Jimmy 'Superfly' Snuka arrested, charged in 1983 death of girlfriend

The Turnstile
Jimmy 'Superfly' Snuka (Courtesy of the Allentown Morning Call)
Jimmy 'Superfly' Snuka (Courtesy of the Allentown Morning Call)

Former professional wrestling superstar Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka has been arrested and charged with third-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter in the 1983 death of his girlfriend.

The Lehigh County (Pa.) district attorney's office reopened the long-dormant case last year after The Morning Call investigated the death of Nancy Argentino in a Whitehall Township motel. The newspaper's report included a never-before-published autopsy labeling the death a homicide.

Snuka, 72, was arrested at his home in New Jersey Tuesday morning, according to The Morning Call. Bail has been set at $100,000.

Argentino died on May 10, 1983. Snuka had been taping a WWF (now WWE) show at the Allentown (Pa.) Fairgrounds and returned to their shared hotel room to find her gasping for air and "oozing yellow fluid from her mouth and nose," according to local reports. An autopsy indicated the 23-year-old suffered more than two dozen cuts and bruises to her head, ear, chin, arms, hands, back, buttocks, legs and feet, and indicated that the injuries were indicative of force from a stationary object.

Snuka, who was the only person of interest in the case, was never charged. He told at least five people earlier in the day that he had shoved her and she had fallen, but changed that story to indicate she had fallen on her own when they stopped by the side of a road to urinate. The case was deemed "cold" in June 1983. The Argentino family won a $500,000 wrongful death judgment against Snuka, but he was unable to pay.

"Many terrible things have been written about me hurting Nancy and being responsible for her death, but they are not true," Snuka wrote in his autobiography. "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 has been living in Waterford Township, N.J. His wife announced last month that he now suffers from stomach cancer.

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Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Contact him at jay.busbee@yahoo.com or find him on Twitter.

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