You are watching: How did jimmy superfly snuka die
According come The Morning call based the end of Allentown, Pennsylvania, "She to be rushed the end of Snuka’s George Washington engine Lodge motel room — currently the site of house Depot follow me MacArthur Road and also Route 22 — on may 10, 1983. Snuka, a married man, had actually returned from a human being Wrestling Federation taping in ~ the Allentown Fairgrounds to uncover Argentino gasping for air and oozing yellow liquid from her mouth and also nose."
The previous was from Dr. Isidore Mihalakis’ autopsy report in 1983, which additionally urged, "this case should it is in investigated as a homicide until proven otherwise."
Deputy Lehigh county coroner Wayne Snyder later on said, “Upon city hall the body and speaking come the pathologist, I instantly suspected foul play and so notified the district attorney.”
Charges to be not automatically pressed in ~ the time versus Jimmy Snuka despite the instance was left official open.
The initial Jimmy Snuka and also Nancy Argentino Murder case Went Nowhere
In 1983, Nancy Argentino’s family hired Richard Cushing, a brand-new York lawyer who had actually spent most of his job defending criminals, to take it a second look. He was to re-examine the evidence after Argentino’s fatality and shot to guide then-District Attorney wilhelm Platt that this was no an accident. Cushing spent weeks in Allentown, Pennsylvania, visiting scenes, examining the case records, and interviewing witnesses. He believed that over there was enough to take it it come a cool jury as a murder case, but William Platt thought otherwise.
“I was stonewalled at every turn,” Cushing said. “It ended up being clear pretty quickly that
30 year later, the instance was tho unsolved, yet an possibility for the case to it is in re-opened gift itself. The male responsible for the initial autopsy, Dr. Isidore Mihalakis, in 1983 commented to The Morning Call about the investigation. “The clear-cut forensics weren’t there, but the uncertainty was there. I did not have actually a clear-cut case. It was a an extremely worrisome case. Obviously, over there was enough there come arouse mine suspicion yet not enough to take it it to trial.”
Mihalakis would later on say, “Just because she to be beaten doesn’t median she to be beaten to death.”
According to police interviews obtained by The Morning Call, Snuka initially told in ~ least 5 people, including the responding police officer, the shoved Argentino, resulting in her to fall and also hit her head. He later on told police he to be misunderstood, and also Argentino slipped and hit her head as soon as they quit along the highway to go to the bathroom. In another version, Snuka insurance claims he dubbed the authorities as shortly as they acquired to the hotel room. In his autobiography, Superfly The Jimmy Snuka Story, written by Jon Chattman, he claims that after ~ coming earlier from the TV tapings, he to be surprised to discover her still sleeping, and also that’s when he called for help.
The range of stories (we’re no claiming they’re true or false) about what that did with Nancy Argentino or how she got injured could fill this whole page. From excessive horseplay among them to a lovers quarrel where mishaps happen, come her simply slipping and also falling. Every one of these defenses were offered in Snuka’s autobiography, miscellaneous interviews, and also other sources such as what Snuka supposedly told the registered nurses in the ER and also what they reportedly overheard him say.
Watch the Promo Jimmy Snuka it is provided a Month after the fatality of Nancy Argentino:
It should additionally be detailed that Snuka allegedly frequently abused his wife Sharon physically and sent she to the hospital five months after Argentino’s death. Follow to a criminal complaint, there space photos and notes of this injuries taken by Debbie Rogers, the wife of Snuka’s manager at the time, the legend “Nature Boy” friend Rogers.
From the autobiography Superfly: The Jimmy Snuka Story by Jon Chattman: "At the funeral, ns told she mother and father just how sorry i was around her death. What else might I maybe say?"
Argentino’s earliest sister, Lorraine Salome, remembers differently. "He came there in shorts and didn’t to speak anything to mine mother. He did no express his apologies or sympathies."
Buddy Rogers left that there and also vowed to to visit the church company later, however he didn’t. This again was, according to Argentino’s earliest sister.
Listen To one of Several story Jimmy Snuka called on just how Nancy Argentino acquired Injured and also Ultimately Died:
Other than Snuka’s constantly changing story the what happened, the autopsy report, and also even his 2012 autobiography aided put press on authorities to delve into the situation once more.
In 1969, councilor Ted Kennedy left a party close to midnight through Kopechne. That drove his Oldsmobile Delmont 88 off a bridge on Chappaquiddick Island, i m sorry is close to Martha’s Vineyard. He exit the 28-year-old woman who had crash trauma and drowned. The senator waited 10 hrs until he reported the incident and also claimed the his habits had to be "indefensible." In a televised speech, the firmly refuse it to be alcohol-fueled.
Kennedy only acquired a two-month exposed sentence for leaving the scene of an accident after causing injury, yet caused irreperable damage to any type of presidential ambitions that he may have had.
Three years Later, The Jimmy Snuka and Nancy Argentino death Investigation Is Revived
Three weeks after The Morning Call published the story recalling the death of Nancy Argentino and also revealing one autopsy report and also police interviews never seen through the public, Lehigh County district Attorney Jim Martin asked Chief Deputy ar Attorney Charles Gallagher and Detective Gerry Procanyn "if there’s anything come be got by opening a cool jury investigation." Detective Procanyn to be a previous Whitehall detective on the scene at the motel when Argentino to be rushed to the hospital in 1983.
Did Vince McMahon conserve Jimmy Snuka from A Trial?
The original examination went cold on June 1, 1983, ~ prosecutors met through Jimmy Snuka and World wrestles Federation’s Vince McMahon in the ar attorney’s office law library. There is no record of what to be talked about during the meeting. Still, judge Robert Steinberg, an assistant ar attorney in ~ the time, was there and also remembered the McMahon did all the talking however was cooperative. Every this is videotaped in the police accounts.
“I mental Vince McMahon gift what Vince McMahon has constantly been — really effusive. The was really protective, a showman,” Steinberg said. “He was the mouthpiece, make the efforts to straight the conversation.”
Snuka does cite in his autobiography the the details room hazy however that he went with Vince McMahon to a court or a law office, and that Vince had a suitcase. He no remember if money was given to the household of Nancy Argentino, yet he to know for certain that that did not hurt her.
The WWE authorize a statement ~ Snuka’s autobiography to be published and the story about McMahon arriving with a briefcase to deal with the Snuka situation when it taken place in 1983,
"The insinuation the a group of clinical examiners, detectives, and also prosecutors — including two who became judges — might have their integrity compromised and also participate in an improper activity during the course of a meeting is absurd, share false and also insulting to all parties. We are optimistic that justice will prevail.”
After the one hour conference in the ar attorney’s legislation library, there space no documents of Jimmy Snuka ever before being doubted by police again. The case went cold for 30 years.
Four months before Nancy Argentino died, Snuka was charged through assaulting she in a brand-new York Howard Johnson motel. Police say he additionally battled with responding police. He was charged with second and third-degree assault, resisting arrest, and obstruction of government administration. However, he accepted a plea deal that dropped every one of those charges. Argentino swore in a deposition ~ the alleged attack that Snuka never hit her or purposely harmed her.
In 1985: The Argentino family members won a $500,000 wrongful-death civil lawsuit against Snuka yet never obtained their money. That filed because that bankruptcy, and also the family never got any restitution.
This totality time Jimmy Snuka had declared innocence and also wrote in his autobiography, "Many destructive things have been written around me hurting Nancy and being responsible for she death, but they room not true. This has actually been really hard top top me and really hard on mine family… I never ever hit Nancy or intimidated her. I never ever wanted to injury her. Ns think she passed away of a fracture to she skull. I was devastated.”
Snuka continues, "That night damaged my life. If ns was guilty of anything, it to be cheating on mine wife, and that was it… Nancy was a great girl. Ns will never forget what happened to her." that adds, "Sometimes gift trapped v my thoughts have the right to be an ext painful than any type of injury I’ve experienced in the ring."
Days ~ Snuka’s arrest, the WWE erased his room of call profile and also all images and videos indigenous its media sites. However, together of this publication, you can find images and videos that him restored on wwe.com
On January 28th, 2014: Lehigh County ar Attorney Jim boy name announces that the Nancy Argentino instance will go to a cool jury.
In respectable 2015: Carole, the third wife the Jimmy Snuka, says that he has actually stomach cancer.
On September 1st, 2015: after ~ a cool jury’s recommendation, young name proceeds to charge Snuka with third-degree murder and also involuntary manslaughter.
The county’s investigative cool jury uncovered that Jimmy Snuka assaulted Nancy Argentino on might 10, 1983, climate left her in a Whitehall Township motel room to die. “His assaultive acts and also his fail to action to attain medical attention led to her death,” the cool jury created in a presentment on July 17, 2015, recommending he it is in charged through homicide.
Following the county’s investigative grand jury findings, the WWE authorize this statement, "WWE expresses its ongoing sympathy come the Argentino family for your loss. Ultimately, this legal matter will be made decision by ours judicial system."
After Snuka was charged through third-degree murder, Jim Cornette questioned, "Why doesn’t who really start investigating more about why nothing acquired done because that 30 years when there was every one of this evidence and also conflicting stories?
Cornette continued, “Even in Snuka’s book, he wrote that Vince
Defense Blames CTE because that the actions of Jimmy Snuka
Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) is a neurodegenerative disease caused by mild or repeated head trauma, however the specific amount needed for the condition to happen is however unknown. That is a destruction of mind tissue and function and was found in 2004 in ~ the Allegheny County clinical examiner’s office after performing an autopsy on former Pittsburgh Steelers player, “Iron” Mike Webster.
Most documented instances have arisen in athletes of contact sports such as American football, ice hockey, rugby, boxing, and professional wrestling. A critical diagnosis can only it is in performed during an autopsy by assessing a person’s mind under a microscopic lense after death.
The Hearings To determine the psychological Competency that Jimmy Snuka
During the hearings to identify whether Jimmy Snuka to be mentally proficient to stand trial, his defense attorney Robert Kirwin said that Snuka endured from brain trauma so major that he had arisen CTE and, subsequently, dementia. He argued Snuka’s head trauma had developed to the suggest where the couldn’t know what to be happening in a courtroom and commented that his private doctors detected memory impairment in the as at an early stage as 2010 and that Snuka might develop CTE in the future. Various other doctors in 2010 stated they additionally noticed developing signs the dementia.
Frank M. Dattilio was a forensic psychologist rental by the defense. He testified that Snuka is a “shell of a man” whose mind is damaged past repair from year of wrestling and also who was enduring from dementia the is “worsening through the month.”
Dattilio told judge Kelly L. Banach the tests display Snuka’s brain is shrinking, bring about serious memory loss. Snuka walk not know what’s going on in court and also does not even remember his attorney’s name.
During among the hearings, prosecutors listed Snuka walk not begin complaining of head trauma till after that learned he was under investigation.
Senior Deputy district Attorney Craig Sheetz sharp to medical records showing that Snuka had actually an appointment v a concussion specialist on January 29, 2014. This was a main after ar Attorney Jim martin announced he was re-opening the case.
Proving and also Disproving Jimmy Snuka’s ability to was standing Trial
Trying come prove the Jimmy Snuka to be mentally and physically qualified of stand trial, the prosecutors showed fliers native charity occasions that Snuka attended during times the psychologist said he showed indicators of dementia. One event was a 2012 poker video game in brand-new York in i beg your pardon Snuka won $100,000 for charity, Scheetz said. This to be to prove the he was lucid.
Snuka’s attorney, Robert J. Kirwan, suggested that the fliers and also videos did no prove anything around Snuka’s competency. He called the video clip of a may 2015 wrestling match the beginning had displayed from a Rhode Island gymnasium “fake,” pointing out exactly how slowly and also carefully Snuka climbed the ropes prior to falling onto the various other wrestler’s chest. He discussed that this was a much cry native the Snuka the truly supplied to leap turn off cages and turnbuckles.
“If that was ‘The Superfly Splash,’ it to be the geriatric version,” Kirwan said.
Even the event with Roddy Piper shattering a coconut ~ above Snuka’s head was used!
The coconut was an alleged to be shave thin top top one end, to crack prefer an egg, the psychologist explained, yet Piper fight Snuka through the dorn end.
Dattilio testified Snuka to be unable to recall numerous of the debilitating injuries that brought about his head trauma yet did recount the shocking incident stated above, which he claims left that dizzy and disoriented.
You can’t Blame every little thing On CTE.
Ronald Hamilton, a medical professional of pathology at the college of Pittsburgh Medical center who helped find CTE, claimed other components such together drinking, drug use, and depression could also cause the atmosphere changes. In his autobiography, Jimmy Snuka publicly admitted to drinking heavily, cigarette smoking tobacco, for free marijuana use, eating cocaine and also using anabolic steroids throughout his adult life.
Hamilton pointed out the instance of chris Benoit in 2007 that reportedly killed his wife and son. Also though he suffered from major head trauma indigenous his rings career and also was possibly suffering from dementia, he was still competent enough to hang himself after the murders.
“All of these wrestlers in the WWE have actually head trauma, lock can’t protect against it, it’s component of your job,” Hamilton stated. “Even though your decision-making is impaired, there isn’t a ns as far as I can tell the the sense of right and also wrong.”
“I love Jimmy Snuka together a fan. I didn’t know him as a person, yet he’s a experienced cohort. However if he did this, this should have been worked out a long time ago."
– Jim Cornette
According to the experts, there is no proof that human being who experience from CTE are also legally incompetent.
Also, come reinforce the aforementioned, Dr. Manish Fozdar, a Raleigh, phibìc Carolina professional in Neuropsychiatry and forensic psychiatry, said, "There room no cause-effect relationship as Snuka’s defense attorney argued."
Dr. Paul Hoyer, a forensic pathologist because that the Montgomery county coroner’s office, added, "Dementia can be a muddy diagnosis, as there is no clear-cut test to determine whether a human being suffers indigenous it." the continued, "Where is the line in between dementia and normal? Dementia is characterized legally together being unable to understand what’s walking on. Walk
On the matter, Jim Cornette lamented, "The native started gaining around. It was obvious. It’s noticeable if girlfriend go ago and look in ~ the truth of the case, something walk on. Something walk on, and also something got covered up. It’s been well-known within the service — if not precisely a object of conversation every f*****g work — the something f*****g happened."
"Superfly" Jimmy Snuka asserted Not mentally Fit
June 1st, 2016: Almost six months after being tried because that third-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter, referee Kelly L. Banach figured out that Jimmy Snuka was no mentally to the right to assist his defense.
She said, "Justice suffers after ~ 30 years because everything decays."
June 21st, 2016: Prosecutors ask referee Banach to pressure Snuka to experience mental health and wellness treatment.
December 2nd, 2016: Snuka’s defense attorney claims he’s in a Florida hospice, and also doctors have identified that the only has six month to live.
January 3rd, 2017: judge Banach dismisses homicide charges against Jimmy Snuka.
Reactions To referee Dismissing Homicide Charges
When Nancy Argentino’s older sister Lorraine Salome was got to by phone, she said she wasn’t at all surprised when she gained the dreaded contact informing her that the referee dismissed charges against the ex-wrestler. “We type of intended it since there were so numerous ridiculous points going on through the defense.” She go on come decry Snuka’s incompetency defense as "a full act."
Snuka’s defense lawyer Robert Kirwin, who had motioned because that the situation to it is in closed once it had actually been figured out in June 2016 the Snuka to be mentally unfit to assist his defense, said, "It was time for there to be closure. The medical proof showed that he to be not getting better, and also in fact, he’s acquiring worse."
Shortly ~ Snuka’s arrest in 2015, referee Banach had issued a gag order (to no talk about the instance in public) to every the attorneys involved and to Snuka’s and Argentino’s families.
Kirwin, speaking around the beginning publicly because that the an initial time, likewise added, "Their instance was doomed from the start. Over there is much that is not publicly known around this case. My customer would have liked to clean his name, and there was never ever a doubt in mine mind the a jury would have actually acquitted that if he’d been well sufficient to was standing trial.”
The judge dismissed the dues by saying the she to be satisfied that Jimmy Snuka would not gain back competency, and "it would be unjust to resume the prosecution."
Jimmy Snuka – a complimentary Man, and also Days Later, A Dead One
Robert Kirwin, defense lawyer of Jimmy Snuka, called Snuka’s mam Carole v the news and also said that she wept v joy and wanted to understand if it was truly over. He interacted to her that Snuka was currently a complimentary man.
And similar to that, only 12 job later, Jimmy Snuka passed away on January 15th, 2017. That was enduring from stomach cancer and other ailments. He to be 73. His widow, Carol, cases that he died of CTE, no cancer.
Mick Foley spoke about Snuka, a male who motivated him to seek a job in wrestling. "Unfortunately, the death of Nancy Argentino is inextricably entwined in the life story of ‘Superfly’ Jimmy Snuka, do the solemn event of his life and career therefore much an ext difficult."
In 2017, Jon Chattman, author of Superfly: The Jimmy Snuka Story, was interviewed by pro Wrestling Illustrated senior Writer Al castle for the PWI Podcast.
The excerpts of the interview were noted by WrestlingInc.com.
“I didn’t push
Chattman claimed that if the criminal charges left a “blemish” top top Snuka’s legacy, that does not think lock should define it.
“I don’t think it’s kris Benoit. I’ll say that much. Ns don’t think you erase that from memory,” Chattman said. “All I’ll speak is ns think his legacy is intact. Ultimately, you look at what that did in the ring, and it’s remarkable. And he to be an innovator, and also he inspired so many people. But it’s a touchy subject. It’s hard due to the fact that we’re talking around a human life the passed away. Me, personally—if you ask me, ‘Do friend think Jimmy go it?’ No. Ns met him, and he to be the kindest male possible. I simply look at the totality thing as a shame due to the fact that there’s a ns of person life there.”
Snuka’s autumn from elegant was as low together his peaks the fame were high. Unlike kris Benoit, the "Superfly" has actually not been erased indigenous WWE’s history books together of yet. If this is exactly on their part, I do not know. Can we still evaluate the man’s large contributions to wrestling, discovering that the is feasible that he had a hand in Nancy Argentino’s death? Feel complimentary to comment on this on the Pro wrestles Stories Facebook and also Twitter pages.
WWE Remembers "Superfly" Jimmy Snuka
All royalties indigenous Irvin Muchnick’s 1992 book JUSTICE DENIED: The Untold Story that Nancy Argentino’s fatality in Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka’s Motel Room room donated to establishments fighting domestic violence. That is thought about one of the many authoritative accounts of what taken place to Nancy Argentino.
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Listen come buzzpatterson.com’s JP Zarka discuss Jimmy Snuka and the fatality of Nancy Argentino top top an illustration of “Crimes in Wrestling” ~ above Total Engagement v Matt Koon:
Most that the info was gathered from write-ups by The Morning Call, who, with several various writers, covered the Jimmy Snuka and Nancy Argentino instance from when it was restored in 2013 to his hearings and also until his pass in 2017. Various other sources have actually been linked where applicable.
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