How Did Tony Hughes Die?

Ryan Murphy’s unconventional take on the Milwaukee Monster “Jeffrey Dahmer” story shook the audience to their core by providing an in-depth look at the lives of his 17 victims – vividly showcasing their emotions and thoughts when they were held, hostage. Out of which one of the victim’s stories that struck a chord with the audience was of Anthony “Tony” Hughes, a lively soul who was deaf and mute but became the prey of the serial killer. The series dedicating one whole episode to his story made the public wonder how did Tony Hughes die and what happened to him in reality?

Rather than focusing on the murdering spree of the killer, the retelling highlights the voices of those victims that were long forgotten and were only looked at as the number of kills that the mass murderer committed between 1978 and 1991. 

Thus, the dramatic account of the serial killer’s crimes that the latest Netflix series, “Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story,” presents through the sufferers point of view made the public connect with the victims and their real-life stories on a deep and emotional level. Henceforth, the heartbreaking and gut-wrenching tale of Tony Hughes was no different for the viewers of the said show, as it made their hearts bleed with grief.

Here are all the details you need to know about Tony Hughes and how he died.

Who is Tony Hughes?

Anthony “Tony” Hughes was a mute, deaf, black gay man born on August 26, 1959. He became the twelfth victim of Jeffrey Dahmer’s cannibalistic tendencies and was killed on May 24, 1991.

Who is Tony Hughes?
Who is Tony Hughes?

As per FBI records, 

  • He permanently lost his hearing at a very young age due to the side effects of some medications he took as a child.
  • He can only communicate through lip reading, sign language, and written notes.
  • Tony Hughes was living in Madison, Wisconsin, after graduating from the Wisconsin School For the Deaf and was an inhabitant there till his very death.
  • Even though he was reported missing on May 31, he was last seen on the day of his death by a friend at the Milwaukee gay bar Club 219

The Milwaukee Monster’s twelfth victim was an aspiring model. Thus, taking advantage of that little information, Jeffrey Dahmer offered to give him money to return to his apartment and pose for nude photos – both communicated with each other through handwritten notes.

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How Did Tony Hughes Die?

The 31-year-old being part of the LGBTQ community, I met the psychotic butcher in a gay bar in Milwaukee that he frequently visited and often exchanged notes with patrons for communication. 

How Did Tony Hughes Die?
How Did Tony Hughes Die?

Probably got introduced to Jeffrey Dahmer in the same way (who usually went to gay bars like this one to pick out his victims) and got lured by the killer to his apartment upon the promise of being paid for posing for nude photos.

It was reported that the Monster Dahmer killed Tony Hughes by following his usual pattern. He drugged him with sleeping pills and killed him by strangulation after arriving in his apartment but left his body on his bedroom floor for three days before dismembering it. Afterwards, the American serial killer photographed the dismemberment process and kept some of the body parts of his twelfth victim by dissolving the flesh from the bones through chemicals.

One of those body parts happened to be his skull which was retained and was also used in identifying that it belonged to Tony Hughes through dental records.

What was Tony Hughes and Jeffrey Dahmer Relationship?

The Netflix newest series has opened up many Pandora’s boxes with its release, and one of them happens to be the status of Tony Hughes and Jeffrey Dahmer’s relationship. Considering the main fact that “Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story” implies that both Dahmer and Hughes knew each other for quite some time and were also in a romantic relationship before the alleged murder occurred.

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Even though the real-life serial killer had denied having any such association with Tony Hughes and refused claims that they knew each other before Dahmer killed him, surprisingly enough, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that:

  • An eye witness, Tony Hughes’s friend, to be precise, shared that the two had known each other for over a year. 
  • Not only that, but another friend of his also came forward with his claim that their close acquaintance dates back to two years before his brutal murder took place in 1991.

Besides that, we also learned from his mother that her dead son was visiting a friend named Jeffrey at the time of his sudden disappearance. But since she only knew his first name, she could not get in touch with that so-called friend to know about her son. However, when she finally began to look for Tony Hughes, he was probably long dead around that time. 

Tony Hughes Netflix Episode:

Even though the Netflix retelling of the Jeffrey Dahmer story has received mixed reviews since its debut, its sixth episode, titled “Silenced,” has been extensively praised for being “the most heart-wrenching and wonderfully directed piece in the Dahmer Netflix series.”

Revolving around the story of the innocent victim, Tony Hughes, we see exchanges between the hapless victim and the cruel murderer who took the selfless man’s life in cold blood.

As per the plot of the episode,

“Aspiring model Tony moves to Madison and meets Jeff at a bar, beginning a relationship through handwritten notes that takes a dark turn.”

Struggling to make his way in Fashion Industry and find love because of his disability, he met the wrong person and started seeing a devil in disguise who later murdered him.

What happened to Tony Hughes?

Tony Hughes was one of the seventeen victims of the Milwaukee Cannibal or Milwaukee Monster “Jeffrey Dahmer,” brutally murdered by the serial killer in his apartment after he convinced him to pose for nude photos at his home.

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According to Shirley Hughes, Tony Hughes’s mother, her son was an

“outgoing, jolly, happy” person who “could easily make friends.”

Still, the friend he ended up making was a psychotic butcher.


Aiman Muneer
Aiman Muneer
Aiman Muneer is a Contributing Writer at Open Sky News (OSN). She is a highly-motivated, professional, conscientious and committed team member who understand the importance of carrying out her duties to a high standard. A person who is passionate and keen to show productive creativity and is willing to share engaging content.

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