Netflix has more than proved their might as a purveyor of terrifying true crime documentaries, capable of sparking conversations across the globe.
From Making a Murderer, to The Keepers, the Netflix generation have become accustomed to our pub talk being shaped by forensic debate and owl-based theories.
And now it would appear the streaming service have released their most shudder inducing documentary yet; a horrifying tale of broken trust and hidden darkness, directed by cinematographer Skye Borgman (Junk Dreams).
Abducted In Plain Sight tells the story of actor Jan Broberg who, as a young girl, was kidnapped twice by the same man: a family friend by the name of Robert ‘B’ Berchtold. Prepare yourself, this isn’t even the most peculiar part of the narrative…
Paedophile Berchtold befriended the Broberg family in 1970, with the sole intention of gaining their trust and kidnapping their child. And it appears they fell completely under his spell.
Berchtold – who had a family of his own – managed to sexually seduce both Jan’s parents, Mary Ann and Bob Broberg, in a bid to manipulate them and get access to their young daughter.
In 1974, when Jan was just 12-years-old, Berchtold kidnapped her and headed to Mexico. It was here he attempted to brainwash her into thinking she was an alien. Moreover, Berchtold tried to convince Jan she had to become impregnated by him by the time she turned 16 in a bid to save the world.
Horrifyingly, Jan’s parents had such trust in Berchtold, they didn’t contact the police until a few days after their daughter’s abduction.
That abducted in plain sight on Netflix is the most bizarre documentary I’ve ever saw. What the fuck have I just watched?! HOW HOW HOW did this happen???? So many people failed that child 🙃🙃
— Emma 🌜🌞🐘 (@emmmaadev_) January 20, 2019
Abducted In Plain Sight on Netflix is the most absurd documentary I’ve ever seen. Somebody watch so we can discuss this insane story.
— Ryan (@RRinehart2012) January 19, 2019
Five weeks after she was abducted, Jan returned home; informing her family and officers that ‘nothing had happened’.
Unbelievably, Berchtold proceeded to kidnap Jan once again, two years later in 1976.
This time, he went as far as to enrol the then 14-year-old at a Californian Catholic Girl’s School, where he’d visit her under the pretence of being her father.
— leahk (@Shi_Just_Shi) January 19, 2019
Abducted in Plain Sight on Netflix is probably the craziest thing I’ve ever seen in my entire life.
— Joe Gatto (@JGatt33) January 18, 2019
Details of the case have sparked fury among viewers, who feel the excuse, ‘but it was the seventies’, really just cannot begin to cut it under such immensely troubling circumstances.
One person said:
I watch a lot of true crime stuff and this is by far one of the most disturbing things I’ve ever seen. I just finished watching it and I feel sick to my stomach.
I just watched Abducted In Plain Sight on Netflix and holy shit I almost threw my fucking TV out the window. That was, by far, THE WILDEST documentary I have ever watched.
According to the IMDb synopsis:
The twisting, turning, stranger-than-fiction true story of the Brobergs, a naive, church-going Idaho family that fell under the spell of a sociopathic neighbor with designs on their twelve-year-old daughter.
Currently watching this crime documentary (my fave) called Abducted in Plain Sight and I am SHOOK … the kidnapper was a family friend who not only had sex with the mother of the child he took but also finessed the husband to give him a hand job 😭
— Alyssa (@TheAlyssaJunek) January 19, 2019
Currently watching Abducted in Plain Sight on Netflix and it just keeps getting stranger and stranger. Every five minutes I’m like pic.twitter.com/5GPUOvRjG6
— ♡ katie ♡ (@daydreamkatie) January 18, 2019
Abducted In Plain Sight is the single craziest thing I have ever watched in my entire life. Every single person involved in that story should have to go to prison. Especially the parents, who should have been imprisoned with B.
— tailsofamermaid 🧜♀️🧜♀️🧜♀️ (@NatalieRoos) January 15, 2019
This “Abducted in Plain Sight” documentary is MAD. I’m shook. They let this man into their lives, the father and mother both got with the predator and when she disappeared they didn’t report their daughter missing for FIVE DAYS??! Craaazy
— Paf (@pppaigex) January 17, 2019
Abducted In Plain Sight hit Netflix as of January 15, 2019.
If you’ve been affected by any of these issues, and want to speak to someone in confidence regarding the welfare of a child contact the NSPCC on 0808 800 5000. If you are a child seeking advice and support call Childline for free on 0800 1111.
Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.