Hudson quickly became an A-lister. After her Oscar win, the mayor of her home city Chicago announced that March 6 would become “Jennifer Hudson Day.” Over the next year she filmed appearances in the movies Sex and the City and The Secret Life of Bees, as well as releasing her debut studio album, which was an immediate success.
But then, in October 2008, an absolutely terrible thing happened to her. On the 24th day of that month, the bodies of her mother Darnell Donerson and her brother Jason Hudson were discovered in the family’s house. They had been shot to death. Jennifer Hudson’s young nephew Julian should have been at the house too, but he was missing.
Three days later, after Hudson had had to undertake the horrible task of identifying the bodies of her mother and brother, Julian’s body was found too. The 7-year-old was discovered in an abandoned SUV, shot to death, just like his family members had been. The case drew a lot of attention from the media, and the killer was frantically sought.