Today World Wrestling legend Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka was arrested and charged with murdering his mistress in a hotel room 32 years ago.
At the time Snuka, real name James Reiher, who was married, was staying at a hotel in Allentown, Pennsylvania with 23-year old Nancy Argentino. The wrestler was performing at a WWF event at the Allentown Fairgrounds in May 1983 when he found Argentino gasping for air and oozing yellow liquid from her mouth in their hotel room. He called 911 and she was rushed to the hospital only to die the next day from her injuries.
Snuka and Arentino
At the time of the incident, Snuka was one of the biggest stars in the WWF wrestling against other legends like Hulk Hogan. He says that the death of Argentino ruined his life as authorities and some fans labeled him a murderer, although he has never been charged with the crime – until now.
During autopsies at the time of her death, authorities concluded that she had suffered from injuries consistent with domestic abuse. These included two dozen cuts and concussions on her head, ear, chin, arms, hand back legs and feet. While being interviewed by police Snuka said that he had pushed the woman down. However he later changed his story during an official statement to investigators. He then claimed that while the two were traveling back to the hotel they stopped along the highway to use the bathroom, when Argentino fell and hit her head.
Our friends at @OpieRadio sent us this clip recorded two years ago of Opie interviewing Snuka as he recounts this version of the tragic events of that night over three decades ago.
In his autobiography Snuka defended his innocence, saying,
“Many terrible things have been written about me hurting Nancy and being responsible for her death, but they are not true. This has been very hard on me and very hard on my family. To this day, I get nasty notes and threats. It hurts. I never hit Nancy or threatened her.”
However, Snuka was the only suspect in the case and it should be noted that Argentino’s family won a $500,000 civil case against Snuka for her death. Although Snuka has never paid the family any money. Additionally a forensic pathologist declared the death a homicide. So why didn’t they proceed with the case at the time? Reportedly Vince McMahon was present for a follow up interview with detectives and sought to protect his big star.
The cold case was only reopened after the Morning Call published a new report on the wrestler and the Lehigh County District Attorney office decided to bring the three decade old evidence to a grand jury. Good work Morning Call!
Do you think that Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka is innocent? Or is he a professional wrestling equivalent of justice eluding murderer Robert Durst?
Follow Phil Haney on Twitter @PhilHaney
Source: Daily Mail UK