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 Jennifer Hudson's family tragedy

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Erika
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PostSubject: Jennifer Hudson's family tragedy   Sat Oct 25, 2008 10:45 am

Hudson's mother, brother slain; suspect in custody

Oscar-winning actress Jennifer Hudson considered her mother's Chicago home a haven. That South Side sanctuary, however, was violently shattered Friday when her mother and brother were gunned down during a domestic disturbance. The actress' 7-year-old nephew remained missing late Friday night.

Oscar-winning actress Jennifer Hudson considered her mother's Chicago home a haven, a place where she could find respite from Hollywood's occasionally brutal and superficial ways.

That South Side sanctuary, however, was violently shattered Friday when her mother and brother were gunned down during a domestic disturbance, law-enforcement officials said.

The actress' 7-year-old nephew, Julian King, remained missing Saturday. A suspect in the slayings was believed to have abducted the boy, but when the man was arrested Friday night the boy was not with him.

"I just can't fathom something like this happening," said Ethel Grisom, a longtime family friend. "The entire family were just real friendly people who enjoyed being together. This is going to be devastating for them."

About 3 p.m., a relative found Darnell Donerson, 57, fatally shot in her living room, law enforcement officials said. The family member notified authorities, who then found Jason Hudson, 29, dead in a bedroom.

Neighbors reported hearing gunshots about 9 a.m. There were no signs of forced entry to the home.

Donerson and Jason Hudson had both been shot, authorities said. Police said at least one of the victims had suffered defensive wounds.
A law-enforcement source said police had a suspect in custody but still had not located the boy. Julian (right) is described as 4-foot-11 and weighing 130 pounds. He has brown eyes and black hair and was last seen wearing a striped polo shirt and khaki pants.

The actress' sister, Julia, reported the boy missing from the home Friday afternoon, a police source said. Family friends said the boy was her son, but police did not confirm that. The MySpace pages for Julia Hudson and the suspect say they are married and that Julian is her son.

The Tribune is not naming the suspect because he has not been charged. Public records list one of his last known addresses as Donerson's home in the 7000 block of South Yale Avenue. Police said the man had a personal relationship with a member of the family, but did not elaborate.

Cook County court records show the suspect pleaded guilty in 1999 to attempted murder and vehicular hijacking. He also was convicted in a 1998 case of possession of a stolen motor vehicle, records show.

The man was released from the Illinois River Correctional Center in Downstate Canton in May 2006 after serving 7 years in prison. He is still on probation, state records show.

On Friday afternoon, scores of onlookers flocked to the corner nearest the Hudson home. They pressed up against yellow police tape for a glimpse of the white house three doors down. Evidence technicians and police officers came and went, and the house's lights stayed on as the sky grew darker and rain squalls scattered the dwindling crowd.

Many neighbors' thoughts turned to Jennifer Hudson, who returned home to visit her mother as often as twice a month if her schedule allowed. A 1999 graduate of the Dunbar Vocational Career Academy, Hudson could walk through the Englewood neighborhood without anyone hassling her or following her with a camera.

"She never had no problems with fans stalking her," neighbor Vanessa Stanton said. "She didn't even need a bodyguard [though she did have one]. The whole neighborhood block would look out for her."

Hudson famously left her Burger King job to compete in the 2004 season of "American Idol." She finished seventh and endured harsh words from judge Simon Cowell, but her powerful, five-octave range helped win her the role of Effie White in the musical "Dreamgirls."

Her showstopping on-screen rendition of "And I'm Telling You I'm Not Going" led to widespread critical praise and the 2007 Academy Award for best supporting actress.

Upon winning the Oscar, she became emotional as she thanked her mother for traveling to Los Angeles to celebrate the nomination. Since then, her family and their large white home have been her foundation and could pull her back to Earth should her sense of self-importance skyrocket.

"My faith in God and my family -- they're very realistic and very normal, they're not into the whole limelight kind of thing, so when I go home to Chicago that's just another place that's home," she recently told the Associated Press. "I stand in line with everybody else, or, when I go home to my mom, I'm just Jennifer, [so she says], 'You get up and you take care of your own stuff.' And I love that; I don't like when people tell you everything you want to hear. I want to hear the truth, you know what I mean?"

Donerson mostly kept out of the spotlight. When asked if she'd like to attend a recent taping of Oprah Winfrey's show, on which Hudson would be publicizing "The Secret Life of Bees," Donerson declined.

"She doesn't welcome the attention at all," Hudson recently told Australia's Sunday Telegraph. "She's the complete opposite of those stage mothers who say, 'Oh, that's my daughter, aren't I great?' She doesn't want the attention, while at the same time she's extremely proud and happy for me."

Jennifer Hudson was in the Tampa area at the time of the slayings and planned to immediately head to Chicago. Her sister, Julia, met police at Wentworth Area headquarters late Friday.
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PostSubject: Re: Jennifer Hudson's family tragedy   Sat Oct 25, 2008 4:46 pm

Oh my gosh! :(
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PostSubject: Re: Jennifer Hudson's family tragedy   Mon Oct 27, 2008 10:25 am

A boy's body believed to be Jennifer Hudson's nephew found in missing Chevy Suburban

A child'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. Live TV shots showed a white Chevrolet Suburban being towed away.

The Cook County medical examiner's office has sent investigators to the scene and said the body of a black boy was found inside, an office spokesman said. The child had not been identified.

A Chicago police spokesman released no information about the discovery.

Julian was reported missing and an Amber Alert was issued Friday after his grandmother and uncle were found shot to death inside the family's home in the 7000 block of South Yale Avenue.

Chicago police have interviewed William Balfour, 27, the estranged husband of the boy's mother, Julia Hudson. He was initially described by police as a suspect in the investigation.

Balfour has denied involvement in the killings or the disappearance of the boy, law-enforcement sources said. But at some point, Balfour stopped talking to authorities, sources told the Tribune.

On Sunday morning, Balfour was transferred to a state facility after officials said he violated conditions of parole for a 1999 conviction for attempted murder. On Sunday, Illinois Department of Corrections spokeswoman Januari Smith said Balfour violated his parole because he is a suspect in the slayings and the boy's disappearance.

According to law-enforcement sources, Balfour's alibi the day of the killings has been contradicted by his girlfriend. Balfour was arrested at the woman's Southwest Side home Friday night. Balfour and Julia Hudson had been separated for some time, his family members said. A family friend said Balfour recently had threatened to take Julian away.

A family member of the girlfriend's said police have interviewed her. Police also tracked Balfour's whereabouts Friday through his cell phone, sources said.

Also on Sunday, Jennifer Hudson, who gained stardom after appearing on "American Idol," and then won an Academy Award for the movie "Dreamgirls," offered a $100,000 reward for the return of her nephew.
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PostSubject: Re: Jennifer Hudson's family tragedy   Mon Oct 27, 2008 3:13 pm

This is so sad. I was really hoping that they would find the boy unharmed. I can't even imagine what this family is going through. sad1

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PostSubject: Re: Jennifer Hudson's family tragedy   Mon Oct 27, 2008 6:14 pm

UPDATE: Police Supt. Jody Weis says the body found on Chicago's West Side is that of 7-year-old Julian King. The identity of the body also was confirmed this afternoon by the Cook County medical examiner's office, where an autopsy will be done Tuesday.

The boy's aunt, actress-singer Jennifer Hudson and three other relatives went to the office and identified the body, authorities said.


Chicago police brought Julian's body to the medical examiner's office about 12:15 p.m., said office spokesman Sean Howard.

Hudson and relatives arrived about three hours later. When the group entered a viewing room at the office Hudson held her head down, as if praying, Howard said.

The family identified Julian via a video screen mounted on a wall that showed his face, according to Howard.

With Hudson were two other aunts of Julian's, an uncle, three other family members, two detectives, Howard and a medical examiner, the spokesman said.

When they saw the boy's face on the screen, Hudson told investigators, "Yes, that is him," Howard said.

Julian's body was found in the back seat of the white Chevrolet Suburban police were looking for in their search for Julian, three days after Hudson's mother and brother were found shot to death in the mother's house in Englewood.

Law enforcement sources said that the boy was shot multiple times in the back of the vehicle. Police are testing the clothing of a man in custody for gunshot residue.

Police arrived at the Suburban with Illinois license plate X584859 before 8 a.m. in the 1300 block of South Kolin Avenue, after receiving a call of a suspicious vehicle.

It was found by a 75-year-old who lives on the block, John Louden. He said he has lived on the block for 18 years and worried about people selling drugs in the abandoned building behind it. He saw the SUV while walking his dog. After a double-take, he realized the license plate matched the one police were looking for.

"I didn't look in there. I didn't touch it. I knew it was a strange vehicle," Louden said. He said police showed up in about five minutes after his wife called them. They discovered the child inside. The body was removed and the SUV was towed away for evidence processing. "I feel bad about that baby," Louden said.

As the car was processed by evidence technicians and workers at the Cook County Medical Examiner's office sought to identify the body, Hudson's family members and supporters assumed this was the third member of her family killed since Friday.

"It's shocking. It's unreal. We had been praying that it would not come to this," said Rev. Krista Alston, a cousin of Hudson and a minister at the Pleasant Gift Baptist Church in Chicago. "We know it's a reality now, but it's still shocking."

Police found the bodies of Hudson's mother, Darnell Donerson, and brother, Jason Hudson, on Friday afternoon after a family member came to their home in the 7000 block of South Yale Avenue and saw signs of violence inside. The murders sparked a manhunt for William Balfour, 27, and a search for 7-year-old Julian King.

Balfour, the estranged husband of the boy's mother, Julia Hudson, was brought in for questioning Friday night. He was initially described by police as a suspect in the investigation.

The boy remained missing through a long weekend in which police and volunteers posted fliers around the city with pictures of the boy. On Sunday, his actress aunt--grieving and rushing to Chicago from Florida where she was promoting a film--offering a $100,000 reward to anyone who found the boy.

Police searched Balfour's girlfriend's house for several hours Friday night after taking him into custody. Her home is located about 2.5 miles from where the SUV was found this morning.

Balfour has denied involvement in the killings or the disappearance of the boy, law-enforcement sources said. But at some point, Balfour stopped talking to authorities, sources told the Tribune.

On Sunday morning, Balfour was transferred to a state facility after officials said he violated conditions of parole for a 1999 conviction for attempted murder. On Sunday, Illinois Department of Corrections spokeswoman Januari Smith said Balfour violated his parole because he is a suspect in the slayings and the boy's disappearance.

According to law-enforcement sources, Balfour's alibi the day of the killings has been contradicted by his girlfriend.

Balfour and Julia Hudson had been separated for some time, his family members said. A family friend said Balfour recently had threatened to take Julian away.

A family member of the girlfriend's said police have interviewed her. Police also tracked Balfour's whereabouts Friday through his cell phone, sources said.
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PostSubject: Re: Jennifer Hudson's family tragedy   Mon Oct 27, 2008 6:18 pm

sad1
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