“A young mother’s mysterious death and her son’s subsequent kidnapping blow open a decades-long mystery about the woman’s true identity, and the murderous federal fugitive at the center of it all.”

Director: Skye Borgman
Release Date: July 6, 2022
IMDB

Girl In The Picture is above average for Netflix’s horde of true crime documentaries. In particular, the first two acts of the story paints a wonderfully horrific picture of the man, Franklin Delano Floyd. Come the last half hour of the movie, the entertainment value drops as the empathetic side of Girl In The Picture comes into focus.

So what is the story of Girl In The Picture? It is a documentary that begins with the death of a woman by the name Sharon Marshall. She was killed as part of a hit and run accident, but as the investigation into her death evolves, so does the mystery. Sharon is not this girl’s name. And her supposed husband who she was married to ends up being her dad? Wait, it turns out that he is not the dad? Oh, and there is the tiny little fact that Suzanne had a two-year old boy Michael who was kidnapped by Floyd after the mysterious death of Suzanne.

Lots of moving parts in Girl In The Picture. It is a story about a women that was unwillingly dragged into a life with a deplorable man. It is the story of maniac man willing to do anything to protect himself and his fake family. The FBI, along with local and private investigators, talk through all the details and reveal how they attempted to solve the many mysteries surrounding these Suzanne, Floyd and Michael.

Franklin Delano Floyd is a murderer, kidnapper, rapist and overall horrendous person. Confirmed, not a good guy. He is however, the most interesting figure in this documentary. The things he partook in are explained in fairly graphic details be investigators and victims of his physical crime.

  • What possesses a man to kidnap a child.
    • convince said child that you are its real father
      • then supposedly have a child with said daughter
        • then put the daughter to work as a sex worker
          • then marry said daughter after murdering a different girl
            • the most likely kill you kidnapped daughter/wife (though not proven)
              • And also kidnap who you think was your son
                • And then admit to killing said two-year old boy years after the crime was originally committed

These are all things that happened, but not even everything. When Girl In The Picture is diving deep into these aspects of the story, that is when it is at its best.

It is completely understandable why the documentary went the path of discovering more about Suzanne Sevakis, I mean that is what the documentary is titled. However, I would like to cast my vote that the far more interesting character and aspect of the story is the crazed mad man. The last third of Girl In The Picture focuses heavily on the family of Suzanne. There are loose strings that investigators pull on that reveal entire tapestries of unknowns, but the most stops exploring all of Floyd’s while it illuminates the effects of Suzanne’s short 20 year life.

I know it can appear heartless, but I wanted to hear more about Floyd and his psychosis and crimes. The sequence with the two FBI agents who got the confession of Floyd’s that initial investigator Joe Fitzpatrick could not was thrilling to hear, even it was a bit of a strange two-person interview. The funeral, tombstone, and family/neighborhood ties close out the movie. It is wrapping the story of Suzanne in a bow.

Just put me in the camp of wanting to unwrap Floyd. He was the man who manufactured a story stranger than fiction. It was fucked up, but let’s explore the uneasy ending of fucked up deeper. I will be doing a deep dive on this story. Credit to Girl In The Picture for rising above the bar of Netflix documentary mediocrity.

STANKO RATING: B (3.0/5 Stars)


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