Robert Berchtold’s story begins in the early 1970s in Pocatello, Idaho, where he befriended the Broberg family, quickly becoming a close family friend. Despite having five children of his own, Berchtold spent a significant amount of time with the Brobergs, especially with their young daughter, Jan Broberg. This period marked the beginning of Berchtold’s manipulation and grooming tactics.

The Manipulation of Jan Broberg

Berchtold’s manipulation of Jan Broberg began subtly, as he convinced her that she was “their chosen one” and needed to get pregnant by him to save an alien planet. This manipulation tactic played into Jan’s innocence and vulnerability, setting the stage for more sinister actions to come.

The Kidnapping and Abuse

In August 1974, Berchtold kidnapped Jan while she was on her way to a horseback riding lesson. He drugged her and took her to Mexico, where she was held captive for five weeks. During this time, Jan was repeatedly raped by Berchtold, who used threats of alien abduction to control her. Despite the horrors she endured, Jan was too frightened to share the details of her abuse when the FBI eventually tracked them down.

The Aftermath and Disclosure

Over the years, Jan slowly worked up the courage to tell her parents about the abuse. Her father, Bob Broberg, never allowed Berchtold back into their lives, but he was unaware of the extent of the abuse Jan had endured. It wasn’t until later that Jan was able to fully disclose the horrors she had experienced at the hands of Berchtold.

Berchtold’s Return and Arrest

Years later, Jan, now a working actor, and her mother Mary wrote a book detailing Jan’s abuse. This brought Berchtold out of hiding, and he showed up at a women’s conference Jan was hosting. Despite claiming that the book had nothing to do with his appearance, Berchtold’s actions spoke otherwise. He was later arrested on charges of simple assault, criminal trespassing, and disorderly conduct.

Berchtold’s Death

Before he could be sentenced, Berchtold died by suicide. His death marked the end of a dark chapter in the Broberg family’s life, but the scars left by his actions continue to linger. Jan’s story serves as a reminder of the dangers of manipulation and the importance of speaking out against abuse.


In conclusion, Robert Berchtold’s story is one of manipulation, abuse, and tragedy. His actions not only affected Jan Broberg and her family but also served as a cautionary tale for others. Berchtold’s death may have brought some closure, but the impact of his actions will be felt for years to come.