Did a Gift Spark the Hudson Family Killings?
Hudson murders triggered by jealousy, police say
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 13, 2008 4:20 PM CST
This undated photo provided by the Illinois Department of Corrections shows William Balfour.    (AP Photo/Illinois Department of Corrections)
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(Newser) – Police believe a stray birthday gift set off the massacre of Jennifer Hudson’s family, People reports. Hudson’s sister Julia held a party the day before the murders to celebrate her 31st birthday. When estranged husband William Balfour showed up, he spotted a gift that he believed came from another man. That, police say, made Balfour jealous enough to kill Jennifer’s brother and mother, and eventually Julia’s 7-year-old son.

Balfour had threatened Julia in her workplace earlier that month, accusing her of seeing another man. But Julia dismissed the incident because Balfour had made such threats before. Balfour has not confessed to the killings, but police say they have enough evidence: gunpowder residue in Balfour’s car, and phone records that place him near the Hudson home after the murder.