Legendary WWE wrestler Jimmy ‘Superfly’ Snuka was charged with the 1983 murder of his ex-girlfriend, Nancy Argentino.
According to the Associated Press, Snuka faces third-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter charges in the death of the then-23-year-old woman.
In May of 1983, police were dispatched to a hotel near Allentown, Pennsylvania, where they found Argentino gasping for air with mucus coming out of both her mouth and nose. She died a short time later at an area hospital. Though never charged in the case, Snuka was always thought to be a prime suspect. After remaining a cold case for some 31 years, Argentino’s death was revisited in 2014 when an additional autopsy revealed her cause of death to be traumatic brain injuries. Forensic pathologist Isidore Mihalakis reportedly determined the case should be treated as a homicide after finding more than three-dozen cuts and bruises on her body.
Argentino’s family did successfully sue Snuka for wrongful death in a 1985 civil case, but the victim’s sister, Louise Argentino-Upham, says the current criminal charges do bring relief to her and their 90-year-old mother.
Sunka, 72, has maintained his innocence throughout the years. In his 2012 autobiography he spoke candidly about Argentino’s death, saying his life has been ruined by incident..
“Many terrible things have been written about me hurting Nancy and being responsible for her death, but they are not true,” he says in the book. “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.”
Snuka was arraigned Sept. 1 and released after posting bail.