An investigative series by The Boston Globe revealed that former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez, who killed himself in prison last year, was sexually molested as a young boy.
The previously undisclosed information came from the Globe's "Spotlight Team" from interviews, thousands of court and government records, and text messages, emails and images Hernandez sent and received while in a Massachusetts prison, where he was serving a life sentence without parole for the 2013 slaying of onetime friend Odin Lloyd.
The newspaper's six-part series, the first installment of which was published Saturday, included details about Hernandez's childhood, sexuality and drug use. Among them:
• Hernandez and his brother, Jonathan, were often beaten by their father, Dennis, while growing up in Bristol, Connecticut. The beatings were sometimes related to Dennis Hernandez's drinking.
• Aaron Hernandez started smoking marijuana in high school with a teammate before school, before football practice and after games.
• The teammate, Dennis SanSoucie, told the Globe that he had a sexual relationship with Hernandez in junior high and high school and that the two tried to hide it.
• Jonathan Hernandez told the Globe that Aaron Hernandez disclosed later in his adult life that he had been molested as a young boy. One of Aaron's lawyers in his criminal case also said Aaron spoke to him of sexual abuse as a child. Neither was willing to identify the perpetrator to the Globe.
• Aaron Hernandez was close to a cousin, Tanya Singleton, and he was crushed when he learned that his mother, Terri, was in a serious romantic relationship with Singleton's husband, Jeff Cummings.
The report Saturday included information gleaned from recordings of nearly 300 phone calls Hernandez made from jail over a six-month period.
Hernandez was found hanging from a bed sheet in his cell on April 19, 2017, just days after he was found not guilty of two counts of murder in the killing of two men in a drive-by shooting outside a Boston nightclub five years earlier.