BOSTON (CBS) – Is there a sadder story in the news right now than the saga of Aaron Hernandez, former star athlete and multi-millionaire turned vicious murderer and prison lifer?
Hernandez is already serving life for the slaughter of Odin Lloyd, and his ongoing double-murder trial is a truly pitiful sight. But not because Hernandez deserves any pity. He had a difficult childhood, but so do many people who do not then go on to become murderous thugs.
No, the pitiful thing about the Hernandez trial is the culture of casual violence and indifference to others it is spotlighting.
Watching Hernandez’s college buddies stroll into court and exchange smiles and chuckles with their homicidal pal makes me wonder if any of them have ever spent even a second wondering about Lloyd and his loved ones, and the agony their friend has inflicted on them.
Watching Hernandez’s girlfriend – so clueless she has taken on his surname since the Odin Lloyd murder – admit that she just looked the other way at her beau’s gun possession, violent tattoos and sketchy lifestyle, raises a troubling question – Did she ever really care enough about him to try to stop his descent into ruin?
Aaron Hernandez reminds me of another senseless murderer who briefly emerged from prison recently, Daniel LaPlante, who murdered a pregnant mother and her two children 35 years ago. Like Hernandez, he squandered his life and others to feed his satanic impulses.
It’s bad enough that we live in a world that produces nightmares like these guys. Even worse that in the Hernandez case, we see so many others ready to enable them.