Details of the Sharon Marshall case from Netflix's 'Girl in the Picture'
The story is as confusing as it is heartbreaking
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*WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD*
Cracking the Sharon Marshall case was no easy feat—it took nearly 30 years for investigators to add up all the pieces. Even so, there is still plenty of curiosity surrounding the 1990 tragedy.
Sharon Marshall, whose real name was Suzanne Marie Sevakis, is the subject of Netflix's latest true crime hit, Girl in the Picture. And the crimes come in spades: abuse, trafficking, kidnapping and murder, all at the hands of the wicked Franklin Floyd.
In short, Floyd kidnapped Suzanne and raised her as his own. Throughout her 20 years, he sexually abused the young girl, gave her multiple aliases, denied her an education, forced her into exotic dancing, married her and, eventually, took her life.
The tale is as confusing as it is heartbreaking.
A timeline of Sharon Marshall: case, childhood and everything in between
Suzanne Marie Sevakis was born to Sandi Chipman and Cliff Sevakis.
While Chipman served a 30-day prison sentence for writing a bad check, her husband, Floyd (who had assumed the moniker Brandon Williams) kidnapped her four kids: Allison, Amy and Philip Brandenburg, whom she shared with Dennis Brandenburg, and Suzanne.
Suzanne's half siblings, Alison and Amy, were discovered in an orphanage. Philip was adopted by Mary and Bob Patterson at six weeks old; he had been assumed missing, and his true identity wasn't uncovered until he was in his 40s.
Chipman was never able to gain back custody of her daughter, and Floyd raised her as his own in his appalling ways. The young woman, who was going by Sharon Marshall to Floyd's Warren Marshall, had been denied an education from her father. She received a full ride to Georgia Tech to study aerospace engineering.
Despite the chaos she endured from her "father," onlookers would be led to believe that Marshall led a normal life.
Sharon gives birth to a boy, Michael, whom she did not share with Floyd. Despite this fact, the criminal was still adamant on keeping the two close.
Upon their move to Florida in 1989, Floyd forced his daughter into exotic dancing, which is where she met Cheryl Commesso, whom Floyd also killed. At this time, the two were now husband and wife and known as Tonya Tadlock and Clarence Hughes.
According to The Tab (opens in new tab), Floyd had taken out a life insurance policy in his "wife's" name. She was now going by Tonya Hughes. This is the year she died in a hit and run that many suspect Floyd played a part in.
Michael had been placed with foster parents, Merle and Earnest Bean.
Floyd kidnapped Michael in 1994, storming Indian Meridian Elementary School in Choctaw, Oklahoma, and holding his principal at gunpoint.
Floyd was arrested for the child's kidnapping, and claimed Michael was still alive, though remains were nowhere to be found.
"He is placed where his dad deems to be in his best interest," he said to FBYI agents, according to The Oklahoman (opens in new tab). "It's none of your business where he is, nor do I care how much any of you in Oklahoma miss him or love him."
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 (opens in new tab).
In 2002, Floyd was convicted for Commesso's murders. He is on death row at the Union Correctional Institution in Florida, but has not received a sentencing.
Years later, Floyd revealed the FBI agents that young Michael was in fact dead.
"I shot him twice in the back of the head to make it real quick," he said.
This also marks the time when he revealed his daughter/wife's birth name: Suzanne Marie Sevakis.
To learn more about the case and its many other layers, including what happened to Suzanne Marie Sevakis' children, all three of them, catch Girl in the Picture on Netflix and tune in for the "Girl in the Picture" podcast.
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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