‘A Friend of the Family’: Inside Real Bob Berchtold Recordings

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The twisted real-life case of Jan Broberg, the Idaho youth abducted twice by a neighbor during the 1970s, drives the riveting nine-episode series A Friend of the Family.

“What they lived through is so complex, so terrifying…it felt like a story that you needed to be immersed in over many hours to understand psychologically and emotionally,” says writer Nick Antosca, who executive produced the project. “Their experience was a slow burn.” (Broberg and her mother Mary Ann are producers.)

Flack’s Anna Paquin and The Offer’s Colin Hanks star as the Broberg parents, who have no idea that Robert Berchtold (Jake Lacy of The White Lotus), the seemingly innocent Mormon next door, is obsessed with their daughter (Hendrix Yancey plays the younger Jan, and Mckenna Grace the older one). Before they know it, Berchtold has not just infiltrated their marriage but also put into motion a plan that would find him kidnapping Jan at the age of 12 and then again, two years later.

“It’s hard to comprehend the kind of mind that dedicates itself to a goal like that,” notes Antosca of Berchtold’s nefarious fixation. “When you hear him on the FBI recordings and his own audio journals, it’s surreal.”

A Friend of the Family, Limited Series Premiere, Thursday, October 6, Peacock

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