With over 125 episodes of the hit podcast "True Crime Obsessed" under his belt, Patrick Hinds has gotten together with Skye Borgman, the director of the Netflix documentary "Abducted in Plain Sight" to create an all new podcast that provides behind-the-scenes interviews and previously unreleased content, adding to the emotional impact of the story.
This new podcast is the first series to be released under the new Obsessed Network brand and we got together with Patrick to learn more.
It was over a year ago that Abducted in Plain Sight hit Netflix and word started to get around about this unbelievable new documentary. Had you heard anything about this true crime story over the years before you saw the documentary?
I had never heard of the story before seeing the documentary on Netflix. Jan Broberg’s story was out there because she and her mom had written the book “Stolen Innocence” that told the story. But the book was self-published by the family, so not many people had read it.
The documentary caused quite a stir with many people outraged to find that the family of a young girl allowed this creepy predator to have access to their daughter back in the early 1970’s. When you and Gillian (Pensavalle, co-host of True Crime Obsessed) watched the film, you were both obviously outraged too. The result was a funny, yet justifiably anger-filled and expletive-laden rant. You mention that this was a fan favorite episode of the TCO series. What was it about this story, and your reaction to it, that resonated with so many of your listeners?
One reason our episode on Abducted in Plain Sight was so popular was just because the movie itself was so popular. EVERYBODY had seen it and was talking about it and was looking for a place to get more information or share their outrage over the story. Because Skye Borgman, the director, had known about out podcast and reached out to us before the film even premiered on Netflix, we were one of the first podcasts to cover it. So people came to us because they knew we would rant and rave and scream and lose our minds. And we didn’t disappoint.
Some of the things that we found unusual about the film were the images and especially the audio recordings made by the perpetrator of these terrible crimes which made the story much more intimate, chilling and real. What are your thoughts on this psychopath documenting his own crimes?
Since Skye and I worked on the podcast Obsessed With: Abducted in Plain Sight together, I was able to get a little bit more background on those tapes. As Skye explains it, the tapes are audio journals that Berchtold, the kidnapper, kept of his daily life. He also got his wife to keep an audio journal too and we use some of it in Obsessed With: Abducted in Plain Sight”, which is just wild to hear. I feel a lot of things about those tapes of the kidnapper. I find them revolting, but also fascinating. It really is something to hear his voice, to hear how he talks about his life and desires. It sends a shiver down my spine.
How did you get connected with Skye Borgman, director of the original documentary?
Skye reached out to us via email a few weeks before Abducted in Plain Sight dropped on Netflix. She was a fan of True Crime Obsessed and thought her film would be a good fit for our podcast. It was the first time a director had ever reached out to us and asked us to cover their film, so we were flattered. We met in real life in New Orleans a few months later and we got to talking about the film. I had so many questions and Skye started telling me all the different plot lines and stores that had been left out of the film. And that’s when we realized that a podcast would be a great way to tell the rest of the story.
The new series takes a much more measured tone than your original reaction to the film. Did your time with Skye and learning new information about the story cause you see things from a different perspective?
In some ways it did. Everybody, including me, has such a strong reaction to Jan’s parents when they see the film. People are furious that the parents would allow all of these horrible things to happen to their daughter. I still feel that Jan’s parents were a bit too preoccupied with their own issues and could have made different choices, but the thing I really took away from making “Obsessed With: Abducted in Plain Sight” is that Berchtold, the kidnapper, groomed Jan’s entire family, not just Jan. That was a real revelation to me. And it made me understand the parents a little differently, I guess. Jan’s parents had particular insecurities and weaknesses that he was able to exploit, that drew their attention away from what he was doing to Jan. And at the end of the day, we need to remember that Jan’s parent’s each sat down for interviews where they were as honest as they could be about the mistakes they made. And the only reason they did that was to help make sure this didn’t happen to another family. So, It’s ok to be mad about the choices they made all those years ago, but we should also celebrate their bravery now.
You have a live tour scheduled with stops in major cities around the country, including several sold-out shows in Boston, Philadelphia, Washington D.C. and Orlando. Obviously these shows are being effected, as everything else is, by the Coronavirus. Hopefully this thing passes quickly and you will be able to reschedule dates. How does your experience live, on-stage compare to recording your podcasts?
Our live shows are wild! The live shows are probably my favorite thing we get to do as part of making True Crime Obsessed. We recap a documentary live and we use video clips from the film as part of the show. Nothing is rehearsed, we’re just flying by the seat of our pants. I’m usually way over the top pulling people out of the audience or running up and down the aisles saying hi to people. It’s a party. In fact when we played Chicago last year, we got an email the next day saying that our audience broke the record for single day liquor sales. So, that says something…
Now that you’ve launched Obsessed Network with this new hit series, can you give us any clues to the next project that you will feature?
Yes! We’ve just launched the True Crime Obsessed spin-off podcast called “Obsessed With: Disappeared” which is a true crime / comedy podcast that recaps episode of everyone’s favorite true crime TV show, ID’s “Disappeared.” I’m co-hosting with one of my very best friends, Ellyn Marsh who is a Broadway actress and all around hilarious person. We’re also launching a podcast with the journalist Maggie Freleng of Oxygen’s “The Disappearance of Maura Murray”. Beyond that, we have 4 other new shows in the pipeline that I can’t really talk about yet!
At Rockwest, we’re all about pop culture and sharing what we love with our audience. Before we let you go, we’d like to get to know you a bit better. Can you name your favorite Band/Musicians, Actor/Actress, Movie, Book?
YES! So, I’m a total 90s lesbian My favorite band is The Indigo Girls. I’m also OBSESSED with Paula Cole (HEAR ME OUT! If “I Don’t Want To Wait” or “Where Have All the Cowboys Gone” are the only Paula Cole songs you know, GET THEE TO SPOTIFY and listen to all of the album This Fire”). My favorite favorite favorite actor of all time is a Broadway actor named Norbert Leo Butz. He is just unbelievable. I’m also obsessed with Martha Plimpton. To me she’s just the epitome of cool. I grew up on her movies and I still just want to be her when I grow up. My favorite move is called Lillies. It’s a teeny tiny Canadian film. It’s suuuuuuuuuper gay. And it’s fascinating and artsey. If you can find it, I highly recommend it. For my favorite book, I have two, and you have to read them in this order: "Autobiography of a Face" by Lucy Grealy and then “Truth and Beauty” by Ann Patchett. Read them back to back. You will thank me.