We’ve known for a while now that Odin Lloyd was worried enough about who picked him up the night he died that he texted his sister “U saw who I’m with . . . Nfl . . . just so u know.” But what tipped him off that he was in danger?
One theory says that he had information about Hernandez’s involvement in an unsolved double murder — and therefore, good reason to worry about the kind of person he was climbing into a car with. But maybe there was something else. Let’s take a look the recently-published text exchange between Hernandez and Lloyd the night of the incident to see if we can find some clues:
According to an affidavit submitted by trooper Eric J. Benson in support of the issuance of a search warrant, Hernandez sent Lloyd the following text at 9:05 p.m.: “I’m coming to grab u tonight gon b around 1 need dat and we could step for a little again.”
Roughly 30 minutes later, after Lloyd didn’t respond, Hernandez sent another message: “Waddup.”
Said Lloyd: “Aite, where.”
Hernandez: “idk it don’t matter but imma hit u when I’m dat way like Las time if my phone dies imma hit u when i charge it which will be in a lil.”
Said Lloyd, who apparently was curious about Hernandez’s plans: “Ait idk anything goin on.”
Hernandez responded, saying “I’ll figure it out ill hit u on my way.”
This is a slightly-longer account of the exchange as it was reported in the New York Times. But this fleshed-out version contains one recurring motif to which I would like to draw your attention: “imma hit u”, “imma hit u”, “ill hit u”. As it turns out, Hit has more than one meaning. Let’s consider which of them might plausibly apply to the Hernandez case:
1) verb, Communicate (e.g. call, text). As in, “I hope you get this man, hit me back just to chat, truly yours, your biggest fan, this is Stan.” Interestingly, though this is the most obvious meaning in context, I couldn’t find it in any dictionary — so I think it can safely be eliminated from contention.
2) verb, Murder (usually for hire). Soon after Hernandez was arrested, TMZ re-published a four month-old conversation in which one of its reporters (is that the right word?) asked Hernandez how much a bounty — a “hit” — on his head would be worth. TMZ quipped:
Now, of course, the term “hit” has taken on a totally different meaning … as the 23-year-old faces murder charges in the slaying of 27-year-old Odin Lloyd.
In this case, Hernandez’s text can simply be read as a barely-veiled threat — a pretty damning piece of evidence. But if so, Lloyd probably had a good idea of what was coming, and wouldn’t have calmly gotten into the car. Strike two, too.
Police found a dish and scale used for weighing drugs in Hernandez’s home and his fiancée Shayanna Jenkins told authorities that Lloyd was a pot dealer, according to the documents.
So maybe Lloyd was just planning on engaging in a simple business transaction. This theory has been floated, but Hernandez reportedly never failed a drug test in the NFL, and wrote the Patriots a pre-draft letter promising that, if they drafted him, he wouldn’t do drugs. Aaron Hernandez wouldn’t lie, would he? The letter reads, “In closing, I ask you to trust me when I say you have absolutely nothing to worry about when it comes to me and the use of recreational drugs” — he probably should have ended the sentence before the word “and”, but still, I think we can safely rule out drugs.
4) verb, The opposite of “stand” in blackjack. Judging by the tattoo on Hernandez’s chest (visible above), he was something of a gambler. Perhaps he’s not a murderer at all — he just picked up Lloyd for a rousing game of Russian roulette.
5) verb, To have sex with. This brings us back to my favorite theory — that this is all just a Romeo and Juliet story gone horribly wrong:
I’m going to try to end every post about Aaron Hernandez by referencing this random google search that happened to come my way.