Jan Broberg Recounts Her Trauma in ‘A Friend of the Family: True Evil’ Documentary Trailer

The Broberg family suffered at the hands of "master manipulator" Robert Berchtold in the 1970s.
A Friend of the Family: True Evil
Jan Broberg in "A Friend of the Family: True Evil"

Jan Broberg is facing generational trauma head-on.

After Peacock’s “A Friend of the Family” dramatized the Broberg family abuse saga, starring Jake Lacy as Jan’s trusted neighbor turned abductor Bob “Brother B” Berchtold, Jan is taking audiences on her healing journey following the horrific aftermath of being abducted twice at ages 12 and 14. The true crime documentary, “A Friend of the Family: True Evil,” premieres November 15 on Peacock.

“There must be a special place in hell for people that hurt children,” Jan says in the trailer while walking past her “torture chamber” RV camper where Berchtold kept her. Fifty years later, Jan revisits the scenes of the many crimes, including the bedroom where her abuse began and where police rescued her in Mexico. “True Evil” also features never-before-revealed information from another Berchtold victim, who Jan meets on her journey, as well as an emotional and honest conversation with Jan’s mother about the events that took place years ago.

Per the official synopsis, the documentary includes interviews with Jan and family members, including her mother and son with Berchtold, and dives into how a family comes to terms with the generational trauma that can affect survivors and their loved ones years after the abuse took place. NBC News correspondent Andrea Canning conducts the interviews that detail Jan’s brainwashing as a teenager.

“Many harmed by child sexual assault and long-term abuse are still striving to heal and thrive years later,” Jan said. “Through support and community, the healing journey of ‘Thrivivors’ can create a ripple effect towards change for children, and I am grateful to Peacock for the opportunity to continue telling my story. It is my hope that with greater awareness and understanding of childhood sexual abuse and grooming, total prevention can truly become a reality.”

“A Friend of the Family: True Evil” is produced by Dateline Productions. Paul F. Ryan serves as an executive producer, and Izhar Harpaz serves as supervising producer.

The Broberg family saga, involving Berchtold’s sexual grooming of both of Jan’s parents, was the subject of the 2017 Netflix documentary “Abducted in Plain Sight.”

Emmy-winning showrunner Nick Antosca told IndieWire that creating “A Friend of the Family” would be impossible without Jan’s involvement as an executive producer and in the writers’ room.

“Going into the idea of the show and the possibility of making the show, we always knew that we were not going to show anything onscreen or actually do anything that would feel exploitative or potentially gratuitous or uncomfortable,” Antosca said. “So we knew that the experience of making the show, and the experience of watching the show, needed to be one that would allow you to emotionally and intellectually process the enormity of what happened and all the different levels of the experience, without being overwhelmed by anything that felt exploitative. This particular true story can’t and shouldn’t be properly told without the participation and blessing of the people it happened to.”

“A Friend of the Family: True Evil” premieres November 15 on Peacock.

Check out the trailer below.

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