Behind the death of Alexandria’s Sam Del Brocco: the life of accused killer John Snavely

November 6, 2013
John Snavely, charged with second-degree murder in Broward County, Fla., in the 2010 death of Alexandria marketing executive Sam Del Brocco in Pompano Beach, Fla. (Broward County Sheriff's Department)
John Snavely, charged with second-degree murder in Broward County, Fla., in the 2010 death of Alexandria marketing executive Sam Del Brocco in Pompano Beach, Fla. (Broward County Sheriff’s Office)

We’ve been following the tragic case of Alexandria marketing executive Sam Del Brocco since his violent death near Fort Lauderdale in September 2010. The investigation finally turned in August of this year when a porn star named John “Champ” Snavely was arrested and charged with murder after his DNA, taken during a drug arrest in Miami, matched DNA at the Del Brocco crime scene.

Now the Miami New Times weekly newspaper has published a long, excellent investigative piece by reporter Michael Miller which mainly unravels the long sordid back story of Snavely, now 26, but also provides all sorts of new details about Del Brocco’s actions on the last night of his life.

Miller says Broward County sheriff’s detectives believe that Del Brocco, 60, flew into town on a Saturday morning, bought some cocaine and marijuana, made the rounds of gay strip clubs and was introduced to Snavely at a club called Boardwalk. The two went back to Del Brocco’s townhouse in Pompano Beach where Snavely allegedly stabbed Del Brocco with a butcher’s knife, leaving bloody footprints and DNA on a marijuana joint and a Diet Coke can and his fingerprints on Del Brocco’s car, investigators told Miller.

Samuel Del Brocco, the Alexandria resident and co-owner of PCI Communications. (PCI Communications Inc.)
Samuel Del Brocco, the Alexandria resident and co-owner of PCI Communications. (PCI Communications Inc.)

Snavely spoke to Miller in the Broward jail and declared his innocence. Miller examined Snavely’s life, beginning with a horrid upbringing and a series of petty crimes in San Antonio, to being discovered as a dancer in a south Florida strip club in 2009, leading to his casting in gay porn films starting in early 2010. By 2011, he had switched to straight porn films using the screen name “Champ.” He was apparently making big money and spending all of it on drugs, human growth hormone and cars, and had a major temper problem, according to his roommate, his teenaged girlfriend and other acquaintances.

Miller’s article is here, containing totally NSFW material. Here are my articles on Del Brocco’s life and the push from his friends in this area last year to solve the case. Snavely is charged with second-degree murder, which in Florida carries a possible penalty of 10 years to life in prison. If Broward County investigators truly have the case as nailed down as Miller indicates, a guilty plea is likely and a Broward judge will have a wide range of possibilities at sentencing.

Tom Jackman is a native of Northern Virginia and has been covering the region for The Post since 1998. In 2011 he launched The State of NoVa blog, a state strictly defined as the boundaries of four counties and one city: Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun, Prince William and Alexandria.
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