The death of former NFL tight end and convicted murderer Aaron Hernandez by apparent suicide earlier this week has led to a number of stories about his violent past, and the various run-ins he had with other people over the years.
On Friday, MMQB.com posted a lengthy interview with three reporters who covered Hernandez during his high school, college or pro careers. One of those reporters is the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, who covered Hernandez in the NFL while working as New England Patriots beat writer for the Boston Herald.
Prior to his time in Boston, Rapoport was for several years the Alabama beat writer for AL.com and The Birmingham News. In the MMQB interview, Rapoport recounted a seemingly innocuous encounter with Hernandez several years ago, one that has now taken on a bit of a chilling air.
When we first exchanged numbers, he called me over and said, “Hey I just want you to know, you’re my guy. If you need anything let me know, I will help you out if I can. But I just want you to know, if you f— me over, I’ll kill you.” I sort of laughed a little bit, and I said, “Don’t worry, I got you, I’ll take care of you.” It was me and this other reporter from CBS Sports, William Bendetson, and he was standing there and had listened and we kind of turned to each other and both laughed. And then the first text I got after it became clear that Hernandez was the suspect in the murder investigation was from William Bendetson, who was like, Hey remember that day in the locker room?
Hernandez was arrested on a murder charge in 2013, and was soon after cut by the Patriots. He was convicted in 2015 of murdering Odin Lloyd, and sentenced to life in prison.
Earlier this month, Hernandez was acquitted on double murder charges in an unrelated incident. He was found dead in his prison cell on Wednesday morning after apparently hanging himself using bed sheets.