When Aaron Hernandez was a toddler in Bristol, Conn., his mother turned to the courts for bankruptcy protection. By the time he was 9, Hernandez’s parents had split and remarried, and his mother had again sought bankruptcy relief, with his father. And his mother a year later allegedly began working two phone lines in the family home taking bets for an illegal sports gambling operation.
The events reflect a strained family dynamic that grew more tangled as Hernandez rose from schoolboy prodigy to prime-time Patriot and assumed a double life as a nationally acclaimed star, never far from his Bristol roots.
Before he landed in jail last month on a first-degree murder charge, Hernandez was shaped, too, by his father’s death, his mother’s marriage to an ex-convict who had previously wed his cousin, and by the ex-convict’s bloody attack on his mother.
Ben Volin of the Globe staff and Globe correspondent Stephen Sellner contributed to this report. Bob Hohler can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.