Manhattan Beach's Stephanie Tobey began producing the documentary “Abducted in Plain Sight” in 2013, just after she wrapped up an acting gig in the indie horror film “The Shower.”
Originally titled “Forever B'," the documentary went on to premiere at the Mammoth Lakes Film Festival and is available now on Netflix.
The documentary tells the story of 12-year-old Jan Broberg who was kidnapped twice by her neighbor, first on Oct. 17, 1974, in Pocatello, Idaho. The kidnapper, Robert Berchtold, who brainwashed her during captivity, was the girl's parents' best friend.
Amazingly, Berchtold kidnapped Broberg again in 1976 after he was released on bail for the first kidnapping. The pair was later found in Pasadena, where he had enrolled Broberg in a Catholic boarding school, according to a 2016 article in the Idaho State Journal.
Tobey said her dream was to get “Abducted in Plain Sight” on Netflix and it's now available on the platform in 190 countries.
“Netflix provides an incredible space for documentaries,” Tobey said. “Our goal with this documentary has always been to start the conversation around child abuse, denial and shame. With the ability to reach a larger audience, we hope that it will. We've seen how documentaries can create real change in the world and I am excited to be a part of that.”
In a 2017 interview with The Beach Reporter, Tobey said a few years prior, her boss, a Hollywood manager, suggested she read “Stolen Innocence: The Jan Broberg Story” because of her interest in true crime.
She started with the book, but after meeting FBI agent Pete Walsh, who had kept more than 1,500 pages of FBI documents and court transcripts, as well as audiotapes and reel-to-reel recordings, the documents “shaped and changed our documentary,” she said.
Tobey met director Skye Borgman through a mutual friend who worked with her at Simmzy's restaurant in Manhattan Beach. The film's producer Emily Kincaid also worked at Simmzy's.
For more information, visit abducteddoc.com.