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'Fatal Mistake': Jennifer Hudson Begged Mom To Leave Home Before Triple Murder

Killer William Balfour showed many red flags prior to vicious family killings.

Julia Hudson and ex-con husband William Balfour grapple with an explosive relationship,” show host Geraldo Rivera says in the teaser for REELZ’s new docuseries, Geraldo Rivera’s Murder In the Family: Jennifer Hudson.

“Julia’s kicked Balfour out of the house and now he’s making threats. The Hudsons — including Academy Award-winner sister-in-law Jennifer — agree that volatile William should not be ignored. But all that sister Julia feels is that he is just crying wolf,” he adds.

“Sometime in the late Summer [or] early Fall of 2008, someone breaks into the Hudsons’ home and steals keys and Jason’s gun,” explains crime writer Michael Benson, recalling the William’s odd behavior before his triple murder.

As readers know, Jennifer and Julia Hudson’s brother, Jason Hudson owned a .45 caliber handgun which he kept for protection — the same gun which took his life at the hands of Balfour and which led investigators to the vicious murderer.

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“It’s never reported to the police, but the Hudsons internally believe that William must’ve done it,” says Benson, suggesting that the entire family knew how dangerous William could be, but chose to ignore it.

Following the robbery, however, actress Jennifer Hudson pleaded her mother to move out of Englewood.

“Jennifer obviously had plenty of money, she took care of her family, she wanted them to be safe, but her mother very much felt like ‘This is my home,’ had a sense of pride,” says entertainment journalist Alicia Quarles.

Darnell Donnerson felt connected to her community, her church, her neighborhood roots and her home, which is why she decided to stay put despite the many red flags coming from William. That decision, Benson says, turned out to be “a fatal mistake.”

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On October 24, 2008, Darnell, 57, Jason, 29, and Julia’s son, Julian, 7, were found dead — and William Balfour was charged with triple murder.

Geraldo Rivera’s Murder In the Family: Jennifer Hudson airs Saturday, November 3 at 9 ET / PT.

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