Wrestling legend Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka has been charged with third-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter in the 1983 death of his then-girlfriend, Nancy Argentino, according tot he Allentown Morning Call.
Authorities in Lehigh County, Pennsylvania, announced the charges today, and the 72-year-old Snuka
was arrested at his New Jersey home surrendered to authorities. He’s being held on $100,000 bond.
The investigation into the 23-year-old Argentino’s death was reopened after an investigative report published by the Allentown Morning Call raised questions about the woman’s May 11, 1983, death from traumatic brain injuries. Argentino’s body also showed “more than two dozen cuts and bruises.”
Snuka initially told people that he had shoved Argentino, and she fell and hit her head. He later changed his story, claiming he was misunderstood, saying that Argentino fell and hit her ahead when she exited his vehicle to urinate along the side of a road.
Earlier this year, Snuka was diagnosed with stomach cancer.
Snuka was a 1996 inductee into the WWE Hall of Fame. His profile is still live on WWE.com. Snuka was one of the most popular wrestlers of the 1980s. He famously dove off the top of a steel cage onto Don Muraco after a match in Madison Square Garden on October 17, 1983.
Snuka was also involved in one of the most iconic angles in which “Rowdy” Roddy Piper smashed him in the head with a coconut during an episode of Piper’s Pit.
Snuka was also featured in the 1986 cartoon, Hulk Hogan’s Rock ‘n’ Wrestling. He wrestled in the AWA before returning to the WWF in 1989. He went on to become a two-time ECW Champion.
Snuka has maintained his innocence in Argentino’s death, writing in his autobiography:
“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.”
The Morning Call reported that four months before Argention’s death, Snuka was charged with assaulting her in a New York motel. He later pleaded guilty to harassment.