Feb. 16, 2020

Episode 19: The unsolved murder of professional boxer "Jesse James" Hughes

Episode 19: The unsolved murder of professional boxer "Jesse James" Hughes

For this episode I spoke to Mandy, who is knowledgeable about the case of a murdered former professional boxer named James Melvin Hughes. In the boxing world, his nickname was Jesse James who was found dead in July 1995. He was a welterweight with 31...

For this episode I spoke to Mandy, who is knowledgeable about the case of a murdered former professional boxer named James Melvin Hughes. In the boxing world, his nickname was Jesse James who was found dead in July 1995. He was a welterweight with 31 fights. He won 23 of those fights. His last fight was with Nick Rupa, which he won. He seemed destined for greatness. He won 5 of his last 6 fights and had earned the chance for a big payday. Hughes was supposed to fight for the International Boxing Federation championship. The bout would have earned him $300,000.00.

To quote his trainer Jerry Tillman:

"James could have been a world champion," said Jerry Tillman, his trainer. "This kid was tough. He could take a punch, plus he could knock you out with either hand. And when he was training for a fight, he was a fanatic about conditioning. He could go 20 rounds."

A security camera at an automatic teller machine filmed Hughes withdrawing $100 on the last morning he was seen alive. About three hours later, his truck was found by some railroad tracks. Eleven days after that, they found his body submerged in the swamp face down. His watch, wallet and keys were missing. Today, no one knows how Hughes died or what he was doing out in the middle of nowhere where his truck was found.

Note* The opening clip is from WKRG-TV, a CBS-affiliated television station licensed to Mobile, Alabama, and also serving Pensacola, Florida.

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