Jan Broberg, Actor and Subject of ‘A Friend of the Family,’ Was Kidnapped Twice by the Same Man

Jan Broberg was kidnapped in the mid-1970s by her neighbor — twice. Learn more about the true crime story that inspired the upcoming Peacock series A Friend of the Family starring Anna Paquin, Jake Lacy, Colin Hanks, and Mckenna Grace. Additionally, discover the other forms of media Jan’s story has inspired, including the Netflix documentary you might have seen before.

Jan Broberg (Mckenna Grace) in the upcoming Peacock series 'A Friend of the Family'
Mckenna Grace as Jan Broberg | Peacock

Jan Broberg is an actor with more than 50 credits 

Broberg has been performing since the early 1990s. Her theater credits include roles in The Sound of MusicJane Eyre, and My Fair Lady, and others. She has also appeared in the following movies and television shows: 

  • Holly & Ivy
  • Behind You
  • Check Inn to Christmas
  • The Road Home for Christmas
  • Love, Fall & Order
  • I’m Sorry
  • Dick Dickster
  • Chasing Bullitt
  • Girlboss
  • Colony
  • We Are Your Friends
  • I Lived
  • More Than Words
  • Alone in the Dust 
  • Happy Medium
  • At the Devil’s Door
  • The Swan Princess: A Royal Family Tale
  • Criminal Minds
  • Haunt
  • The Flipside
  • Coyote
  • Iron Man 3
  • My Only Son
  • Dreamcatchers
  • Maniac
  • 40
  • Darling Companion
  • Passage to Zarahemla
  • Everwood
  • Mobsters and Mormons
  • Paradise
  • Baptists at Our Barbecue
  • The Book of Mormon Movie, Volume 1: The Journey
  • Clubhouse Detectives in Scavenger Hunt
  • Clubhouse Detectives in Big Trouble
  • Clubhouse Detectives in Search of a Lost Princess
  • Little Secrets
  • The Poof Point
  • Bug Off!
  • Cover Me: Based on the True Life of an FBI Family 
  • Message in a Cell Phone
  • Touched by an Angel
  • Interview
  • Nadir
  • The ButterCream Gang in Secret of Treasure Mountain
  • Harmful Intent
  • Slaughter of the Innocents
  • Ancient Secrets of the Bible, Part II
  • The Man with Three Wives
  • Deliver Them from Evil: The Taking of Alta View
  • In the Line of Duty: Siege at Marion

Most recently, Broberg worked on Fugued Up. She will also appear in the upcoming The Gabby Petito Story as an attorney. 

Robert ‘B’ Berchtold kidnapped Jan Broberg in the 1970s

The Broberg’s neighbor, Robert Berchtold, kidnapped Jan for the first time when she was 12-years-old. According to ABC News, “Berchtold took her away in a motor home on the afternoon of Oct. 17, 1974.” Berchtold, referred to as “B” by those who knew him, strapped Jan to a bed and played a high-pitched monotone voice telling her she had been abducted by a UFO. 

“…[I] was to do everything they told me, and if I didn’t, I would be instantly vaporized,” Jan said. “B” held her captive for five weeks until Mexican police found her with him. She was taken home and he was imprisoned briefly. 

However, two years later, Berchtold convinced Jan to leave with him again to “complete their mission.” This time, he took her to a Catholic girl’s school in Pasadena, California, where he hid Jan until the FBI located her. 

‘A Friend of the Family’ isn’t the first show to cover Jan Broberg’s story 

Jan’s kidnapping is the subject of Mary Ann Broberg’s (her mother) 2003 book Stolen Innocence: The Jan Broberg Story. Her kidnappings were also the source material for the Netflix documentary Abducted in Plain Sight

Now, A Friend of the Family is coming to Peacock on Oct. 6, 2022. Jake Lacy announced the upcoming Peacock series at the 2022 Emmys. He plays Berchtold in the fictional retelling of Jan’s story. Meanwhile, Anna Paquin (The IrishmanTrue Blood) portrays Jan’s mother and Colin Hanks (Impeachment: American Crime Story) plays Jan’s father, Bob. Young Jan is portrayed by Hendrix Yancey (George & Tammy) while McKenna Grace (The Handmaid’s Tale) portrays Jan in her later years.

Stream A Friend of the Family on Peacock beginning on Oct. 6.

RELATED: ‘Abducted in Plain Sight’: Who Is Jan Broberg and What Is She Doing Now?