CIA Operatives, Barrels of Whiskey, and a Biker Named Thor | Feature | South Florida | Broward Palm Beach New Times | The Leading Independent News Source in Broward-Palm Beach, Florida


CIA Operatives, Barrels of Whiskey, and a Biker Named Thor

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But by the time the sentence came down in absentia in late June, Thor was already gone. After realizing the CIA had perhaps tricked him, Thor, according to federal prosecutors today, hid in a nearby shoreline forest along Alligator Alley, then sailed a boat to the Bahamas, and caught a flight to Norway, where American authorities couldn't reach him.

The Haitian invasion, meanwhile, muddled on — without Thor. The Associated Press reported that in March of 1982, the U.S. Coast Guard stopped two Haiti-bound 40-foot vessels laden with 15 men, 17,000 rounds of ammunition, 45 shoulder weapons, handguns, and grenades. Roland Magloire eventually pleaded guilty to violating U.S. neutrality laws and received five years' probation. Chi was also charged but, ensconced in an academic position at a Canadian college, never returned to the United States. Later, he blamed Thor for blowing the plot's cover. He told the Ottawa Citizen that Thor was "a real bad guy" and that he regretted the biker's involvement in the invasion.

After Thor landed in Norway, Laytner published an article calling Thor "Norway's Al Capone." In a 1981 four-part series, published in the Norwegian magazine Vi Menn, Laytner wrote that Thor had been implicated in murder in the U.S. and was "Public Enemy Number One." Thor, upon seeing this, vowed vindication. "That CIA spin doctor ruined my life," Thor said. "These were Laytner's lies! I never killed anybody!"

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.

"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.

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Terrence McCoy

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