Aaron Hernandez and Odin Lloyd came from vastly different worlds, unlikely associates who friends said would often hang out and talk football, but when Hernandez was charged with murder in Lloyd's death, one mystery surrounding the case became how their relationship formed and how it all went horribly wrong.
Hernandez, a 23-year-old former New England Patriots tight end, was arrested last month on murder and weapons charges for allegedly killing Lloyd, 27, in what police have termed an execution-style slaying. Hernandez pleaded not guilty to all charges.
Court documents released last month provide a minute-by-minute timeline of what prosecutors say was cold-blooded murder. The documents reveal the first blurry images of Hernandez captured on his own security cameras at his home on the night Lloyd was killed. It showed a record of Hernandez's movements and texts that night -- including one he sent to Lloyd at 10 p.m. saying "ill hit u on the way."
The last text Lloyd sent was to his sister on the night of June 17, telling her he was with Hernandez and saying "just so you know."
Three minutes later, he was dead, police said.
Hernandez and Lloyd came from two contrasting universes. Hernandez had recently signed a new $40 million contract with the New England Patriots, while Lloyd was playing for free as a linebacker with the semi-pro Boston Bandits. Hernandez and his Patriots teammates were cheered by about 70,000 fans at Gillette stadium every weekend, while the Bandits might get 200 to 300 people in the stands at their games.
Friends said Lloyd couldn't afford a car and would bike 20 miles to make it to Bandits games. There were also times, friends said, that the talented linebacker couldn't even afford a uniform and would wear jerseys with other players' names on them.
But according to Lloyd's former football coach, Mike Branch, and other friends, Hernandez and Lloyd had formed an unlikely relationship, united by the women in their lives -- Lloyd dated Shaneah Jenkins, the sister of Hernandez's fiancé Shayanna Jenkins.
But prosecutors said something went wrong, shifting the two men's bond from cordial to fatal.
So did Lloyd lure Hernandez back into the tough world they both grew up in or was it the other way around?
Hernandez was raised in a poor neighborhood in Bristol, Conn., and was just 16 years old when his father died. Football provided an escape.
"Football was something that he really loved and gave him a little bit of a reprieve from maybe some of the everyday challenges of life," said ESPN reporter Mike Reiss. "When he was around football he could forget."
Even in high school, it was clear Hernandez was incredibly talented. Eventually, he was recruited by the University of Florida. A bright future stretched before him, if he could only keep himself in the clear.
"He himself said he had a history of getting in trouble," said ESPN reporter Jeremy Schaap. "When he graduated high school and went off to college, who knows what concerns were in his head, but a lot of times there were opportunities to mix with the wrong kind of people."
Before he played a single game for the Florida Gators, Hernandez's career was almost sidelined forever.