Phil Mushnick’s take on the Jimmy Snuka situation

Sep 5, 2015 - by Steve Gerweck

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Phil Mushnick

Former pro wrestling headliner star Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka this week was indicted for the 1983 murder of his girlfriend in Eastern Pennsylvania. What in 1983 was seen as inevitable by the pro wrestling industry and the few legit journalists who followed it took 32 years.

In the early 1990s, when the abundant sexual, drug-dependent and employee-abuse perversities of Vince McMahon’s WWF — now WWE — began to come at me with a rush, almost all the inside and ex-inside sources spoke or wrote a variation of, “What about the Snuka girlfriend murder in Allentown?” and “What about the cover-up?”

Apparently, there was a ton of evidence to almost immediately indict Snuka, but then something happened — McMahon rushed to Allentown, Pa., visited with the district attorney, William Platt (now a judge), and then the Snuka case, before it became a case, became a mystery — it suddenly and mysteriously disappeared.

Before the WWE, swollen on steroids, reliant on vulgar skits and a drug-death mill for young men otherwise excessively physically fit, became a cable TV monster and cross-promotional haven for see-no-evil, ask-no-questions populists, Eastern Pennsylvania was a WWF stronghold.

Syndicated TV tapings, for example, were conducted in Allentown. Dr. George Zahorian, who shipped steroids to WWF stars, including Hulk Hogan, and to McMahon himself (you may recall how McMahon, in middle age, suddenly grew shirt-button-busting muscles) was from Hershey, Pa.

The WWF, now WWE, was good to Eastern Pennsylvania. And, perhaps, after Snuka’s 23-year-old girlfriend was found beaten to death — “just an accident; she fell” — Eastern Pennsylvania was good to the WWF. Who knows where this murder indictment, a long time in coming, might take us.

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