MIAMI—The Miami New Times’ Michael E. Miller has written a long article on the September, 2010 murder of Samuel Del Brocco, a 60-year-old married businessman who resided in Washington, D.C., but also spent a considerable amount of time in South Florida at a Pompano Beach beachfront condo he owned and where he was eventually killed. The main protagonist in Miller’s piece is Del Brocco’s alleged killer, John Snavely, 26, who starting in 2010 performed in both gay and straight adult productions using the names Josh Logan and sometimes Champ.
Snavely was arrested this year for the murder following a three-year investigation that culminated in early August with second degree murder charges being levied against the former Bang Bros contract star, who remains incarcerated in the Broward County jail.
Miller, who visited Snavely in jail and also spoke with former girlfriends, unnamed friends, a Miami porn recruiter and others for the article, has crafted a piece that reads like a steamy thriller, complete with a “shit” early life in San Antonio, Texas, a tough education on the streets and the eventual lure of easy money as a stripper and escort, first in Texas and then in South Florida, followed by the siren call of porn, in a scene right out of Boogie Nights.
“Snavely's path to porn stardom had begun a year earlier in typical sex-industry style: He was stripping at several gay clubs in his hometown of San Antonio,” writes Miller “One night, an older man sidled up to the stage where the young Sylvester Stallone lookalike was gyrating in a baseball hat, sneakers, and underwear.
"’Is that thing real?’ the man asked, flicking Champ's crotch with his finger. It was. And when the dance ended, the stranger paid Snavely to show him his nine-and-a-half-inch penis. Soon, Snavely found himself talking to the stranger's associate: a South Florida porn recruiter named Justin Caro, better known as Baileey,” Miller continued.
Snavely originally signed with Jet Set Productions and was immediately put to work shooting “as many as six scenes a week” as a “gay for pay” performer up to a point, according to Caro, who told Miller, "He wouldn't do oral, and he wouldn't bottom."
Within a year, Snavely had moved to Bang Productions, “Florida's biggest porn studio. Under his new contract, Snavely would shoot straight porn for popular reality-themed websites such as Bang Bros and the Dancing Bear.”
Snavely thought moving from gay to straight porn would make life easier, reports Miller, but his excessive lifestyle, and what one friend called his “compulsive personality,” continued his downward spiral, which eventually led him to the night in September 2010, and a killing he insists he did not commit.
“Snavely won't say whether he ever met Del Brocco,” writes Miller. “But he offers several other scenarios, starting with the suggestion that one of Del Brocco's employees killed the old man for his money. As for how his DNA could have ended up at the crime scene, Snavely points to the $25,000 reward for Del Brocco's killer. A rival porn star could have stolen his semen from a porn shoot and put it at the Pompano Beach apartment, he says. Or the drug-dealing husband of a woman Snavely was seeing could have set him up.
“Broward detectives say the answer is much simpler,” he adds. “Snavely did it.”
As for his life as a porn star, Snavely told Miller he is done with all that, and that as soon as he gets out of jail he wants to move back to San Antonio to support his mom.
"At first, you're impressed that they'd pick you to do porn, but after ten shoots, it gets dull,” he told Miller as the interview was coming to an end. “It became my personality. I couldn't just be John from Texas anymore. I always had to be Champ, Champ, Champ."
The Miami New Times has posted yet another article on South Florida porn stars charged with murder that notes that Snively's path actually intersected with another this time convicted porn star killer, Jason Andrews, whose crime spree was covered by AVN.