Around that time, Ritchey was also having doubts about Thor. She was pregnant with Thor's second daughter, Mandy, and had followed him to Oslo. But in those drama-saturated days, when it was unclear which way the family would turn, their marriage disintegrated. She took Nancy Ann back to America and birthed Mandy. "I couldn't handle his fast track," she said. "He likes the drama in his life. And there's a part of me that still loves him, and I always will, but I just couldn't handle it. I was so happy to find a new situation and not be married to him anymore."

Freshly single, Thor began exploring Norway and exclusively wearing black: black boots, black shirt and pants, black cowboy hat. The new look embodied the flamboyance of a rock star. Which, incredibly, was what Thor spontaneously became. Though he previously had little trace of music in his life, Thor in the 1980s produced two hit country songs and dated Italian porn stars. His first single was "Costa Del Ilseng," about drunk driving. Then came "Alien Creature," an homage to himself.

Thor's family foundered in America. Without his support, Ritchey moved the family in with her mother in Sandusky, Ohio. Ritchey claims she would return from night classes at a nearby community school and discover her daughter alone and sobbing. Her mother had abused the girl, calling her vicious names. When Nancy Ann was 12, the girl broke.

Thor planned an invasion of Haiti with Roland Magloire (right), the great-nephew of a former Haitian president.
Courtesy of Thor Hansen
Thor planned an invasion of Haiti with Roland Magloire (right), the great-nephew of a former Haitian president.
Thor served time in Wisconsin for forging securities in the 1960s. (Thore is the Norwegian spelling of his name.)
Thor served time in Wisconsin for forging securities in the 1960s. (Thore is the Norwegian spelling of his name.)

"She started doing crazy things," Ritchey explained. "She burned Bibles. She cut herself and put candles all around the house holding Satanic rituals; she ran in a gothic cult. And I just couldn't handle her. So we put her in an institution, and everything I did she hated me for it." Nancy Ann's problems deepened. Friendless, she walked around Norwalk High School in a distant trance. At home, she was equally silent, Ritchey recalled. "Don't look at me!" she screamed. While her sister Mandy thrived in school, drugs crept into Nancy Ann's life. (In 2009 and 2010, Nancy pleaded guilty to possession of narcotics in North County, near San Diego.)

"I was mad at Thor," Ritchey said. "He was going out there and making a name for himself, writing a book, releasing CDs, and occasionally he did step up to the plate and send Nancy Ann money. But an actual child-support scenario? No, we never got that."

At the time, Thor was having his own problems. In 1997, he flew to Brussels but was arrested at the airport, according to newspaper reports. Finally, 16 years after his cocaine conviction, he was extradited to the United States and imprisoned, though his sentence was shortened to 15 years.

While locked up, rage consumed Thor. He filed a half-dozen lawsuits. He sued Laytner, a judge, and a lawyer on grounds they'd conspired to convict him in absentia and obfuscate CIA footprints. "When sitting in jail on a bold-faced lie, you do what you can," said Thor, who was released after serving seven years in a Miami prison.

But because he had been extradited only on the basis of the cocaine charge, the U.S. government didn't prosecute him on his bond-jumping indictment. So in 2004, Thor was deported again — without ever standing trial for jumping bail.

When Thor got to Norway, he massaged the narrative. Lies seeped in. In his musician bios and self-published autobiography, he contends he won the $15 million lawsuit against Laytner and the others, proving everyone had colluded against him.

That's not true: Every single one of Thor's lawsuits was dismissed.

By 10 o'clock on a breezy Monday night this January, the giant, the midget, and the "old lady" were quite drunk. They'd each had six shots of Jägermeister, along with several cans of Yuengling, and things on the Deck's patio overlooking the ocean in Fort Lauderdale were getting warm and fuzzy.

"I'd die for Thor," said the giant, Mark Scheibert, a six-foot, seven-inch man who weighs 280 pounds and favors woolen ponchos, cowboy hats, and $4,400 alligator-skin boots. The four-foot-two midget, Vider Letho, and Thor's "old lady," Gunn Kottelin, agreed. They'd all traveled across the world from Norway to support Thor, who at this moment waited in prison for yet another trial.

Thor has always engendered such fealty among supporters. The now-retired DEA agent who arrested Thor at Runway 84 in 1981 would later say, "You ever hear of Charles Manson? He was very charismatic and had an entourage back then as well. Thor has that aura, that attractiveness to people who are looking for a leader. He's always about to make a movie or have another adventure. He's always about to write his next book, and people want to hang out with a guy like that."

Indeed, Thor frequently refers to himself as a "well-known recording artist in Norway" and name-drops his "pals" Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, and Johnny Cash. But tonight, Scheibert — a freelance writer working on a screenplay about Thor titled Journey to Justice — equivocated that claim. "He tends to exaggerate," Scheibert said. "He's not well-known, and I lose my hair when I hear that. He doesn't sell that many CDs. He knows a lot of people, but he's not well-known."

« Previous Page
Next Page »
My Voice Nation Help

FYI, his name is ThorE (pronounced toor-eh, in fact Hansen americanised the pronunciation). Please correct the numerous misspellings and the cutesy caption about "Norwegian spelling". We do not spell Thor with an e here in Norway, Thor and Thore are different names.


Interesting story, my input is that I recently happened to sit next to a lady from Norway at McSorley's on FT Lauderdale  beach near 3 weeks ago. I was given part of this story (from this past girlfriend of Thors) about Thor simply ran out of the Courthouse , escaping to the Bahamas back in the 80's.