Franklin Delano Floyd is a murderer who is currently on death row following his conviction for the 1989 murder of Cheryl Ann Commesso, a mother of three from Florida. He is also a person of interest in the 1990 death of his wife, Sharon Marshall, who was killed in a hit and run. That’s a pretty bad rap sheet in itself, until people started to dig into who exactly “Sharon Marshall” was.
It wasn’t until 2014 that her real identity was discovered. It turns out, “Sharon Marshall” was actually Suzanne Marie Sevakis, a woman who had been kidnapped as a child from her mother almost 40 years earlier.
Floyd grew up in a children’s home where he was raped and abused. He left the children’s home and tried to join the army but was discharged when they realized he was only 16. That year he was shot in the stomach by police while he was trying to steal from a Sears.
At 18 Floyd got his first job at Atlanta International Airport. It only lasted a few months as he had to leave it to go to prison for kidnapping and molesting a little girl. He escaped prison a year later and robbed a bank. He was caught, charged, and convicted.
He was released in January 1972. In November 1973 he attempted to kidnapped a woman from a gas station but the woman escaped. Floyd went on the run from the law and began living off the grid.
In 1974 Floyd married Sandi Chipman under the alias “Brandon Williams”. She had three daughters (ages 5, 3 and 2) and a son (age 1) from previous relationships. After dating for one month Floyd convinced Chipman to marry him and move to Texas.
In 1975 Chipman was sentenced to serve 30 days in jail for writing bad checks. When she returned home from jail, the house was abandoned and all four of her children were missing. “Brandon Williams” had vanished without a trace and taken her children with him. While Chipman found her 3-year-old and 2-year-old daughters at a children’s social service agency, she learned that her infant son had been adopted to another family. It wasn’t until 2019 that a man recognized himself as a possible match for the missing infant and in 2020 DNA tests confirmed he had been kidnapped as a baby.
Not much is known about how Floyd lived undetected with Sandi Chipman’s oldest daughter, Suzanne Marie Sevakis, but we know that in 1989 the two had married and had a baby named Michael. At the time, Suzanne was using the names Tonya Dawn Hughes and Sharon Marshall and was working as an exotic dancer. Another stripper encouraged Suzanne to leave Floyd. Suzanne told her Floyd said he would kill her and her son if she ever attempted to leave. By April 1990, when Suzanne was 21-years-old, she was working up the courage to leave Floyd anyway. Around that time she was found dead on the side of the road, the apparent victim of a hit and run.
Following the accident, Floyd put their son in foster car and left town. However, in 1994, Floyd went to Michael’s elementary school and abducted him and the school’s principal at gunpoint. After fleeing Floyd handcuffed the principal to a tree in a wooded area and left him. The principal survived. For some reason Unsolved Mysteries let Floyd toy with viewers and talk about his crimes on the show. At that time he maintained Michael was still alive though in 2015 Floyd told police that on the same day he kidnapped his son, he shot him twice in the back of the head.
Notable in the Unsolved Mysteries segment, Floyd pretends he has not already been informed that paternity tests proved he was not Michael’s father.
While investigating Michael’s kidnapping and “Sharon’s” hit and run death, police discovered Floyd had raised the woman as his daughter and then married her. In 2014, Sharon was finally identified as Suzanne Marie Sevakis. When her mother tried to get Floyd charged with kidnapping, she was told that as his stepfather he had a right to take her away. Floyd told people he had “rescued” the girl from her unfit mother.
Suzanne Marie Sevakis had been a good student despite her home life. Attending schools under various aliases, she still earned a full aerospace engineering scholarship to the Georgia Institute of Technology. It’s likely that her career of exotic dancing was chosen by Floyd because it would be easier to hide her identity as an independent contractor, and because Suzanne was less likely to meet people who would help her recognize and escape from her abusive relationship.
Photos of the physical and sexual abuse Suzanne endured growing up with Floyd were found along with photos of the beaten body of a woman Floyd was suspected of murdering in a truck previously owned by Floyd. The photos helped convict him of that murder and he is currently on death row.
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