Tragedy Strikes Jennifer Hudson’s Family

Jennifer Hudson & Mother The mother and brother of Academy Award winning actress Jennifer Hudson have reportedly been found dead at a home on Chicago’s South Side and police reportedly say a seven-year-old boy is missing. CBS2 in Chicago reports: The mother of Academy Award-winning actress Jennifer Hudson was reportedly found dead in a South Side home. Two adults were found fatally shot at a home at 70th Street and Yale Avenue at 3 p.m. Friday, authorities said. Willie Davis, the pastor of the Hudson family’s church, Progressive Baptist, confirmed that 57-year-old Darnell Hudson Donnerson was one of the victims. The other victim was a man, the Chicago Fire Department said.

The shooting is believed to be domestic.

TMZ has also confirmed the death of Darnell, pictured here with her daughter Jennifer at the Governor’s Ball following the 2007 Academy Awards, and Jennifer’s brother. According to the website:

Law enforcement sources tell TMZ Jennifer Hudson’s mother was one of two victims shot and killed in Chicago earlier today.

A neighbor tells TMZ the other victim was Jennifer’s brother Jason. A cousin who lived nearby discovered the bodies.

We’re told the two bodies were found dead on the scene at 2:44 PM. When the fire department arrived and discovered the bodies, police were brought in and the home was declared a crime scene.

A call to Hudson’s rep was not immediately returned.

WABC in New York reports that Jennifer is on a plane en route to Chicago. Jennifer, 27, is the youngest of three children. Jason reportedly was a mechanic and according to his MySpace page, graduated from Simeon Career Academy High School in 1998. Jennifer’s sister Julia is a school bus driver. Their father Samuel Simpson, who died, was a bus driver.

The Chicago Tribune reports:

According to public records, the home is owned by Darnell Donnerson, Jennifer’s mother.

A Chicago police spokeswoman also said a 7-year-old boy was reported missing. Police identified him as Julian King, but they would not say whether he is a relative of the actress. He is 5-foot tall, weighs 135 pounds, with brown eyes and black hair.

The police said that they are searching for a William Balfour as a suspect in the double homicide. They said that he is considered to be armed and dangerous and may be driving white 1994 Chevrolet Suburban with Illinois license plate No. X584859 or a teal/green Chrysler Concord four-door with a left front headlight hanging out that is scratched all along its left side. The Chrysler is displaying temporary tags of 332K823.

The missing boy may be in the vehicle.

According to a source, the actress’ sister reported the boy missing from the home.

Public records indicate the Suburban is registered to Jason Hudson, who neighbors said is Jennifer Hudson’s brother. Authorites would not say whether he was one of the two victims.

Jennifer Hudson is not injured, her bodyguard told the Tribune before referring all questions to a publicist.

One of the victims was a woman in her 50s who was shot in the head and the other was a 29-year-old man who was shot in the chest, according to a spokesman for the Cook County medical examiner’s office. The spokesman did not have the victims’ identities.

At least one of the victims had defensive wounds, according to police.

Since announcing her engagement to David “Punk” Otunga last month, the singer/actress has been busy promoting her movie, “The Secret Life of Bees,” which opened a week ago, and her self-titled debut album.

Our prayers go out to Jennifer and her family.



  1. This is sad and terrible news. I saw this earlier this evening while checking my mail and I was hoping it wasn’t true. Just terrible πŸ™ πŸ™

  2. This is just another senseless case of a homicide. Some people are absolutely savages on the prowl. You can be in the comfort of your own home and yet meet such a tragic ending. Hopefully, the perpetrator will soon meet justice. My prayers go out to Jennifer and her family.

    May God be with them.

  3. Reportedly Jennifers` sister and nephew is also missing. If the report is true then this is just too much. Hopefully, she`ll have more strength than she could have ever imagined….

  4. This is very tragic. My sincere condolences to Jennifer H. and her love ones. All this in one day must be too much for her to bear. Please God…give her strength.

  5. This is just awful.

    This just goes to show you that Domestic Violence affects everyone. Not just “your” relationship. If affects your entire family.
    My prayers go out to her; she’s gonna need a lot of prayer, forgiveness and understanding to make it through the highs and lows of such an unexpected tragedy.

  6. as soon as i read this earlier today i immediatly got on my hands and knees and prayed for her family as well as for anyone that loses someone they love every second of every day….this is just terrible…

  7. This is awful. I pray for strength and comfort for Jennifer and her entire family.

  8. this is so tragic and just unreal. i read on another website that the police waited FIVE hours before going to the scene of the crime……..FIVE FREAKING HOURS….and their excuse was that they get calls about fake gun shots all the time…….so what? i hope the police department pays for that use of illogical reasoning.

    i hope the little boy is found safely and sad. i couldn’t imagine dealing with what jenn is dealing with right now. may God be with her and once again, i hope the man they have in custody cooperates so they can the little boy

  9. πŸ™ πŸ™ i feel so bad for her right now.. i to is about to lose someone close to me.. an i felt like my world was fallin apart.. an then i go an check my e-mail an see this.. i now this is not my family but this is too much ..jen i’m goin to pray for me and you

  10. My prayers go out to the Hudson family. This news is so unbelievable. I pray the little boy is returned to the family safe and sound and this fool is behind bars for the remainder of his life or perhaps receives the death penalty.

    Truly a tragedy and I cannot imagine the pain Jhud feels now. God bless her and her family. πŸ™

  11. This is sad… my condolences to Jen & her fam. I hope they find her nephew alive & well. The sad part is that stuff like this happens to someone everyday… will the maddness ever stop πŸ™ .

  12. Oh dear…I heard this on the radio on my way home from seeing The Secret Life of Bees. I just started crying all over again. This is such a tragic event! I pray for strength for Jennifer and the rest of the family. I pray Julian is safe and returned to them.

  13. I join in prayer with everyone on this post and others who are praying for her and the rest of her family. It is so sad. When I first heard the news I wanted to cry because even though I don’t know her personally, I love how her career has turned out. Domestic Violence does not discriminate, as Get Togetha said in her posting. Very sad.

  14. Lord what is the world coming to? I read this on the blogs and I immediately became teary eyed. My condolences go out to Jennifer and her family πŸ™

  15. πŸ™ My heart goes out to her and her fam

  16. What happened to the days when children grew up got married and left their parents’ home?

    This is a tragedy but unfortunately it’s not uncommon. Kick those grown folks and their trifling mates out of your home!

  17. I was moved to tears for her last night. This is senseless. She truly was living a Cinderall story up until this point. Her father already died and now this??? When tradgedy strikes, you usally run home to mama….she can’t even do that πŸ™

    I can’t begin to express how bad I feel. Jennifer’s sister should be more careful of who she dates.

  18. i wonder what people who are against death penalty will say about this…now we have someone losing her family because a no-good negro tought he could do it…smh
    these things do not surprise me anymore, i have learned to keep things my emotions aside and face the facts, do they have death penalty in illinois..i guess not smh

  19. I’ M not even sad i’ m angry and when i’ m angry i can’ t stop crying, I can believe something like that could happen to jennifer if anybody, this girl have been counting her blessing and staying humble since the beginning she didn’t deserve this, No one does, I’ m so pissed off, i don’ t know what to say, I pray for jennifer to have the strength to go through this, and hold on tight to her faith

  20. I didn’t want to believe (and still don’t) that Jennifer lost darn near her whole family in one instance like this. To those of you who think life is nothing but a mere joke and “all about the Benjamins”, please wake up. This is a prime example of how no one is exempt from death, not even a celebrity or their family members. God is almighty and I’m praying that this tragedy does not take Jennifer too far under. She will need constant prayer and support after something like this. Jesus!!!!!!!

  21. My prayers go out to Jennifer this is so sad I hope the boy is o.k.

    I don’t mean to sound judgemental or anything, but ladies this is what happen when we get involved with low life thug men and bring this type of trash into our homes and around our children and family..I read that William Balfour has a criminal record for attempted murder which proves he obviously has some violent tendencies.. I don’t know the nature of Jennifer’s sister’s relationship with this man but he sounds like bad news..I’m troubled by the fact Julia had an ex-con a man who has tried to kill someone living around her son..I truy hope this little boy is o.k, I hope he doesn’t lose his young life because of a bad decision his mother made.


  22. @voice
    nobody deserves this!!

    Poor jennifer, this is the most terrible thing it can happen to someone! I’ll pray for her and her family!!

  23. Mrie i said no one deserve this i said it so don’ t get on my damn nerves k?

  24. numey :
    People been sending condoleances message i doubt theyt read it maybe they have people checking it for them πŸ™

  25. I can’ t believe some people can even think of something else at a moment like this
    one of our most successful sister is in pain, so should we all at least for today since life must go on, that could have been one of us instead of that people wanna waste time on meaningless stuff, My mother and i relationship is perfect i would die literally if something happened to her, I feel so bad for jennifer i feel like it happens to me , Life is so strange… My sincere condoleances to jennifer hudson , sister i’ m with you, and i pray for you πŸ™

  26. Instead of posting one by one we would like to post only one comment together πŸ™
    Our prayers are with jennifer, and those aren’ t just words we mean it we hope she can pull trough this and remember that god never put more on you than you can bear, We’ re are profoundly sorry Jennifer and we love you

    God bless you

  27. Omg my mother just called me and told me about this. I am in shock my sincere prayers go out to the Hudson family.

  28. I just wanna say this
    My heart goes out to Jennifer and I pray that they find the little boy, but something is bothering me.
    I just looked at the sister’s myspace page and she was online. Prior to today, the last time she was online was 10/23. Since she logged back on she has changed her mood to numb. Ok, I guess I can understand that but she has added people as friends to her page tonight. I don’t get it.
    If my son was missing, I sure as hell wouldn’t be sitting on Myspace adding people as friends, I would be out looking for him. That is, unless I knew where he was…I’m not one to speculate but… And why would he shoot his In laws? What did they do to him if not supporting him? Even jennifer was very close to him , This is senseless and this dumb bitch [forgive me] sit on her ass , on myspace, talking about she is numb! what kind of mother is she?

  29. on her sister’s webpage it said that her weakness β€˜ is good dick’ and her favourite style in a man is β€˜hood’….. :loser: :noway: :thumbsdown: :stop: πŸ™„ :bag:

  30. I am sure she is feeling terrible at the moment to lose her family members and the kidnapping of her son in a tragedy way but maybe that moment of madness was years in the making. Cause the punk looks like a straight loser.

    Ladies and Gents please be careful what type of people you bring into your life because at the end of the day that decision could be a deadly one.

  31. God bless her and her family! This is the saddest news, my heart goes out to her and the Hudson family will be in my prayers. God Bless her!!

  32. this just goes to show that you should be careful who choose as a mate. i cannot believe her brother in law killed his mother and brother in law and is REFUSING to cooperate with the police about finding his own son. i really pray and hope that the boy is found safely because i couldn’t imagine jen having to get more bad news on top of the one she’s already dealing with. this whole thing is just troubling beyond words

  33. Whatever happens to innocent until proven guilty? Eventhough the brother in law has a record, and witnesses & restraining order hint he had some issues with his wife, he should have a fair trial. Yes…even ex-cons should get fair trials because if his rights are violated, what’s to say yours isn’t next.

    He is still a SUSPECT in this horrendous crime, yet I see he’s already sentence by some of you. I want the police to find the right criminal and judge him/her to the fullest extent of the law. I’m sure the family is seeking the right kind of justice. Are they even looking for other suspects at the moment? Did they find him in the stolen car? So much is still unclear at this moment…

  34. @SnijanaFleur

    i know he’s a suspect, but he’s a suspect who spent 7 years in jail for attempted murder and stealing a vehicle. does that mean that he hasn’t changed his life around? no! however, the fact that he is refusing to cooperate with the police on the where abouts of his son is troubling and is leading me to think that he had a hand in this. i read that him and the wife (jen’s sister) were in a domestic disbute because she was planning on divorcing him and shortly after that, the mother and brother were found dead

  35. no words fo this terrible tragedy. I lost my mother to Cancer and it has taken me 2 1/2 yrs to be mormal and my grandmother also died before my mom but due to natural causes. I still lost my hair,gained weight,slept for days, never came outside and I’m still abnormally quiet. I can’t imagine losing your brother,mother, and a nephew…they can’t locate! No words can express loss but this way …shot! At times I could barely make it and I was 31 yrs old. I heard the sister is missing! hey said she left work at 3:30 and hasn’t been seen since! They have no information on the sister so I don’t know who is on her myspace page. I’ll say that shock is a mutha and if she is on it,you better believe she is about almost to the breaking point. I would drive for hours and my aunnt told me that they didn’t know where i was…I don’t remmeber…I was just living.So, I can imagine that they are just floating cause that is how you are…you just function and you say and do crazy things that you don’t remember when people bring it up…so let’s no judge them…If they both survive this mentally level they will be doing good. If the sisters husband killed these people she will never be right-ever! She will always feel responsibled..that is if she has been found….I don’t think the sister has been found yet……

  36. May God Bless this family in their time of sorrow. This is such a sad and tragic set of events.
    I’m sure the community and the family needs blessing and prayers not speculation on what happened from the entire world. I began saying my prayers for the family and the community as well, as soon as I heard what happened.

    Please :stop: :stop: :stop: the violence in our neighborhoods, schools, churches and everywhere else.
    Give Peace a chance.

  37. My condolences to to Jennifer Hudson and her family, they are in my prayers.

  38. Prayers to her and her family and I pray that her nephew is found. This is tragic.

  39. ^^^^Her sister is alive. I was over at concreteloop early this morning, there was a person that made a comment about how she had signed on to her myspace account. Her mood was numb but I’m pretty sure Jennifer and her sister are together.

  40. My God be with Jennifer this has got to be some devastating news during a time when her mind was focused on her career. To have your mother taken away from you so drastically without even being able to say goodbye is something I know Jennifer NEVER though she would experience. This is certainly a reality check and just isnt fair for anyone to have to go through and I wish I never have to experience such devastation.

    I dont know the nature of this crime or what brought on such violence but I can say I do agree with one of the comments about women always chasing a the “Thugs” we have to understand that there really isnt a such thing as the “thug with a heart”. Some of these men out here are really emotional and mentality unstable and have real problems. Its not like the ole days with the typical “rebel without a cause”. Some of our brothers have real internal problems–growing up without fathers, poverty, no support, lack of love, or whatever and there isnt a damn thing sexy about it. I am tired of reading about women and children victims of domestic violence because momma is so “hard up” for love herself brought some dangerous man into her home with her kids and family members.

  41. @ Cococure

    My condolences to you as well. I dont know if I could ever deal with losing my mother. You being able to go on with your life and allow yourself to grieve as well is a prime example of the human spirit’s will to survive.

  42. Jennifer haven’ t made any comment yet, i’ m worried about her mental state πŸ™

  43. At this point all we can do for Jennifer is pray that her nephew is returned safely home. My God. Prayer and thoughts with Jennifer and Family. Jennifer was just getting started on her career and to lose your family, her support group…smh. Man I can’t imagine. I will pray. I am angry. Very angry cause Jennifer is the American Dream and for evil to touch that…

  44. Maybe her sister logged onto her Myspace page and accepted new friends to see if anyone had any information about her son. It’s possible that if he is alive, he could be out of state. Nowadays, people go to the Internet for help. If someone knew or wanted something, maybe they’d go to her MySpace page to tell her. If I was her, I’d be using all of my options to find my son. Her missing child and story won’t be on TV 24/7, but online it will be.

  45. My condolences goes out to Jennifer and the Hudson family. May God be with them.

  46. It may not have been Julia on myspace, it could have been the FBI or the police because they use myspace in situations like this to find out information, like about the dispute over the car etc But the fact that the mood was on numb indicates that it could have been julia afterall,

    First i thought william may have been afraid julia would leave him so he killed out of revenge or something, but that can’t be the case if he’s knocked up some other chick. If he is the killer, he needs to burn in hell, God punish him if he killed Julia’s mom and brother and kidnapped the stepson. Even if he didnt commit the murders himself, he may have got someone to do it for him, or mayb he owed money to people and thats why he stole julias car without permission? Only God knows. Im praying hard for the Hudson family, what a loss.

  47. i am so sorry about what happen to your family. my prayers go out to you and your i hope yall find your nephew safe and sound. I LOVE U

  48. i just read that jenn is offering a 100k reward for the return of her nephew. PLEASE be on the lookout if you reside in chicago or the state of illinios in general. God, i pray that the little boy is returned home safely

  49. May God bless Jennifer and lead her step-by-step out of this darkness. This is unreal.

  50. πŸ™ I hope she’ll have the strenght to make it through this

  51. My thoughts and prayers goes out to the family and everyone who knew them. I kept thinking about it over the weekend and I just felt sad. I can’t imagine the pain they are experiencing right now. I pray that the young boy is return to his family safely and unharmed.

  52. This horrible, horrible news. i will pray for jenifer and her family. i cannot imagine what they are going through

  53. MSNBC is reporting that the SUV with the boy’s body has been found. The sad news for Jennifer and her family just keeps on coming.

  54. i just read that stephanie. this is sooo tragic, i don’t know how jen can handle anymore bad news

  55. R.I.P. to Darnell, Jason, and Julian. May God comfort the family, and give them the strength they need to get through this tragic ordeal. πŸ˜₯

  56. I hope it is not true, but there is talk that the nephew was found dead in the trunk of the car. This is an aweful tragedy.


  58. Gosh…the worst case senario becomes the reality

    RIP Julian, Jason, and Darnell. Now, it’s time this family receives some justice.

  59. This story has left me so sick and sad. I will pray for Jennifer and her family and I also hope and pray the police find the very sick, sick and evil person that did this to this family.

  60. πŸ™ πŸ™ πŸ™ πŸ™ πŸ™
    My heart aches for this family. I feel sick. My thoughts and prayers are with the family at this time.

  61. Unfortubately, they found the little boy’s body in the trunk of the Chevy SUV on the city’s westside.

    This is really sad. I am hearing different stories that he was shot to death and cut up beyond recognition. I feel so sorry for that family.

  62. πŸ™
    Now is the time that we lift this Sista and her family up! Continue to pray for them.

  63. spotlight is back at number one and i’ m happy we are supporting the sister

  64. LORD HAVE MERCY on her & her family…4 I have been there Jennifer, my brother was murdered and then I lost my grandmother. Lean not on your own understanding 4 joy comes in the morning! It wont be easy gurl, but everything happens 4 a reason. Please continue to be strong Jennifer. The father works in mysterious ways. U KNOW HE WILL NEVER LEAVE U….

  65. I know booming record sales are probably the last thing on Jennifer’s mind right now but I think the closest we can get to showing support for her (aside from praying of course) is to buy her album.


  66. I know booming record sales are probably the last thing on Jennifer’s mind right now but I think the closest we can get to showing support for her (aside from praying of course) is to buy her album.


    I agree her singer shot back to number one today , poor jennifer her nephew has been found dead πŸ™

  67. Sorry for the lost of your family. Me and my family will be praying for you.


  68. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family at this very difficult time. May God give you strength. We are all praying for you and send our deepest sympathy and continue to pray πŸ™ πŸ™ for your recovery from this terrible tragedy. Remember, we all love you.


  69. :stop: :noway: :thumbsdown: This violence is off tha chain….when Jesus returns it surely isn’t going to be pretty.

    ladies pleeeeeeeeeeeazzzzzzzze leave these thugs ALONE!!!!! nothing good comes out of any relationship with someone who lives or act out any form of criminal activity,lifestyle or image….

    condolences to jen and her entire family and friends.

    lastly GOD had nothing to do with this bull****!!! the devil played the key role through these thugs who had everything to do with this heinous act!!!!

  70. This makes me sick, I currently live in Chicago, and my Mom tells me theres rumors of Jennifers ex being involved, again this is just a “Rumor” going around in Chicago’s Southside, so who knows if theres a kernel of truth in any on them. The one thing that struck me is I havent heard or seen anything from Jennifer’s sister. I dont want to judge her , everybody deals with tragedy in different ways, so who knows what shes going through, I just didnt understand why she wasnt with the family to identify the body, but then again I dont think alot of parents w/b able to stomach that. I personaly would want to be there, but thats me. Its hard to make sense of events such as these, I just pray that Jennifer fares well, this is the type of tragedy to make a person want to withdraw from life, and this will most definately take a toll on her profession (which is the least important)hopefully her and her family do whatevers neccessary to heal and survive, and the cops can arrest the person, or people that were actually involved in the killings.

  71. This is some very disturbing news….. my heart, prayers, and thoughts goes out to JHUD and her family! This has got to be tremendously difficult for JHUD and her sister…. May God pull them through this difficult time in her life.

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