Abducted in Plain Sight Is Hands Down the Most Unbelievable True Crime Story We’ve Heard

Abducted in Plain Sight captures a case as unusual as its foreboding title suggests, interweaving the horrors of kid abduction with tales of extramarital affairs, aliens, and brainwashed dad and mom. The 2017 true crime documentary now streaming on Netflix shines a mild on the abduction of Jan Broberg, a younger lady residing in Pocatello, ID, who was twice kidnapped by her neighbor Robert Berchtold (generally known as “B”). While this appears like a traditional Forensic Files episode, there’s extra to the story that can really boggle the thoughts. Broberg’s dad and mom, Mary Ann and Bob, not solely held back from contacting authorities but additionally every had affairs with Berchtold and allowed him to have shut contact with their daughter.

Jan’s story is a disturbing one all through — listed here are the surprising particulars that fashioned the foundation of the documentary.

The Kidnappings

An in depth household buddy, Berchtold (pictured under, with Jan) satisfied Jan’s dad and mom to let him take their daughter to go horseback riding in the Autumn of 1974 when she was 12. He then drugged and kidnapped her, strapping her to a mattress. Berchtold left an intercom by her bedside to persuade her that she had been taken by aliens and that he wanted to impregnate her to avoid wasting their alien planet.

Berchtold known as his brother, who known as the Brobergs and instructed them his brother was now in Mexico and wished their permission to marry Jan in the United States. The FBI traced the name and located them, arresting Berchtold, who solely confronted a 45-day sentence. Berchtold satisfied Jan to not inform anybody about the mission, tablets, or sexual abuse she skilled or else the aliens would damage her household. Her dad and mom had been satisfied she was not raped as a result of a physician mentioned her hymen had not been broken.

While Berchtold labored at his brother’s automobile dealership, he’d return dwelling to Pocatello and intently contacted Jan via letters and notes. He even took her to a household fun heart that he purchased, the place they continued “the mission” after Mary Ann reluctantly let her daughter go. In 1976, Berchtold kidnapped her again. Under his directions, Jan, then 14, wrote a observe informing her household that she was working away. Berchtold enrolled her in a Catholic boarding college in Pasadena, CA, and satisfied the nuns there that he was her father, a CIA agent who’d escaped Lebanon. Authorities tracked him down after three months and took him into custody. His kidnapping expenses had been later acquitted as a consequence of a declare of “mental defect.”

The Affairs

Berchtold held shut relationships with Jan’s dad and mom to realize entry to her earlier than and after the first abduction. Prior to the first kidnapping, he instructed Jan’s dad and mom that he wanted to spend time with their daughter for remedy. With their consent, he regularly laid down in bed next to Jan, enjoying inappropriate tapes and giving her sleeping tablets.

Mary Ann shockingly had a long-term affair with Berchtold after her daughter was kidnapped. He even tried to influence her into getting a divorce after explaining why he took her daughter. This wasn’t the first time — earlier than the first kidnapping, in addition they had sexual contact, information he used to blackmail her into signing an affidavit that mentioned he had taken Jan with her dad and mom’ consent. Her husband, Bob, additionally had at the least one encounter with Berchtold, throughout which he “relieved” his neighbor in “an act of masturbation.”

The Aftermath

Berchtold was convicted as soon as extra for abusing one other younger lady, receiving one year of jail time. In 2004, he tried to crash one in all Jan’s public talking occasions, prompting her to get an official restraining order in opposition to him. The following year, he committed suicide by taking coronary heart medicine tablets with alcohol.

Mary Ann wrote a ebook known as Stolen Innocence, detailing her encounters with Berchtold. She and Bob remained married till his demise in 2018. Jan, now 56, has labored as a singer and actress after turning to the theater as a artistic outlet. In the documentary, she voices her story with readability regardless of years of traumatizing abuse whereas her dad and mom, additionally featured, probe for sense in their surprising complicity.


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