Friday, January 3, 2014

The Essence of John: Porn, Money, and Murder

Posted By on Fri, Jan 3, 2014 at 3:28 PM

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John Snavely, right of center, in a 2010 photo of Club Essence dancers

[UPDATE 01/07/2014: According to the Broward County 17th Judicial Circuit of Florida, Snavely's jury trial will now take place March 17, 2014.]

During our annual Drink Issue coverage of the gay Strip on North Main Avenue, we republished a 2010 photo of Club Essence's male dancers. Straight away, our readers not only let us know that none of the featured dancers remained at the club, but more interestingly, leaned in to tell us that that beefcake alum right of center had a story to tell.

If you were one of the many patrons who frequented Essence about three years ago, you may have enjoyed San Antonio native John William Snavely, now 26, who danced there about the time the picture was taken. Perhaps you were a fan of the six-foot-one titan (size is important in this story) who often donned a baseball hat, sneakers and underwear and could thrust his pelvis in that rhythmic and ravishing way that makes a legend most.

You might have also rubbed elbows with Baileey, a former gay porn star turned manager who was in town visiting the club proprietor. Snavely, easy on the eyes but hard on the neck, stood out. Baileey, a now 22-year-veteran in the adult entertainment industry, who knew a diamond when he saw one, approached Snavely and inquired about the veracity of the magic in his briefs. If you were there that night, you may have witnessed a moment in porn history.

It took a few trips back to San Antonio, several phone conversations, and a few auditions before the entrepreneurial Baileey was able to present Snavely with financial conveyance from Jet Set Productions. The catch: Jet Set was talking gay porn and Snavely is hetero. After rethinking the numbers, the handsome and somewhat reluctant Snavely joined the ranks of those in the business known as “gay for (a lot of) pay.” Under the screen name Josh Logan, he shot (films) with them for a year, according to Baileey. Although reportedly uncomfortable throughout the experience, Snavely seems to have maintained a sense of humor about it as displayed in the slight smirk he gives in the 2010 film Big Dick Mechanics where for a brief moment he seems to delight at the absolute absurdity of the dialogue.

And at nine-and-a-half inches, critics could agree that he was well cast.

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About the same time Snavely began traveling to South Florida to begin shooting, authorities in Broward County were baffled over the brutal murder of millionaire Samuel Del Brocco who was stabbed in the chest multiple times in his Pompano Beach home on the evening of September 11, 2010. Although there is a trail of blood-drenched footprints and trace amounts of DNA found on a half-smoked joint and a soda can, according to the Miami New Times, there were no solid leads.

A year later, Baileey scored again by securing the rising star a contract with Bangbros, the MGM of today's porn industry, specializing in dramatized reality porn.

Snavely, who reportedly came from a disadvantaged upbringing in SA, was finally living on easy street. He was making serious money, doing lots of drugs and women (on and off camera) and partying nightly. All the while, according to the MNT, he was also keeping up his atypical gym routine, which made him bigger and bigger. His new onscreen name “Champ” (for the fans of his straight persona) became all the more apropos.

While Champ was shooting numerous films, stripping at night, and dating Amber, a 15-year-old beauty queen, Del Brocco's case remained unsolved until one day an unexpected lead arose. According the MNT, Snavely got picked up again by the cops; this time, they took a swab from the inside of his cheek. His DNA was matched as that of the other person who was with Del Brocco the night of September 11th. The star was charged with second-degree murder.

Currently, Snavely is in jail, and his trial begins on January 6th in the Broward County 17th Judicial Circuit of Florida. He has a new attorney, Raul Recoba of Recoba Law Office.

There's a Go Fund Me campaign that claims to be set up by his local family. They hope to raise $10,000 to cover legal fees. Over the past month, they've collected $80. Snavely has many online defenders who have commented in news stories in his defense. Perhaps, they are people in the adult film industry who feel they know him best.

Baileey agrees that this experience could easily canonize Snavely in the pages of porn history alongside Linda Lovelace and Traci Lords for their unique run-ins with the light of day. Then he sighs deeply.

“If he did do it, I feel sorry for him.”

A thoughtful pause follows.

“If he didn't do it, I feel sorry for him. It sucks either way,” he says.

If the jury finds Snavely innocent, could he reclaim his place in porn? Baileey thinks so.

“Porn is very forgiving,” he says offering the example of Sebastian Young, another gay-for-pay actor who has been arrested countless times and still remains ever-popular.

Whether Snavely receives a harsh sentence or merely a slap on the wrist is anyone's guess. The State of Florida has a tendency to surprise us on matters such as these.

But anyway you slice it, producers everywhere are seeing visions of a movie of the week starting with Snavely right here in the Alamo City...

...with a big cock and a dream.

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