Who is Sharon Marshall from 'Girl in the Picture,' Netflix's new true crime doc?

No one knew what to make of the Sharon Marshall mystery, but 'Girl in the Picture' delves deep into the horrific story

old photo of presumably sharon marshall the subject of girl in the picture documentary
(Image credit: Netflix)

Sharon Marshall is soon to be the center of attention of streaming queues. 

Right behind the premiere of Keep Sweet: Pray and Obey comes another addition to the best true crime on Netflix, Girl in the Picture. The horrific tale focuses on the late 20-year-old and the mystery behind her death...and more significantly, her real identity. 

For nearly 30 years, investigators and journalists have been working to uncover the truth about Marshall, which wasn't terribly simple, considering she never even knew her roots. Prepare for twists, turns and shocking reveals, but do note that Girl in the Picture is definitely not for the faint of heart. 

Who is Sharon Marshall?

sharon marshall photo from the girl in the picture on netflix

(Image credit: Netflix)

Born Suzanne Marie Sevakis in 1969, the young girl was kidnapped at age 5 by her step-father Franklin Floyd while her mother, Sandi Chipman, served a 30-day sentence for writing a bad check. 

But the story gets worse: 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. 

Chipman was never able to get her daughter back, and Floyd, a convict responsible for robbery, abuse and a slew of other crimes, raised Suzanne as his daughter, changing their names to Sharon Marshall and Warren Marshall, respectively. He moved around the country with the young girl, physically abused her and ultimately denied the bright teen the future she was anxious to pursue: a career in aerospace engineering at Georgia Tech. 

Around the time "Marshall" had become pregnant by another man, Floyd had forced her to work as an exotic dancer to earn money for him. What's more is that he even ended up marrying the girl he raised as his daughter and changed their names to Tonya and Clarence Hughes, respectively. 

When her remains were discovered in 1990, though her identity was a mystery—and her young son Michael's whereabouts couldn't be traced—people began to question what really happened in this tragic case. The young 20 year old was also a mother to Megan Dufrense, who appears in the documentary and a third child that's unknown.

'Girl in the Picture' Netflix release date

The newest true crime doc to hit the platform will begin streaming on Wednesday, July 6. 

Skye Borgman, the creator of the project, is known for her 2017 success story, Abducted in Plain Sight, which focuses on the abduction of then 12-year-old  Jan Broberg in 1974. 

Investigative journalist Matt Birkbeck, who covered Marshall's case in his two books, A Beautiful Child and its sequel Finding Sharon, is interviewed throughout the documentary. 

Is there a podcast?

If you can't get enough of this dark and twisted tale, do be sure to check out a further investigation of this story via the You Can't Make This Stuff Up series, which will have a five-part project titled, "Girl in the Picture" podcast. The first two episodes will debut on July 6. The remaining three will premiere every subsequent Wednesday. 

For more true crime, have a look at Mind Over Murder on HBO Max, which focuses on the Beatrice Six. For a more lighthearted story, we suggest you head over to Hulu for Only Murders in the Building season 2.  

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.