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Netflix just released its newest true crime documentary, Girl in the Picture, which details the disturbing crimes of Franklin Delano Floyd, a man who has been linked to murder and kidnapping. The story is so complicated (thanks to several different aliases and lots of weird twists and turns) that it has taken three decades to unravel it.
The documentary looks at evidence collected against Floyd with input from investigative journalists and authorities who worked on the case. And the doc itself is inspired by the book, A Beautiful Child: A True Story of Hope, Horror, and an Enduring Human Spirit, which was written by an investigative journalist who did a deep dive into Floyd's history, and specifically the mystery surrounding the death and mysterious identity of a woman named Tonya Hughes. More on that in a sec.
There’s a lot to unpack in this twisted story, which premiered on July 6, and it’s understandable to have a lot of questions about what actually took place and where Floyd is now. Here’s what you need to know:
Who is Franklin Floyd?
Franklin Delano Floyd is a 79-year-old man who is currently on death row for several crimes. He was originally from Georgia and had several siblings.
"The children were raised in an orphanage in Hapeville when the father died and the mother ran off," the Tampa Bay Times reported.
What aliases did Floyd use?
Floyd used a series of aliases, including:
Warren Judson Marshall
Trenton B. Davis
What crimes did he commit?
Short answer: a lot. Floyd's crimes included abduction, molestation, robbery, and assault, per Newsweek.
"Without a doubt, Franklin Floyd is one of the most evil people I've ever met in my life," Oklahoma prosecutor Lisa Hammond said during a trial, the Tampa Bay Times reported in 1997.
Floyd was arrested at age 19 after kidnapping a 4-year-old from a bowling alley, according to the newspaper, and was then arrested for robbing a bank. He served 10 years in prison and then disappeared when he was let out on parole.
Currently, Floyd is in jail for the 1989 murder of Cheryl Ann Commesso, a mother of three from Florida, along with the kidnapping of 6-year-old Michael Anthony Hughes (whose body has never been found).
He was sentenced for various crimes in 2002 and jailed in 2003. And that's not all...Things got even weirder.
Who is Suzanne Marie Sevakis?
In 1975, Floyd married a woman named Sandi Chipman using a fake alias and stole her four children from her while she was briefly jailed, the documentary explains. Floyd released three of the children but kept the fourth, whose name was Suzanne, raising her as his own daughter.
Sharon Marshall is just one of several aliases for Suzanne Marie Sevakis, the daughter of Floyd’s first wife. Floyd kidnapped Sharon and raised her as his own daughter (although they were not actually related). The two moved to Atlanta where she went to school, the Tampa Bay Times reported.
"Teachers remember Sharon as a popular teenager who excelled in school. She ran for junior class office and had glamour shots made for her poster," the Tampa Bay Times article says.
Floyd eventually forced his "daughter" Sharon to marry him under a different name, Tonya Hughes. He also used a different name at that time: Clarence Hughes.
Sharon went on to have a son named Michael, who was unrelated to Floyd. While they were married, Tonya worked in a strip club called Mons Venus where she met Cheryl Ann Commesso, whom Floyd would later kill.
What happened to Tonya?
In 1990, 20-year-old Tonya was found on the side of the highway with life-threatening injuries. Police assumed she had been the victim of a hit-and-run, but the new Netflix documentary suggests that Floyd may have been involved in her death.
Tonya's high school classmates identified her, showing that "Tonya" was the same person as "Sharon," per The Daily Beast. They also pointed out that "Tonya's" husband "Clarence Hughes," was in fact, her father Franklin Floyd.
It makes sense that everyone had a lot of questions about how, exactly, she died, and what her relationship was to Floyd.
Tonya was eventually identified as Suzanne Marie Sevakis in 2014.
How was he finally caught?
After Sharon died, her son Michael was fostered by a couple who took care of him for four years, The Daily Beast reported. Then, in 1994, Floyd kidnapped Michael from his Oklahoma elementary school. He was in first grade at the time and no one has seen him since.
Later that year, Floyd was arrested in Kentucky after he attempted to get a new license. He was, at that time, convicted on kidnapping charges, but was also a suspect in Sharon's hit-and-run and in the Commesso murder, per the Tampa Bay Times. Eventually, he was sentenced to 55 years in prison and charged with Commesso's murder, per court documents.
Has Michael Hughes ever been found?
Floyd later admitted to shooting and killing Michael after he abducted him, per The Oklahoman.
Does he have an execution date set?
Not yet. Floyd is currently serving a life sentence at a jail in Pinellas County, Florida. He is on death row.
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