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Netflix documentary shines light on Aaron Hernandez, former NFL star and convicted killer

Shawn M. Carter

Former New England Patriots star Aaron Hernandez is in the spotlight again.

Netflix on Wednesday released "Killer Inside: The Mind of Aaron Hernandez," a 3-part docuseries that probes the life and death of the former NFL tight end, who was convicted of first-degree murder in April 2015 and died two years later in a suicide by hanging.

The Geno McDermott-directed series, which runs 70 minutes per episode, is based largely on reporting from sports journalists Dan Wetzel and Kevin Armstrong, and retells the story of Hernandez and victim, semi-pro football player Odin Lloyd.

It features enhanced archival footage starting from Hernandez's high school football career all the way up to his days in the NFL, where he inked a massive 5-year, $41 million contract.

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Also featured in the series are private audio recordings between Hernandez and those close to him during his time behind bars, including a clip from fiancée, Shayanna Jenkins, where she said through tears, "I just want you to have a clear head and not to do anything stupid. I want you to know that I'm here for you and I'm always going to be here for you."

The series also explores the impact football-related chronic traumatic encephalopathy could have had on Hernandez. Researchers, after the football star's death, found he had the worst case of CTE diagnosed for someone his age. (He was 27 when he died.)

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"It all made sense," Patrick Haggan, the Suffolk County prosecutor in Hernandez's trial said in the series. "The seeds of this tragedy had started many, many years earlier."

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"Killer" comes at a time when Netflix delves into true-crime documentaries to lure in more viewers and steal customers away from growing competitors like Hulu and Disney+.

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