What Was Vince McMahon's Role in 1983 Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka Investigation?
Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka was charged with third-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter in the 1983 death of his girlfriend, Nancy Argentino. “WWE expresses its continued sympathy to the Argentino family for their loss. Ultimately this legal matter will be decided by our judicial system,” WWE said in a statement, and told Philadelphia’s ABC affiliate that Snuka’s legend’s contract is under review.
It’s too soon to know whether Vince McMahon will be called to testify in the upcoming trial (or whether Snuka, who reportedly has stomach cancer, will survive to its conclusion), but he reportedly played a role in the original 1983 investigation. The Morning Call wrote the following when it brought the Snuka story to light in an extensive feature in 2013:
By all accounts in police records and recent interviews with those involved in the case, McMahon and the WWF were fully cooperative with the police investigation. On May 27, 1983, The Morning Call reported that District Attorney William Platt, now a Pennsylvania Senior Superior Court judge, said the investigation into Nancy’s death was nearly complete. “It’s just a matter of getting everybody together,” Platt was quoted as saying, referring to the investigators and attorneys involved in the case, according to the article.
Five days later, on June 1, 1983, Snuka and McMahon met with Platt, then-Assistant District Attorney Robert Steinberg and Mihalakis, the medical examiner, in the DA’s office law library. Whitehall Police Detectives Gerry Procanyn, Al Fritzinger and Vincent Geiger were also at the meeting, according to police records. There’s no official record of what was said and Snuka doesn’t remember much of what happened, according to his book. “All I remember is [McMahon] had a briefcase with him,” Snuka wrote in his autobiography. “I don’t know what happened. …The only thing I know for sure is I didn’t hurt Nancy.”
Steinberg, now a Lehigh County judge, said Snuka didn’t say much and McMahon “did all the talking.” “I remember Vince McMahon being what Vince McMahon has always been — very effusive. He was very protective, a showman,” Steinberg said, noting he couldn’t recall specifics of the conversation. “He was the mouthpiece, trying to direct the conversation.”
Procanyn said McMahon gave authorities the phone numbers of wrestlers and managers they wanted to speak with. Fritzinger could not be reached for comment and Geiger died in 1984. Platt wouldn’t comment when asked if Whitehall police pushed for charges to be filed.
The short summary is that McMahon was involved — allegedly as the “mouthpiece” — but also “fully cooperative with the police investigation.”