Who is Cheryl Commesso from 'Girl in the Picture'?

Like Sharon Marshall, Cheryl Commesso is another one of Frank Floyd's victims who met a tragic demise

Matt Birkbeck in Girl in the Picture. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2022
(Image credit: Netflix)

Cheryl Commesso and Sharon Marshall's lives ended far too soon. The common denominator in these tragedies? Franklin Floyd

The criminal at the center of Girl in the Picture, Netflix's latest must-watch, is known for kidnapping and eventually killing his step-daughter, Marshall (whose real name is  Suzanne Marie Sevakis). But she wasn't his only victim. 

Before uncovering what happened to then 18-year-old Commesso, those unfamiliar with the horrific story will have to peel back the layers of Floyd's twisted and frightening actions.

The documentary from Skye Borgman mainly focuses on Sevakis. At age 5, she was kidnapped by her step-father, Floyd, while her mother, Sandi Chipman, served a 30-day sentence for writing a bad check. Though Floyd took Sevakis' three siblings as well, they were later discovered in foster care. Sevakis' mother, Sandi Chipman, was never able to gain back custody of her daughter. 

That's where the lies and atrocities began. Floyd gave himself and his "daughter" several aliases, including Warren Marshall and Sharon Marshall. He raised her as his own and never let on to her true identity. He was sexually abusive towards her and even made her work as an exotic dancer to earn money for him, which is how she crossed paths with Commesso. 

Floyd ultimately denied Marshall her wish to attend college in Georgia and study aerospace engineering. When the young girl became pregnant with another man's child, Floyd again assumed a new name—Clarence Hughes to his daughter's Tonya. Only this time, he claimed that the two were a couple and Sevakis' son Michael was his child, though he was not. 

Sevakis was killed in a hit and run, and many believe that Floyd had taken part in the accident. Though her young son was living with foster parents after her death, Floyd eventually kidnapped Michael and killed him as well, confessing to FBI agents: "I shot him twice in the back of the head to make it real quick."

The young 20 year old was also a mother to Megan Dufrense, who appears in the documentary, and a third child who's identity is unknown.

Who was Cheryl Commesso?

Despite these evil acts, Floyd was only convicted of killing one person—Cheryl Commesso.

The then 18-year-old was an exotic dancer who worked alongside Marshall in Florida. According to Newsweek, Floyd became involved with the former beauty queen and falsely promised to land her a gig at Playboy. In the documentary, sources recall that Floyd would film the young women topless and pretend to send the clips to the publication. They also recall him being physically abusive to Commesso. 

Though she was killed in 1989, Commesso's remains were not discovered until 1995. Her identity was only confirmed after images of her were found in Floyd's stolen car, per Newseek. She died from two gunshot wounds to the back of her head, similarly to young Michael. 

Likewise Sevakis' true identity wasn't uncovered until 2014, and her death puzzled authorities and investigators for nearly 30 years. It seems all of Floyd's targets share tragic similarities. 

Currently, Floyd is on death row at the Union Correctional Institution in Florida, but the 79-year-old has not received a sentencing. He was convicted in 2002 for Commesso's murder.

For more on this story, the You Can't Make This Stuff Up has a five-part "Girl in the Picture" podcast that examines Floyd's actions even further. Additionally, be sure to have a look at the best true crime on Netflix.

Danielle Valente
Digital News Writer

Need a TV show recommendation? Maybe a few decor tips? Danielle, a digital news writer at Future, has you covered. Her work appears throughout the company’s lifestyle brands, including My Imperfect Life, Real Homes, and woman&home. Mainly, her time is spent at My Imperfect Life, where she’s attuned to the latest entertainment trends and dating advice for Gen Z.

Before her time at Future, Danielle was the editor of Time Out New York Kids, where she got to experience the best of the city from the point of view of its littlest residents. Before that, she was a news editor at Elite Daily. Her work has also appeared in Domino, Chowhound, and amNewYork, to name a few. 

When Danielle’s not writing, you can find her testing out a new recipe, reading a book (suggestions always welcome), or rearranging the furniture in her apartment…again.