Aaron Hernandez was the saviour of his team, adored across America. But underneath the smile of a football hero lurked a dangerous psychopath.

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The American dream had come true for Aaron Hernandez.

He’d been born in 1989, the son of Italian and Puerto-Rican immigrants on the wrong side of the tracks in a poor town in Connecticut, USA.

Opportunities for a young man like Aaron were few.

But when one came his way, he grabbed it.

Because Aaron had been born with a gift. A gift that would be his ticket to a better life.

He was an exceptional American Football player, had been signed to play for the New England Patriots in the national league.

The big time.

But despite the multi-million dollar contracts, Aaron kept it real. He’d married his childhood sweetheart, Shayanna, doted on their baby daughter, Avielle. He donated thousands to charity and supported the Myra Kraft Fund that offered scholarships to underprivileged kids. A fund that had helped him when he’d been growing up.

Aaron was riding the crest of a wave. His career was going from strength to strength. He’d won game after game for his team, made touchdown after touchdown, been given a $12.5million bonus.

A good citizen. Except that was all about to change.

Aaron playing for the New England Patriots in Nov 2012 (Photo: REX/Shutterstock)

In 2013, Aaron was out clubbing when he ran into his sister’s fiancé, Odin Lloyd.

Witnesses saw the men chatting. And then, the atmosphere changed.

Harsh words were swapped.

Odin Lloyd left the club.

No one knew what the row was about.

But a few days later, Odin Lloyd was found at an industrial park a mile from Hernandez’s mansion.

He’d been shot in the back and chest.

The police investigated, looked into each of Odin’s friends and associates.

They found Hernandez had hired a team of house cleaners the day Odin had been killed.

Mere coincidence?

And then, they discovered Hernandez’s secret flat. He’d rented it out without telling anyone about it.

When the police searched it, they found the gun and ammunition they needed to make an arrest.

They had their man.

Hernandez denied the charges, challenged the police to find a motive for the killing.

The police had to admit they couldn’t find one.

But that wasn’t proof of Aaron Hernandez’s innocence.

In fact, it only made his crimes more frightening.

He’d killed a man for no real reason.

Within days, the story was splashed in headlines across all the American newspapers.

Football hero killer. American dream to American nightmare.

No one could understand why he’d done it.

Was it simply that he was evil, twisted?

Aaron Hernandez was put on trial for first-degree murder. He denied the charges.

But while he was answering to the murder of Odin Lloyd, a breakthrough came in the investigation into the 2012 murders of Daniel Abreu and Safiro Furtado that linked Hernandez to the crime through CCTV.

Experts in psychology were asked to examine the cases.

They suggested Aaron Hernandez matched the traits seen in psychopaths. Superficially charming, but callous, showing no remorse, and unable to accept responsibility…

He’d killed just for the hell of it.

In April 2015, Aaron Hernandez was found guilty of the murder of Odin Lloyd.

Aaron Hernandez in court (Photo: REX/Shutterstock)

He was sentenced to life without parole.

Aaron Hernandez was to never again set foot in a football stadium, or in his sprawling mansions.

Instead, he was sentenced to spend the rest of his life in Massachusetts’ newest prison, the Souza Baranowski Correctional Center. Because of who he was, he was kept away from the rest of the prison population.

‘There could be prisoners with a beef who are out to get him,’ a prison official explained.

After nearly two years in prison, aged 27, Aaron Hernandez was found dead after hanging himself in his cell. This came just one week after he was acquitted of the drive-by double murder of Daniel Abreu and Safiro Furtado.