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Porn Star John Snavely Accused of Murdering Millionaire UPDATED

Update, 2/17/17: Broward Circuit Court Judge Ilona M. Holmes threw out the murder charge against John Snavely Thursday, February 16, 2017, ruling that the circumstantial evidence was not strong enough to proceed. Holmes had noted problems with the case, including the fact that no eyewitnesses were ever found, that Snavely's DNA was not on the murder weapon, and that shoe prints at the scene didn't match Snavely's. "This evidence is not enough," Holmes wrote in her order, according to the Washington Post.

The first thing cops noticed was the footprints. They began near the entrance to the expensive oceanfront townhouse: size-12 sneaker outlines, stamped in blood.

They wound up a flight of stairs to the second floor, across smooth white marble tiles, and around rich leather furniture. They led through the kitchen and past a bloody butcher knife hastily hidden under a throw rug. As police traced the prints to their source, the marks grew bloodier — like a grisly puzzle slowly revealing itself.

Finally, the footprints disappeared up another staircase toward the bedroom. When Broward County Sheriff's deputies pushed open the door, they were brushed back by the fetid stench of death. Samuel Del Brocco lay on the marble in a pool of gore. The pudgy 60-year-old had been stabbed half a dozen times in the chest.

Other than the knife and shoe prints, the only signs left by the murderer were two burnt matches on the armrest of a leather chair. A half-spent marijuana cigarette sat on a dresser near the body, but Del Brocco didn't smoke.

The dead man had been a successful businessman who split his time between Washington, D.C., and South Florida. He had been outgoing and well-liked. Now he was a corpse.

It would be three years before detectives would catch a break in the September 2010 Pompano Beach killing. When they did, they would stumble onto a story even darker than Del Brocco's murder — something more akin to the twisted tales of the Marquis de Sade. It is the story of a porn star stud with an endless appetite for sex, drugs, and human growth hormone; the teenage beauty queen he tortured; and a dead millionaire's dark double life. It's a story of lust, greed, and the most misdirected of American dreams.


John Snavely stood on the deck of the superyacht, all six feet and one inch of him a sex god. Behind him the setting sun blushed between Miami skyscrapers. Around him flitted female porn stars, their unnatural assets packed into bulging bikinis. But all eyes were on Snavely. The 24-year-old was 210 pounds of professional pelvic thrust: a handsome, clean-cut adult film star with a dick to rival Ron Jeremy's. It was the summer of 2011. Snavely was at the pinnacle of South Florida's booming porn business, and he acted like it.

"You'll do well in this industry, man," Snavely said knowingly to a porn recruit, handing him a drink. "You're good-looking. The ladies will love you."

Snavely could afford to be complimentary. He was that rarest of creatures in the ultracompetitive confines of porn: a male performer with a contract. Snavely was one of Bang Bros' biggest stars, pulling in six figures by having sex with half a dozen women every week on camera. His screen name was simply "Champ."

With Miami's top male porn star schmoozing him, the new recruit slugged back his beer and shook Snavely's hand.

"Champ wanted to be big," remembers the recruit, who would sign on to work alongside Snavely for Bang Bros. "The biggest porn star, the biggest partier, the biggest everything."

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. 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.

Baileey was himself a former gay porn star who now excelled at enticing young hunks from across America into similar careers. Listening to his sales pitch, Snavely was polite but confident, asking questions about how much money he could make in South Florida. "John knew how to sell himself," Baileey says. "Whether it was stripping or porn, he knew what his best attributes were."

It would take several months of flying to San Antonio for Baileey to persuade Snavely to appear in gay porn. Despite dancing for men, Snavely insisted he was straight. But Baileey nonetheless saw in him the makings of a star.

"I've been in the business for 21 years, so I pretty much know what people are looking for," he says. "John had a universal look: good-looking, clean-cut, white guy, no tattoos, well-endowed. That's exactly what the industry wants."

In the end, the offer was too tempting for Snavely — a poor kid from the wrong side of San Antonio — to ignore. He flew to Los Angeles for his first porn shoots. Then he moved to Fort Lauderdale in early 2010, staying in what Baileey called his "model house," a low-slung, three-bedroom home in Searstown.

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Michael E. Miller was a staff writer at Miami New Times for five years. His work for New Times won many national awards, including back-to-back-to-back Sigma Delta Chi medallions. He now covers local enterprise for the Washington Post.