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Girl In The Picture True Story: What Netflix’s Documentary Leaves Out

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Girl In The Picture True Story: What Netflix’s Documentary Leaves Out

Warning! This article contains references to sexual assault, child abuse, kidnapping, and homicide.

Netflix’s The Girl In The Picture tells the tragic story of a young girl, but the latest true crime documentary leaves out a few key details. The director Sky Borgman also directed Unsolved Mysteries, “Lady in the Lake,” and Abducted in Plain Sight, which told of the kidnapping and long-term abuse of Jan Broberg by her neighbor Robert Berchtold. Borgman takes on The Girl In The Picture, another kidnapping story full of twists and unfathomable abuses.

Suzanne Sevakis was a bright and friendly young woman who never knew her own identity. In fact, she never learned her real name was Suzanne. Known by the names Tonya Hughes, Sharon Marshall, and Linda Williams, The Girl In The Picture delves into the mystery and deception that surrounded Suzie’s life. Suzanne’s body was discovered in April of 1990 on the side of the road in what appeared to be a hit and run. She was rushed to the hospital, where her much older husband “Clarence” arrived. Suzie died five days later and left behind her young son, Michael.

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Netflix’s true crime documentary The Girl In The Picture explores the following investigation surrounding Suzanne’s life after she died and Michael was kidnapped by Clarence. As the FBI searched for the young boy, they soon learned Clarence’s real name was Franklin Floyd. Floyd went by many aliases, including Warren Marshall. Throughout the investigation of Michael’s kidnapping, the FBI also discovered that the woman they thought to be Clarence’s wife Tonya was also known to some as Warren’s daughter, Sharon Marshall. It took many years after her death and Floyd’s sentencing for the kidnapping of Michael, but Floyd admitted to killing Michael and lead investigators to Suzie’s real identity. While The Girl In The Picture gives a detailed overview of her life, many aspects of her story were left out.


What Were Frank Floyd’s Previous Crimes?

The Girl In The Picture mentions Frank Floyd’s crimes that occurred prior to the kidnapping of Suzanne, but it doesn’t go into much detail. The brutal true-crime documentary leaves out that Floyd’s first crime was breaking into Sears to steal a gun at the age of 16. Floyd was shot in the stomach by police and sent to a youth institution. He was arrested about a year later after violating his parole to go fishing in Canada. The brutal At the age of 18, Floyd kidnapped a four-year-old girl from a bowling alley in 1962. He received a 10-to-20-year sentence for the sexual assault and kidnapping of the young girl. In 1963, he used a medical visit as an opportunity to escape and robbed a Citizens & Southern National Bank for 6,000 dollars. He was not successful and stayed in prison until his release in 1972. Two months later, he sexually assaulted a woman at a gas station in her car. The woman was able to escape and Floyd was arrested. As told in Netflix’s true crime documentary, a former prison friend posted bail and Floyd fled, using many false identities to avoid arrest.


Did Floyd Take Suzanne Alone?

Floyd was able to take Suzanne and her siblings after her mother, Sandra Brandenburg, received 30 days in prison after writing a bad check at 7-Eleven. The Girl In The Picture briefly mentions Suzanne’s two sisters, Allison and Amy, who were also taken by Franklin Floyd. Unlike Suzanne, Allison and Amy were dropped off at an orphanage by Floyd. The Girl In The Picture leaves out Suzi’s brother, Phillip. Floyd took Phillip when he kidnapped Suzi and their two sisters. Unlike Allison and Amy, as mentioned in the true crime story, Phillip was not immediately placed into foster care. The one-year-old boy was taken with Floyd and Suzi. Some believed he had been murdered by Floyd, while others believed he was dropped off somewhere. In 2019, a man came forward and after DNA testing, he was confirmed to be Phillip. He had been adopted privately as a baby in North Carolina.

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Did Franklin Floyd Kill Suzanne?

On April 25, 1990, Suzanne was injured outside of the hotel she was staying at. The hospital was suspicious that this was just a hit-and-run, due to Suzanne’s injuries, but Floyd claimed she was hit while out getting groceries. She had scratch marks on her chest and bruising, though she had good vitals for someone who had supposedly been hit by a car. While she was in a stable condition, a visit from Floyd behind closed doors resulted in her taking a turn for the worse, and she died the next day. The true crime documentary, The Girl In The Picture, never reveals if Floyd killed Suzanne and that’s because he has not been convicted for her murder. He claims he had an alibi, as he was waiting in their motel room. He remains a person of interest in her death and her case remains open. Though he has never admitted to killing her, Floyd has admitted to killing Suzanne’s son, Michael.


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Who Was Michael Hughes’ Father?

Frank Floyd claimed to be Michael’s father and after Suzanne’s death, he fought hard to gain custody. Michael’s foster parents, Merle and Ernest Bean, said in The Girl In The Picture that Michael would get extremely upset before visits with Floyd, calling him “that mean man.” It was only after a paternity test that the visits stopped because it was revealed that Floyd was not the father. There is evidence via legal documents that may prove Michael’s father is a man named Gregory Higgs. Suzanne had a relationship with Higgs when she and Floyd lived in Phoenix. During this time, Suzanne became pregnant and she and Floyd moved to Tampa. Though his name was changed to Michael Anthony Hughes, he was originally named Michael Gregory Marshall. His middle name could be a hint to his father. After Suzi died, Floyd called Higgs and told him he was the biological father and asked if he wanted to raise Michael and after Higgs agreed, he never heard from Floyd again. Suzanne also had a relationship with a name named Kevin Brown, who could be Michael’s father. DNA testing is not possible to uncover who his father is, as Michael’s remains have still not been found.


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Who Was Cheryl Commesso

Cheryl Commesso’s murder is the only murder to date that Floyd has been convicted of. Cheryl was a young woman and a dancer who worked with Suzanne at Mons Venus. The true crime story tells how she became involved with Floyd after he promised he could get her a job as a model for Playboy, which was Cheryl’s dream. Heather Lane, another dancer at Mons Venus, says in The Girl In The Picture that she saw Floyd and Cheryl in an argument and that was the last time she saw her alive. Floyd was apparently angry because Cheryl reported Suzanne for misstating her income, which caused them to lose government benefits. Cheryl went home after the fight, before leaving to spend the night at a friend’s house, promising to call in the morning. The phone never rang. Cheryl’s Corvette was found abandoned and her family reported her missing. Mons Venus told her mother that she probably left to dance in Miami, but the family knew she wouldn’t leave her car. Later, her remains were discovered by a landscaper taking a break from clearing a brush on Interstate 275.


Franklin Floyd’s Neighbors

The Girl in The Picture claims that while Floyd was on the run after kidnapping Michael, he lived in an apartment, which was actually a converted Victorian house, and that he never spoke with neighbors. A 1997 news article, however, claims that his neighbors often noticed him and could hear him walking around his apartment all night long. Neighbors said Floyd never mentioned having a son, but he would show pictures of and talk incessantly about his daughter, who Floyd claimed was a “prostitute.” Terry Evans was even friends with Floyd until one night when Floyd stayed to watch The Fugitive and then refused to leave.

Where Is Franklin Floyd Now?

As told in The Girl In The Picture, investigators only had circumstantial evidence and could not try Floyd for the death of Michael or Suzanne. Instead, they charged him with kidnapping and tacked on a few other charges. Much like Warren Jeffs in Keep Sweet, Pray and Obey, Floyd decided to represent himself, which resulted in a 53-year sentence with no possibility of parole. Later, photos were found of Sharon as a young girl and with the photos were pictures of Cheryl Commesso. A skeleton found off Interstate 275 in Florida was identified as Cheryl and Floyd was charged. He was deemed incompetent to stand trial, but he appealed, arguing he was sane. This ultimately backfired, as he was convicted of First Degree Murder. He was sentenced to death and is currently on death row, though The Girl In The Picture did not mention that no date has been set for his execution and he will likely die from natural causes.


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Review: SAMARITAN, A Sly Stallone Superhero Stumble

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Review: SAMARITAN, A Sly Stallone Superhero Stumble

Hitting the three-quarter-century mark usually means a retirement home, a nursing facility, or if you’re lucky to be blessed with relatively good health and savings to match, living in a gated community in Arizona or Florida.

For Sylvester Stallone, however, it means something else entirely: starring in the first superhero-centered film of his decades-long career in the much-delayed Samaritan. Unfortunately for Stallone and the audience on the other side of the screen, the derivative, turgid, forgettable results won’t get mentioned in a career retrospective, let alone among the ever-expanding list of must-see entries in a genre already well past its peak.

For Stallone, however, it’s better late than never when it involves the superhero genre. Maybe in getting a taste of the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) with his walk-on role in the Guardians of the Galaxy sequel several years ago, Stallone thought anything Marvel can do, I can do even better (or just as good in the nebulous definition of the word).

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The property Stallone and his team found for him, Samaritan, a little-known graphic novel released by a small, almost negligible, publisher, certainly takes advantage of Stallone’s brute-force physicality and his often underrated talent for near-monosyllabic brooding (e.g., the Rambo series), but too often gives him to little do or say as the lone super-powered survivor, the so-called “Samaritan” of the title, of a lifelong rivalry with his brother, “Nemesis.” Two brothers entered a fire-ravaged building and while both were presumed dead, one brother did survive (Stallone’s Joe Smith, a garbageman by day, an appliance repairman by night).

In the Granite City of screenwriter Bragi F. Schut (Escape Room, Season of the Witch), the United States, and presumably the rest of the world, teeters on economic and political collapse, with a recession spiraling into a depression, steady gigs difficult, if not impossible, to obtain, and the city’s neighborhoods rocked by crime and violence. No one’s safe, not even 13-year-old Sam (Javon Walker), Joe’s neighbor.

When he’s not dodging bullies connected to a gang, he’s falling under the undue influence of Cyrus (Pilou Asbæk), a low-rent gang leader with an outsized ego and the conviction that he and only he can take on Nemesis’s mantle and along with that mantle, a hammer “forged in hate,” to orchestrate a Bane-like plan to plunge the city into chaos and become a wealthy power-broker in the process.

Schut’s woefully underwritten script takes a clumsy, haphazard approach to world-building, relying on a two-minute animated sequence to open Samaritan while a naive, worshipful Sam narrates Samaritan and Nemesis’s supposedly tragic, Cain and Abel-inspired backstory. Schut and director Julius Avery (Overlord) clumsily attempt to contrast Sam’s childish belief in messiah-like, superheroic saviors stepping in to save humanity from itself and its own worst excesses, but following that path leads to authoritarianism and fascism (ideas better, more thoroughly explored in Watchmen and The Boys).

While Sam continues to think otherwise, Stallone’s superhero, 25 years past his last, fatal encounter with his presumably deceased brother, obviously believes superheroes are the problem and not the solution (a somewhat reasonable position), but as Samaritan tracks Joe and Sam’s friendship, Sam giving Joe the son he never had, Joe giving Sam the father he lost to street violence well before the film’s opening scene, it gets closer and closer to embracing, if not outright endorsing Sam’s power fantasies, right through a literally and figuratively explosive ending. Might, as always, wins regardless of how righteous or justified the underlying action.

It’s what superhero audiences want, apparently, and what Samaritan uncritically delivers via a woefully under-rendered finale involving not just unconvincing CGI fire effects, but a videogame cut-scene quality Stallone in a late-film flashback sequence that’s meant to be subversively revelatory, but will instead lead to unintentional laughter for anyone who’s managed to sit the entirety of Samaritan’s one-hour and 40-minute running time.

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Samaritan is now streaming worldwide on Prime Video.

Samaritan

Cast
  • Sylvester Stallone
  • Javon ‘Wanna’ Walton
  • Pilou Asbæk

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Matt Shakman Is In Talks To Direct ‘Fantastic Four’

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According to a new report, Wandavision’s Matt Shakman is in talks to direct the upcoming MCU project, Fantastic Four. Marvel Studios has been very hush-hush regarding Fantastic Four to the point where no official announcements have been made other than the film’s release date. No casting news or literally anything other than rumors has been released regarding the project. We know that Fantastic Four is slated for release on November 8th, 2024, and will be a part of Marvel’s Phase 6. There are also rumors that the cast of the new Fantastic Four will be announced at the D23 Expo on September 9th.

Fantastic Four is still over two years from release, and we assume we will hear more news about the project in the coming months. However, the idea of the Fantastic Four has already been introduced into the MCU. John Krasinski played Reed Richards aka Mr. Fantastic in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. The cameo was a huge deal for fans who have been waiting a long time for the Fantastic Four to enter the MCU. When Disney acquired Twenty Century Fox in 2019 we assumed that the Fox Marvel characters would eventually make their way into the MCU. It’s been 3 years and we already have had an X-Men and Fantastic Four cameo – even if they were from another universe.

Deadline is reporting that Wandavision’s Matt Shakman is in talks to direct Fantastic Four. Shakman served as the director for Wandavision and has had an extensive career. He directed two episodes of Game of Thrones and an episode of The Boys, and he had a long stint on It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. There is nothing official yet, but Deadline’s sources say that Shakman is currently in talks for the job and things are headed in the right direction.

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To be honest, I was a bit more excited when Jon Watts was set to direct. I’m sure Shakman is a good director, but Watts proved he could handle a tentpole superhero film with Spider-Man: Homecoming. Wandavision was good, but Watts’ style would have been perfect for Fantastic Four. The film is probably one of the most anticipated films in Marvel’s upcoming slate films and they need to find the best person they can to direct. Is that Matt Shakman? It could be, but whoever takes the job must realize that Marvel has a lot riding on this movie. The other Fantastic Four films were awful and fans deserve better. Hopefully, Marvel knocks it out of the park as they usually do. You can see for yourself when Fantastic Four hits theaters on November 8th, 2024.

Film Synopsis: One of Marvel’s most iconic families makes it to the big screen: the Fantastic Four.

Source: Deadline

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Dan Aykroyd, Chevy Chase Star in ‘Zombie Town’ Mystery Teen Romancer (Exclusive)

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Dan Aykroyd and Chevy Chase have entered Zombie Town, a mystery teen romancer based on author R.L. Stine’s book of the same name.

The indie, now shooting in Ontario, also stars Henry Czerny and co-teen leads Marlon Kazadi and Madi Monroe. The ensemble cast includes Scott Thompson and Bruce McCulloch of the Canadian comedy show Kids in the Hall.

Canadian animator Peter Lepeniotis will direct Zombie Town. Stine’s kid’s book sees a quiet town upended when 12-year-old Mike and his friend, Karen, see a horror movie called Zombie Town and unexpectedly see the title characters leap off the screen and chase them through the theater.

Zombie Town will premiere in U.S. theaters before streaming on Hulu and then ABC Australia in 2023.

“We are delighted to bring the pages of R.L. Stine’s Zombie Town to the screen and equally thrilled to be working with such an exceptional cast and crew on this production. A three-time Nickelodeon Kids Choice Award winner with book sales of over $500 million, R.L. Stine has a phenomenal track record of crafting stories that engage and entertain audiences,” John Gillespie, Trimuse Entertainment founder and executive producer, said in a statement.

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Executive producers are Trimuse Entertainment, Toonz Media Group, Lookout Entertainment, Viva Pictures and Sons of Anarchy actor Kim Coates.  

Paco Alvarez and Mark Holdom of Trimuse negotiated the deal to acquire the rights to Stine’s Zombie Town book.

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