Peacock’s Family Friend, a limited drama series that looks back on two kidnappings by Jan Broberg aged 12 and 14 in the 1970s, can only be described as chillingly creepy.
That’s because, as in Netflix’s Kidnapped in Full View, a close friend was responsible not only for catching her, but also for carefully grooming and brainwashing her. But if you just want to know more about the defendant’s then-wife, Robert “Bob” Berchtold’s wife Gail Toyn Berchtold, for now, we’ve got all the important information for you.
What is the name of Gail Berchtold?
On June 7, 1961, in a beautiful ceremony at the Logan Latter-day Saint (LDS) Temple in Utah, Gail married Robert (or B), who was working for the Army at the time. At the time he was stationed in Albuquerque, New Mexico. However, they soon decided to start a new chapter in their lives by moving and therefore lived in different places. These locations were Brigham City, Utah, Pocatello, Idaho, and Ogden, Utah. During that time they were proud to welcome Jerry, James, Joseph, Jeff and Jill into their lives.
But Idaho wasn’t good for the Berchtolds at all, especially since Robert had been obsessed there with Jan Broberg since he was a kid. He then kidnapped her in 1974 and 1976. Gail also told the missing children’s parents not to call the police for the first few days after their disappearance in October, but no one was ever able to find out why. Some people say she knew what her husband was doing because she allegedly helped him get the Brobergs to lower their fees, while others say she knew nothing.
Part of the reason for this is that Gail packed her bags, took her children with her and left Robert forever before running off with the 14-year-old a second time in August 1976. This shows that she had nothing to do with it. She had already filed for divorce at that point and hasn’t spoken about it online, in interviews, or as a counselor on documentaries or other shows since. So it’s likely that not everything we see on screen about Gail is 100% true. Actress Lio Tipton, who plays Gail in A Friend of the Family, made that very clear.
“It’s unclear how much Gail knows,” Lio said in a recent exclusive interview with The Cut. “I met a lot of people… [on] How do I approach a scene, for example should I have a hint of “I do this too” to sweep things under the rug, or is Gail really clueless as to what’s going on? Gail turned out to be easier to understand than I had thought. I thought about how Gail tries to protect and keep her family together in every scene I write. All she cared about was whether her family would be okay or not. How can I make things better? She probably never meant to hurt anyone else.”
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What happened to Gail Berchtold?
From what we can learn about Gail’s current situation from online records and social media profiles, the family woman is from Grouse Creek, Utah but now resides in Roy, Utah. She remarried in the late 1980s, but on April 5, 2015 her second husband, James Leslie Wadman, died after a long battle with bladder cancer. He was 70 and they had been married for more than 27 years. Though Gail is now in her 70s, it seems like she’s still living a quiet, happy life with her kids nearby.
A Peacock Family Friend came out on Netflix in early October, but only the first four episodes of the true crime drama were available. Viewers want to know what happened to Robert Berchtold and his wife Gail after their children were kidnapped. Robert “B” Berchtold sexually abused Jan Broberg and took her away when she was 12 and again when she was 14. Berchtold’s wife Gail remains by his side in the early episodes of the Peacock drama. But then what happened? Here’s what we know about Gail Berchtold, Robert Berchtold’s wife.
Robert Berchtold married Gail in 1961
Gail Toyn married Robert Berchtold, played by Jake Lacy, on June 7, 1961 at the Logan Temple. They lived together in places like Albuquerque, New Mexico, Brigham City, Harper, and Ogden, Utah. But the Berchtold family met the Brobergs in the town of Pocatello, Idaho.
In A Friend of the Family, Mary Ann Broberg tells her husband Bob Broberg, “They have three boys: one is Jan’s age, one is Karen’s age, and one is Susan’s age. They also have a little girl.”
In the series, the Berchtolds had three boys, Jasper, Joel, and Jacob, who were all about the same age as the Brobergs’ three girls, Jan, Susan, and Karen. When they met, the Berchtold family also had a little girl. In real life, the Berchtolds had five children whose names all began with the letter “J.” However, in A Friend of the Family on Peacock, their names were changed.
In an interview with Jan Broberg about the documentary Abducted in Plain Sight, she said that Gail and Robert divorced shortly after the kidnapping.
Jan told Entertainment Tonight, “When she was taken back, she had filed for divorce.” “She divorced him and moved with her kids.”
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Jan also said that she never spoke to Gail again after their breakup
“There hasn’t been a word for many, many years, and can you imagine how awful it would be to find out that this was your father?” Jan added. “It’s not easy, and I feel sorry for all of them.”
Gail, Robert Berchtold’s ex-wife, has a new husband, but no one knows her new name.
Many people wonder if Gail Berchtold knew what her husband did to Jan Broberg after watching Kidnapped in Public and Family Friend. Many documentaries fans took to Reddit to talk about whether or not Gail might be involved. Some people talk bad about Berchtold’s ex-wife, which is reason enough for them to keep to themselves.
In a thread on Reddit, a video editor said they were working on Abducted in Plain Sight. The person said Gail was asked for an interview, but she declined.
Another Reddit user says that Gail remarried but she is now a widow. All her children live in the middle of the country. But she doesn’t want to talk about where she is or what she’s doing after Robert Berchtold, so nobody knows where she is or what she’s doing.
The first four episodes of A Friend of the Family will air on Peacock on Thursday October 6th. The last five episodes will be released every Thursday until November 10th.
To get help: In the US, call the RAINN National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline at 1-800-656-4673 to speak to a trained sexual assault service provider representative in your area.
On October 17, 1974, Robert Berchtold picked up his young neighbor Jan Broberg from piano lessons in Pocatello, Idaho, so he could, he said, ride with her. In reality, Berchtold drugged the 12-year-old and set up the scene to make it appear that the two had been taken away against their will.
Then Berchtold fled to Mexico with Jan, where he married her. He asked Jan’s parents for permission to return to the United States and legally marry there.
Although Bob and Mary Ann Broberg didn’t want it, Berchtold went home with Jan, and things returned to normal without charges being filed. Thereafter, Berchtold captured their lives by engaging both Brobergs in a sexual relationship. Two years later he took her daughter with him again.
This is the story of Robert Berchtold, the predator at the center of Netflix’s Abducted in Plain Sight, who nurtured and controlled an entire family.
How Robert Berchtold made the Brobergs what they are
When the Brobergs and Berchtolds met at church, it seemed like they were made for each other. The children played together and the parents enjoyed being together.
In the documentary Abducted in Plain Sight, Jan Broberg said, “Everyone had a best friend.”
Over time, the Broberg children called Robert Berchtold “B,” and Jan began to think of him as a second father. B also took great care of Jan who was 12 years old. He often gave her gifts and took her with him on trips.
Jan Broberg, who is now an adult, says of Berchtold that he is “a master of manipulation”. No one in her family could see it back then, but Robert Berchtold had built the family from the moment they first met.
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