Aaron Hernandez spent almost four years in prison before being found hanged in his prison cell on Wednesday morning in an apparent suicide. Many questions remain as to what may have led the former star Patriots tight end to take his own life.
Psychotherapist Dr. Karen Ruskin said it’s difficult to know what was going through Hernandez's mind leading up to his death. She believes the Patriots' visit with President Donald Trump may have been a trigger.
"It is quite possible that for Aaron Hernandez to be on the news on the same day that the Patriots are in the news, that's symbolic," said Ruskin.
Hernandez faced the harsh reality of spending the rest of his life behind bars. Ruskin says it's possible he was thinking about what could have been.
"He was unable to get what it was that he wanted for his future with the Patriots, so he found a way in death to be in direct connection with the Patriots," said Ruskin.
According to Hernandez's attorney, those closest to Hernandez didn't see this coming, but Ruskin said Hernandez's courtroom tears last week could have been a sign.
"We often see the response," said Ruskin. "Not just to the experience, but to something deeper that is going on within the person's self, the inner thoughts."
Hernandez's young daughter made a rare one-time appearance in the courtroom last week during his double murder trial for killings in 2012.
"To get to a point where a person commits suicide, it is such a symptom of a loss of hope," said Ruskin.
Addressing the victims' families, Ruskin said this apparent suicide isn't likely to bring them any long-term peace.