By now, even Hernandez seems to have sensed that he was wildly off course. According to a source close to Hernandez, he flew to the NFL Combine in Indianapolis this past February and confided to Belichick that his life was in danger. Hernandez was trying to break away from the gangsters he’d befriended. He worried “they were actually trying to kill him,” says the source. Hernandez began arming himself, stashing a rifle in his gym bag and installing a 14-camera security system at his mansion. “He was very paranoid, but was that because of his addictions or because he was trying to leave the gang?”
This past spring he skipped out on team training drills, going to California to rehab an aching shoulder and take a much-needed break from New England. But while out there, according to the source, he blew off sessions with his therapist, Alex Guerrero, and stood up Tom Brady, who was running a camp for Pats receivers. Worse, the police were called out to his Hermosa Beach rental on March 25th, summoned by his fiancee, Shayanna Jenkins, after a loud dispute during which Hernandez put his fist through a window. No arrest was made, but word got back to Belichick, who exploded and tendered notice: Any more disruptions and he’d be traded or cut at the end of the 2013 season.
Mortified, Hernandez returned to Boston; Belichick, per a close Hernandez associate, had told him to lay low, rent a safe house for a while
. In May, he leased a condo in Franklin, Massachusetts, that Carlos Ortiz referred to as the “flophouse,” 12 miles from his mansion in North Attleborough. Wallace moved in there, telling neighbors his name was “George,” and drove Hernandez to and from team workouts. Neighbors described them as “quiet” or absent, until the day after Lloyd’s shooting, when Wallace and Ortiz camped out there before taking off in a rented Chrysler for Bristol, according to a statement Ortiz gave cops.