Netflix delivers another true-crime hit with the most comprehensive account yet of NFL star Aaron Hernandez’s chilling story.
Across three episodes directed by Geno McDermott, Killer Inside: The Mind of Aaron Hernandez (Netflix) provides the most comprehensive account yet of the chilling — and perhaps preventable — double life led by record-breaking New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez, who in 2013 murdered Odin Lloyd, in 2015 was sentenced to life in prison for doing so, and in 2017 took his own life.
It’s a hell of a true-crime tale, and we know how much Netflix enjoys those, but Killer Inside works for the distinction of being the streaming giant’s next big genre hit by chronicling in as much depth as possible all the facets of Hernandez’s life that might have contributed to his actions, from his abusive upbringing to his secret homosexuality, to the rigors of international fame — the media frenzy the case prompted is not left unaddressed — to his post-mortem diagnosis of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), which Will Smith insists we tell the truth about. Providing a range of in-person testimony combined with the usual archival footage, timelines, recorded phone calls, and so on, this is as detailed an account as you can possibly provide in just three hour-long episodes.
Some stylistic quirks notwithstanding, Killer Inside: The Mind of Aaron Hernandez knows what all good true-crime shows also know, which is when to allow the reality of the case to speak for itself. When a man who has everything going for him turns to acts of absurd violence, the reasons why become more intriguing than ever, and for a once-beloved public figure like Hernandez, they become everything. While there aren’t any easy conclusions to draw about this man seemingly destined to implode in some manner, at least this docuseries bothers to raise them. The mind of Aaron Hernandez is a complex one, as are the minds of most of us. Perhaps there’s a killer inside us all.
Jonathon is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has been Senior Editor and Chief Critic of the outlet since 2017.