With Netflix’s The Girl in the Picture ready to premiere, many viewers will have lingering questions about this absurd case of Sharon Marshall’s death. In what could be one of the most bizarre and gruesome stories in American true-crime history, Franklin Floyd kidnapped a little girl from his then-wife, abused and assaulted her through her growing years, and ultimately married her, only to kill her in a fit of rage four years later.
As bizarre and twisted as it sounds, this case was enveloped in mystery for decades before Sharon Marshall’s real identity was revealed in 2014, almost two decades after she died in a car accident. Her identity was revealed to be Suzanne Marie Sevakis, the daughter of Sandi Chipman, Floyd’s first wife, whom he had married under a false alias.
Read on to find out the secret of Sharon Marshall’s identity ahead of The Girl in the Picture’s premiere.
Who was Sharon Marshall and what happened to her?
Sharon was born Suzanne Marie Sevakis on September 9, 1969, to Sandi Chipman. Chipman married Franklin Floyd, who went by a fake identity at the time. Sharon Marshall was one of Sandi’s four children. She had two sisters and a brother named Phillip Brandenburg.
In 1975, Sandi Chipman served a 30-day prison sentence. During this time, Franklin kidnapped all four of her children and disappeared. Police reportedly refused to take action as the stepfather was allowed to take the children. Two girls were found in foster care, while there was no sign of Phillip or Suzanne.
The whereabouts of Phillip were unknown for a long time. Franklin took Suzanne with him and renamed her Sharon Marshall. He raised her as his daughter despite having no biological connection with her. He registered her at an Oklahoma City school under a false name. She was reportedly a brilliant student and earned herself a scholarship to Georgia Tech University to study aerospace engineering.
However, Franklin stopped her from taking the scholarship after she got pregnant. Instead, he forcefully took her to Tampa, Florida, where he made her work as an exotic dancer for money. At some point in time, Franklin married Sharon Marshall, the girl he adopted as a kid. According to reports, the kid was not Franklin’s. The kid was named Michael Hughes.
In 1990, approximately four years after Franklin married Sharon Marshall, she was found dead in a hit-and-run case. The authorities allegedly suspected Franklin, but could not tie him to the case in any way. Sharon had gone out shopping for some baby items from her motel. Franklin later kidnapped her 2-year-old son, Michael, and placed him in foster care before he was arrested for a parole violation.
In 1995, a mechanic found an envelope in a recently-purchased truck that allegedly had 97 photos of a severely beaten woman (Sheryl Ann Commesso, another victim of Franklin’s) and pictures of Sharon getting abused, both as a kid and a teenager. The photos proved that Sharon was abused from as early as the age of four.
This truck was traced to Franklin, and he was finally pinned down for abuse and murder. However, there was still not enough evidence to charge Franklin with Sharon’s murder. Authorities allegedly believe that Franklin killed Sharon because she tried to leave him and run away with a college student named Kevin Brown.
The identity of Sharon was confirmed in 2014. In 2019, her missing brother Phillip was also found. Franklin is currently on death row.
The upcoming documentary, The Girl In the Picture, will chronicle this story in detail. It will premiere on July 6, 2022, on Netflix.