UPDATED: Death Of Jimmy Snuka's Ex-Girlfriend To Be Investigated By Grand Jury
Posted by Joseph Lee on 01.28.2014
With comments from the DA...
UPDATE: The office of James B. Martin, the Lehigh Country District Attorney in Pennsylvania, has issued the following comments about the investigation into Nancy Argentino's death:
"Several months ago, I was contacted by the surviving sisters of Nancy L. Argentino, who died under unusual circumstances. I directed Chief Deputy District Attorney Charles F. Gallagher III to conduct a preliminary review of the investigative file and any and all evidence that was gathered over the past 30 years by the lead Detective, former Whitehall Township Detective and now Lehigh County Detective Gerald Procanyn, and others.
Chief Deputy District Attorney Gallagher has recommended that the District Attorney's Office utilize the power and resources of the current Investigating Grand Jury in this matter.
Accordingly, I directed that the circumstances surrounding the death of Nancy L. Argentino, and all evidence related thereto, be presented to the Seventh Investigating Grand Jury, which is currently empanelled.
Grand Jury proceedings are a time-consuming process, and it will take months before the Grand Jury concludes its work on this case.
Under the Investigating Grand Jury Act, 42 Pa.C.S.A. §4541 et seq., the proceedings of the Grand Jury are secret and may not be disclosed. Accordingly, I will have no further comment on this matter until the Investigating Grand Jury concludes its work."
ORIGINAL:The Morning Call reports that a Lehigh County grand jury will investigate the 1983 death of Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka's girlfriend Nancy L. Argentino. District Attorney James B. Martin made the announcement today.
Argentino was removed from Snuka's George Washington Motor Lodge motel room (which is now a Home Depot on MacArthur Road and Route 22) on May 10, 1983. Snuka, who was married at the time, returned from a WWF taping at the Allentown Fairgrounds to find her gasping for air and "oozing yellow fluid" from her mouth and nose. She was declared dead hours later at Lehigh Valley Hospital from traumatic brain injuries usually seen from a moving head hitting a stationary object.
The autopsy showed that Argentino had over two dozen cuts and bruises on her head, ear, chin, arms, hands, back, buttocks, legs and feet, signs of "mate abuse". Forensic pathology Isidore Mihalakis wrote in 1983 that the case should been investigated as as a homicide until police could prove it wasn't. Snuka originally told around five people, including the police officer who responded to the case, that he pushed Argentino and caused her to fall and hit hear head. He later said that he was "misunderstood" and that she actually slipped and hit her head when they stopped to go to the bathroom on the highway.
Martin announced in June that he had a deputy review the case three weeks after a story was published (by the Morning Call) which revealed an autopsy report and police interviews that were previously unreleased to the public. Chief Deputy District Attorney Charles Gallagher has recommended a grand jury looking at the case to determine if there should be charges filed. The Grand Jury would consist of 23 Lehigh County residents.