2008's Biggest Stories #5: Jennifer Hudson Tragedy
off winning a Best Supporting Actress Oscar in 2007, 2008 was supposed
to follow with more accolades as Jennifer Hudson made her long awaited
return to music.
Instead, the singer/actress, who garnered a healthy buzz for her debut album with the lead single Spotlight, found herself on the receiving end of a major personal tragedy with the shooting deaths of her 57-year-old mother Darnell Donerson and 29-year-old brother Jason Hudson.
pair was found dead in their South Side Chicago home on Oct. 24. That
same day, Hudsons seven-year-old nephew, Julian King, turned up
missing as authorities placed William Balfour, the estranged husband of
the entertainers sister Julia, into custody.
the time, Balfour was not charged in the slayings, but remained in
custody as a person of interest. As police continued investigating
the crime, the murders triggered immediate reaction from the public as
gifts and well wishes were left on the fence at the home where the
Jason Hudson and Roberson were killed.
Hudson spoke out for the first time since the tragedy via a posting on
her MySpace blog on Oct. 26. The singer/actress thanked her fans as she
urged them to help authorities find Julian.
Hudsons statement came one day after Julia Hudson, Julians mother,
issued an emotional plea for her sons safe return. Julias
worst fear came became reality on Oct. 27 as police confirmed that they
found Julians body, which was discovered inside a white Chevy Suburban
owned by Jason Hudson. Despite untrue rumors of Julians hand being
severed, the seven-year-old died after he was shot in the head.
who maintained a tense relationship with detectives by refusing to take
a lie detector test and cooperate with the investigation, was arrested and formally charged with three counts of murder in the slayings earlier this month.
November, police verified that the Sig Sauer .45 caliber they recovered
by police was indeed the weapon was used to murder Donerson, Jason
Hudson and King. Jennifer Hudson paid her final respects to the slain
family members at a private funeral service on Nov. 3.
the tragedy, the entertainer has kept a low profile. Hudson, who
recently nabbed four Grammy nominations, recently came out of seclusion
to begin filming the video for If It Isnt Love, the second single
from her self-titled debut album, which was released in September.
the case continues to evolve, prosecutors allege that Balfour murdered
Donerson, Jason Hudson and King when he became jealous of a 31st
birthday gift Julia Hudson received from what believed to be another
man. No matter what, all eyes will be on Jennifer Hudson as she works
to bounce back from tragic loss of her relatives.