What happened next to Jan Broberg?

By Eamon Hennedy
Published: October 13, 2022
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With the release of the Peacock series A Friend of the Family, we explore what happened next to Jan Broberg. Explore with us as we deep dive into this incredible true crime story. 

The story of Jan Broberg has, somewhat inevitably in an era of true crime documentaries and subsequent scripted dramas based on the crimes explored, been the subject of not only an acclaimed documentary directed by Skye Borgman but has now found itself being turned into a prestige drama for the streaming service Peacock.

While A Friend of the Family does feature a prominent role for Jake Lacey’s none more disturbingly creepy performance as her abductor Robert Berchtold, what comes as something of a surprise with Nick Antosca’s drama, many episodes of which are written and directed by women — most prominently Never Rarely Sometimes Always‘s Eliza Hittman — is that it is very much focusing its storytelling on Jan herself and that of her family in a manner that gives the writing and storytelling involved a nuanced subtlety that feels like it’s a million miles away from other dramas of a similar ilk inspired by true crime stories.

Berchtold is a constant presence throughout, but unlike other high-profile series of recent years that wants to devote considerable time to crime stories of a disturbing nature, A Friend of the Family, and Skye Borgman’s documentary Abducted in Plain Sight, which brought this particular story to the eyes of a large mainstream audience when it debuted on Netflix in 2019, never places Berchtold himself onto a pedestal at the expense of those he hurt. The writers of A Friend of the Family very much capture the confusion and emotional horror of her experiences but also are adept enough to never make it feel exploitative.

You might find yourself asking, however, what happened after the resolution of the story, and what happened after Berchtold’s crimes were finally revealed to the public, even if he himself somewhat escaped true justice for his actions? The story of Jan after her horrifying experiences with her abductor and the impact it had on herself and those around her makes for a fascinating one, and thankfully it’s a story that makes for something more hopeful and a world away from the darkness that enveloped her when she was twelve-to-fourteen years of age.

What happened next to Jan Broberg?

To look up Broberg on a search engine or online is to be presented with not only an association with the various documentaries and Peacock television series detailing her abductions but also to see someone who has built up a considerable list of acting credits in film, television, and theatre.

Being a Mormon and having been raised by a family that placed much importance on their faith, Broberg has appeared in Mormon-centric productions such as the films Mobsters and Mormons, Baptists at our Barbecue, and The Book of Mormon Movie Volume 1: The Journey (no affiliation with the Broadway musical of the same name), as well as an episode of Touched by an Angel. Later credits include the popular WB television series Everwood where she played Nurse Louise across thirty-two episodes, a guest starring appearance in the massively popular FBI profiling procedural Criminal Minds, and a small role in the blockbuster film Iron Man 3.

One of her most prominent film appearances came in 2012’s remake of the notorious 80s slasher-thriller Maniac. Starring Elijah Wood, a film that remarkably, for someone whose list of credits includes Mormon-centric family friend productions, features Broberg’s character being subjected to brutal treatment by Wood’s character in a scene that carries a loaded charge given Broberg’s previous experiences.

Amidst her acting career, her story was documented in her mother’s book Stolen Innocence: The Jan Broberg Story that detailed from their point of view the experiences they went through during the period when Jan’s abductions played a big part in their lives, but which was also noted for heavily redacting certain parts of the narrative, mainly that of a sexual encounter between Jan’s father Bob and Berchtold that was detailed in both Abducted in Plain Sight and A Friend of the Family.

It was during the promotions they took part in for the book that Berchtold tried to once again become a presence in their lives, showing up at book events and publicly calling out the book’s validity. It subsequently led to the Brobergs taking out a restraining order against Berchtold for the rest of his life. Jan has continued to pursue acting work in recent years and has most recently appeared in the Christmas TV movies The Road Home for Christmas and Check Inn to Christmas and is a credited producer on A Friend of the Family alongside her mother.

And there you have it — that’s what happened next to Jan Broberg! What are your thoughts? Comment below!

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