Jan Broberg Recounts the Time a Friend of the Family Groomed Her Parents and Abducted Her; Turns Her Story Into a Drama Series on Peacock

Jan Broberg is giving fans an inside look into a series of events that occurred while the actress was a child – which included sexual abuse, two abductions, and brainwashing. It’s a harrowing story that she has mostly kept private for the past five decades, but it’s now out in the open

In 1972, a man by the name of Robert Berchtold moved to Pocatello, Idaho, where he met a middle-class all-American family – the Brobergs. The family befriended Berchtold to the point they considered him a family friend. Unfortunately, he turned out to be the opposite – an enemy. 

The first abduction occurred in 1974. After promising Jan Broberg they would go horseback riding, Berchtold kidnapped the 12-year-old in an RV. By the time she woke up, she was tied down and Berchtold was speaking to her in an alien-like sounding voice through a speaker. 

RELATED: Kidnapped 12-Year-Old Escapes Her Captor, What She Tells Police Makes Her a Hero

After several weeks of brainwashing her and trying to convince her to have his child, Berchtold was arrested in Mexico. Despite being sentenced to five years, he saw it reduced to 45 days and only spent a little over one week behind bars – giving him an opportunity to strike again.

This time, things got a little more intense. For two years, Berchtold groomed her parents by having sexual relationships with each of them separately. He convinced them to remain quiet about his second abduction of Jan, which happened in 1976 – she was now 14 years old. 

Luckily, the child molester was found and arrested once more. He was sent to a psychiatric hospital for evaluation and never made contact with Jan again. She went on to live her life and didn’t start opening up about the incident until she was 27 – at a book club, believe it or not. 

A friend convinced her to talk about it and she was immediately rushed with a flurry of questions from the other members. She saw it as an opportunity to open up to others about what went down, especially considering there might be others going through a similar situation in their life. 

Jan Broberg Turns Her Horrific Story Into a Drama Series

Jan Broberg Recounts the Time a Friend of the Family Groomed Her Parents and Abducted Her; Turns Her Story Into a Drama Series on Peacock
via Instagram (@janibroberg)

As part of her opening up about the event, Jan Broberg decided to tell her story the best way she knows how – through film. Along with her mother, Mary Ann Broberg, Jan produced a true crime drama miniseries detailing the events that occurred over that horrifying two-year period.

The series consists of nine episodes, all based on a true story, with the first four episodes being released on October 6th. The other five episodes will be released over the course of five weeks – one episode each week, released on Thursday. The final one will air on November 10th. 

Jan Broberg isn’t acting in the film, but the cast includes the likes of Jake Lacy, Anna Paquin, Colin Hanks, Lio Tipton, Mckenna Grace, Hendrix Yancey, Mila Harris, Maggie Sonnier, Elle Lisic, Norah Murphy, Austin Stowell, Patrick Fischler, Bree Elrod, and Philip Ettinger.

You can catch the miniseries, which is titled ‘A Friend of the Family,’ on Peacock – though you’ll need a subscription. The series is reminiscent of the documentary Abducted in Plain Sight and the book Stolen Innocence: The Jan Broberg Story – which was written by her mother in 2003. 

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE: 10 Streaming True Crime Documentaries for ‘My Favorite Murder’ Fans

As Jan Broberg put it, “It’s a psychological look at how a predator is constantly figuring out how they’re going to manipulate this person, and then this one and this one until they get to their victim.” If you like drama and want to get behind the mind of a serial child abductor, watch it!

About Mamas Uncut

Mamas Uncut is THE online place for moms. We cover the latest about motherhood, parenting, and entertainment as well – all with a mom-focused twist. So if you're looking for parenting advice from real parents, we have plenty of it, all for moms from moms, and also experts. Because, at the end of the day, our mission is focused solely on empowering moms and moms-to-be with the knowledge and answers they’re looking for in one safe space.

Scroll to Top