Netflix’s wild true crime doc Abducted in Plain Sight could get a sequel

Posted by
Sarah Shaffi
backgroundLayer 1
Add this article to your list of favourites
Abducted in Plain Sight. Image: Netflix

The filmmaker behind Abducted in Plain Sight wants to make a trilogy.

There are some truths that are definitely stranger than fiction, and Netflix’s Abducted in Plain Sight tells a real story that almost beggars belief.

The documentary, by Skye Borgman, looks at the kidnappings (yes, more than one) of teenager Jan Broberg by her decades-older neighbour – and friend of her parents – Robert Berchtold in the 1970s.

The Brobergs and Berchtolds lived in a small community and were active members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 17: Actress Jan Broberg attends 'Maniac' New York Screening at Time Scare on June 17, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images)

Jan Broberg, pictured in 2013, is now an actress

Berchtold first kidnapped Jan by telling her parents he was taking her horseriding, and then not returning from the day trip. It wasn’t until days later that the Brobergs finally reported Jan missing despite previous indications of Berchtold’s inappropriate, to say the least, thoughts and actions towards Jan.

Jan was given allergy pills by Berchtold, who then played recordings of voices supposedly belonging to aliens, which told Jan she had to conceive a child with their chosen partner – Berchtold – before she turned 16, otherwise her parents and sisters would be punished.

Surprisingly, the alien angle is not the wildest part of the documentary. Without spoiling too much, there are some outrageous reasons behind Jan’s parents’ reluctance to report Berchtold for his crimes.

As addictive as Abducted in Plain Sight is – playing to our fascination with true crime – the 90-minute film still leaves plenty of questions.

And now Borgman has revealed that she would love to make a sequel exploring topics like how the Brobergs’ faith gave them a huge capacity for forgiveness.

Speaking to Vanity Fair, Borgman revealed that she had to leave plenty of material on the cutting room floor, including a meet-up that Jan’s mother Mary Ann had with Berchtold in a parking lot, and that involved a gun, and a professional “read” on Berchtold by a forensic psychologist.

You may also like

From podcasts to documentaries, why are we all so obsessed with true crime?

Borgman said she hopes in a sequel “to explore the different topics that we didn’t have time to really dive deep into, like the role that faith plays – maybe not even just L.D.S. – but the role that faith plays in sheltering communities”.

She also wants to explore “grooming and brainwashing – there are really interesting, intricate things that happen, and we touch on both of those topics in the documentary, but I’d love to explore those more”.

Borgman has posited the idea of not just one, but two, more films, saying that in a “perfect world, it’d be sort of a trilogy of films”.

If Abducted in Plain Sight is anything to go by, the sequels will be equally jaw-dropping. We hope Borgman finds funding soon.

Images: Netflix, Getty


Share this article


Sarah Shaffi

Sarah Shaffi is a freelance journalist and editor. She reads more books a week than is healthy, and balances this out with copious amounts of TV. She writes regularly about popular culture, particularly how it reflects and represents society.