Who Was Marion Franklin?
They worked together, their lifestlye at work was bohemian, they partied with each other and with other people in their milieu. The photographer was attracted to Marion, they became friends and, despite an age gap of more than 35 years, he eventually persuaded her to have a kind of affair with him.
Marion's drug use was problematic. The accidental overdose that killed her was put in her drink by the photographer. Between them it was usual for him to help keep her drugged, as she wanted to be. It was also usual for him to use and photograph her in this state, as he did again this last time.
I have to be honest and say I didn't know who the photographer, Bob Shell, was before I first read about this. I work in professional photography and I'd never heard of him. And neither had some of my colleagues. Shell had authored quite a few books, apparently, and worked for a well known photo magazine in the US.
What I read is that he paid a hard-up young girl with issues, one who'd fallen to the fringes of society, to work as a glamour nude and pornographic model for him.
She was far younger than him. She had an obvious drug problem which showed in her face as well as her behaviour. You couldn't be around her and miss it. It was what being around her was about - an endless cycle of getting and taking over-the-counter, prescription, and illegal drugs. Bob Shell supplied her with some of those drugs and money for more, and helped her to stay dosed. He made use of her when she was groggy and when she was out. In 2003 he helped her take too much, called medics too late, and they couldn't resuscitate her. She was dead. She was a damaged kid, who didn't make it. Shell's life is derailed now, Marion's is over.
The prosecution case against Shell was that he deliberately manipulated her drug habit as a way of taking advantage of her, and that this led to her death.
I have to be honest, before the recent press reports I didn't know who Bob Shell was. I hadn't heard of him.
I didn't know Marion Franklin either. And I never will.