"Abducted in Plain Sight" is a 91-minute Netflix docufilm that digs into Jan Broberg's kidnapping case and the way her parents, Bob and Mary Ann, handled the situation. The criminal was Robert 'B' Berchtold, a trusted family friend and neighbor.

Even though it was obvious that this “friendly” neighbor had experienced a psychological trauma that made him sexually attracted to young girls, it is not revealed until the end of the film, which made the audience consider B as an even more evil person, if that's possible.

The first abduction

After winning over Bob and Mary Ann, the man took the girl horse riding. However, he abducted, drugged her, and staged everything to make the innocent 12-year-old girl believe that she was half human and half alien.

B even recorded audio messages pretending to be two of these extraterrestrial beings telling Jan that she had a mission: to have a child with him. If she didn’t complete it before she turned 16, her family would suffer.

It all happened in the 1970s. The way people saw the world and the universe back then was completely different.

The two were eventually found in Mexico. When the girl came back home, her personality had changed as she had been so brainwashed to feel a sort of profound "love” for B.

His goal was being with Jan no matter what. To fulfill his objective, B had a plan: tear the entire family apart. With his incredible persuasive skills, B managed to be romantically involved with Mary Ann and sexually involved with Bob, two factors that he used to get out of jail the first time.

The second kidnapping

When the girl was 14, she still believed the alien story and was even more "in love" with B, so she ran away from home with him. The man made up a story to make a Catholic boarding school believe that he was a CIA agent. They didn’t ask too many questions and agreed to take Jan from Monday to Friday.

On weekends, B visited her, and they tried to complete the "mission."

The FBI eventually found them, and B was sentenced to spend six months at a mental hospital, a ridiculously short time considering his crimes. Jan, who had kept the details of her time with B a secret, confessed everything when she turned 16 and realized that the alien story was fake.

The aspects that caused the abduction

In short, two main factors led to the crimes.

  • Bob and Mary Ann’s naivety: There were so many red flags, and B’s goal was so evident, that it makes you wonder whether Jan’s parents were somehow involved in the case.
  • B’s determination: The man did everything from pretending to be someone else, lying, cheating on his wife, and even leaving his children to be with the girl.

As a film, "Abducted in Plain Sight" fulfills its purpose: It gets you engaged with the story from the very beginning driving you through a bunch of emotions – anger, irritation, sadness, joy, and more.

As an event, Jan’s abduction is heartbreaking. However, it teaches parents always to be aware of those around their children and never trust anybody that much.

Don't miss our page on Facebook!
Click to read more