Jennifer Hudson’s mother and brother murdered

By Alexandra Heilbron on October 25, 2008 | 11 Comments

Jennifer HudsonThe mother and 29-year-old brother of Oscar-winning actress Jennifer Hudson were found shot to death inside their Chicago home on Friday. A family member found Hudson’s mother, Darnell Donnerson, 57, dead of a gunshot wound to the head in the living room at approximately 3 p.m., while Jennifer’s brother Jason Hudson was found dead of a gunshot wound to his chest in a bedroom. Police said there was no sign of forced entry. Hudson’s seven-year-old nephew Julian King was reported missing from the home and an Amber Alert has been issued. It’s believed the shootings were the result of a domestic disturbance — police are searching for William Balfour, Jennifer’s brother-in-law and Julian’s stepfather, whom they consider a suspect in the double homicide. Balfour had been staying at the house and is described by police as “armed and dangerous.” His priors include a guilty plea in 1999 to attempted murder and vehicular hijacking and was convicted in 1998 of being in possession of a stolen car. Jennifer Hudson was on her way home to Chicago from Florida last night after hearing the news.

Update: William Balfour has been arrested. Julian King is still missing and the F.B.I. has joined in the search to find the boy. Jennifer Hudson is in Chicago with her sister, Julia, who has made a public plea for her son to be returned to her.

Comments & Discussion

  1. jen • October 25, 2008 @ 10:03 AM

    poor jen so sry

  2. Kimberly • October 25, 2008 @ 10:40 AM

    My condolnces and prayers go out to Jennifer and her family for their lost may they stay strong through out this time of graif.So sorry Jennifer no one should have to go through anything like this.

  3. The Cosmos Rocks • October 25, 2008 @ 1:16 PM


  4. Basil • October 25, 2008 @ 1:44 PM

    A horrible tragedy.
    I pray for the safe return of the young boy.

  5. Nancy • October 25, 2008 @ 6:09 PM

    Alot of psychos out there!! Hopefully they find the guy and the child is brought home safely.

  6. Jen • October 26, 2008 @ 12:50 AM

    my condolence to Jennifer and her family. Its sad when you lose someone close to you like she did. I will prey for her and her family also I will prey they find her nephew soon and that he comes home to her safely.

  7. SMK • October 26, 2008 @ 7:49 AM

    Jennifer, I am so sorry for your loss. I can’t imgine how you must feel. I ask God comfort you you in this difficult time. I hope you know that you have alot people from all parts of the world coming together and praying for you. Please be strong.

    We LOVE you!!

    From San Antonio, Texas

  8. Anonymous • October 26, 2008 @ 6:56 PM

    Are thoughts and prayers go out to Jennifer and her family.
    We pray for the safe return of Julian King.

    Hope who ever did this can be brought to justice.

    Stay Strong

  9. Michelle • October 27, 2008 @ 9:19 AM

    Such a tragedy. My thoughts and prayers are with Jennifer and her family. I know her faith will help her through this difficult time.

  10. Kay-Tea • November 24, 2011 @ 12:43 PM

    Such tragedy,

    Us Canadians are and won’t stop praying till the safe return of little Julian King. You and your family will be in our every thought and prayer. Stay strong, it might seem so hard, but you must.

    And about William Balfour’s past criminal record..I wonder if the family knew about that. Or if he kept it a secret from the family. I know if I met someone and they had those kinda of charges, they wouldn’t be any where near my family.

    Stay strong Jennifer,

    Love & Prayers,

    From Ontario, Canada

  11. Kay-Tea • November 24, 2011 @ 12:46 PM

    Oh wow,

    Sorry about this late post, I have been away and just heard the whole story.
    They have found Julian King, murdered.
    I am deeply sorry to hear this and again our prayers for the family will never stop.

    Deeply sorry Jennifer,

    Ontario, Canada

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