A Friend Of The Family True Story: A Friend of the Family is an American limited drama miniseries based on true events, The story follows the Broberg and Berchtold families, where we see that Robert Berchtold, who is very close to their family, is kidnapped Broberg’s elder daughter Jan Broberg twice in around two years.
The story follows a true-life incident story without changing any elements, making this series feel like we’re watching a real story, and the outstanding cast performances add to that feeling.
The story takes place in 1972 when the Berchtold’s relocate to Pocatello, Idaho, a town known for its friendly neighbors and peaceful atmosphere. After that, we see in church that Robert Berchtold meets with her neighbor, Mary Ann Broberg, and soon they become good friends.
The families of Berchtold and Brobergs became good friends, and their children became very good friends as well, preferring to play together and strengthening their bond. On October 24, 1984, Jan, the Brobergs’ then-eldest daughter, is going for a horseback riding lesson with Robert, but time passes and the family waits for them to return; however, Jan wakes up inside a dark, small room, with her hands and legs tied, and hears a voice telling her that she is being kidnapped by two aliens with no names.
They also claim that the world is about to end and that you are the only one chosen to save it, and that in order to save it, you must give birth to a child, but these are all plans devised by Robert Berchtold.
Following the two attempted kidnappings, Robert received not only punishment for his crime, but we, Robert’s therapist, and other trainers who studied him later discovered that he made similar types of attempts with the other young girl as well and confirmed that he had pedophilia, which means sexual desire only for children.
In the first kidnapping case, he was only charged with a ten-day short-term prison sentence. In the second case, the judge decides to forgive his charge and send him for six months at a mental hospital, as he considers him sick and not eligible for punishment.
Later, we see Robert again start to stalk them, and to stop him, Jan filed a case order against him. In January 2003, these two faced the court again, and this series shows the actual clips from the court trial video in which we see that Robert publicly apologizes to Jane for what he had done, but later she committed suicide.
After that, to stop these types of crimes, Jan and Mary Anne started to spread awareness and started to help victims who faced sexual abuse, and even today they are doing the same to help victims.