Girl in the Picture (2022)

girl in the picture poster 2022 movie documentary
8.0 Overall Score

Good to give this woman an identity and past

Feels like it could have been constructed differently

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Girl in the Picture

Studio:  All3Media America/Main Event Media/Top Knot Films

Genre(s):  Documentary/True Crime

Release Date(s):  July 6, 2022

MPAA Rating:  Not Rated

girl in the picture susan sevakis child

Robbed of a childhood…robbed of life

The body of Tonya Dawn Hughes is found on the side of the road in April 1990 in Oklahoma City as a victim of a hit-and-run and soon the identity of Tonya begins to unravel.  Tonya isn’t who she said she was and those who knew her learned the horrible truth that her controlling husband Franklin Floyd might be behind her death.  When Floyd kidnaps his son Michael Hughes from the foster home, Floyd’s crimes begin to come out…and the search for the real identity of Tonya Dawn Hughes begins.

Directed by Skye Borgman, Girl in the Picture is a true crime documentary.  The movie looks at the life of Suzanne Sevakis (September 9, 1969-April 30, 1990) and the man who kidnapped her Franklin Delano Floyd (June 17, 1943—).  It premiered on Netflix on             .

Netflix and podcasts have helped popularize the true-crime genre.  Generally Netflix expands those stories into long and overblown mini-series that sometimes deserve and sometimes don’t deserve the time that they take.  While some areas of Girl in the Picture could be expanded, this entry is probably a good choice for a film length documentary.

girl in the picture michael hughes

What happened to Michael?

The story starts with it all out there.  Instead of building a mystery, it deconstructs a death.  The dead woman is Tonya Hughes and that is who she is to all her friends.  She then becomes Sharon Marshall and her friends and classmates remember her.  Lastly, “Tonya” and her real identity are explored and she becomes Suzanne Sevakis.  It is a rather tragic story of someone who seemed to had a lot of smarts and talent but was cut short…and never really lived a happy life.

While it is an important part of the story and what drew attention to the case, the kidnapping of Michael Anthony Hughes is a bit of a distraction to the story.  While it is Tonya’s story, it is also Michael’s story, but this is where the film could have been expanded into two different episodes.  Michael’s kidnapping, presumed death, and the search for him is something that could have been a whole show.

girl in the picture franklin floyd killer

A sick, twisted murderer

The documentary is pretty basic.  It is composed of mostly footage from the period and interviews with those who knew the people involved.  It isn’t revolutionary nor does it need to be.  The case was very public and it is always beneficial to documentaries like this because they have more footage to choose from (and they are able to get more people involved).

Girl in the Picture is a solid documentary which gives a voice to victims of a horrible man.  It does a better job in being an advocate for the victim than some of the documentaries though exploring Floyd’s past is necessary to show his predatory nature and how he managed to keep escaping any type of law.  It is a bit of a sign of the times, but also demonstrates how criminals can keep evolving since kidnappings like this continue to today…and lives continue to be destroyed.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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