by Irvin Muchnick
As noted here in the previous post and below, I’m included in the Dark Side of the Ring episode on the story of Nancy Argentino’s death in Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka’s room at the George Washington Motor Lodge in Whitehall, Pennsylvania, in 1983. The first airing of the documentary is at 10:00 p.m. Eastern time tonight. It’s very important to watch, as well, the post-episode panel show, Dark Side of the Ring After Dark, in which I also will be participating, at 11:00 Eastern.
Later in the week I am scheduled to discuss Snuka on the new pro wrestling podcast of the Ireland Newstalk network’s Off the Ball. Readers here know that I have appeared numerous times on Off the Ball to talk about developments in the hunt for former Irish Olympic swimming coach and current American sex crimes fugitive George Gibney. The most recent of these interviews is at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cuSlnH5d76o.
Concussion Inc.’s Irvin Muchnick, whose decades-old investigation of WWE star Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka’s probable murder of his girlfriend Nancy Argentino in 1983 spurred the overdue and failed prosecution of Snuka shortly before his death in 2017, is one of the featured voices in the documentary about the case on the VICE TV series Dark Side of the Ring. The episode screens for the first time on Tuesday, April 14, at 10 p.m. Eastern time.
Following the broadcast, Muchnick also will be part of a panel discussion on VICE TV for the companion program Dark Side of the Ring After Dark. The After Dark show will be at 11:30 p.m. Eastern time Tuesday (with VICE News in between the documentary and the panel discussion).
A 30-second video trailer for the Dark Side of the Ring episode is at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g7xehMFZbtM.
Muchnick’s 1992 reporting from the Allentown, Pennsylvania, area, commissioned but never published by New York’s Village Voice, was published online by the author later in the 1990s and ultimately became a chapter of his 2007 book WRESTLING BABYLON: Piledriving Tales of Drugs, Sex, Death, and Scandal.
In a 2013 ebook, produced in association with the Argentino family, Muchnick reflected on and updated his original article, and added photos and primary-source documents. JUSTICE DENIED: The Untold Story of the Death of Nancy Argentino in Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka’s Motel Room was published shortly before the Allentown Morning Call published its own 30th anniversary “cold case” article about the incident.
Two years later, a Lehigh County grand jury indicted Snuka on counts of third-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter. On January 3, 2017, however, a Pennsylvania Court of Common Pleas judge dismissed the charges on grounds of Snuka’s mental incompetency. Snuka, 73, died 12 days later of complications from stomach cancer.
In a 1985 civil lawsuit for wrongful death, the Argentino family won a $500,000 default judgment against Snuka in federal court in Philadelphia, but the wrestler never paid any portion of it.
Now in its second season on VICE TV, Dark Side of the Ring (https://www.vicetv.com/en_us/show/dark-side-of-the-ring) describes itself as a documentary series devoted to “finding truth at the intersection of fantasy and reality in the veiled world of professional wrestling.” To find the availability and channels of the network on local cable systems, go to https://www.vicetv.com/en_us/channel-finder. Many previous episodes of Dark Side are viewable on VICE’s YouTube channel, https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCn8zNIfYAQNdrFRrr8oibKw.