William Balfour, 31, of Chicago, was found guilty last week of murdering Darnell Donerson, Jason Hudson and Julian King. They were the mother, brother and nephew of singer and actress Jennifer Hudson.
In my opinion, this case was a tragedy, but a preventable tragedy. Julia Hudson, Jennifer’s older sister, brought Balfour into the family when she married him. If she hadn’t married this man, it obviously wouldn’t have happened.
Jennifer Hudson was the first witness in the murder trial. She testified that the entire family was against Julia’s relationship with Balfour. “None of us wanted her to marry him. We did not like how he treated her,” she stated in court.
Julia secretly married William Balfour anyway in December 2006.
Who is William Balfour?
William Balfour is one of those people who was dealt a bad hand in life, and made it worse.
It seems that his family history includes sociopathy. His father was convicted of murder and sentenced to 30 years. His maternal grandmother went to prison for manslaughter. His mother was physically abusive to Balfour and his older brother.
Balfour himself had an extensive juvenile record, ran away from shelters and relatives’ homes, dropped out of school in ninth grade and joined a gang. At age 17, he stole a car with the owner clinging to the hood and crashed it into a telephone pole. He was convicted of attempted murder.
Read Hudson murder suspect led grim life before slayings, on RedEyeChicago.com.
When William Balfour got out of prison in 2006, he hooked up with Julia Hudson, whom he knew from elementary school.
I can imagine how that seduction went:
“Julia, baby, you are so fine … if I was with a woman like you, I could turn my life around … you know I never had a chance … my dad was locked up as long as I can remember … my mom used to beat me and my brother … she actually gave us up, said she didn’t want us around any more … mothers are supposed to love you, but my mother never showed me any love … you’re a woman who knows how to love, I can just tell … yeah, I used to be wild, but I did my time, and now I’m ready for a new life … with you at my side, I’ll be a new man … I know I can do it … c’mon, baby, I really want to make something of myself … but I can’t do it without you … you know I love you, and you love me … there’s no reason for us to wait … “
I’m sure Balfour laid it on thick. He probably anticipated that if he hooked up with Julia Hudson, he’d be on the gravy train, because Julia’s sister was an actress … a movie star … a celebrity … and rich.
When Julia Hudson no longer wanted Balfour around, my guess is that not only was he outraged to lose control of her, but he was also outraged to lose the gravy train.
Yes, William Balfour never had a chance in life. I recognize that he came from the mean streets of Chicago, as did Julia Hudson. She could have felt sorry for him. But she didn’t have to marry him.
Many Lovefraud readers have accepted as romantic partners people with serious life issues—including arrests, convictions, addictions and other problems. Why did they do it? Here are some of the reasons I’ve heard:
- Everyone deserves a second chance.
- I felt sorry for him (her).
- I believed I could change him (her).
- I just knew there was a good person inside him (her).
- I believe in the power of love.
- I’m a Christian, and I believe people can repent.
- He (she) needed me.
- He (she) just needed unconditional love.
Disqualifications for marriage
The purpose of marriage is a life partnership, in which both spouses support each other. Marriage is not social work. Therefore, if you are searching for a spouse, I recommend eliminating anyone with the following characteristics or history:
- Conviction for murder or attempted murder
- History of domestic violence
- Conviction for fraud, theft or property crimes
- Drug dealing or manufacturing
- No apparent income or means of financial support
- Pathological lying
- Failure to support children
- Controlling behavior
- Outbursts of rage
- Suffered abuse as a child, combined with any of the above.
Do not delude yourself into thinking that your relationship will be different, your love is special, you can change the person. Yes, sometimes people can turn themselves around. But do you want to bet your life on this person, and the lives of your family and friends?
Newlywed, still in wedding dress, found stabbed to death in tub, on ChicagoTribune.com.