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Probably not, but in the days following his arrest and subsequent murder charge, Hernandez’s name surfaced as a person of interest in two additional cold-case murder investigations.
Police have not openly stated that Hernandez is a suspect in either unsolved case, but they are re-examining case files to see if anything new comes to light.
2012 Double Murder
After Hernandez was charged with the murder of Odin Lloyd, police began looking for a possible motive. One theory was that Lloyd had “mouthed off” to the wrong people about dirty deeds Hernandez had committed in his past. We may never know exactly what was said at the nightclub 48 hours before Lloyd’s death, but some speculate that Lloyd said something along the lines of “you know what happens to people who cross Hernandez.”
Again, we may never know the true nature of the conversation that night, but if Lloyd had knowledge of a previous murder committed by Hernandez, and he was willing to at least informally discuss it, one can logically conclude Hernandez may consider tying up any loose ends that could implicate him for past transgressions.
With that theory in mind, cops began looking into unsolved murders in the area. One case that stood out was a 2012 murder in which two men were shot and killed in a drive-by shooting. According to the police report, Daniel Jorge Correia de Abreu and Safiro Texeira Furtado were sitting at a traffic light when someone pulled up next to their vehicle and sprayed the car with bullets. Witnesses say a silver SUV with Rhode Island plates was seen driving away from the scene moments after the shooting.
Acting on that information, investigators searched Hernandez’s uncle’s house in the days after the 23-year-old was arrested. It’s unclear how much evidence they collected, but police did tow away a silver SUV with Rhode Island license plates.
Certainly there are thousands of silver SUV’s with Rhode Island license plates on the roads, but it makes you wonder. Especially after a similar sounding cold-case was uncovered from 2007.
An investigation by ABC News discovered that authorities may be re-examining a shooting in Gainesville, Florida from 2007, and the details of the case offer more questions than answers.
According to the police report, Randall Cason and his brother Corey Smith were waiting in their car for a stoplight to change when they were approached by two individuals on the right side of their vehicle. A witness said they saw a “Hawaiian” or “Hispanic” male point a small handgun inside the front right window and fire five quick shots.
Corey Smith was hit in the head with one of the bullets, and he died shortly thereafter. The two men took off running in a different direction, but the witness estimated that the “Hawaiian” or “Hispanic” was between 6-foot-3 and 6-foot-4, and weighed between 230 and 240 pounds. The witness also said the shooter “had a lot of tattoos.”
A quick search of Hernandez’s physique revealed that he was listed as 6’2, 250 pounds at the time he left the University of Florida. He also has more than a few tattoos on his body.
After the incident, Cason told police that his brother had gotten into an altercation earlier in the week with several football players from the University of Florida at a nightclub. Hernandez and some teammates were seen at a Gainesville nightclub in the hours before the shooting, but Hernandez declined to talk to investigators about the incident.
Again, this incident can barely even be classified as circumstantial evidence, but it does make you wonder; Is Aaron Hernandez hiding a sinister past, or is he merely a victim of coincidence?
Related sources: CBS, ABC News, Sports Illustrated, International Business Times, ProFootballTalk, Rivals.com