They say the truth is stranger than fiction. I can think of no example more apt than the relationship between the Broberg Family and their neighbour Joe Berchtold that is depicted in this Netflix original documentary.
I don’t know where to start with this or how to get across how utterly shocking and bonkers this whole thing is without giving away too much… but I’ma try.
Basically a sociopathic paedophile and his family move in next door to a super naïve family who have a twelve year old daughter. Joe Berchtold then sets about working his way into the Broberg’s lives through whatever means necessary. And when I say whatever means necessary, I mean it. Without saying anything, it involves the weirdest hand job in the history of hand jobs.
The end goal of all the manipulation is for Berchtold to get his hands on twelve year old Jan and take her away from her family without raising their suspicions.
This is where it gets even more nuts though because so much of what he does is extremely suspicious. Mr O and I were slack jawed at what the Brobergs did NOT find suspicious in his behaviour and how they allowed him to take advantage of their underage daughter. I get that people can be brainwashed and coerced but the naivete of these people is on a level that I personally could not comprehend. Their candour at sharing the story is almost as shocking. I suppose in a way you have to hope that their openness stops this from happening to someone else… twice.
If you watch this you’ll honestly be left questioning what on earth you just watched. We talked about it for days afterwards. Puzzling, infuriating, shocking, and heart-breaking and definitely unforgettable.