A spilled drink. That's it.
After a cycle of bloodshed that has seen the murder of semi-pro football player Odin Lloyd last June preceded by a double murder in Boston late in a July 2012 evening, and seen former New England Patriot tight end Aaron Hernandez indicted for all three slayings, it turns out that this whole chilling saga was started by a spilled drink.
Specifically, Daniel de Abreu bumping into and spilling a drink on Aaron Hernandez at the club Cure, smiling at Hernandez afterwards, and hours later, an irrational Hernandez stalking and murdering de Abreu and his friend Safiro Furtado in cold blood in a drive-by shooting, all of this according to prosecutors in Suffolk County court on Wednesday afternoon, where Hernandez was arraigned on double murder charges.
These charges, of course, are piled upon the existing charges that Hernandez killed Lloyd in June 2013 in an industrial park a short drive from Hernandez's home in North Attleboro, Massachusetts.
If the allegations brought against Hernandez on Wednesday are true, it's maybe the worst case of "wrong place, wrong time" in the history of random circumstance.
To call the incident between Hernandez and the victims a "conflict" would be to imply that there was some sort of give-and-take beef between the two parties, that both sides somehow sought to "win" something. The fact of the matter is that the victims were mere club-goers and had no idea that Hernandez was even seeking them out after they brushed up against him in the club that night.
They had no idea there even was a beef, or that Hernandez thought that they were "trying" him, as Hernandez had thought many people were doing for the previous several weeks at clubs around the Boston area.
When Hernandez and a cohort (believed to be Alexander Bradley, a onetime Hernandez associate whom Hernandez has since shot in the face back in February 2013 in Florida) pulled up in Hernandez's SUV (actually owned by a Rhode Island car dealership and loaned to Hernandez on a promotional basis) and opened fire on de Abreu, Furtado and a colleague of theirs, the victims didn't even know they were being pursued.
They had no idea Hernandez had spent the better part of the last few hours since the spilled drink pacing and stewing and scouring Boston to find the guys who had "disrespected" him by accidentally bumping into him and walking away.
There's a decent chance that as Hernandez asked them, "Yo, what's up now" before spewing a racial slur and then firing five bullets into their car (two of which killed de Abreu and Furtado), the victims had no idea what exactly was up, why Hernandez was asking, or who Hernandez even was.
Wrong place, wrong time.
Six weeks later, in late August 2012, Hernandez would sign a $40 million extension with the New England Patriots and talk about how the "Patriot Way" had changed him from the troublemaking, immature youngster drafted in the fourth round to a more mature Pro Bowl fixture in Foxboro.
As it turned out, the Patriots probably played the 2012 season with a murderer in their locker room. The Texans probably played against a murderer twice that season, including a Monday night game in December 2012 where Hernandez scored two touchdowns.
Clearly, whoever was in the SUV (again, believed to be Bradley) with Hernandez that July 2012 night is spilling barrels of beans to the authorities, as small facts like Hernandez's saying, "I think I got one in the head and one in the chest" as they drove away from the crime scene could only be known by someone who was in Hernandez's SUV.
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And despite the fact that Hernandez will continue to be held without bail, a slew of bizarre deaths among Hernandez associates since June 2013, associates with likely direct knowledge of Hernandez's transgressions, would indicate nobody is totally safe from Hernandez's reach, even from behind bars.
Aaron Hernandez is due back in court June 24 for a scheduling hearing.