Vigil Forms Outside Hudson Family Home

October 27, 2008 at 1:55 pm Leave a comment

A
vigil has already begun on the street in front of the family home of
Academy Award-winning singer and actress Jennifer Hudson, where her
mother and brother were found slain Friday. More prayer services were
planned Monday, as suspicions grew that the actress’ 7-year-old nephew
also had been killed.


Authorities were working to identify the body of a boy found dead
inside a white Chevrolet Suburban on the West Side. The SUV belonged to
Hudson’s slain brother, Jason Hudson.

Also killed was Hudson’s
mother, Darnell Donerson. Police were questioning the estranged husband
of Hudson’s sister Julia, the mother of Julian King.

Hudson, who
gained stardom after appearing on “American Idol” and then won an
Academy Award for the movie “Dreamgirls,” spent the days since the
murders out of the public eye but high in public consciousness. And
Monday, her family and supporters feared the worst–that the body found
Monday was Julian.

A parade of cars moved slowly past her
family’s home in the 7000 block of South Yale Avenue Monday morning,
squeezing past news vans and a gathering crowd of reporters. Neighbors
came by to drop items on the memorial or simply came to stand quietly
and reflect on the violence that is too often a part of the
neighborhood.

“Everybody is sick of going through stuff like
this,” said Artisha West, who did not know the Hudson family but used
to live in the area. “We all have to stick together. All these young
children are dying, and for what?”

Soon after the body was found
early Monday, neighbors and well-wishers from the Englewood
neighborhood flocked to the Hudson home, dropping off teddy bears and
flowers at an ever-growing memorial on the sidewalk.

No one knew each other or planned it ahead of time. All said they gathered in a common grief.

“To
hear of this tragedy, the only thing I could do was come by and pray,”
Rev. Luther McDade, a pastor at the First Missionary Baptist Church on
East 75th Street, said as more than a dozen people from the gathering
crowd encircled the memorial in prayer.

“Everybody is touched by
this,” said Kevin Smith, who brought his 5-year-old son, little Kevin.
“You just wish there was more that you could do. You can’t do nothing
but come by here and pay your respects and pray that your own family is
taken care of.”

Lynetta Clark rushed to the home moments after learning a third body had been found.

“It’s just crazy,” she said. “You need to hold onto your baby as tight as you can. I feel so sorry for the family.”

In
front of the Hudson’s home, men in heavy jackets and hooded sweatshirts
came to kiss the twin white crosses marked for Darnell Donerson and
Jason Hudson.

“They were a very close family, I just can’t
believe this,” said neighbor Jemia Laye, who said she was friends with
Jennifer’s sister Julia growing up. Laye dropped off a pink monkey
stuffed animal onto the pile.

“She loved that boy,” Laye said of Julia. Of the woman’s son, Julian: “He was always happy and saying hi to everybody.”

As
pieces began coming together in the police investigation, the Hudson
family also had spent the weekend praying, holding out hope until
reports said a boy’s body was found in Jason Hudson’s SUV.

“All
we can do is pray,” said Rev. Krista Alston of Pleasant Gift Baptist
Church, who is Hudson’s cousin. “We’re a family of deep faith.”

Source: Chicago Tribune

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Entry filed under: Entertainment, National. Tags: , , , , , .

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