Helmed by Yotam Guendelman and Ari Pines, ‘Buried’ is an intriguing four-part docuseries that revolves around the 1969 murder of 8-year-old Susan Nason, along with its baffling aftermath. This case actually became pretty controversial from 1989 onwards, when Eileen Franklin, Susan’s childhood best friend, claimed to have abruptly regained memories of witnessing her sexual abuse and homicide at the hands of her father, George Franklin. He was subsequently arrested, tried, convicted, and exonerated. So now, let’s find out everything there is to know about him, shall we?
Who is George Franklin?
As a once firefighter, it appears as if George Franklin is the only individual ever to be seriously accused of killing Susan K. Nason. As per statements given by his daughter Eileen, on that fateful day, he picked Susan up from across the street since they were neighbors in Foster City, California, and drove them to a nearby ravine. The girls spent time playing around on the old mattress in the back of his van until they reached the destination, and that is when he allegedly told his daughter to get in the front. She asserted that her father then raped and bludgeoned Susan to death.
The mattress is critical here because Eileen says that George had her help him place it on top of Susan’s remains, and her sister, Janice, also stated that she noticed it missing only a few days later. Furthermore, both sisters claimed that their father was a pedophile who molested them growing up. Not only that, but Janice confirmed that it started for her when she was in the third or fourth grade, the same age as Susan when she vanished. She even admitted that she had her suspicions of George’s hand in the matter for several years, yet nothing ever became of them.
As if all this wasn’t enough, George’s then-wife, Leah, had also asked him if he was involved in Susan’s atrocious slaying before their divorce. In the filing for the latter, she had alleged that her husband was physically and verbally abusive. In short, as highlighted in George’s trial and Showtime’s ‘Buried,’ the Franklin household was supposedly hell for almost everyone, especially the women, due to his behavior. Thus, as soon as deputies had enough evidence, they arrested and indicted George with Susan’s assault and murder, for which he stood trial in late 1980-91.
Where is George Franklin Now?
With Eileen’s testimony being the central point in the court proceedings, a jury convicted George Franklin of first-degree homicide, sentencing him to life in prison. However, merely five years later, upon appeal, a federal judge overturned this verdict, finding that the trial court had erred in not allowing the jury to examine news reports that contradicted some of the witness statements, amongst other things. With that, after about six years behind bars, George was released for good, especially as the prosecutors decided not to re-try him, partly owing to Eileen’s credibility coming under fire.
Apart from Eileen having regained her memories of Susan’s killing through a hypnosis session, another factor was that she had accused her father of being responsible in two other rape-murder cases. Nothing linked him to these matters at that point, and even DNA eliminated him as a suspect. In the end, George Franklin walked away from the entire ordeal with several accusations on his shoulders but no indication of guilt. Hence, all we know is that he has since kept his personal and professional life well away from the spotlight to avoid public scrutiny and more.
Read More: Where is Janice Franklin Now?