Friday, October 26, 2007

Who Was Marion Franklin?

Who Was Marion Franklin? - Illustration of a young woman with a question mark over her face On October 26, 2007 a photographer was formally sentenced in the US in connection with the fatal overdose of a young woman. In 2003 Marion Franklin was nineteen. She was a child of separated parents, she had left home and dropped out of school. She graduated from working in fast-food restaurants to earning her living working for a photographer. She modelled nude for him and his clients, and collaborated with him on various projects - including a proposed bondage pay site featuring the pair of them. She went to live near his studio, in an apartment he got for her.

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.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wish I read your blog sooner.... You say "She had suffered abuse, her parents split up, she left home and dropped out of school. She graduated from working in fast-food restaurants to earning her living working for a photographer."

Where did you get your facts?

I can say from personal knowledge that Marion never suffered abuse, her parents split up when she was 5 with joint custody, her dropping out of school had nothing to do with any of the above, AND she did get her GED while she was living at home with her father who financially supported her ALL of her life and loved her unconditionally.

Bob Shell told so many lies just to make his side sound like he was the victim. Do not believe anything he has said in any of the media interviews, it is most likely a lie.

If you want to know the facts about Marion, ask her family, the people that miss her dearly and know her completely. But it's too late to ask her father.

He consumed himself with such grief when daddy's little girl (his only birth child) was killed. Her father died during the second week of Bob Shell's trial from a horrible disease that rose it's ugly face during his grieving. But at least he is with his precious daughter now.

So Marion's family lost two beloved members of the very close knit family.

Marion's aunt......

Sun Aug 03, 12:26:00 AM BST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let me also add that if Marion's father had known what was going on in Bob Shell's studio, Marion and her father would both be alive today. Bob Shell convinced Marion not to tell her father the real story of what was happening behind closed doors. Bob Shell was controlling Marion in that way.

Bob Shell fully deserves exactly where he is today. He has never shown any remorse for what he has done to Marion or her family. Hopefully, Bob Shell will never have the opportunity to do what he has done to Marion to any other unsuspecting young person ever again.

Marion's aunt........;.;

Sun Aug 03, 05:01:00 AM BST  

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