Of all the variety of films and TV shows that Netflix offers, its true crime genre is where it really shines - especially with shows that allow you to get inside the minds of the real criminals/victims. The Staircase was an excellent docuseries in this respect, as was Making a Murderer and The Confession Tapes. And if those sorts of things appeal to you, there's one more show you absolutely have to watch: Abducted In Plain Sight.
The 90-minute documentary follows the strange story of Jan Broberg, who was abducted not once, but twice by the same man. This premise alone is crazy enough, but as the documentary delves deeper into the lives of Jan and her parents, it soon becomes apparent that her kidnapper - a man named Robert Berchtold - had managed to groom her entire family in order to get to her.
Described by IMDb as "the twisting, turning, stranger-than-fiction true story of the Brobergs, a naive, church-going Idaho family that fell under the spell of a sociopathic neighbor with designs on their twelve-year-old daughter," Abducted In Plain Sight is undoubtedly messed up in a lot of ways - and the events of the tale are raising a lot of questions amongst viewers.
The initial kidnapping took place in 1974, when Jan was 12 years old. Berchtold, known to the family as "B", had developed a close relationship with Jan and her family over several years, and earned enough trust to take her out one evening. Contrary to what he had promised, however, he did not bring her back.
In a series of interviews with Jan and her family, the documentary explores the bizarre methods that B used to keep the Brobergs under his spell: lies about aliens that had a "special plan" for Jan, sexual advances he made on both her mother and father, and an unwavering charm that allowed him to convince the family that he should be allowed to sleep in bed with the 12-year-old while nobody else was around.
From that summary alone, it's easy to understand why many viewers have questions:
Just a warning, though: this documentary is very difficult to watch at points. Jan herself is featured, and speaks openly and honestly about her experience with B. She's a grown woman now and has had a reasonably successful career as an actress, but the scars left by childhood drama clearly remain.
Definitely check it out if you're a fan of true crime and/or real-life stories that leave you in shock and disbelief, and check out the hashtag #AbductedInPlainSight on Twitter for more reactions from viewers.