If you’ve been watching the new Peacock series A Friend of the Family, you may be under the impression that the events shown could not have occurred. Is the story based on actual occurrences, or is it a work of fiction?
According to Peacock, the series introduces the Broberg family, whose lives become complex when their daughter Jan is kidnapped twice over the course of several years by a “charming, infatuated” family member, Robert Berchtold. The strategies he employs to exploit their vulnerabilities, in an attempt to drive them apart and turn their daughter against them, catch her parents off guard.
How is it that the same individual can kidnap a little girl twice? How does Robert Berchtold continue to impact their lives? All of this is depicted in the Peacock series. So, where did the idea for this terrifying narrative originate?
Is A Friend of the Family on Peacock based on a real-life event?
Unbelievable as it may seem, A Friend of the Family is based on a genuine tale. In actuality, Robert Berchtold, a family acquaintance, abducted Jan Broberg twice. Once when she was 12 years old and again when she was 14 years old. Multiple times, he sexually attacked her, leading her to believe that they must have a child or the aliens will use her sister for the “mission.”
The fact that her mother, Mary Ann, had an affair with Berchtold, and that the “family friend” had persuaded her father, Bob, into giving him a hand job, compounded matters. He utilized these occurrences to blackmail them, as they did not wish for this information to go public.
Where to watch A Friend of the Family Story
There is a 2017 documentary starring the actual Jan Broberg and both of her parents. The film Abducted in Plain Sight is presently available on Netflix.
Comparing the program to the documentary, the Peacock series has done an excellent job of conveying the narrative in the same manner as the Brobergs’ documentary. This is likely due in part to the fact that Jan and her mother Mary Ann Broberg are both producers of the show.
Where is Robert Berchtold now?
Observing the documentary reveals how troubled Robert Berchtold was. Together with her mother, Jan released a book titled Innocence: The Jan Broberg Story. According to Distractify, even after Jan had not seen the unstable guy for years, he reappeared in their life when he showed up at a stop on one of her book tours when she was in her forties.
Unfortunately, he was never imprisoned for what he did to Jan, but he was found guilty of assault for assaulting a member of her security team at the book conference. He committed suicide just prior to being sentenced.
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