Days after his death, speculation swirled that one of those letters was for an alleged male lover that Hernandez, 27, had in prison, but the contents of the letters remained a mystery.
Now, Hernandez’s attorney Jose Baez has revealed each letter in his book Unnecessary Roughness: Inside the Trial and Final Days of Aaron Hernandez.
As it turns out, there was no suicide note for a lover. One letter was to Hernandez’s daughter, Avielle Jenkins-Hernandez. Another was for his fiancée, Shayanna Jenkins. The third was for Baez, who had represented Hernandez in his most recent murder trial.
Hernandez “changed me as a person and as an attorney,” Baez tells PEOPLE. His book has the blessing of the Hernandez family, and Jenkins wrote the foreword.
“I think the readers will get a clearer view of who Aaron was,” Baez says. “We became very close during the trial, and I got to know the man who most people didn’t know.”
Once a celebrated tight end for the New England Patriots, Hernandez’s life took a dark turn when he was arrested after murdering Odin Lloyd, a semi-professional player who was dating the sister of Hernandez’s fiancée in 2013.
Two years later, Hernandez was found guilty and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. While on trial in Lloyd’s slaying, he was also indicted for a 2012 double homicide but was later acquitted.
Days later, Hernandez was found dead in his jail cell and his death was ruled a suicide.
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The contents of his letters are below.
To Hernandez’s daughter, Avielle:
“Daddy will never leave you! I’m entering to the timeless realm in which I can enter into any form at any time because everything that could happen or not happened I see all at once! Life is eternal—believe!!!” Hernandez wrote. “Love, repent, and see me/yourself in everyone because that’s what the truth is! I’ll see you all in the heavens awaiting you all with the same love.”
“Never fear me, but love me with all of you! Fear is the only separation between you and I! We are each other—I/you—you/me—there’s no need to fear but what you do unto another will come back around!”
To fianceé Shayanna Jenkins:
You have always been my soul-mate and I want you to love life and know I’m always with you. I told you what was coming indirectly! I love you so much and know [you] are an angel. We split into two to come change the world! Your characteristic is that of a true angel and the definition of God’s love! Tell my story fully but never think anything besides how much I love you. This was the supreme almightys plan, not mine! I love you! Let Avi know how much I love her! Look after Jano and Eddie for me —they are my boys (You’re Rich).
I KNEW I LOVED YOU = SAVAGE GARDEN
NOT MUCH TIME
I’M BEING CALLED!
I love you all equally! We are all each other! Don’t shed one tear for I am with all of you and never wasn’t! do not go back to living while worshipping false idols in which I warned you about!
The Real Live Forever
“Well, I wrote this letter following my acquittal and wanted to voice how I felt and let some people whos[e] music helped me get through hard times, know that it did. Wrong or right — who knows — I just follow my natural instincts and how it guides me. Pros or cons, didn’t weigh them, but I’m sure you’ll let me know your view.”
“Besides that, I want you to know you have me forever like you never understood and time will reveal that I’m not perfect but my love and loyalty is like you’ve never seen! I appreciate all your work, time, effort, and never let that slip your mind! In time, you will see how appreciated you are, as well as all the others equally!”
“I would like to send you letters so you can send to their [the artists] information or whichever way you think best. I don’t want any media really getting into me, trying to just send my love to all the artists who got me through my tough times and sending my respect to a few of the real ones out there.”