Biggest News Stories Of 2008, #7 - The Jennifer Hudson Family Tragedy



With no rhyme or reason, our editorial staff chooses the top 10 biggest music-related news stories of 2008. Coming in at #7: Jennifer Hudson's mother, brother and nephew are slain in a horrendous family tragedy.

Singer-turned-Academy award winning actress Jennifer Hudson hit her career high in 2007 when she won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her portrayal of Effie White in the film Dreamgirls. But like our #8 choice, Jennifer Hudson's place on our biggest news stories of 2008 continues an ominous trend of music-related catastrophes.

From the NY Times: The mother and brother of the Academy Award-winning actress Jennifer Hudson were found shot to death inside her mother’s house on the South Side of Chicago on Friday afternoon, and the police were said to be looking for her 7-year-old nephew.

The police confirmed that Ms. Hudson’s mother, Darnell Hudson Donerson, 57, was one of the victims, the ABC affiliate WLS reported on its web site. A neighbor reportedly told the entertainment web site TMZ that the other victim had been identified as Ms. Hudson’s brother, Jason S. Hudson, 29.

The police said they were searching for Ms. Hudson’s nephew, Julian King, who had been reported missing on Friday morning. [Julian King was later found slain in the back of an SUV. Read the MSNBC story here.]

According to The Chicago Tribune and The Chicago Sun-Times, the police arrested William Balfour late Friday.

According to TMZ, Mr. Balfour reportedly listed the address of Ms. Hudson’s mother in the Englewood neighborhood as his place of residence within the last year. The web site also reported that according to the Illinois Department of Corrections, Mr. Balfour is on parole after serving time in prison for attempted murder.

WLS reported that neighbors told the police they heard shots fired on Friday morning.

Read the full story and updates here.

Biggest News Stories Of 2008, #7 - The Jennifer Hudson Family Tragedy