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“Abducted in Plain Sight” Review


On a fall day in 1974, 12-year-old Jan Broberg was kidnapped. This kidnapping was an incredibly strange case. She was taken by her neighbor and beloved family friend, Robert Berchtold. Berchtold was a pedophile who had an unhealthy obsession with Jan, and manipulated her parents in attempt to gain their trust and therefore access to their daughter. 

The kidnapping of Jan Broberg was disturbing in many ways. After the abduction, Jan was convinced that she had been given a mission by aliens to conceive a child with her “male companion” Robert Berchtold. During the time she was kidnapped, Jan was never aware that Berchtold abducted her, nor was she aware of the fact that he was willingly committing statutory rape.

Jan Broberg was kidnapped twice, and during both of these times she believed she was in love with Robert Berchtold. The documentary follows her life now as a 56-year-old woman, recalling these experiences while being supported by her family members.

Aside from its focus on kidnapping, “Abducted in Plan Sight” discusses issues such as pedophilia as well. Pedophilia was a less commonly discussed issue at the time of the kidnapping, hence why Berchtold was able to get away with his actions so easily. A documentary covering this topic can be controversial, but it is incredibly important that awareness is raised for the issue. It can prevent future incidents like this from happening, and educate young girls like Jan Broberg.


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