The last image we will have of him is the only one that hinted a human heart actually beat inside the murderous shell of Aaron Hernandez, who killed himself in his jail cell Wednesday morning, ending one of the most terrible chapters in the history of American celebrity.

Last week, just before he was acquitted of double murder, cameras captured Hernandez — already serving life for the 2013 killing of Odin Lloyd — blowing kisses to his 4-year-old daughter, Avielle, from across the courtroom in Suffolk County, Mass., where he awaited the jury’s verdict.

Hernandez, the former tight end for the New England Patriots, smiled as he did this, and for a fraction of a moment, it was possible to see Hernandez as something other than a real-life character sprung from the imagination of the writers for the old “Oz” television series, the little girl wearing a polka-dot top, a pink skirt and a white sweater and clearly affecting her 27-year-old father.


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