New England Patriot turned convicted murderer Aaron Hernandez made headlines last year when he was found hanging in his cell from an apparent suicide. A brain scan later revealed Hernandez suffered a severe case of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) after receiving multiple blows in the NFL as a tight end. Doctors concluded Hernandez’s case was one of the worst for a young athlete.
Shortly after his death, three suicide letters–one to his fiancee Shayanna Jenkins, his daughter Avielle Jenkins-Hernandez–and his lawyer Jose Baez, were discovered. The letters were kept from the public until now. On Saturday (Aug. 18) Baez revealed portions of the letter to The New York Post ahead of the release of his book Unnecessary Roughness: Inside The Trial and Final Days of Aaron Hernandez. Baez said nothing in Hernandez’s letter to him indicated that he planned to end his life.
Well, I wrote this letter following my acquittal and wanted to voice how I felt and let some people whos[e] music helped me get through hard times, know that it did. Wrong or right — who knows — I just follow my natural instincts and how it guides me. Pros or cons, didn’t weigh them, but I’m sure you’ll let me know your view. Besides that, I want you to know you have me forever like you never understood and time will reveal that I’m not perfect but my love and loyalty is like you’ve never seen! I appreciate all your work, time, effort, and never let that slip your mind! In time, you will see how appreciated you are, as well as all the others equally!
Hernandez was found guilty and sentenced to life in prison for the 2013 murder of a former associate Odin Lloyd. When Baez took Hernandez on as a client, he was facing an indictment for an earlier double-murder. During that time,Baez and Hernandez grew close.
In the letter addressed to his now 29-year-old fiance, Hernandez showers her with affection.
You have always been my soul-mate and I want you to love life and know I’m always with you. I told you what was coming indirectly! I love you so much and know [you] are an angel. We split into two to come change the world! Your characteristic is that of a true angel and the definition of God’s love! Tell my story fully but never think anything besides how much I love you. This was the supreme almightys plan, not mine! I love you! Let Avi know how much I love her! Look after Jano and Eddie for me —they are my boys (You’re Rich).
In the final letter to the couple’s daughter, Hernandez assures Avielle that he’ll always be with her.
Avi,Daddy will never leave you! I’m entering to the timeless realm in which I can enter into any form at any time because everything that could happen or not happened I see all at once! Life is eternal—believe!!! Love, repent, and see me/yourself in everyone because that’s what the truth is! I’ll see you all in the heavens awaiting you all with the same love. Never fear me, but love me with all of you! Fear is the only separation between you and I! We are each other—I/you—you/me—there’s no need to fear but what you do unto another will come back around!
Unnecessary Roughness: The Trial and Final Days of Aaron Hernandez comes out Tuesday (Aug. 21)
READ MORE: Aaron Hernandez Commits Suicide