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Adam Clark of the Allentown Morning Call emailed to say that his newspaper has never quoted Lehigh County district attorney James Martin as calling my criticisms of Detective Gerry Procanyn “unfounded.” And a review of the Morning Call’s June 28 article on the “fresh look” at the 30-year-old file on Nancy Argentino’s death in Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka’s Whitehall, Pennsylvania, motel room confirms what Clark said. I have corrected yesterday’s post by adding a pointer to this one.
Clark’s correction, however, does not make the Morning Call coverage look better; it just makes the paper seem even less thorough in how it has reported what many observers believe is a new investigation that has been set up in a way so as to seem to mollify the Argentino sisters — while at the same time rubber-stamping the slipshod work performed originally by the Whitehall police and the district attorney.
On July 1, I published a piece on the Wrestling Observer website headlined “How we will know if Snuka investigation is serious.” See http://www.f4wonline.com/more/more-top-stories/96-wwe/32017-irv-muchnick-how-we-will-know-if-snuka-investigation-is-serious. The article was reprinted at Concussion Inc. on July 3 at https://concussioninc.net/?p=7798.
On July 2, I reported that DA Martin had told me, “Neither Mr. Gallagher [deputy Charles Gallagher] nor I will be commenting on your ridiculous and unfounded assertions.” See “Pennsylvania District Attorney Defends Detective Who Lied in 1992 About Jimmy Snuka Homicide Investigation,” https://concussioninc.net/?p=7777.
At the time, I did not upload Martin’s fax. Here it is: http://muchnick.net/damartin070213.pdf.
On July 18, Randy Miller of the Courier-Post in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, quoted Martin as saying, in part, “[Gerry] Procanyn knows the case better than anyone who’s still alive and he’s probably one of the most tenacious investigators I’ve met. So as far as I’m concerned, the sisters’ complaints and Muchnick’s (e-book) observations are unfounded.” http://www.courierpostonline.com/article/20130718/SPORTS/307180052/-Superfly-Snuka-case-reopened-by-Lehigh-County-D-
The Allentown Morning Call has said only that Martin has low expectations for the outcome of his office’s “fresh look.” The paper has not clued in its readers on any controversy regarding Procanyn’s role in it.
It seems to me that there are two basic possible explanations for the Morning Call’s omission here. The weaker one is that the editors don’t want to annoy local officials more over this case than they already have. I call this the weaker explanation because the Call did go to the trouble of embarrassing the district attorney and the Whitehall police with Clark and Kevin Amerman’s fine “cold case” story. So everyone involved seems comfortable, at least to some extent, with stepping on the toes of the powers-that-be.
The stronger explanation is that the Call is, in classic corporate fashion, trying to hog the credit for the revival of the Snuka case and acknowledge as little as possible the work of others. That is simple arrogance, but when it comes to calling out Procanyn, that arrogance is also unproductive in terms of the newspaper’s own journalistic mission. For when the county’s “fresh look” is all over, pointing out that it was tainted by Procanyn’s continued participation will be too late to do any good