Thursday, April 20, 2017
Aaron Hernandez, the former NFL star who was found dead today after hanging himself in prison, is the subject of a documentary TV series produced by Geno McDermott’s Blackfin. The company had been in production on the series since early this year, working with writer Dan Wetzel who had covered Hernandez’s story for the past four years.
The series tracks the most recent murder trial, in which Hernandez was acquitted of a double homicide just five days before his death. It also explores Hernandez’s past and the truth behind the perceived double life he led.
The series, said to be in the vein of Netflix’s Making a Murderer, will be pitched next week to streaming services, cable and premium networks. The meetings had been scheduled before today’s tragic final twist in Hernandez’s story.
The former New England Patriots Pro Bowl tight end was moved to tears Friday after he was acquitted of the 2012 fatal shootings of Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado in Boston. He was serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole for his conviction in the 2013 shooting of Odin Lloyd, a semipro football player who was dating the sister of Hernandez’s fiancée Shayanna Jenkins-Hernandez. Hernande was in the process of appealing that conviction at the time of his death.
The news comes the day that members of his former team were at the White House to be congratulated by President Trump for their Super Bowl LI win in February.
“The Hernandez case has been a compelling investigation, but as a result of this horrific turn of events, the focus of the project will experience an obvious shift,” said McDermott, CEO of Blackfin.
Blackfin is behind the Discovery ID crime series I Am Homicide as well as the recently announced Escobar’s Millions for Discovery. Momentum Content, launched this year by former Discovery ID exec Christina Douglas with a co-production deal at Blackfin, specializes in crime- and investigation-driven formats.
McDermott, Douglas and Wetzel executive produce the Aaron Hernandez docu.
Wetzel is a bestselling author and the national columnist for Yahoo.com and Yahoo Sports, where he focuses on the NFL, NBA and college football. He also serves as an investigative reporter for Yahoo and has covered numerous high-profile sports trials ranging from Jerry Sandusky to Michael Vick.