Of all the Netflix documentaries available, Abducted in Plain Sight is one of the craziest. The internet has gone insane over some of the most bizarre moments in the 90-minute program. There are so many memes circulating, and all have the same basic gist: what in the world did I just watch?
The documentary is about a young girl named Jan Broberg being sexually molested by a neighbor and family friend, Robert Berchtold. Eventually he becomes so obsessed with Jan that he kidnaps her. This situation is tragic, but unfortunately, it’s far from rare. One study found that about 1 in 5 girls is sexually molested. Usually the abuse happens at the hands of someone they know.
However, the story has more twists and turns that just that. The audience learns early on the Jan Broberg survives the ordeal – after all, she’s one of the main people being interviewed. But the details of what happens next are almost too surreal to believe.
Warning: This post contains spoilers for the Netflix documentary ‘Abducted in Plain Sight.’
The Broberg family seems impossibly naïve
This isn’t the first time the story of Jan Broberg came to television. The 2017 documentary Forever B told the Brobergs’ tale, and Jan Broberg even authored a book about it called Stolen Innocence: The Jan Broberg Story. The main difference now? Producers focused as much on Jan’s family and
In the story, the Brobergs allow Robert Berchtold to spend time with their adolescent daughter Jan, which isn’t that alarming at first. But audiences weren’t so forgiving when they found out that Berchtold often spent the night, even sleeping in Jan’s bed, which he claimed was part of a therapy program he was doing for sexual deviance. “Neither one of us was comfortable with him doing it,” Jan’s mother Mary Ann says during the documentary, “but it was his therapy.”’
Right… makes total sense.
They didn’t report Jan missing right away
Robert Berchtold kidnapped Jan Broberg after he had permission from her parents to take her horseback riding one day after school. When the two didn’t come home on time, the Brobergs waited to report the incident to the police…for several days.
In the documentary, they explained that they knew Jan was with Bob, so they knew she was “safe” because they trusted him. Plus, they didn’t want to “embarrass” Berchtold’s wife and family.
Jan Broberg’s parents had sexual relations with their daughter’s molester
The relationship between Jan Broberg and Robert Berchtold became sexual soon after he met her. But even as he was preying on the young girl, he was also endearing himself to the family – in increasingly extreme ways. To remain close to the Brobergs, Berchtold made advances on Jan’s mom, Mary Ann Broberg. He complimented her and made her feel special. Eventually, the two entered a sexual relationship… even though he had kidnapped their daughter.
And that’s not all. Jan
The story of Jan Broberg’s kidnapping is practically unbelievable. But hopefully it serves as a warning for parents everywhere – sexual predators are out there, and often they exhibit so many warning signs. Staying vigilant and always trusting your gut when it comes to who you can trust around your children is necessary.
Also, never have an affair with your child’s kidnapper.