Wrestling Legend Charged in Lover's 1983 Murder

Jimmy 'Superfly' Snuka was arrested in the 1983 death of his mistress
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 1, 2015 6:46 PM CDT
Wrestling Legend Charged in Lover's 1983 Murder
Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka in 1981   (Wikipedia)

A Hall of Fame wrestler was arrested today and charged with murder 32 years after his mistress was found beaten and unresponsive in a Pennsylvania hotel room, the AP reports. In 1983, Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka, one of the World Wrestling Federation's biggest stars, returned to his hotel room after an event to find 23-year-old Nancy Argentino "gasping for air and oozing yellow fluid from her mouth and nose," according to the Allentown Morning Call. Argentino died the next day, and an autopsy report, which classified the death as a homicide, stated she had brain injuries and scores of cuts and bruises all over her body. Despite Snuka being the only person of interest in the case, he was never charged.

That autopsy report was never seen until it was dug up by the Morning Call as part of a 2013 story on the cold case, a story the AP reports prompted the district attorney to send the case to a grand jury last year. Between the autopsy, Snuka's multiple accounts of how Argentino was injured—including allegedly telling multiple people he pushed her—and previous allegations of abuse on his part against both Argentino and his wife, the grand jury found enough to charge the 72-year-old former wrestler with murder and involuntary manslaughter. "It's been a long road," Argentino's sister tells the Morning Call. "They did the right thing in the face of all the evidence." In his 2012 autobiography, Snuka, who was reportedly diagnosed with stomach cancer this month, says Argentino's death ruined his life. (Click for a list of athletes convicted of homicide.)

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