Crime knows no boundaries when it comes to occupation, salary and fame. Even the most adored celebrities have been convicted of shocking, heinous crimes. Today we will focus on the sports industry — Just who are the most notorious criminals in the history of sports? Here are just a few of the many.
In 1999, Rae Carruth was a first-round pick by the Carolina Panthers NFL team. His life was seemingly perfect. Money, fame and a gorgeous girlfriend Cherica Adams. When Adams told Carruth that she was pregnant, something snapped in him… He had already become a father in college and resented the child support payment he was forced to make.
Rather than acting like a normal human being and discussing the matter with Adams, Carruth hired a hitman. Van Brett Watkins was paid to kill Adams and her unborn child. During a drive-by shooting, he shot Adams four times but she survived long enough to call 911. The baby was miraculously unharmed and was born in the hospital later that night. Adam succumbed to her injuries and died weeks later.
Back in 2013, Hernandez was a rising NFL star with a troubled, criminal past. Hernandez had a stockpile of weapons at his home that an acquaintance, Odin Lloyd, found out about. Unhappy that Lloyd had knowledge of his troubled past and firearm stockpile, Hernandez shot and killed Lloyd and was sentenced to life in prison.
Hernandez was also suspected of a double murder in Boston from 2012, but he hanged himself in his prison cell with a bedsheet before any charges were pressed. Boston University studied Hernandez’ brain afterward and found that he had stage three (out of four) CTE.
Tonya Harding was an Olympic skater with a grudge against Nancy Kerrigan. The two were competing in the 1994 Winter Olympics and Kerrigan was slightly favored to take the gold over Harding. Tony and her ex-husband, Shine Stant, allegedly concocted a plan to break Kerrigan’s leg to keep her from performing.
Kerrigan was attacked and had to withdraw from the competition. Harding took first place at the US Figure Skating Championships. But Stant had not managed to break Kerrigan’s leg and the skater made a full recovery in just weeks. Kerrigan took silver at the Olympics that year with Harding taking eighth place.
NFL quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons Michael Vick was on a path to the NFL history books and one of the best rushing quarterbacks in the game. But when Vick wasn’t playing football, he was running a large-scale dogfighting ring in his hometown, Newport News, Virginia.
Vick’s pitbulls lived in horrific conditions and were bred only for fighting and killing. Once he was discovered in 2007, Vick was suspended from the NFL without pay. He later went bankrupt after being dropped by sponsors. Vick served 23 months in prison before returning to the NFL and playing for the Eagles, Jets and Steelers.
Everyone knows the story of Orenthal James Simpson. OJ was one of the most famous football players in history and had crossed over into Hollywood when he was accused of murdering his ex-wife and her friend. His trial was a sensation, covered by every network and televised internationally. He was found not-guilty and was acquitted on all charges.
To this day people still hold strong opinions on whether OJ was guilty or not guilty of that crime. He even released a bizarre book entitled “If I Did It: Confessions of the Killer.” He was later arrested and imprisoned for armed robbery and kidnapping charges.