Jimmy Snuka's suspected role in Nancy Argentino's death probed by local newspapers

Jimmy Snuka - probably not smiling about this weekend's newspaper stories about Nancy Argentino's death - Photo by Paparazzo Presents of Wikimedia Commons.

Following on from the recent publication of the ebook "Justice Denied - The Untold Story of Nancy Argentino’s Death in Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka’s Motel Room" by Irv Muchnick, comes two local newspaper stories by the Allentown Morning Call and Cherry Hill's Courier-Post that give new insight on the mysterious incident.

Following on from the recent publication of the ebook "Justice Denied - The Untold Story of Nancy Argentino’s Death in Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka’s Motel Room" by Irv Muchnick, comes two local newspaper stories by the Allentown Morning Call and Cherry Hill's Courier-Post that give new insight on the mysterious incident, and are thus both well worth reading.

To summarise, the main points of interest from these articles were:

  • For the first time ever, Nancy Argentino's autopsy has been published. It shows that forensic pathologist Isidore Mihalakis believed at the time that the case should be investigated as a homicide, due to the multitude of other bruises and abrasions on her body, suggesting that she may have been the victim of "mate" abuse. Argentino's clothing was in perfect condition and no gravel or dirt particles were found on her scalp, contradicting Snuka's story that she suffered her fatal craniocerebral injury by slipping on the side of the road when she went to pee whilst they were travelling together.
  • Mihalakis remembers the case well to this day and had this to say about what happened: "The clear-cut forensics weren't there, but the suspicion was there. I did not have a clear-cut case. It was a very worrisome case. Obviously, there was enough there to arouse my suspicion but not enough to take it to trial.… Just because she was beaten doesn't mean she was beaten to death."
  • A transcript of Jimmy Snuka's police interview that was taken the day after Argentino's death was also released, proving that he couldn't keep his story straight then and also contradicting the account he gave in his recent autobiography. In the initial version, she was knocked unconscious by the roadside fall and had to slap her across the face to get her to come to again. Later on in the interrogation, Snuka claimed that despite her concussion, she felt much better in the hotel room, so they started pushing each other around in horseplay, when she became dazed, collapsed and hit her head right on the chair.
  • The case remains open to this day, which was news to the Argentino family. Gerry Procanyn, one of the original Whitehall detectives, is still investigating the case, but it's been years since he's received any new information. He refused to comment about whether he took the district attorney's office advice to get Snuka to take a polygraph test and to take him along the highway to find the spot where Nancy Argentino apparently fell after his first inconsistent interview.
  • Nancy's oldest sister Lorraine Salome was quoted as saying: "I feel like the police didn't take it as far as they should have. The whole thing, for our family, is still up in the air. We still walk around wondering, 'What the hell?' ... Nobody to this day really actually knows what happened. It's just like they squashed it somehow. I don't know how they did it. I don't know what they did, but it was just like they squashed it."
  • Jimmy Snuka is painted as a helpful neighbour, always willing to chat to his fans that happen to pop by, and someone struggling to make ends meet who just wants to be left alone to live his life by his current wife Carole.
  • In both articles, Irv Muchnick pushed that William Platt, the DA at the time, exercised his discretion poorly by not even indicting Snuka for involuntary manslaughter.
  • Muchnick thought that the Morning Call's story was flawed by self-censorship, most notably leaving out this sentence from a passage in Jimmy Snuka's book: "I don’t know if [Vince McMahon] gave Nancy’s family money or anything." Irv's conclusion would be sure to have WWE lawyer Jerry McDevitt spitting his morning coffee out in disgust if he still spies on the Muchnick blog: "The question raised and unanswered by Snuka’s tantalizing quote is something entirely different: whether WWF, in protecting one of its most popular stars from a homicide indictment, handed out strategic cash to anyone else."
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