A cold-case file that allegedly involves pro wrestler Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka will be reopened, namely the mysterious 1983 death of Snuka’s girlfriend in a Pennsylvania motel room.
Snuka was a big star for the WWF (now the WWE) in the 1970s and 1980s, and was best known for his finishing move off the top rope called the Superfly Splash. He was inducted into the WWF Hall of Fame in 1996.
Lehigh County District Attorney Jim Martin announced yesterday that he will convene a grand jury to look into the death of Nancy Argentino, then 23. After being rushed to the hospital, Argentino died on May 11, 1983, of traumatic brain injuries according to the autopsy, which reportedly classified the death as a possible homicide.
Snuka had just returned from a WWF taping in Allentown when this incident occurred: “Snuka, now 70 and living in Waterford Township, N.J., originally told at least five people, including the responding police officer, he shoved Argentino earlier that day, causing her to fall and hit her head, according to police interviews obtained by The Morning Call. He latertold police those five people misunderstood him, and said Argentino slipped and hit her head when they stopped along the highway to urinate.”
Snuka — who is the dad of current WWE Diva Tamina Snuka — was never charged in the incident, nor was anyone else. Argentino’s family won a $500,000 default civil judgment against him for wrongful death in 1985 but he apparently never paid on the judgment because he was broke. The standard of proof in a civil case is, of course, much lower than in a criminal proceeding.
Snuka insisted in his 2012 autobiography that he was not responsible for Nancy Argentino’s death.
District Attorney Martin did not comment on whether new evidence as emerged in the Nancy Argentino case or whether the grand jury probe was targeting anyone in particular.
Watch Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka do the Snuka Splash off the top of a steel cage at Madison Square Garden circa October 1983:
[top image credit: swiftwj]