How Did Robert Berchtold’s Brother Joe Berchtold Die? – There is little doubt that Robert Berchtold’s abduction of his young neighbor Jan Broberg twice in the 1970s was horrifying, but the manipulations that took place in the immediate aftermath only exacerbated the situation. That’s because, as meticulously detailed in both Peacock’s documentary “A Friend of the Family” and Netflix’s “Abducted in Plain Sight,” he not only groomed the little girl but also seduced her parents.
The terrible Jan Broberg kidnapping case focuses on A Friend of the Family, a new crime drama from Peacock. According to reports, Robert Berchtold, a family acquaintance, kidnapped Broberg twice in the 1970s.
Berchtold allegedly used Jan Broberg and her family as bargaining chips while getting away with his alleged crimes.
The documentary, which Skye Borgman directed, was honored at numerous film festivals, including Phoenix and Newport Beach. If you want to learn more about Robert Berchtold’s Brother Joe Berchtold and his death cause, keep reading.
Joe Berchtold: Who Was He?
Joseph “Joe” Ersol Berchtold, who was about three years Robert’s junior, was aware of his brother’s “sexual pervert” tendencies and his preference for “little girls” from a young age. In the Netflix documentary Skye Borgman filmed, he admitted frankly before adding, “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.”
Joe called the FBI after getting a call from Robert on November 20, 1974, just over a month after his initial abduction of Jan (who was 12 at the time) on October 17. In fact, the latter had advised him to speak with the Brobergs and ask for their consent before being married to Jan because their marriage in Mexico wouldn’t be recognized as legal in the US.
According to Robert, they wanted to return to their hometown together but couldn’t until they obtained permission. Mexico wasn’t an issue because the legal age there was 12. However, because he had been careful to withhold their whereabouts and it was clear he would call back for a response, the FBI could tap Joe’s phone and locate the missing couple in Mazatlán.
In “Abducted in Plain Sight,” Joe admittedly fretted that his engagement would “ruin” their relationship, but that never happened. He remarked, “I thought [Robert would] kill me when he’d come back.” In fact, the elder Berchtold moved to Ogden, Utah, to work at Joe’s auto dealership after his return and after things had somewhat calmed down regarding the legal processes and the backlash.
Why Did Joe Berchtold Pass Away?
Joseph “Joe” Ersol Berchtold sadly passed away on January 18, 2022, at the age of 82. His beloved wife, Sue Bierwolf, five loyal adult children, and 12 lovely grandchildren survived him. Given his age and the fact that his loved ones have not in any way, shape, or form publicly disclosed the cause of his death, we can assume that it was due to natural causes. We should point out that Joe volunteered to appear in the movie because he believed the family needed someone to speak on their behalf now that Robert had already passed away in 2005.