Aaron Hernandez’s apparent suicide in prison – just days after the former NFL star was cleared of additional murder charges – remains shrouded in mystery.

Why now? Is there more to the story? What happens to his estate?

The Associated Press, Boston, April 20, 2017

We won’t recount the full saga of the Hernandez conviction and his life sentence, in 2013, for killing Odin Lloyd. Just recently he’d been tried on two other murder counts and acquitted (by the same courtroom performer that won Casey Anthony her freedom in a child abuse trial for the ages). Yet in the wake of that acquittal he was found hanging in his cell from a bedsheet, one more apparent inmate suicide.

Analysts of his fall from decent citizenship have wondered: what could lead a man with a $40 million-dollar contract, an athlete at the highest level in the NFL, to be involved in petty bar brawls, and petty personal grudges, turned murder? There’s no evidence anyone ever provoked him at a level that would turn any mature person to violence.

The subtleties of circumstance and evidence at his first trial are worth a look for anyone trying to unravel the intrigue which is violent death, but it does appear he went over the edge of judgment and sanity, with no extenuating circumstances. He put himself in prison for life for rest of his days. Was it the sentence “without parole” that caused him to decide death was an attractive option?

Was Hernandez just a pathetic punk who coasted, for a time, on superior native skill on a championship team? Only hours after his death his Patriots were visiting the White House to be feted for their latest triumph, something he was surely aware of. One wonders if that factored in the stew of emotions of a man who had squandered it all.

It’s common for friends and family to exclaim Suicide? No way! One of his former agents, Brian Murphy, must be a psychiatrist as a sideline, having declared “There’s absolutely no way he took his own life.” But has Murphy faced life with no prospect of parole inside the grey, hopeless tunnel of prison?

Aaron’s former coach, Bill Belichick, recently discussed Hernandez summing up the whole affair with just one word: “Tragedy.”