Following her breakout performance on American Idol, Jennifer Hudson set her sights on the even bigger Hollywood stage, while back in her family home on Chicago’s South Side, her sister Julia Hudson was getting ready to start a life with ex-con husband William Balfour.
After eloping, Julia and William moved into her parents’ home in Englewood — but issues between her new husband and her family quickly began to arise. The two eventually split, but William’s hatred for the Hudsons remained present.
On October 24, 2008, William was spotted entering the Hudsons’ home. Soon after, gunshots were heard and police found the dead bodies of Julia’s mother, brother and son.
REELZ new docuseries, Geraldo Rivera’s Murder In the Family: Jennifer Hudson, looks back at Balfour’s horrific crime, and all the signs that pointed to his deadly breakdown.
“William Balfour moved into the Hudson family home after the marriage and they shared a bedroom on the first floor. There was tension between Balfour and his in-laws almost immediately,” says James McKay, former Illinois state attorney, in the show teaser.
“He was very, very protective. He treated her like a piece of property,” adds entertainment journalist Alicia Quarles.
“He wanted to be always the center of Julia’s attention. Any time she paid attention to anybody else he became jealous. If he was away from her for any amount of time, he was convinced that she was flirting with other men,” says crime writer Michael Benson.
On that dreadful 2008 day, Jennifer Hudson had to identify the bodies of her family members for police. Moments later, William Balfour’s girlfriend told police that he was guilty of the murders, and he was arrested.
Geraldo Rivera’s Murder In the Family: Jennifer Hudson airs Saturday, November 3 at 9 ET / PT.
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