Grand jury to investigate the death of Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka's girlfriend Nancy Argentino

Nancy Argentino's death still haunts Jimmy Snuka - Photo by Paparazzo Presents of Wikimedia Commons.

Today it was announced that a Lehigh County grand jury will investigate the 1983 death of Nancy L. Argentino, the girlfriend of professional wrestler Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka, who died in his motel room from craniocerebral injuries under suspicious circumstances.

In what was obviously a very rash decision, WWE Hall Of Famer Jimmy Snuka decided to give his take on the best forgotten subject of the mysterious death of his on the road girlfriend Nancy Argentino in 1983 in his autobiography Superfly: The Jimmy Snuka Story published in October 2012.

That memoir together with the thirty year anniversary of the tragedy in May 2013 led Irv Muchnick to publish the ebook Justice Denied - The Untold Story of Nancy Argentino’s Death in Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka’s Motel Room and investigative reporters for the Allentown Morning Call and Cherry Hill's Courier-Post to release stories about Snuka's long suspected role in Argentino's suspicious passing.

This bad publicity, which included Argentino's autopsy and Snuka's first police interview transcript being made available online, prompted Lehigh County District Attorney Jim Martin to promise that his office would take a fresh look at the case.

Despite Martin's initial scepticism that anything could be gained from a grand jury investigation into the death, he today announced that would now indeed be taking place according to Adam Clark and Kevin Amerman of The Morning Call:

"A Lehigh County grand jury will investigate the 1983 death of Nancy L. Argentino, the girlfriend of professional wrestler Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka, District Attorney Jim Martin announced Tuesday.

The announcement comes seven months after Martin said he'd take a "fresh look" at Argentino's cold case. His decision to re-examine the case was made less than three weeks after The Morning Call published a story about Argentino's death, revealing an autopsy report and police interviews that had never been seen by the public.

"I think it's important to have a grand jury take a look at it and we'll see what they think," Martin said Tuesday....

Martin said he usually doesn't announce which cases will go before a grand jury, but he said he took the unusual step of announcing this grand jury investigation because of the interest the case has garnered.

Martin said the grand jury that was impaneled in August and started considering cases in September will hear testimony on the case. Martin said the grand jury meets every two weeks and it will likely take months before it concludes its work on the Argentino case.

Martin said Chief Deputy District Attorney Charles Gallagher recommended putting the case before the grand jury, a panel of 23 Lehigh County residents, which will weigh evidence and determine whether charges are warranted. Martin said the five-year statute of limitations has run out on most charges but there is no statute of limitations on homicide, which includes first-, second- and third-degree murder....

Martin said with all the time that has passed since Argentino's death "there's no question it's going to be a difficult case." He said in his 16 years as district attorney, it's the oldest case his office has taken to a grand jury.

Martin wouldn't say if any new evidence has emerged and wouldn't comment when asked if Snuka is the focus of the investigation.

Snuka could not immediately be reached for comment Tuesday."

It's worth noting that in 1985 the Argentino family won a $500,000 default judgment against Snuka for wrongful death in U.S. District Court in Philadelphia, but they never received a penny, as the wrestler claimed he was broke, unemployed and owed the IRS $75,000 in back taxes.

We'll keep you updated with more on this story Cagesiders as it comes in. Click the links in this story for background on this case and read Irv Muchnick's chronological coverage here.

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