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5 Books to Read If You’re Interested in Abducted in Plain Sight

by | March 1

The true-crime documentary Abducted in Plain Sight has utterly shocked and disturbed anyone who dares to watch it. The film revolves around Jan Broberg, who was kidnapped TWICE (she was kidnapped TWICE) by family friend Robert Berchtold (aka “B”) in the 1970s. Berchtold essentially manipulated the Broberg family and gained their trust so he could later kidnap Jan.

The kidnapping tale began when Berchtold decided to take Jan horseback riding one afternoon. However, the two never came home. Berchtold then staged an “alien abduction” in order to manipulate Jan into thinking he was her protector. These “aliens” spoke to Jan in a recorder (which Berchtold obviously created) and told her that she needed to produce a child with Berchtold or else bad things would happen to her family. Jan, as an impressionable 12-year-old child, believed what she was told to be true and followed the instructions she was given by this psychotic man.

Jan was brainwashed and sexually abused by Berchtold during this time in her kidnapping. Her parents waited five days before contacting the FBI that their child was missing with the family friend (I don’t understand any of their logic in this AT ALL). This was only the beginning of Jan’s terrifying saga.

The most frightening part of the case is how this series of events could have been easily avoided, if the parents had been more aware about whom they had welcomed into their home and lives in the first place.

If you can make it through the whole documentary without throwing your remote at the television, I personally applaud you. I don’t want to give too much else away, but if you haven’t watched it yet, I highly recommend that you switch your Friday night plans so you can view this true-crime tale. If you’re intrigued by this story of abduction, manipulation, and redemption, you won’t want to miss these five books either.

Stolen Innocence

Stolen Innocence

by Mary Ann Broberg

Stolen Innocence is the retelling of the Jan Broberg abduction case by Jan’s mother, Mary Ann Broberg. Brogerg recounts the series of events that unfolded after the family let Robert Berchtold into their lives. She shares her take on the decisions the family made and their feelings of loss and confusion at being manipulated by someone they considered so important in their lives. It’s definitely worth the read to hear Broberg’s side of the story, especially if you are infuriated by her choices in the documentary.

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The Kill Jar

The Kill Jar

by J. Reuben Appelman

This true-crime book revolves around the four child abductions and murders that took place outside Detroit from 1976 through 1977. This cold case is known as the Oakland County Child Killings and sparked much fear and panic in families at the time. Viewers of Abducted in Plain Sight will definitely be intrigued by this case.

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A Stolen Life

A Stolen Life

by Jaycee Dugard

Jaycee Dugard shares the infamous story of her kidnapping in the summer of June 1991. She was only a child when she was abducted, and was held captive for eighteen years. Her kidnappers didn’t even allow her to call herself by her own name in front of them. This memoir is the tale of her survival and grief, with very similar themes to the Jan Broberg case.

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Where There's Hope

Where There's Hope

by Elizabeth A. Smart

In Where There’s Hope Elizabeth Smart shares the story of her abduction at the age of 14. In this memoir, she reveals how she maintained hope and optimism, even in the face of severe abuse and manipulation. Smart, much like Jan Broberg, was able to get past her traumatic past and raises awareness to help others in similar circumstances.

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Almost Gone

Almost Gone

by John Baldwin

The Mackenzie Baldwin Case is a riveting story of how a teenage girl was manipulated by a much older man. Mackenzie met “Aadam” in an online chat room, and he was able to convince her to plan to move to Kosovo with him. Aadam was actually part of a sex-trafficking scheme, to which he lured young women. The book details—from the perspectives of both daughter and father—the alarming events that happened to and with Mackenzie and her family.

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Jess is a Digital Marketing Content Coordinator at Simon & Schuster. Her guilty pleasure is reading Young Adult series like Gossip Girl, Pretty Little Liars, Field Party, and To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before. When she’s not reading, you can find her at a Yankees or Giants game or rewatching Riverdale for the hundredth time.