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US girl was kidnapped twice aged 12 and 14 by one man and repeatedly raped after he seduced her mother AND her father to get close to her, then brainwashed her into thinking she was an alien who could only save her family by having sex with him

The Brobergs were a happy family. Bob Broberg owned a thriving flower shop in downtown Pocatello, Idaho, his wife Mary Ann was a church chorister and a busy homemaker raising their three daughters: Jan, Karen and Susan. Their childhood was happy, free, innocent, and stable. ‘We had the type of neighborhood that never locked their doors, they were always open, you could trust everyone in the neighborhood,’ Mary Ann said.
It was that naivety that would come back to haunt the Broberg family.
It was 1974 when their 12-year-old daughter Jan was abducted and sexually abused by a close family friend and she was 14-years-old when she was kidnapped a second time by the same man.
Her abuser, Robert ‘B’ Berchtold, had wheedled his way into her family’s life; spending two years befriending her parents after meeting Mary Ann in church and gaining their trust as a means to get closer to Jan. He learned their weaknesses, exploited their vulnerabilities for blackmail and seduced both Bob and Mary Ann to create a wedge in their marriage.
At the culmination of his horrifying scheme, he repeatedly raped Jan under the guise that she was involved in a top-secret alien mission to save their species by reproducing before her 16th birthday or her sister and father would suffer the consequence of being ‘vaporized.’ The extent of his brainwashing on Jan dug so deeply into her pre-pubescent psyche that she says she went from ‘loving him like a father figure to loving him like a husband.’
The harrowing story is recounted by the Brobergs, an FBI investigator and recordings of Berchtold in the Netflix documentary movie ‘Abducted In Plain Sight,’ directed by Skye Borgman. It follows the family’s traumatic saga from its innocent beginning to the day Berchtold committed suicide 30 years later in 2005.
 The Broberg family from Pocatello, Idaho was left completely devastated after years of grooming and manipulation at the hands of a close family friend, Robert 'B' Berchtold. The Netflix  documentary, Abducted in Plain Sight details Jan's harrowing story of her kidnappings and  years of sexual abuse by the neighbor she trusted 'like a father.' Pictured front left Mary Ann Broberg, Jan (back row, left) Karen (back row, right) Susan (center) and Bob Broberg right 
Bob Berchtold was a master manipulator, he used charm and charisma to insert himself into the Broberg family and drive a wedge between Bob and Mary Ann. Gaining their trust, he           was allowed to sleep in Jan's bedroom four nights a week; eventually kidnapping her twice and carting her off to Mexico for a quick wedding. He repeatedly raped Jan under the guise that she was part of an alien conspiracy to save their species and threatened that her family would be 'vaporized' if she didn't partake
The Brobergs were active members in the Mormon Church where they met Bob Berchtold, a father of five in June of 1972. The two families had a lot in common and became fast, inseparable friends. ‘He had such an effervescent, wonderful personality,’ said Bob Broberg. ‘It just sort of clicked.’ The Berchtolds and Brobergs enjoyed family vacations and holidays together. Jan said: ‘We had some of our best family times when we were with the Berchtold family.’
Bertchtold was instantly infatuated with Jan; he nicknamed her his ‘Dolly;’ and in chilling tape recording that opens the documentary said: ‘She was a very beautiful little girl and I knew she was the one I was searching for.’
His brainwashing on the Broberg family started right away. He preyed on their vulnerabilities and manipulated Bob and Mary Ann into separate sexual relationships. In a tape recording revealed in the film, Berchtold told the FBI in a matter-of-fact manner: ‘I entered into a homosexual relationship with her father in order to have access to Jan. I had a fixation for Jan.’ On camera, Bob admits that he ‘relieved’ Berchtold in ‘an act of masturbation’ during an afternoon outing when the two fathers were alone. ‘I did the worst thing I’ve ever done,’ said a teary-eyed Bob regarding his indiscretion with Berchtold.

In an interview with DailyMail.com, director Skye Borgman reveals that Bob’s admission was a watershed moment in creating the documentary because it wasn’t something he had done publicly before filming. ‘It was incredibly emotional,’ said Borgman. ‘I think he knew what a critical element to the manipulation that was and I think he also had a great sense that it was the final missing puzzle piece and that it could really complete the story.’
While the Broberg family knew something occurred between Bob and Berchtold, it wasn’t until they watched the documentary for the first time that they learned the precise details of what really took place in the early 1970s. It was an incident that would come back to haunt Bob sooner rather than later – and would continue to haunt him until his death in November 2018, according to his middle daughter Karen.
In an interview with DailyMail.com, Karen explained: ‘Once he (Berchtold) had something to hang over their heads, he controlled them. They had a ten minute locker room incident that affected my father for the rest of his life to his dying day.’
Bob and Mary Ann had been married for 13 years when Berchtold; a master manipulator began to make romantic overtures toward Mary Ann. He exploited the faults of their marriage during a time when many relationships struggle to keep things exciting. ‘Berchtold began saying things to me that were very exciting to hear. “Oh you have a beautiful body and those legs!” And I felt this fluttering inside of me…He could give me a great feeling about myself,’ said Mary Ann. Though it wouldn’t be until after Jan came home from her first abduction that their flirtatious exchanges turned into a full-fledged affair. 
It was October 17, 1974 when Jan and Berchtold did not come back from an afternoon of horseback riding. Berchtold slipped Jan a sleeping pill under the guise that it was allergy medication; her next memory was waking up in a motor home with her wrists and ankles shackled. She was introduced to Zeta and Zethra; alien voices dispatched through a small speaker near her makeshift bed. They explained to her that she was chosen to complete an important assignment that would save their galactic species by copulating with Berchtold. Believing that she had truly been abducted by aliens, Jan proceeded with ‘the mission.’ 
The mission meant that Jan had to bear Berchtold’s child before her 16th birthday. If she failed to do so, Zeta and Zethra would kill her parents, blind Karen and take her youngest sister, Susan, as her replacement. This elaborate ruse propagated by Berchtold secured Jan’s silence and compliance. ‘When you combine being isolated and completely afraid, you can pretty much get someone to do or believe anything,’ said Jan in the documentary. Especially when the person you trusted intrinsically ‘like a second father’ has also positioned himself as the savior.
The Brobergs did not report Jan’s abduction for five days in fear that it might upset Gail, Berchtold’s wife, who was also a close friend. While troubling, nothing led them to believe it was anything nefarious. Bob had well inserted himself into the Broberg family; winning their trust and confidence.
Pete Walsh, lead FBI investigator assigned to the case was struck by their naivety. Prior to Jan’s abduction, the Brobergs allowed Berchtold to sleep in her bed four nights a week over the course of six months. Berchtold convinced them it was part of a therapy program to overcome his own abuse as a child. “It was the 70s, I never even knew what a child molester was so I never saw those red flags. I don’t know how I was so gullible,’ said Bob Broberg.
‘My brother was always a sexual pervert. He always did like little girls, I guess he had a need to fulfill as a pedophile,’ Berchtold’s brother, Joe, tells the documentary.
The FBI eventually tracked down Berchtold and Jan in Mazatlan, Mexico where the legal age for marriage was 12. They had been missing for five weeks which was more than enough time for Stockholm syndrome to settle in for Berchtold’s child bride. She said: ‘The shift from I love this man like my father to I love him like a husband happened.’ Under his spell, Jan began to withdraw from her family and abided by Berchtold’s strict rules to stay away from all males including her own father.
Berchtold wasn’t going to take any chances going to jail for his abduction of Jan, he had already laid the groundwork for blackmailing Bob with their illicit affair months earlier. ‘He was going around telling people that my dad was a homosexual,’ said Karen. At the time, Mary Ann did not known of Bob and Berchtold’s one-off afternoon fling but she feared their dirty laundry would be aired to their Mormon community. Using this to his advantage, Berchtold coerced the Brobergs into signing affidavits that claimed he had parental consent to take Jan to Mexico – essentially absolving him of all guilt in the crime. ‘They were covering their own hide, not the kid,’ said FBI agent, Walsh in the Netflix documentary.
The documents effectively destroyed the prosecution’s case against Berchtold; he was sentenced to five years in prison but was released after only 45 days. Years later when Mary Ann finally learned exactly what transpired between Bob and Berchtold, Karen Broberg recalled her mother’s response: ‘That’s it? That’s all it was about?!’
Berchtold stayed in communication with Jan after his short stint in prison by passing love letters through her classmates at school. One note read, ‘Hi Darling, I awake this morning thinking of you as usual, and loving you even more than the night you cried when you were in ‘Oliver,’ and you sang ‘Where Is Love’ especially for me…Please, honey, sing it over and over and know that I need your love more now than anything on this earth. Evil forces would like nothing more than to destroy us and ruin everything. I can do no more than love you every minute of my life, the rest is up to you. Be brave and do everything right and don’t give up hope, I never will because though it all there is you. Forever, B.’
Jan responded to Berchtold’s letters in kind and soon enough he was sneaking back into her bedroom late at night. ‘It was always about sex at that point. That was what all those encounters were about for him,’ said Jan. She estimates that Berchtold raped her more than 200 times in a five year period. Mary Ann Broberg recalls her 13-year-old daughter telling her, ‘Mom, I miss him so much, I want to marry him and we want to have children together.’
Jan’s family noticed a dramatic change in her personality after she came home from Mexico but under the threat of Zeta and Zethra; she was reticent to speak about her suffering. Karen remembers her sister disappearing on long bike rides before returning home a different person: ‘She would come home with a stoic face and just wouldn’t be her happy cheerful self.’ Karen noticed that these episodes happened more frequently as it got closer to the second time Jan was abducted by Berchtold and it became clear after the fact, that she was visiting him during these outings.
It was also during this time that Mary Ann’s school-girl crush on Berchtold turned into an extra- marital affair. ‘I would say that I was in love with Berchtold, it was an exciting time for me,’ said Mary Ann. This went on for two years until Jan went missing again on August 10, 1976. Worried that word of Jan’s second disappearance would spread throughout their community; the Brobergs were reluctant to alert authorities and they waited two weeks before calling the cops.
They were convinced that Jan had run away from home on her own. A letter revealed in the documentary that Jan wrote on the night of her disappearance said, ‘Dear Bob and Mary Ann, you won’t let me do what’s right, so I’ll do what’s wrong. I’m leaving without B, and do not plan on coming back until you accept me as me, I cannot accept your religion or your screwed up morals. I just want to be me and have ‘B.’ Please, before all of us are destroyed, let me go.’
Feeding into their theory, Berchtold kept in touch with the Brobergs to feign his concern for Jan’s ‘unknown whereabouts’ and taunt them with misinformation: ‘I just got through talking to Jan. I think Jan’s done some things that she doesn’t want to tell me about. The stealing for a living, the prostitution, the selling dope,’ said Berchtold in a wiretapped phone call with Mary Ann.
Meanwhile, Berchtold had stored Jan away at a catholic boarding school in Los Angles under a false name while he continued to live in a motor home park in Salt Lake City. He would visit her every weekend in California. This set-up allowed Berchtold to elude authorities for three months. Upon raiding his trailer, agents found a shrine dedicated to Jan with giant, blown-up photographs but no sign of the 14-year-old girl.
During another phone call with Berchtold during this time, Mary Ann Broberg asked rather prosaically, ‘Do you still want to marry her?’ He responded, ‘There will never be anybody for me but Jan, never. The sound of her voice just puts me into orbit.’
The FBI eventually tracked down Jan Broberg at Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy in Pasadena, California on November 17, 1976. She had been enrolled under a false name: Janis Tobler and was begrudgingly brought back to her parents’ home in Pocatello, Idaho. ‘I was completely gone…that vivacious happy fun child… that was gone.’
Karen remembers: ‘Jan was like a split personality when she came home. Me and her best friend Caroline noticed it a lot. Sometimes Jan was completely Jan and other times, it’s like she flipped into some other personality. She would go for a whole week being Jan and then she would have this hour being very strange and very different.’
The Brobergs’ real troubles started after Jan came home from her second abduction; they were faced with the painful healing process in picking up the broken pieces of their family. It was especially difficult for Jan, who still wholeheartedly believed that aliens were going to abduct her family if she didn’t complete the mission.
‘I knew that I probably needed to tell somebody but I didn’t know how or who or when, I didn’t know what to do,’ said Jan. She carried the weight of this secret up until the summer before her senior year in High School when Karen and her friend Caroline confronted her after discovering a bizarre manifesto referencing Zeta and Zethra in Jan’s bedroom. Karen remembers Jan’s sense of conviction when she declared: ‘I might not be here tomorrow, you just don’t understand! I might just vaporize into nothing.’
‘It was something I won’t ever forget,’ said Karen when recalling that traumatic night to TheDailyMail.com. ‘She had a meltdown, she got on the floor, she started scratching all over her body and shouting ‘I can’t do this!’ She started to hyperventilate and claw at the carpet. At first I thought she was acting but then I realized this was for real. She was losing it and I kept saying ‘you’re scaring us, you’re really scaring us!’
Eventually Jan was able to articulate her harrowing story in the third person: ‘She finally started talking about this little girl— ‘this happened to this little girl’ and ‘that happened to this little girl’ and became clear that she was talking about herself,’ explained Karen.
For his crime, Berchtold was able to avoid prison time on a convincing insanity plea and was only sentenced to six months at a mental hospital. Years later he was jailed for one year on another child molestation charge unrelated to Jan.
It took the Brobergs many years to heal from the devastation inflicted on their family but Karen admits that ‘the forgiveness happened right away.’ They found therapy in making the documentary and co-authoring a book about their experience titled: Stolen Innocence: The Jan Broberg Story. It was only in writing the book, years later did Mary Ann grasp the full extent of Jan’s traumatic ordeal. Karen asked why her mother why didn’t probe Jan sooner and she tearfully recalled Mary Ann’s response, ‘Because it was too painful to admit that I let that happen, it’s just too painful.’
That very reason is why the Brobergs decided to offer their story under risk of public scrutiny and critique. Karen continues: ‘People wonder ‘how could your parents be so blind?’ And then I think about all the millions of children being abused and nobody notices until it’s too late. It’s because it’s too painful to inquire - too painful to really find out. So you don’t push the issue, you just hope it goes away and you don’t ever look.’
Skye Broberg, director of ‘Abducted in Plain Sight’ echoes the sentiment: ‘That’s one of the things that we always said was very important throughout our entire time making the film, it’s that we wanted to start the conversation and that conversation is very hard to start.’
It’s been a long road to recovery for Jan, who incredibly, has found the capacity to forgive and move forward with her life. ‘The way I came to forgive my parents is by helping them forgive themselves,’ said Jan in the documentary. As an adult, Jan went on to become an actress in Hollywood with notable roles in both film and television. She recently moved to Utah with her son to run a local theater company. ‘Jan continues to amaze and inspire me every day,’ said Borgman. ‘She’s a real trooper.’
After publishing their book in 2004, Jan and Mary Ann began touring the country in hopes they could warn parents about sexual predators. Unfortunately, their nightmare was all but over when Berchtold, well into his 60s at the time, re-emerged to protest their book. Subsequently during one of these events, Berchtold had a confrontation with event security which landed him back in court for three felony charges and two misdemeanours. Just when it seemed like Bob Berchtold’s crimes would finally catch up to him; he committed suicide in 2005.
Jan says: ‘It’s ironic that the one person I would like to most forget about and never pass through my mind ever again is about is probably the person that I think about every day.’

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