The 'Girl in the Picture' podcast digs deep into the tragic Sharon Marshall case
The accompaniment to the Netflix documentary is getting just as much buzz, though it's equally heartbreaking
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*WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD*
The Girl in the Picture podcast will keep the suspense going after viewers wrap up the Netflix documentary.
Although Sharon Marshall's story went unsolved for nearly three decades, investigators and journalists finally dug up the horrific twists and turns that led to the young woman's true identity—and the man responsible for cutting her life short.
"What seemed like a pretty straightforward and easy case to prove was really not that easy a case. We had some hurdles we had to overcome," we hear in the documentary.
In the early 70s, Marshall (whose real name was Suzanne Marie Sevakis) and her three siblings were kidnapped by their step-father, Franklin Floyd, while their mother, Sandi Chipman, served a 30-day sentence for writing a bad check.
Floyd not only kidnapped Suzanne, but her three half-siblings: Allison, Amy and Philip Brandenburg. The two sisters were later discovered in foster care, but Floyd held onto Suzanne and her baby brother. Eventually, Philip was assumed missing, though in reality, he was adopted at six weeks old. His real identity wasn't uncovered until 2019.
Floyd decided to raise Suzanne as is own, never revealing her true identity. Throughout their life together, he had changed their aliases, sexually abused his "daughter," forced her to work as an exotic dancer and even claimed to be her husband when she grew older and they assumed new monikers.
The frightening details do not stop there: Floyd is believed to have cut not only her life short, but that of Marshall's young son Michael and a former colleague of Marshall's, Cheryl Commesso. 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.
Since the horrific, multifaceted story is difficult to limit to one docu-series, an even more in-depth examination of Floyd's evil deeds takes place in a different medium.
The 'Girl in the Picture' podcast
The You Can't Make This Stuff Up podcast series (opens in new tab) has a five-part project with the same title of the Netflix series and is available via Apple Podcasts. Listeners can stream the first four episodes, all of which are roughly 30-40 minutes. The final installment will be aired on July 20.
A word from Netflix Tudum (opens in new tab) for those who have yet to see the documentary: "If you want to avoid spoilers, we recommend watching the film before listening to Episode 3."
The debut podcast episode explores the life of high school-aged Marshall and why her father's behaviors didn't add up. The second delves into the reasons why the young woman was unable to break away from this trafficker. The third and fourth focus Marshall later in life, when she assumed the alias of Tonya Hughes, when she was considered Floyd's wife, and when her young son went missing after her death.
Throughout the five-part series, we hear from medical professionals, Marshall's family and others close to the case. Though these series of events appear too exaggerated to be true, unfortunately, they are not fiction.
Today, Floyd is 79 years old and imprisoned, having been convicted in 2002 for the murder of Commesso. He is on death row at the Union Correctional Institution in Florida, but has not received a sentencing.
Girl in the Picture is available for streaming on Netflix, and four of the five podcast episodes are live on Apple Podcasts. The final installment will be aired on Wednesday, July 20.
Danielle is a writer for woman&home and My Imperfect Life, covering all-things news, lifestyle and entertainment.
The heart of her time at Future has been devoted to My Imperfect Life, where she's been attuned to the cosmos, new TV shows and relationship trends.
Before her time at Future, Danielle was the editor of Time Out New York Kids and a news editor at Elite Daily. Her work has also appeared in Domino, Chowhound, amNewYork and Newsday, among other outlets.
When Danielle is not working, you can usually find her reading a book, coffee at hand, or attempting a new recipe. (Recommendations always welcome!)
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