Jennifer Hudson’s Family Tragedy

Not that far from where I live, Jennifer Hudson‘s mother and brother were murdered this weekend.

My deepest sympathies go out to the Hudson family.

Jennifer Hudson is a local girl who made it big against all odds. Last month I was talking to a photographer who had just done a photo shoot with her, and he said she is one of the nicest celebrities he had ever worked with. He was amazed at how kind and down to earth she is.

The suspect in the case is William Balfour, her brother-in-law. Also mentioned on CNN in an early article on the murder is the fact that William Balfour has a sister named Sensuous. Is that a bad-news name or what?

She would have made the Freakonomics name chapter if we had known about her. (Interestingly, the CNN article no longer mentions Sensuous, although if you go to Google News and type “Jennifer Hudson, sensuous” you will see a link to the original story that no longer contains her name.)

Natasha Mesa

Ya crazy James wouldn't have done it because he don't have a Motive & what would he gain by Killing the nephew Its Julia she is so Jealous of her sister,she don't like her brother to much look on her MYSPACE plus her Birthday just so happen to be on 10-23 the day before her Mom & Brother got kill, the girl did it for Greed, she was broke couldn't pay her car note working has a School Bus Driver her & her "FLEX" wanted the life that Jen, have the Fame, the Power & the Money.

c. wright

may god bless u and ur family j. hud please continue to do good music i know it hurts but god wants u to also finish ur work that u had already began do it for ur sake and mother,brother,nephew god is watching over u and ur family my heart and oprayers ru with u i luv ur music and will continue to listen to it if u have to take time off udo u first tha fans and everyone will be here and praying for u take ur time all that u need. May GOD BLESS YOU AND YOUR FAMILY'!




i think james peyton jennifers hudson ex might have something to do with it. ;last month he,jason got into a physical altercation with william. over car payments. last yr jennifer was supposedly to marry james after she struck it big. they promised to marry. i think after she broke her promise to james after being in a relationship with him for over 8 yrs. when she got engaged to david otunga i think that infuriated james. maybe he was trying to win her back over. think about it. why is james still in the picture?

james peyton refused to marry jennifer till she has money. if jennifer had a pre nup do u think he would still marry her? i bet it was like a slap in the face with all the love and time he put into that relationship and she called it quits. he probably wanted to be mr. jennifer hudson. i bet u he couldnt wait to get out of the ghetto and blow all her money


I feel like thats wrong and who every did this should be put away

Renee Brickle

Jen hang in there. I know this is a hard and trying time, and we don;t always understand why things happen. God said that he wouldn't give us no more than we can bear. I know its hard but trust in God because he's gonna be there and take you through. I love you but God loves you best.

Jeff K

Uhm, this is the Freakonomics blog. Some of you must be lost. I suggest you follow the MySpace links above.

This isn't a topic for here, but are there any good articles about how people inexplicably care about celebrities' families and their personal lives more than their own? Or why people en masse hold a "vigil" for someone they didn't even know? It creeps me out, and I don't get it.


Sorry for your lost may god bless you and your family.


I find the remarks on the name a little odd but, I have to confess, I find the name itself much more offensive.


15 years old...named sensuous...not related to the crime. This seems more like name "profiling."


'Interestingly, the CNN article no longer mentions Sensuous, although if you go to Google News and type “Jennifer Hudson, sensuous” you will see a link to the original story that no longer contains her name.'

This is not a mystery. When you use Google, you're searching through their 'cached' pages - i.e. older versions of the websites. When you use the link, you're directed to the current version.


have faith jen . hang in thr , nthin can stop u . i support your work and always will . dont let this give u second thots .


You're so overwhelmed by your grief for this acquaintance that your normally good manners are firgitten, and you find it necessary to insult the given name of someone with no involvement in this case?

C'mon Levitt, aim higher. You can do better than this.

G. Wood

I'd like to defend Levitt on this one. The first half of his post shows proper respect already. In the 2nd half, we see his natural intellectual curiousity. Isn't that why we all love Freakonomics? Criticizing this will only make him and others hesitant to share some future insights for fear of offense.


are you kidding, dissing this poor woman's NAME?? At this, the lowest possible moment imaginable...... you pick at her name???????? What sort of study can you do on the ability of people to be cruel at the absolute worst possible moment???


Hang in there Jennifer. Please don't let this horrible Tragic stop your dreams. When you are trying to become the best, there will always be "Others" trying to discourage you out of hate, jealousy, and tragic. Remember After Pain, there is HEALING! Hang in there~From a concerned Fan and Mother of two~ April (Milwaukee, WI)


Totally tasteless.

Very disappointed.


I've read the section of freakonomics about names but I don't get how hers fits, what you mean to imply about her name, or why Sensuous is in the news at all. This girl is going through a horrible time right now, it just doesn't seem right making commentary about her name.


Sensuous Balfour has a Facebook page, and looks about 15, so she must be the one to which you are referring.


Is the explanation as simple as the fact that the accused is only 15?

carter skemp

i find that writing about your opinion of a name in connection with a tragedy such as this deplorable. just because you write in an economic vein does not release you from being respectful.

doing a quick google search reveals far more people that have caused tremendous harm and 'bad news' who are named Steve than Sensuous.