Jennifer Hudson Update – 10/28/08

Update #2: From the Chicago Tribune – Hudson suspect missed parole meeting Friday:

The convicted felon suspected in the Chicago slayings of Oscar-winner Jennifer Hudson’s mother, brother and nephew was arrested with crack cocaine in his car in June, but authorities declined to return him to prison on a parole violation, internal records show.

Corrections Department spokesman Derek Schnapp said officials who reviewed the cocaine-possession case against William Balfour determined “the evidence that was presented during that time wouldn’t have necessarily warranted a violation.”

A judge dismissed the charge for lack of probable cause in July, but under the strict rules of the state’s parole program, Balfour could have gone back to prison just for the arrest.

Records also show that Balfour missed a meeting with his parole agent on Friday, the day Hudson’s mother and brother were murdered and her 7-year-old nephew went missing. Reached by phone that afternoon, he told the agent he was “baby-sitting on the West Side of Chicago, ” according to the documents, obtained by The Associated Press.

The agent said he thought he heard a child in the background during the call.

Update #1: From MTV: Jennifer Hudson’s Sister, Julia, Blogs About Son Julian: ‘He’s Protecting Me’ Ryan Seacrest talks to Randy Jackson this morning HERE Jennifer had contacted Ryan during Julian’s Amber Alert. Julia Hudson posts a message on her MySpace. Read it here.

Update: Family Disputes eyed as motive in Hudson Killings – Chicago Tribune

Balfour’s current girlfriend tells police that he was involved with the killings. The police aren’t ruling out an accomplice.

As Chicago police today continue their investigation into the slayings of three family members of actress-singer Jennifer Hudson, their primary suspect remains the estranged husband of Hudson’s sister.

And a police source said the motive in the killings of Hudson’s mother, brother and 7-year-old nephew could be related to ongoing disputes between the suspect and his estranged wife, Julia Hudson, and her family. One of those disputes was over unpaid car payments, sources said.

William Balfour, 27, remains the focus of the triple-homicide investigation. Hudson’s mother and brother had thrown him out of their Englewood house in the past, sources said. Julia Hudson also told police that Balfour had threatened the family.

A source said Balfour told Julia Hudson he would kill her if he found out she had a boyfriend, despite the fact that he had other girlfriends.

Honestly? I want to stop blogging about the Jennifer Hudson family murders. I’m beginning to feel some fatigue here, as I’m sure some of you are. I can’t imagine what it would be like to lose more than half my family–3 generations as someone pointed out–in one fell swoop. And in such an evil and despicable manner. I don’t want to think about what the last few hours of that little boys life must have been like…

I can’t wrap my head around it.

But it’s still a huge, ongoing story, involving an American Idol, so I’m going to continue to cover it. I’m starting off the post with the latest headlines, and will be updating this post during the day with any breaking news.

My heart goes out to Jennifer and Julia Hudson. May their strong faith in God get them through this.


Headlines After the Jump…

Hudson’s tragic news

THE NEWS of the murders of Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson’s mother, Darnell Donerson, 57, brother Jason Hudson, 29, and 7-year-old nephew Julian King has stunned Chicagoans and the Englewood community where they lived.

Jennifer’s life will never be the same. Her mother was her inspiration and biggest supporter. The “Dreamgirls” star is experiencing a tragedy and a nightmare that is beyond words, and the emotional pain, I am sure, cannot be described.

Sun Times

Jennifer Hudson’s Shy Mother, Happy Brother And ‘Easygoing’ Nephew Remembered
Singer/actress often told press that her family kept her grounded while she rocketed to fame.

With the announcement late Monday afternoon (October 27) that the body of a young boy found dead in an SUV was in fact Jennifer Hudson’s 7-year-old nephew, Julian King, the Hudson family was dealt another heavy blow.

Before Hudson’s mother, Darnell Donerson, 57, and her 29-year-old brother, Jason Hudson, were found shot to death in their South Side Chicago home on Friday afternoon, those who knew the Hudsons described them as a close-knit family. And the singer/actress herself often said her family is what keeps her grounded.


Jennifer Hudson Stays Close to Roots in Tragedy

Jennifer Hudson never abandoned her home, church, and family.

Long after she was famous for American Idol, and soon after her Academy Award-winning role in Dreamgirls, she returned to sing with the choir at Progressive Baptist Church, the South Side Chicago church her family had attended for years.

A week before the Oscars ceremony, she told worshippers at the church ‘ and outsiders who came just to hear her five-octave voice ‘ that there was nowhere she would rather be.

“I don’t do clubs. I don’t drink. I don’t smoke, ” Hudson said. “I’m not having no club party; I better have a praise party.”

TV Guide

Faith, hope, love: a mother’s gifts

Before she was a Dreamgirl, she was just a girl, dreaming.

A girl with a mother who believed those dreams could come true.

The world might have never discovered Jennifer Hudson had it not been for her mom, Darnell Donerson, who encouraged her daughter to audition for the 2004 version of “American Idol” in Atlanta: “She badgered Jennifer into auditioning, ” a friend once said.

Hudson says she appreciated the push.

Chicago Sun-times

Jennifer Hudson family tragedy: Suspect William Balfour’s relatives, friends in disbelief

During his brief marriage to Julia Hudson, William Balfour seemed to embrace the role of stepdad.

He declared himself a “proud parent” on MySpace and decorated his page with photos of a smiling Julian King. The boy also is mentioned in a seven-line autobiography Balfour wrote for the social-networking site.

On their Englewood block, the two often could be seen walking to the park or enjoying barbecues on the front lawn. Balfour, 27, helped support his fledgling family with money he earned as a Cosi baker and frequently indulged his stepson with boys-only trips to Popeyes and McDonald’s, neighbors say.

Chicago Tribune

Simon Cowell & Paula Abdul: Our Hearts Go Out to Jennifer Hudson

American Idol judges Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul are sending their condolences to onetime contestant Jennifer Hudson after the singer’s mother, brother and nephew were all found dead.

“This is a horrific tragedy and my thoughts and prayers go out to Jennifer and her entire family, ” Abdul said Monday evening after news broke that police had identified the body of Hudson’s missing 7-year-old nephew, Julian King.

The boy was found in the back of an SUV three days after Hudson’s mother and brother were fatally shot in the mother’s Chicago home.


Jennifer Hudson identifies body of nephew

Holding on to each other, overcome by emotion, Oscar-winning actress Jennifer Hudson and six relatives viewed a closed-circuit TV screen at the morgue Monday afternoon and identified a small boy as Hudson 7-year-old nephew Julian King.

The identification came from Hudson. …She said, ‹Yes, that is him, according to Sean Howard, a spokesman for the Cook County medical examiner office. …Jennifer Hudson was incredbly strong for her family, she was leader in that group and kept her composure.

…She felt like the Lord and saviour Jesus Christ was going to get her through that, Howard added. …Those were her words.

Julian mother was not there, he said.

Chicago Sun Times

Jennifer Hudson case: Timeline of slayings, investigation

A boy’s body was found in the vehicle police were looking for in their search for 7-year-old Julian King, the missing nephew of Oscar-winning actress Jennifer Hudson. The 1994 white Chevrolet Suburban with Illinois license plate X584859 was found in the 1300 block of South Kolin Avenue around 8 a.m. (CLTV video / October 27, 2008)

Chicago Tribune

Jennifer Hudson family tragedy: Vigil outside Hudson’s Chicago house

About 100 people had assembled Monday evening for a candlelight vigil outside the Englewood neighborhood family home of Academy Award-winning singer and actress Jennifer Hudson, where her mother and brother were found slain Friday.

It was confirmed earlier in the day that the actress’ 7-year-old nephew also had been killed.

The group outside the Hudson home included both friends and strangers that came to support the family with song and prayer.

Chicago Tribune

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Founder and editor of, home of the awesomest fan community on the net. I love cheesy singing shows of all kinds, whether reality or scripted. I adore American Idol, but also love The Voice, Glee, X Factor and more!