The Champ had finally been knocked down.


For the first time in his life, John Snavely is not ready and raring to go when the camera comes on. Before lowering his large frame in front of a Broward County Jail videocam, the imprisoned porn star hesitates offscreen. He takes a comb from his pocket and brushes back his black hair, which has grown longer than Champ's customary buzz cut. Then he places a huge pair of plastic glasses over his dark eyes and sits down for his only interview.

"Everyone thinks I'm a killer just because my life was taboo," he says into a telephone receiver. "All I have to say is that I'm innocent."

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True to his reputation, Snavely is charming and polite. He says stripping and porn were his tickets to a better life. "I would go to the gym and see guys with better cars and ask them how they got it," he says. "I worked two jobs to help out my mom and grandma. But what do you do when the money just doesn't add up? I'm not a bad person. I'm not a drug dealer. I'm not the kind of guy who carries a gun. I'm just a guy who was presented with an opportunity to make money and took it."

He claims that Baileey "tricked" him into gay porn and that when he tried to back out of his first gay shoot, he was told he'd be blackballed from the industry. "Baileey manipulated me," he says. ("There's not much to be tricked about," counters Baileey. "You can't be surprised into sticking your dick in somebody's ass.") Snavely says his drug problems stem from self-medicating in order to perform onscreen. And the police report about torturing Amber is ridiculous, because "I would never put my hands on a woman."

As for the murder, Snavely won't say whether he ever met Del Brocco. 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: Snavely did it. His DNA is all over the crime scene. His footprints match those in Del Brocco's apartment. Snavely danced at Boardwalk that night. His fingerprints were found on the passenger door of Del Brocco's Porsche. And during a police interview, even Snavely "seemed to question himself about whether or not he could have been involved in the victim's death and not remember it due to drug use," according to the arrest affidavit.

News of Snavely's arrest for second-degree murder didn't exactly stun South Florida's porn community, either. Some had heard about what he did to Amber. Others simply knew him as a party boy who could do anything while on drugs.

His coworkers at Dancing Bear were sickened but not surprised by the arrest. "Champ told me once that he had been sexually abused as a kid," says one Dancing Bear performer. Snavely was "in denial" about his own bisexuality, the friend adds, and could easily have been set off by Del Brocco's demands for sex.

Given his charm, it's not surprising that Snavely has his defenders. Both of the women he was dating at the time of his arrest visit him in jail, where he is awaiting trial. One wakes up at 7 a.m. on Sundays to ensure she's the first (and only) visitor.

What is surprising is that the other one is Amber, the woman Snavely abused for two years. "I am definitely convinced that he is innocent," she says. Amber regularly takes to porn sites to defend Snavely's reputation in the comments section.

"You think about a porn star, a stripper, and you think he's the bad guy," she says. "But I do [beauty] pageants. Do you really think that a girl who does pageants would be with someone who is as bad as they say? You don't know the guy. You don't know what he's been through. Everyone just talks all this crap about him on the internet, but they don't know his story."

Yet some of the people who know Snave­ly best have also lost faith in him. For years, Greg Hullender defended his sons' best friend against his detractors. But when he and his sons learned about Champ's gay porn career, their perceptions changed. "Whatever happened to him in Florida must have changed him," Hullender says.

Even Snavely admits that his ascent to the top of the South Florida porn industry cost him his soul. Dressed in black and white pinstripes, he lowers his voice and looks over his shoulder when talking about his time in the sex industry. "Talking about that can be dangerous in this place," he tells a reporter.

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2 comments
mittoo
mittoo

When is a Hollywood film being made on this sad true life stranger than fiction story ?

mikewonaus
mikewonaus

All this & no comments?  WTF?

Seems incredulous at least

 
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