The perfect recipe for a truly horrific kidnapping story includes one naive family, a pedophile neighbor, a cup of manipulation and a dash of blackmail. The recent Netflix documentary “Abducted in Plain Sight” follows this recipe to a tee as it recounts the story of how a girl was abducted by the same man twice. Jan Broberg was abducted by Bob Berchtold twice through a series of naive missteps and fear. Here are the most messed up moments in the documentary:

Jan’s parents let her sleep with Berchtold, who sought counseling for pedophelic thoughts

As the documentary explains, Berchtold saw a clinical psychologist recommended to him by his church. He claimed that his psychologist told him he must sleep next to Jan at night to confront his past issues with molestation. Little did the Brobergs know, the “psychologist” Berchtold saw was unlicensed, and Berchtold was feeding their daughter, Jan, sleeping pills so he could molest her while she slept. Berchtold slept with Jan four times a week for six months until he kidnapped her. What’s more shocking than this is the fact that Jan’s parents didn’t realize Berchtold was sexually attracted to their daughter. 

Berchtold manipulated Jan

Berchtold manipulated Jan in a variety of ways. The most notable example was when he used her trust as a way to “groom” her. The other very prevalent way that he manipulated her was when he convinced her that they had “a mission” to complete. During the first kidnapping, he used an intercom-like box to explain that she is part alien, part human. She was convinced she had to save an alien planet by having a child before she turned 16. By design, Berchtold made it so she believed she had to complete the mission with him. That idea anchored Jan to Berchtold and led her to resent her family between the first and second abduction. 

Jan did not receive counseling after the first kidnapping

After being kidnapped by a family friend and personal role model, one would hope the victim would receive some sort of care to help cope with the trauma they experienced. That was not the case with the Brobergs. In the documentary, there was no mention of the family seeking help for Jan, despite noticing drastically different behavior. Though it’s not addressed in the documentary, it’s worth pointing out because it appeared to have a role in her second kidnapping by the exact same person. 

Berchtold manipulated Jan’s parents

Berchtold shared sexual experiences with each parent. Neither of the parents knew the other had sexual relations with Berchtold and didn’t want the other to know. Berchtold knew that and used it as blackmail to get his charges dropped. That method worked because the Brobergs signed affidavits saying Jan wasn’t kidnapped and his charges should be dropped, thus Berchtold got away with the first kidnapping.

Abducted in Plain Sight is available to stream on Netflix.


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