What Happened to Robert Berchtold?

March 31, 2024

The true story behind robert berchtold is terrifying and infuriating, and it’s not something that can be easily summed up in a short paragraph. But the fact that he was able to charm two families into allowing him unfettered access to their daughter is a testament to his mastery of manipulation. Whether you’re familiar with the case from the Netflix documentary or from the Peacock series, here are a few things to keep in mind.

The two families met in a small Idaho town. Their children got to know each other through school and grew close, with the girls calling Berchtold “B.” He even began driving Jan to school, and his wife Gail—who was portrayed in the Peacock show as the girl’s nanny—was a mother figure for her.

Eventually, Berchtold convinced the family that they were being targeted by aliens and that it was their mission to have a child with him in order to save the planet from extinction. He used grooming tactics and a sense of trust to manipulate the family into letting him take control of their daughter, who didn’t realize what was happening until she escaped her second kidnapping in 1976.

Berchtold was sentenced to jail for a month but was released quickly because of mental health issues. He moved to Utah and worked for his brother, but kept in contact with Mary Ann Broberg and their daughter Jan. He sent her love letters and arranged secret meetings with them, despite the Brobergs’ attempts to distance themselves from him.

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