Aaron Hernandez's Secret Queer Life

But thanks to the filmmakers’ access to Hernandez’s recorded conversations while in prison, interviews with some of his lovers and teammates, and a willingness to grapple frankly with his sexuality, the episodes offer new insight into the kind of trauma and denial that permeated his life.

Hernandez’s father, Dennis, was originally positioned as a defining figure in his trajectory, credited with instilling the discipline and drive that turned his son into a promising Connecticut high school football prodigy.

Killer Inside presents a different angle on Hernandez’s boyhood, showing that his father wasn’t just providing structure but taught him a model of masculinity built on anti-gay prejudice.

Hernandez’s brother, D.J., points out (in clips from a Dr. Oz interview) that the would-be-NFL player had wanted to be a cheerleader — inspired by his cousins — and their father, who felt there was a “feminine way” about Aaron, put a stop to it right away.

The filmmakers try to flesh out the lives of the murder victims at the center of the trials — especially Odin Lloyd — which are often overlooked in true crime narratives, although the attempt comes off as half-hearted (and somewhat random) in a documentary subtitled The Mind of Aaron Hernandez .

Academics interviewed talk about the sports industrial complex, speculating about the pressures student-athletes are under; some of Hernandez’s fellow teammates say that neither football nor head trauma and CTE are at fault for his crimes.

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