WWE Hall of Famer Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka has been arrested on murder charges for the 1983 death of his girlfriend, authorities announced Tuesday, according to The Morning Call of Allentown, Pa.
Snuka has been charged with third-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter in the death of 23-year-old Nancy Argentino.
On the day Argentino died, Snuka, who was 40 years old and married at the time, had been in Allentown filming an event for the WWF (which later changed its name to WWE). He returned to his motel room in neighboring Whitehall Township and found Argentino “gasping for air and oozing yellow fluid from her mouth and nose,” the Call reported.
Argentino died of traumatic brain injuries the next day at a hospital. An autopsy found dozens of cuts and bruises from her head down to her feet, which the coroner concluded were consistent with “mate abuse.” Her brain injury was consistent with hitting her head against a stationary object, the report also said.
More from the Call:
Snuka 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 later told police those five people misunderstood him, and said Argentino slipped and hit her head when they stopped along the highway to urinate.
The Call published a 4,500-word investigation into Argentino’s death in 2013, which the Lehigh County district attorney acknowledged was partially responsible for his decision to re-open the case.
Snuka joined the WWF in 1982 and remained with the promotion until 1985. He spent the next five years in smaller promotions and return to WWF in 1989, where he stayed until 1992. He was inducted into the WWF Hall of Fame in 1996.
Snuka currently makes his home in South Jersey, about 90 miles from Allentown. His wife announced earlier this month that he had been diagnosed with stomach cancer.
- Dan Gartland