Robert "B" Berchtold She was a beautiful little girl.
Very bright and very lively.
She smiled brightly at me.
And as she smiled, there were definite dimples in both cheeks.
My heart went out to her.
I walked up to her, put my arm around her and drew her close to me, and held her tight.
She looked up at me, her eyes beaming.
And I knew that I had found the little girl that I was searching for.
Jan had probably the most ebullient personality of any child I had ever known.
She was just so outgoing.
She was our first, and she was a firecracker.
Jan was kind of my champion.
I was very shy as a child and she was not. [laughs]
[Jan] My earliest childhood memories would be with my two sisters, Karen and Susan.
They're younger than I am by two years each.
Karen's the middle child.
Susan's the baby.
And I was, you know, definitely the big sister, the bossy one.
My sisters and I, really-- we were really good friends.
I mean, we played together.
We had a good just-- what I consider normal childhood.
Just real free and easy.
[Mary Ann Broberg]
We lived in Pocatello, Idaho.
We had that type of a neighborhood that you never locked your doors.
You could trust everyone in the neighborhood.
My mom and dad were, you know, very kind of traditional.
Just really sweet parents.
My mom was at home.
I always remember coming home after school, my mom would be ironing.
My father's a florist. Owned a flower shop for 40 years.
I was completely loved.
I was completely secure.
I mean, we were listened to.
And I think that was crucial for all of us surviving what we did.
I met Bob Berchtold June 1972.
I was the chorister at our church, and was leading the music one Sunday and looked down and saw a family that I didn't know.
Mary Ann had met them first, and she says:
"Oh, I met the nicest family."
They had five children and some of them were the age of our daughters.
And she was telling me all about them, and how affable and friendly he was.
He had such an effervescent, wonderful personality.
We became very good friends.
And he was in business and we talked about business matters, and it just sort of clicked.
We had things in common.
I was in business, I had a family. He had a family.
One of the first things that I remember, we came home from church and there was this beautiful fruit basket.
And there was a little card on it.
And it said, "We sure enjoy your family.
I was personally thrilled.
I thought: "My word, this is a pretty sharp guy."
My first impression when I saw Berchtold and his wife Gail, I thought of them not quite matching because she was the quiet one.
But she and I became really quite close friends.
Everybody had a best friend.
You know, between the Brobergs and the Berchtold family, there was a best friend for everyone.
We had some of our best family times when we were with the Berchtold family.
[Susan] Berchtold would pick us up in the morning, and we would get in the car, and we would all shout together:
"It's gonna be a great day!"
And that's how we would start our mornings.
I don't remember who came up with the idea, but we'd started to call him B.
[Karen] Pretty much every day, he would come by at night and talk to my parents, and he was so engaged with the kids, too.
I mean, he really was fun, and he wanted to swing us around and put a puzzle together and--
You know, I mean, he was the fun dad.
But definitely his attentions were definitely on Jan.
Brother B, he used to call me all kinds of names.
But really the only one that I really remember was Dolly.
A splattering of clouds were set on fire by the rays of the setting sun.
I looked at my Dolly.
Her face was aglow.
She reached out and took my hand and then said:
"I love you."
"I love you, too, beautiful."
I turned to her, put my arms around her and pulled her close to me and said:
"Dolly, you've brought a special light into my life."
I love you more than words can tell.
She looked up at me, I bent over, and we kissed.
No man could love any woman more.
[Mary Ann] He did give special attention to Jan that annoyed both Bob and I.
His fascination with Jan was a little disturbing.
B was like a second father to me.
I completely loved him, completely trusted him, and felt extremely safe.
I felt like I was one of his children.
-[type writer clicking]
[Mary Ann] Berchtold had called me earlier in the day and said:
"I wanna take Jan out horseback riding down in American Falls."
Berchtold comes driving up to my house and said:
"Okay, I'm ready to take you, Jan." She came in the back door.
I was like:
"Oh, yes! Yes! Yes! I wanna go!
I wanna go!"
And my mom was like:
"It's a school night, and you have piano, and I think we should try for a different day."
[Mary Ann] And he says: "Well, I guess I could pick her up from her piano lesson and just take her straight out."
And I begged my mother:
"Please, yes. Let me go."
I said: "You better be back before Bob gets home for dinner."
"I'll have her back.
I'll have her back."
[Jan] B picked me up from my piano lesson, and said: "I brought your allergy pills."
You know, "You should take one of those before we go to the horses."
Downed that, and off we went.
[Jan] I must have passed out pretty quickly, because I have no recollection of getting to the stables.
No recollection of the drive.
No recollection of him.
When she didn't come home, I was a little nervous, anxious.
Maybe they-- they broke down.
Around nine o'clock at night, Berchtold's wife Gail came over worried.
And I said: "Maybe I should call the state police."
"Oh, don't do anything.
I'm sure he'll be coming any minute, any minute."
And so we waited.
That was Thursday that they went horseback riding.
We had Friday-- didn't call anybody.
Didn't want to upset Gail.
[Bob] And this went on for about two days.
And I said: "Mary Ann, we better get the law involved.
So we can--
We need some help to find them."
[Mary Ann] On Saturday morning, I dialed the FBI.
They said the office is closed for the weekend.
If you have an emergency, call this office in Butte, Montana.
I didn't follow through, because I thought I don't wanna get all these people all worked up over nothing.
And, so, we waited.
Another night came and went, and then it was Sunday.
"Well, let's just-- if they're not back by Sunday, we'll call."
[Welsh] I got the call in my FBI office in Pocatello, Idaho.
I had been an agent for six, seven years when this kidnapping took place.
My partner and I left the office right away, went over to the Brobergs' house, and we talked to them for several hours.
Robert Berchtold was a close friend of theirs, a neighbor.
He was a Pocatello businessman, a member of their LDS faith, and a pillar in the community.
He had lots of friends.
They didn't suspect any type of foul play, even though it was five days.
I don't think he's kidnapped her.
He's just gone someplace with her.
And he had to drill that into our minds.
"He kidnapped her.
She's your daughter.
We went over to interview Gail Berchtold, and she told us that they had a motor home in a storage unit.
We went out there and the motor home was gone.
I realized that the FBI was gonna have to conduct a thorough investigation to locate her, 'cause I believed at that time she was kidnapped.
[Don on police radio]
Power County Sheriff's office.
This is Don Glenn.
This is dispatch.
We got a call reporting an abandoned Ford vehicle out on registered Rock State Park.
The keys were inside the vehicle.
The side door on the driver's side was broken out.
There was a small amount of blood on the inside of the driver's door.
They found Bob Berchtold's car with blood on the window.
[Welsh] The window was broken out from the inside out. of somebody had reached in there to get 'em, they'd be outside the car and break the window into the car.
He left a lot of blood, so he could have an excuse that somebody kidnapped them.
We found tire tracks, like a motor home, and a set of footprints.
Which leads me to believe he probably carried Jan and put her in the motor home.
We knew Berchtold had Jan, but we didn't know where they were.
[Welsh] It was a nationwide search. We sent out APBs to all law enforcement throughout the country, even border security for Mexico and Canada.
This went on for weeks.
There was no sign of anything.
It was like finding a needle in a haystack.
You didn't know where to turn or where to go.
You don't know what to do.
You wanna do something, and there's nothing you can do.
[Susan] I dealt with it by having to know every step of what was going on.
I tried to hear everything.
I was one of those that stood behind the door when the FBI agent was in the other room with my parents.
[Susan] One day, I walked in the house--
Jan's bedroom was in the back of the house in the basement.
I walked into her room and saw my dad... lying on her bed and he was sobbing.
And I don't remember my dad, uhm, sobbing or really crying very much, even though he's an emotional person.
I think that was the first time I really realized that something really bad was going on.
[Mary Ann] For those first about three weeks, there was so many people that came by.
Friends and neighbors, and everyone in the neighborhood just were there.
So many of them couldn't believe. They had seen this man.
They had talked to this man.
He was part of their-- their lives, too.
Some of them said:
"He wouldn't hurt her.
He would not hurt her."
And I believed that.
He would not hurt her.
And we love everyone in that community, because they were trying to help us get through.
They loved Jan.
They were trying to give us support and say: "We just know she'll get back okay."
It was a tender time.
It was hard.
It was the agony of going to bed every night and trying to sleep and saying, "Where is she? Is she okay?"
As our investigation continued, I talked to many people in Pocatello that knew him and found out that Bob Berchtold had an infatuation for young girls.
[Joe Berchtold] My brother was always a sexual pervert.
He always did like his little girls.
I guess he had a need to fulfill as a pedophile, 'cause he was a pedophile, and I knew that.
One time mom and dad went somewhere, my brother started messing with my sister.
But, see, they weren't half brother and sister.
She'd have been six, and he'd have been 12 or 13.
This was the first pedophile case I'd ever run across.
I couldn't comprehend it at first.
The FBI taught me
We'd never call 'em pedophiles.
I'm sure it was in the dictionary someplace.
But now I'm hearing these things about Bob Berchtold loving little kids.
I mean, all these things are just making my skin crawl.
He tried to get to two other little girls in Pocatello before their parents cut him off, and then he finally found Jan Broberg.
After that, his number one goal was to seduce Jan Broberg.
Robert Berchtold and the Brobergs became friends, and they trusted each other, and that's just the way Bob Berchtold wanted it.
Part of his behavior pattern is destroying everything that's in his way to get to the little girl, to get to Jan.
So, he's separating her from her family as fast as he can.
Jan and I shared a room downstairs, and it was a big room.
You know, we kind of said:
"Oh, maybe someday we'll make us each a bedroom."
Berchtold came up with this idea one time, that we were getting older and wouldn't we like to have our own bedrooms?
And he was a handyman and owned a furniture store, and I do remember him building that wall, and putting a wall between the two rooms.
It gave him an excuse to be there.
And to separate Jan from me, yeah.
[Cor Hofman] He had a way of flattering you, doing things for you, and then taking advantage of the situation of trust that-- that he put you in.
We were invited to go on a boating trip with Berchtold.
He was not just inviting us, but he had invited Jan.
I just suspected there was something amiss at that outing.
"That's the last time that I will do anything with the Berchtolds.
I have no use for that."
We used to do, like, sleepovers all the time.
We went to the Berchtolds' house.
They had a gigantic trampoline in the backyard.
And so we would all sleep out under the stars on the trampoline.
And one night, I remember waking up and being aware that my panties were down around my ankles, and being scared.
Berchtold was laying by me and he definitely had his hands on me.
He said I was tossing and turning a lot, and that I must have just, you know, gotten uncomfortable and-- and taken my panties down.
It felt like it was plausible, because what was not plausible was that this person could've done anything to harm me.
[Karen] Jan had been on a trip with the Berchtolds before when this whole trip to Seattle came up.
And when they came back, and he had all these weird stories about all this stuff that had happened with Jan.
And the story that he told us was that sitting at dinner, she just all of a sudden started to rock back and forth and started saying strange things.
And, you know, everybody's going: "Jan, are you okay?"
And he said: "I better take her back to the room because there is something wrong with this child."
[Jan] I remember being carried into the motel, and I was groggy and in and out of consciousness.
[Karen] Jan had said that she had woken up and saw him naked.
[Welsh] Jan Broberg and Robert Berchtold had an unnatural relationship.
Berchtold targeted Jan and he targeted the parents.
He knew that he had to destroy Mary Ann and Bob Broberg to get to Jan.
And they fell right into a trap.
It's like a mouse going into a trap.
They never even saw it coming.
Berchtold called me on the phone from his furniture store, and said: "Mary Ann, I can't get out for lunch.
Why don't you bring me down a sandwich?"
And so I thought: "Okay."
And I started with that, taking a lunch down on occasions when he'd call and...
He was a new face in town, and a new person that had a great personality.
And had some of the-- the charisma that Bob didn't possess.
Berchtold began saying the things to me that were exciting to hear.
He said, "You have a beautiful body. And those legs..."
You know? And I felt this fluttering inside of me.
He could give me a great--
a great feeling about myself.
I was attracted to him.
That was when it began, and I tried to ignore it, but I remember the way it made me feel.
And I thought: "Oh, my.
I can't feel this way about him."
I think the thing that solidified it was when we went to a church function in Logan, Utah.
While we were there, we took a ride up into the mountains.
Before we left, we got a little too cozy.
Started kiss-- kissing and hugging, and he touched my breasts and things got a little carried away.
Stayed there longer than we should, but nothing beyond that.
Went back home and tried to be calm and enjoy our lives.
I thought about it every day.
I thought about that feeling and that touch.
I'd been married for, what, 12, 13 years by then.
And it was an excitement, an excitement to me.
[Bob] Mr. Berchtold was very knowledgeable in the sexual field, but he did not have a good relationship with his wife sexually.
One day, he came in the store and I could tell that he was extremely disturbed.
And he says: "Are you free?
Let's go for a ride."
He says: "I--
I cannot stand my wife and I--
I need to have sex."
I could see that he-- he was sexually aroused.
He says: "Oh... could you give me some relief?"
We were laughing. And he said:
"Oh, Bob, it's just kid's stuff, and I've gotta have relief."
So, I was dumb enough to reach over and relieve-- relieve him in an act of masturbation.
I did the worst thing I've ever done, as far as...
breaking the trust and the fidelity that I had with my wife.
The guy played 'em perfectly.
He wanted to tear down the defenses of the Brobergs.
He wanted to get them out of the way.
It's kind of like you have dominoes.
On one end is Bob Berchtold.
On the fourth domino is Jan Broberg.
In the middle is Mary Ann and Bob.
And you just might as well knock those dominoes over.
And so you have Berchtold and Jan and nobody in-between.
The LDS Church decided that they would counsel him, and he went to a counselor in Idaho Falls.
That man told our investigators that he had also gone to California to go to a clinical psychologist who would help him overcome this obsession with Jan.
When he came home, he had to tell Bob and I that he was being treated for the abuse he suffered as a child.
He said: "Now, Bob, this will probably floor you.
I had sex with an aunt when I was four years old."
It just blew my mind.
He said to me:
"Bob, part of my therapy is to just spend some time alone with your daughters.
Would you mind?"
And I said: "Well, no."
And he said, "You can call the doctor and ask him to explain it to you if you want to."
And I said: "I trust you."
After Jan had gone to bed, he just laid down by her.
Neither one of us were comfortable with him doing it, but it was part of his therapy.
Listen for the waves in the background, and she starts caressing you a little faster now, and you can feel it and it feels so good.
Feels so good.
She's caressing you very rapidly now, and you can feel it very rapidly.
It feels good.
And you listen for the waves.
You feel the warm, soft blanket, and the blanket smells good.
[Welsh] They were duped in a terrible, terrible way.
Our investigation determined that they guy was not a licensed psychologist.
He had had his license revoked.
And he is the one that gave Berchtold these weird tapes to play as he lay with her at night.
He was molesting her.
He would always give her vitamins and stuff for her allergies, when in fact we determined later through our investigation that he was giving her sleeping pills to make his job a lot easier.
I never had--
I never had an inkling that he had sexual designs on Jan.
We weren't-- we weren't really sure even then what a child molester was, you know?
And-- oh, I tell you, I don't know how we could've been so gullible when there were so many red flags.
But I didn't see the red flags.
[Welsh] I found the Brobergs to be naive.
They don't know things like that happen.
And it was the most difficult thing--
This was the most difficult case I've ever had in my life.
[radio stations switching]
♪ We used to fly... ♪
[Jan] I woke up.
It was dark.
I had the sensation that I was moving, but I was laying on a bed.
My wrists and my ankles both had straps around them.
I couldn't move.
This monotone voice kept talking in my ear.
[Jan] It looked like a little white intercom-looking box that I could see to the side of my pillow.
[Distorted voice] It is time for your mission to begin.
[Jan] And I immediately thought I'd been kidnapped by a UFO.
I was in and out of sleep, a really deep sleep.
[Jan] I woke up again.
The restraints were off.
[Distorted voice] We are called Zeta and Zethra.
[Jan] I had been informed by the aliens, Zeta and Zethra were their names, that I actually was part alien.
My mother was my biological mother, but my father wasn't actually my biological father.
I had a father from this alien planet.
I was in the middle of a Christmas story that I'd heard every year since I was a child.
You know, that-- you know, Joseph was like my dad.
You know, he took care of Jesus, but really the father of Jesus was God the Father.
[Distorted voice] We have an important mission for you.
Let the male companion to perform...
The mission was that I was to have a child, the child that would save the alien planet, by the time I turned 16.
The box said if I couldn't perform the mission, they had a backup plan.
That was my sister Susan.
That she was also half alien and half human, and that she would be-- she would be taken.
[Distorted voice] Go to the front of the motor home.
"And there you will meet the male companion."
And there on the little couch of the motor home was B.
It was a person that I so loved and so trusted, and was familiar to me.
I wasn't alone anymore.
You know, it was like this huge relief.
He was covered in blood.
He was cut.
I mean, he wasn't moving.
His eyes were closed.
He looked to me like he was dead.
And so I'm crying, and I'm shaking him and touching him.
"Wake up! Wake up!
You have to wake up!"
And so he comes to, and he starts to tell me what had happened.
"We were driving out to go horseback riding, and all of a sudden I saw this white light coming down out of the sky, and the car started to vibrate and move and shake.
We must've been taken by this powerful light."
And I said, "No, we-- we're here.
We're here, we're together, and there's a mission."
I completely knew that he was the male companion, that together we're supposed to have a child.
The whole thing of him being, you know, this 40-year-old man and me being a 12-year-old girl was-- was definitely strange.
The whole thing was strange, but I also now felt like:
"Well, I'm an alien.
I'm strange. I'm not normal."
I believed it absolutely.
I mean, when you combine being isolated and completely afraid, you can pretty much get someone to do or believe anything.
Those first few weeks, I had no concept of how much time had gone by, really.
I think I was drugged a lot of the time.
But I do remember him specifically going through the cupboards of the motor home.
And one of the cupboards had these three or four books.
I knew that the books were about sex.
And then shortly after that, the box said:
"We think it's time for you to ask the male companion to do what makes people happy."
I don't remember the violent kind of rape that I've heard other women talk about.
Berchtold would insert his penis just slightly, barely.
It was always just an inch.
He almost was as concerned that it was an enjoyable experience for me as it was obviously for him.
There was, like, a little tiny fan in the roof of the motor home.
I could look up through that little fan, and I could--
I could just look at the leaves.
There was some kind of a branch or a tree or something.
And I could just--
I would just look at the leaves.
Just look at the leaves.
If you just look at the leaves, it'll be okay.
I guess that's how I got through it.
[type writer clicking]
[Joe] Bob called me and says, "I want you to call Mary Ann and get a written permission for Jan and I to come back to the United States and get married. 'Cause we were married in Mexico, but it isn't legal in the United States."
[Bob] Under Mexican law, you had to be 12 years old.
And of course they qualified.
I was irate to even think that that could happen.
His brother called and he said:
"They want to come home, but he cannot come home unless you give him permission to marry her in the United States of America."
And I said: "Permission to marry her? We would never do that."
"Well, he can't come back unless you do."
He'll be a dead man or spend the rest of his life in prison if he comes back.
You have kidnapping charges."
She says: "Absolutely not.
We will not.
"Where are they?"
And then I-- In my mind I decided to get him home.
I had the FBI come in and they tapped the phone.
He called me and says:
"I'm in Mazatlán, Mexico."
[Welsh] The FBI was able to trace the call to a hotel in Mazatlán.
[Joe] And I thought it'd ruin our relationship.
I thought he'd kill me when he'd come back.
Our legal attaché in Mexico City was contacted.
He contacted the Federales.
[Jan] The Mexican police came to the motor home. All of a sudden, they came through the door.
They literally, like, kicked the door down.
They crammed all of us into this small little vehicle.
I could kind of see him almost in the rearview mirror, and just kind of looking at me like he was scared.
They took us to this Mexican prison.
At one point, one of the Mexican police officers led me down into a lower level in this dank, dark, water-smelling hallway to B's cell.
He gave the guard his gold ring in order for the guard to let him talk to me.
B said: "Tell your family that I brought you on a vacation, and that I made a mistake.
I took you too far away.
I didn't tell your family like I should have."
He said: "I'd been visited by Zeta and Zethra.
They came to me and they told me that there are four things that you can't talk about."
I couldn't talk about them--
Zeta and Zethra, the alien planet.
I couldn't talk about the relaxing pills that I'd been given.
I couldn't talk about the mission, and so, therefore, I couldn't talk about any of the sexual experiences that we had had.
He said: "You will have no other contact with any other men, you know, even with your dad.
And if either of us talk about any of these four things, my sister Karen would go blind."
And the threat against my father was that they-- they would remove him.
That's how they put it, which I knew meant they would kill him.
And then, of course, the threat with Susan was that they would take her.
And he said: "Your parents will probably come, but make sure that you don't tell them or anyone, anyone, about those four things or you will be vaporized.
They have the power to take our lives and also to take our spirits.
We won't even exist."
For me, as this young girl who had always had a very strong faith in life after death, it was a terrifying thought.
It was probably the thing that kept me obedient to what they wanted me to do more than anything.
[Mary Ann] Bob and I flew to Mazatlán to bring Jan home.
We wanted to go and we wanted to be there with her, and let her know that we still loved her.
All of the sudden we saw our little girl just waving, screaming.
[Bob] I can remember saying:
"Honey, that's our little girl.
Jan all of the sudden just kind of went to pieces.
She started saying:
"What about B?
They're gonna do something bad to him." And I said:
"We can't think about B right now. It's you.
They'll have to work that out with the FBI."
"Why did you call the FBI?
I was fine! I was fine!
I'm on vacation with B.
And nothing happened.
Nothing happened, but we've got to take him."
And I said: "Sorry.
We're going home, Jan.
-We're going home."
-But I can remember the tears running down my cheeks.
And didn't say anything to Mary Ann, I just thought, you know, "She's not our Jan."
The minute Jan got on the plane, she wouldn't sit by me.
I can remember the sorrow that I felt on that plane.
Mary Ann was sitting next to me, and I said to Mary Ann:
"I don't think our problems are over."
[Welsh] Bob Berchtold is arrested in Mexico, brought to the United States.
He appeared before a grand jury, and they indicted him for kidnapping charges.
[Mary Ann] We had a her examined by a physician.
That physician said she has not had her hymen broken.
"I can see no trauma of sexual abuse."
That relieved us a great deal.
[Karen] I couldn't get her to really talk about things other than:
"Oh, well, I went parasailing and--" she would talk about some of the things she'd done in Mexico, but she definitely was, uhm... you know, standoffish, uhm, especially with my dad.
I showed her the clipping of the kidnapping that was in the paper.
And she said:
"That isn't true, Dad."
She was sticking up for him.
She seemed fine.
She went back to school, picked up where she was going, was doing fine.
We didn't have any real concerns about her.
My thoughts were constantly about-- about B.
How are we gonna continue the mission?
How am I going to be with him?
How am I going to see him?
How am I going to do this?
I was separating myself emotionally and mentally from my family because knew that the mission hadn't been accomplished.
I knew that more was to come.
[Welsh] I told Mary Ann and Bob not to talk to Gail Berchtold, Bob Berchtold.
Don't let your kids play with their kids.
This is a serious thing.
Stay away from them.
Which they did not do.
[Christmas music playing]
It was on Christmas Eve when Gail Berchtold came to the door and asked to talk to Bob alone.
The two of them went back to the den and chatted for quite some time.
Gail came out, went on her way, and then Bob said to me, "Gail wants us to drop all the charges against her husband."
She asked us to sign some affidavits.
All Bob said was: "If we don't sign these affidavits, they're going to expose the dirty laundry between me and Berchtold."
I was quite shocked.
I felt terrible, especially for my husband.
I just thought:
"Oh, no. That can't happen."
So we signed the affidavits.
"My daughter was not taken by force or against her will, nor was she held or confined against her will at any time while in the company of the defendant."
"I honestly believe there is a strong possibility that the defendant was under the impression he had my husband's and my consent to take my daughter with him when he left in October."
[Bob] "I had the right under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution to keep these matters within my family.
I feel that the interests of justice and society would not be served by continuing to prosecute this matter."
[Welsh] Here's these people crying about their daughter.
And I'm living over there, I'm neglecting my own family, and then all of a sudden they walk in with:
"Oh, we let her go."
They're covering their own hide and not the kid, which is a shame.
The general public was not happy.
We had lots of phone calls from people we did not know that said:
"Why would you do that?"
The US Federal Attorney called us and he was livid.
He said: "You can't do this.
We are going to have a trial."
[Welsh] Berchtold was bound over for trial, but I don't have any witnesses all of a sudden.
The Brobergs basically took the government's case and stomped on it.
Berchtold moved to Ogden, Utah to work at his brother Joe's car dealership.
Gail stayed behind.
She didn't know.
He didn't know.
Maybe he would work there until he could get on his feet, then he'd move the family close to him.
He come work for me and he sold cars out the Ying-yang.
He could sell anybody anything.
He continually came home.
Every weekend he was in church.
Every weekend people were patting him on the back and saying:
"Oh, we're so sorry.
We know you've been ill.
We hope this all passes and that you can get your life back together."
We were so kind when he came back home.
And even at that point, we weren't aware of just how deep this sick man was.
[Jan] The first time that I remember actually seeing him after the kidnapping, it was in the night.
It was in my back bedroom downstairs.
The first thing that woke me up was the little box.
[Jan] Berchtold appeared in my bedroom.
He came in and he would talk about the mission, and that the mission was gonna continue, and that they were making plans and preparations for us to be together, and just to keep doing what I was doing, and to keep following the rules.
And I continued to be in communication with Berchtold, or he was in communication with me, and I would do whatever I was told to do.
[Jane] I would occasionally get a note from someone at school.
It would say: "You need to go to such and such location, to the phone booth at four o'clock this afternoon, and there you will receive further instructions."
[distorted voice murmuring]
I would get letters from B, and it would be a love letter about what he was going through, and how much he missed me, and how much he knew we were meant to be together.
And my natural response was to respond in kind, and, you know, write loving letters back to him and-- and try to figure out how to get them to him.
[Jan as a girl] "Did you know that you're a sweetheart?
If you didn't, I want you to know that you are.
Our love must be pretty great.
We've sure gone through a lot for each other.
Your Dolly, Jan."
[Jan] The shift from I loved this man like my father to I love him like a husband or like a man, happened.
"Mom, I miss him so much.
I want to marry him."
And I said:
"You want to marry B?"
"Yes. I want to marry him, and we want to have children together."
[Jan] I loved him as deeply as I've ever loved anyone.
My level of commitment and love for him, was as profound as anything that I have ever experienced in the realm of real love.
But it was profound, it was committed, it was in me in every sense of the word.
Here's a letter from B to me.
I'm probably 13.
I awake this morning thinking of you as usual and loving you even more.
I remembered you in Oliver and the night you cried when you sang:
Where Is Love especially for me.
Remember the song from Oliver:
As Long As He Needs Me and the meaning it had in the play?"
♪ As long as he needs me... ♪
[Jan reading] "Please, honey, sing it over and over and know I need your love more now than anything on this earth.
[Jan reading] Evil forces would like nothing more than to destroy us and ruin everything.
I can do no more than love you every minute of my life.
The rest is up to you.
Be brave, do everything right, and don't give up hope.
I never will, because through it all, there is you.
♪ As long as he needs me ♪
♪ As long as he ♪
♪ Needs me ♪
I heard from him every day.
He would call and talk and tell me how much he loved me, he wanted me as part of his life.
I kept saying:
"Please tell me.
Please tell me:
"why did you marry Jan?"
"Well, if you will come and talk with me personally, I'll give you the whole details about it."
And I went down and, uh, went over to his motor home, met him there after he got off work, and we sat and talked.
He told me how much he loved me over and over and over.
And he kept telling me:
"We could have a great life together, Mary Ann.
All you need to do is get divorced, come and live with me."
It was not long before he was holding my hand, and then was stroking my-- my leg and, you know, he poured his heart out and his soul out.
I stayed too long at his motor home and we engaged in necking and kissing, and then eventually in sexual intercourse.
[Mary Ann] I loved my husband, but I betrayed him.
After it happened, I knew that I had crossed the path that I could never go back and undo. It was done.
I think it was about four days or five days after she had gone, Berchtold called me and he told me what happened.
And that's when real trouble started in our marriage, and it just got worse.
[Mary Ann] My sexual affair with Mr. Berchtold lasted for eight months.
I would say that I was in love with Berchtold.
It was an exciting time for me.
[Bob] I knew what he was doing.
I knew that it wasn't Mary Ann.
I knew that it was Jan.
It was always about sex at that point.
That was what all of those encounters were about for him.
After speaking with the bishop more than once, he said: "Bob, you've gotta make some decisions, because Mary Ann is-- she's on the wrong path."
[Bob] So, I filed for a divorce.
[Mary Ann] I was served the subpoena to leave the home.
I was endangering his three girls.
I was shocked that he would do that.
[Bob] I wasn't about to let him have my children.
I took the girls, and we were-- we went somewhere on the day that I knew that she was gonna be served the papers.
No question, the worst day of my life.
We drove to a restaurant out of town.
When we got to the restaurant, and he told us that he and my mom were going to be separated, that especially then in my little town, I mean, nobody got divorced, and not my paren...
I felt like crawling in a hole and burying myself alive.
There was nothing really, I felt like I had to live for anymore.
It was a tough, tough time.
Two or three days went by, and he called me, and he said: "Well, you're-- you're gonna lose your wife and you're gonna lose your children."
And I just hung up on him.
But I, nevertheless, was extremely worried.
And he called me and told me:
"Well, Mary Ann, if you just leave Bob, I'll find you an apartment.
You can have a whole new life down here, and you will be so happy."
And I said: "I'm not leaving my husband. I'm sorry."
"Well, he doesn't want you.
Look what he's done to you.
Kicked you out of the home.
I know if you will get you an attorney and go back and file charges against him, you'll end up with your children because Bob's a homosexual."
I said: "That's not true."
I went to an attorney and told him: "I need help.
I do not want a divorce."
He said: "You need to cut out the cancer.
This is not a good man."
I went back to my home.
I was standing in the kitchen and she opened the door and she said:
"I can't raise these children alone.
And I know they need you and they need me."
I said: "I will get him out of my life.
I don't want him in my life any longer."
We just fell into each other's arms.
And that was enough for me.
[Welsh] Berchtold went into court and he pled guilty to a felony charge of kidnapping.
The judge sentenced him to five years, and reduced all five years down to 45 days.
He's to report to jail within three months.
B moved away from Pocatello, and had bought a family fun center, like a game center in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
I wanted to go and work there for the summer.
I begged my mother.
I cried to my father.
I screamed a little.
And I said: "Absolutely not.
No is the answer."
That was in 1976, and she was so insistent.
And she went on to just become a person that she had never become to pick arguments, pick on her sisters, to pick on us, to just make life miserable around there.
She was deciding what was going on with her.
No questions, no say for my mother.
[Mary Ann] Berchtold called me, and he said: "Don't hang up.
I want to tell you that Jan's coming to Jackson Hole.
She's gonna go out and get on the highway and start hiking if you don't let her come."
And I thought: "My gosh, I've got to do something."
Well, eventually my mother took me and put me on a plane and sent me to Jackson Hole.
I was livid that he-- that she put her on that airplane.
I said: "Dear, you'll regret that decision someday."
[Jan] The mission continued.
You know, there was more sex.
B told me that he and Gail were getting a divorce, and now we could get married.
I am completely and utterly convinced that I am in love with B, that I have to be with him.
And, of course, the background of all of that is we have to finish the mission.
That time I spent up in Jackson Hole with them was just--
I could tell they were happy, happier than Bob had ever been.
And I don't know why with a little girl, but I guess that's his deal.
Mary Ann wanted her back and was making a lot of fuss.
And she says-- I said:
"I think you better go home."
She said: "No, if I do--
I'd rather kill myself than go back home."
[Jan] He put me on plane and sent me to Salt Lake and my mother came and picked me up.
[Mary Ann] She was angry.
"I didn't wanna come home.
Don't wanna be here.
I want to go back up there."
It was like she took on this different personality.
-[Mary Ann] She just kept escalating the tension.
-[Jan] It was a panic.
I had the whole weight of the world on my shoulders.
I was supposed to save this dying planet and the clock was ticking.
He would not leave me alone.
He was going to have her no matter what.
We'd never see her again.
He told me that.
"I'll take her to the jungles of Africa.
I'll take her to South America.
You'll never find us."
I said: "Leave me alone.
Leave my children alone.
Stay out of our lives forever."
And he did not like that, because he didn't leave Jan alone.
And, uh, the result was her disappearance a second time.
[type writer clicking]
[Mary Ann] She had only been home a few weeks.
I was watching TV.
Everybody else went to bed, and Jan came down the hall, looked at me in there, and I said: "Oh, come on in.
Come in and talk to me.
Tell me why you're so mad."
"No." Back to her room.
We went to bed, went to sleep.
Next morning, hollered down.
Bob always played the piano if he had to and-- to wake 'em up.
She didn't come up.
Bob, I think, went-- was the one that went downstairs, and she wasn't there.
Instead, he found the note.
"Dear Bob and Mary Ann, you won't let me do what's right, so I'll do what's wrong.
I'm leaving without B, and do not plan on coming back until you accept me as me.
I cannot accept your religion or your screwed-up morals.
I just want to be me and have B.
Please, before all of us are destroyed, let me go. Jan."
The note didn't sound like Jan.
I mean, it was like he had written the note.
[Mary Ann] He called that afternoon, it was later in the day.
He said Jan had called him, told him that she had run away from home and that she would not tell him where she was, and he was worried.
He wanted me-- to know if I was worried, and I said: "Worried sick."
Two or three days went by, and it was indescribable agony.
We just told people that she was with her grandmother.
And of course, it went on and on and on.
We were so afraid that the word would be out and that she was gone again.
We just didn't want that out in the press at this point.
The Brobergs waited two weeks before they called me after she was gone this time.
[Welsh] I talked to Berchtold.
He's brokenhearted that she's disappeared.
"You better catch her.
You better find her.
Somebody's got her."
I knew darn well that he was right in the middle of it.
[Welsh] Then he got some good behavior time.
I think he only spent
10 days in jail.
And he moved to Salt Lake City to live in his motor home, and he disappears.
But we had no idea where Jan or Bob Berchtold were.
He called me so regularly and cried.
I called Pete Welsh and told him.
And he said: "Just keep taking those phone calls."
The FBI installed tape recorders on the phone at the Broberg home.
[Mary Ann] This continued for about three months.
[Mary Ann sobs]
[Mary Ann crying]
[Mary Ann] And it was continual.
It was continually a bombardment on my emotions.
[Mary Ann] We were desperate to find that little girl.
[Welsh] It took us quite some time to search all the trailer parks in Salt Lake City area and finally found the one where he was.
And we, of course, didn't knock on the door.
We put a surveillance unit on the motor home 24/7.
Two or three weeks into the surveillance, an agent from Salt Lake City knocked on the door.
Berchtold let him in the motor home to ask if he'd seen Jan, and he said no.
We knew that he knew where she was.
We knew that.
I mean, he was in love with her.
If he thought there was something wrong with her, he'd be looking for her.
He had great, big, huge poster-size pictures of Jan inside of his motor home, kind of like a mausoleum, like a worship area.
But he didn't know where she was.
Jan had been gone for many months when our phone rang.
-[Karen] Love you Jan.
-[Bob] Okay. Love you, honey.
[type writer clicking]
[Welsh] The surveillance is ongoing in Salt Lake City, and agents observed Robert Berchtold walk across the road to a pay phone located at a Husky gas station in Salt Lake City.
He had gone to a phone booth, made a phone call, and he was on the phone for about 10 - 12 minutes.
When he left the phone booth, he left the phone book open and there was a number written on there.
We traced the number to Pasadena, California, to a Catholic girls' school, and we called.
And the Catholic school said:
"There's nobody here by that name."
We explained the circumstances, and explained them, and explained them.
"She probably there under an alias."
Come to find out she was under the name Jan Tobler.
[Jan] The day that I was kidnapped the second time...
I opened the bedroom window.
He was there and basically helped me out the window, got into his Lincoln Continental and away he drove.
We drove to California.
He enrolled me into an all-girls Catholic boarding school.
[Welsh] She was far enough away from Pocatello that we didn't know where she was, but Berchtold was close enough to her that he could visit her on the weekends.
And he told the nuns that I was, uhm, his daughter and that he was a CIA agent, and that we had escaped from Lebanon during the, this was during the Lebanon crisis, and that my mother had been killed, and that he would appreciate them taking good care of me, because he still had to go, you know, do his CIA work, but he would come on the weekends.
And basically set up the story for the nuns so that if anyone were to come to the school, maybe looking for me, they had to know that those were-- were the bad guys.
Those were the people that were trying to get to him.
Agents of the FBI arrested Berchtold the next day for federal probation violation.
And he was taken to jail and eventually brought back to Pocatello.
A Pocatello policeman flew to Pasadena, picked her up.
[Jan] I was forced onto the plane to go home.
And then when I was brought back to Idaho, I had to go through the system there, and I had to be fingerprinted.
I had to go through this whole thing. I was put in jail, and then I was taken home.
Open the door, my mother was standing at the kitchen sink.
I just walked through the door, and I walked down the stairs, down the hallway to my back bedroom, and I shut the door.
I was completely gone.
There really was not the vivacious, happy, fun...
There was nothing of that-- that child left.
That was gone.
[Karen] The first time that all this happened, she was herself.
The second time, she was a--
It was a totally different experience.
That time was-- was a lot more stressful.
We weren't close.
We weren't like we had been.
[Bob] She stayed away from me.
No hugging, no loving, no talking.
She was just so distant.
I guess the best way to describe her was she was hollow.
She was just without feelings.
Our daughter was emotionally gone.
[type writer clicking]
[Bob] The phone rang, and one of my employees, he was screaming.
"Bob, the store's on fire."
And by the time I got there, the fire was very intense.
[Jan] We were all there standing out on the street, and I just remember looking at that burning building and my dad just having his arms around all four of us, and saying-- [crying]
And I remember this very vividly.
And he just said:
"Let it burn. Let it burn.
Everything that I want, everything that matters to me, is right here in my arms."
And I remember thinking:
"This is my fault.
It's burning because of something I did."
[Bob] I knew that Berchtold was behind it.
He was so angry that he--
I think he told Mary Ann he was going to end my life if I didn't give him permission to see Jan.
He hated my position as her father.
That hatred was criminal.
[Welsh] Well, I didn't think Bob Broberg's life was ever in danger until his business burned down.
And an investigation determined that Bob Berchtold had convinced two guys who were in jail with him he would give each one of them a thousand dollars a month if they burned down Atkin Florist, which Bob Broberg owned.
And they did.
They not only did that, they burned down a whole half a block of Pocatello.
They were convicted and sent to prison, but we could not pin it on Berchtold.
Robert Berchtold, charged with first-degree kidnapping on the August 10th disappearance of then 14-year-old Jan Broberg, is being held today at the Bannock County Jail...
Motion to dismiss the charge of first-degree kidnapping against Robert Berchtold has been filed in six districts.
A federal warrant charging impersonation of a Central Intelligence Agency agent has been filed against Robert Berchtold, a former Pocatello...
A preliminary hearing started this morning for Robert E. Berchtold, charged with first-degree kidnapping in the August 10th kidnapping of Jan Broberg.
Robert Berchtold, a former Pocatello businessman, Tuesday afternoon was acquitted of first-degree kidnapping by reason of mental defect, according to an order signed by Judge Arnold T Beebe.
[Welsh] Robert Berchtold skated on a lot of things.
He beat the arson.
He beat the CIA impersonation.
And he beat both kidnapping charges.
I don't know how many people in this town asked me:
"How did he get away with it?"
If the United States Attorney would've been on his toes, if the Brobergs would've stood up for the fact that--
"Pete, we've had sexual encounters with him", we could've nipped it by putting him away and forgetting about him.
He would've been in there
20 years to life at least.
[type writer clicking]
[Jan] The mission still hasn't been completed.
There was still some communication with him.
Not as much.
I think he was losing interest.
I was getting older.
The summer I turned 16, I had some of the experiences that I needed in order to question the existence of the-- of the aliens.
I wanted to go to this five week long drama camp at Brigham Young University.
And it was a little scary for us to think:
"Do we dare send her down there?" But we decided, okay, it's time for her to, yes, go on her own, and enjoy all of her friends and the people that were going there.
And there was a boy in the play that had been at the camp who liked me, and I knew he liked me.
And one day this boy bought this ice cream for me.
And I thought: "Oh, my gosh, something horrible is now going to happen."
I ran back to my dorm and my mom called, and she said: "The dogs are having a bad day today.
I think I fed them something bad."
Jan went to pieces screaming and bawling.
"I've gotta come home.
I've gotta come home.
I shouldn't be here.
I shouldn't be here."
I cried and said:
"No, Mom, it's my fault."
And I went to sleep, and in the morning my mom called and said: "I just wanted to call and tell you that the dogs are doing fine."
At that moment, I had a three-second thought.
"The dogs are fine.
Susan's still home.
Karen's not blind.
Dad isn't dead.
Are these people still watching me?
Are they real?"
And then literally the next thought that came to me was:
"I'm just kidding.
I know you're real."
My birthday is happening.
My 16th birthday.
I'm still pretty much in a panic, and I'm thinking, "Okay, if I am not pregnant, I'm going to get a gun, I'm going to tell Susan about the mission, and if she doesn't wanna do it, then I'm going to kill her, and then I'm going to kill myself."
My birthday was on July 31st.
The next day I woke up, everything was still as normal, and everybody was still there.
Everybody was alive.
And just so many different feelings and emotions that I had when I realized that-- that they weren't real.
I knew that I probably needed to tell somebody, but I-- I didn't know how or who or when or--
I didn't know what to do.
[Jan] I finally told my best friend Caroline and Karen.
[Karen] She just started talking about this little girl that had to have this baby, and he was supposed to be the one to help her do this and accomplish this mission.
And it was obvious that she did believe it.
She did believe this was real.
And then I said, "You have to go tell Mom and Dad."
[Mary Ann] She started relating some of these things, and I sat there and thought:
"Is this-- you know, really?
Is she really believing this?"
And that little girl went to pieces.
She just sobbed and sobbed.
And it took at least two hours to tell us about, you know, 15 - 20 minutes of what we needed to hear.
Yeah, that night was very significant and, you know, something that has affected me my whole life, because it was-- it was not comfortable to hear that about your sister, and have to have those visions in your head, and one that I don't think my parents wanted to have either.
And I think that's why they didn't probe more when they knew something had happened.
"Well, tell us about what happened."
It's too painful.
It's too painful for them to realize that they allowed that to happen to her, and, uhm, they don't want to know.
[Jan] If I were to count up the number of times that Berchtold tried to engage in a sexual manner with me, between the two kidnappings, in-between, and after, it would be more than 200 times.
[Jan] The cycle of shame and abuse ends with me.
My name is Jan Broberg, and I was abducted and brainwashed as a child by a trusted family friend.
In the forward of our book, Mom's book:
Mom and I started having these long, long, like, interview-like talks, and she started writing.
[Mary Ann] I began writing the book in earnest in the '90s, and I finished it in 2003, had it published, and then we began speaking at different events.
Statistically, did you know that 4 out every 10 women has been sexually abused?
And Berchtold began showing up at-- trying to show up at different events where we were speaking.
[reporter] Even though their nightmare began when Jan was just 12 years old, the Brobergs say the attacks still continue. The latest was this weekend...
"If you let these people speak, they're telling a lie.
The book is not true."
Berchtold began threatening us.
"If you don't shut this book down or get rid of your book, I'm going to make your life as miserable as possible."
Mary Ann says Berchtold canvassed the city of Pocatello distributing these flyers that contained false statements and libelous information, information that Berchtold was given total access to the Brobergs' daughter in exchange for sexual favors with her parents.
[Jan] And that's how I came to file a stalking injunction.
And I had to go to court, because he contested it.
I think he actually wanted to just see me up close.
It was so horrifying.
[Jan] Mr. Berchtold has remained a threat and danger to me and my family.
It is a constant and continuous concern that has escalated in recent months.
I hadn't seen the man for 30 years, and for about the first five minutes I was shaking like a leaf.
You know this is quite a story.
And you have sold a lot of books
-because of the story, right?
-[Jan] We've sold a few books, not enough to make back the investment that we paid to publish the story.
[Berchtold] Okay, you told ABC News that you were going to make a movie.
-[Berchtold] Is that correct?
-[Jan] I didn't tell ABC News that.
I told them that there might be offers for that. It could happen. I don't know.
-[Berchtold] Is this your goal?
-[Jan] This my goal?
[Jan] My goal, Mr. Berchtold, is to educate the public about predators like you.
That is my goal.
[Berchtold] Oh, I see.
[Jan] I hope you do see.
[Jan] I hope you do.
I cannot believe that you can look me in the eye.
You have no soul.
[Berchtold] Jan, I'm sorry that you feel that way, and I would like to publicly apologize to you for the hurt that I have given you.
[Jan] If you want to apologize, then you should stand up, tell the truth, and serve your time in jail, Mr. Berchtold.
[Jan]And I got the stalking injunction, not for the three years which was customary, but for the remainder of his life.
An unusual confrontation this weekend in southern Utah.
A woman speaks about being abused as a child when her accused kidnapper reportedly shows up and starts a clash with her biker security force.
Jan Broberg-Felt, the speaker at a women's conference at Dixie College, protected today by BACA, Bikers Against Child Abuse.
BACA members were outside the event when a man named Robert Berchtold is accused of driving up and making threats.
The perpetrator ran over one of our BACA members and then proceeded to drive off.
One of the bikers recognized him and says:
Let's get him!"
And jumped on the hood of-- he had a Dodge van.
And they jumped up on the front and was holding on to the windshield wipers.
So, he sped up and then stopped fast, and the guy fell off and he got hurt.
So, they called the cops.
Bob did have a gun.
[female voice] We, the jury duly impaneled in this case, find the defendant Robert E. Berchtold guilty of the offense of possession of a firearm by a restricted person by proof beyond reasonable doubt.
Count two, we, the jury duly impaneled in this case, find the defendant Robert Berchtold guilty of the offense of aggravated assault by proof beyond a reasonable doubt.
[Joe Berchtold] Bob had gone to court that day and found guilty.
And then says:
"You gotta come back next week and we'll sentence you."
And he says: "If it's one day in prison, it's gonna kill me.
I'm not going there."
He had taken all his heart medicine and drank Kahlúa and milk, and so he drank that and died.
He committed suicide.
[Jan] When I heard that he had killed himself, I just felt a number of emotions.
I cried, and I felt completely sorry for all of the people that his actions had affected.
We have had six women contact us to tell us that they were sexually assaulted and abused as little girls by Robert Berchtold.
He actually was found guilty of rape of a child in the case of one of those girls, and spent one year in jail.
Have you forgiven him?
Forgiveness is a tricky word.
In my mind... not forgiving somebody only puts up the jail cell kind of around you.
I figured out that I can live with my tragedy in a way that the tragedy doesn't run me anymore.
It's taken something to get here.
[Jan] The way I came to forgive my parents was by helping them to forgive themselves.
Yes, they made mistakes, but it's one thing to make a mistake kind of as two innocent people.
It's another thing to make a mistake when somebody's orchestrating you and playing your emotions and feelings.
I think it's the hardest for my dad.
He'd get so angry because he felt so stupid.
Like: "Why didn't I see it?"
"Dads are supposed to protect their little girls."
I said: "He was a master."
He was just a master manipulator.
[Karen] Berchtold had worked on my mother for years.
He was very good at just creating that kind of a smoke screen so that he could do what he wanted to do with Jan.
He was so believable.
And to know he could manipulate adults the way that he did and make all of them believe him, then you can imagine what he could do with children.
It would've been different if Jan hadn't been kidnapped, I'm certain, but I didn't feel cheated out of my childhood.
I'm incredibly lucky.
I'm blessed with those parents of mine and my sisters.
I think we did a few things right among the mistakes.
We loved Jan, and that made the difference.
I guess that's the bottom line,
because it's such a bizarre thing.
But we lived it.
It's all true.
I have always said if it hadn't been for me, that wouldn't have happened.
I felt responsible.
Seeing the hurt that came to her and has been upon her through all these years because I allowed that man to come into my home--
I know my husband feels that way, but I don't think I can ever really forgive myself for letting that happen.
You know, it's ironic that the one person that I would most like to forget about and never have pass through my mind ever again, is probably the person that I think about every day.
[piano music playing]