As was crime. His rap sheet, which reaches back to the 1960s, offers a troubling and violent representation of the biker, featuring exploits both petty and grand. He was convicted twice of forging securities in Wisconsin in the 1960s, escaping once while serving a two-year sentence. He then was charged with rape in Cincinnati but beat the allegation. In 1973, he netted an aggravated assault conviction in Volusia County. Old newspaper reports say Thor had admitted to 18 felonies, but New Times could confirm only seven.

Thor ran auto body shops in Daytona and joined the Outlaws motorcycle gang, quickly climbing the subculture's ranks. Bombastic and gregarious, he collected dozens of "old ladies." In an autobiography he co-wrote and self-published in 2011, Outlaw Biker, Thor quotes one of his girls saying, "Women used to stand in line to be with him. He could pick and choose. He had three old ladies when I met him."

Thor's first primo old lady was Ritchey Cheek Farrell, a great-granddaughter of Joel Cheek, who founded Maxwell House Coffee in 1892. Ritchey, who says she ran away from home to escape her abusive mother, danced at a Daytona strip club named Sam's. Ritchey was 23 when Thor met her in the late 1970s and, surrounded by a fawning entourage, returned every few days to see the blue-eyed blond dance. Thor was in love.

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's friends traveled across the world to support him at trial.
Courtesy of Mark Scheibert
Thor's friends traveled across the world to support him at trial.

"He was just so fun and was so smart," remembers Ritchey, now 61, who today has a house in Sandusky, Ohio, and works in the medical community. "He didn't hit me or do all the other stuff you hear about. I got along with the Outlaws; if you became someone's property like I was Thor's, you'd get closer, and then the relationship got intense. I drank. He drank. We both drank a lot. In 1978, we married."

But Thor's crowd those days was a fast one. That year, Thor was tried for first-degree murder for the grisly 1975 execution of an Outlaws member. Though one witness said in a deposition that he saw Thor holding a smoking shotgun, the jury was hung, 7-5. After the mistrial, Thor pleaded down the charge to accessory to murder after the fact. Part of the deal mandated his deportation to Norway.

Less than a month later, however, after getting shipped out on February 16, 1979, Thor reappeared in Pompano Beach. His beard and Outlaws leather were gone. "If it wasn't for his voice, I might not have recognized him," an arresting officer told the Daytona Beach Morning Journal. Incredibly, Thor was set free but allowed to stay in the country; authorities later blamed a clerical error made amid the deportation bureaucracy.

Then things got even weirder. One night soon after, he returned home to his Pompano Beach apartment, half-manic, Ritchey remembers. He said he'd just met with the CIA. Intelligence agency officials had told him they could help him with his immigration status. But he had to help them too. They had told him about the Haitian National Liberation Council.

Since 1971, Haiti had been under the yoke of President Jean-Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier, a dictator, who, like his father before him, tortured, starved, and stole from his own people while executing dissidents and leading an opulent lifestyle. As AIDS ravaged the countryside and tourism dwindled, the populace grew more desperate. Both inside Haiti and abroad, people wondered how the ruler might ever be toppled.

On January 11, 1981, the Miami Herald ran a series of strange stories about a "paramilitary" encampment of Haitian men at a $250,000 ranch house on five acres in rural Lantana. Neighbors were alarmed and confused. "There must have been 40 men in army fatigues doing military exercises," neighbor Gay Jaslowski was quoted saying.

Today, her husband, Andy Jaslowski, now 80, vividly remembers the absurdity of those weeks. The Haitians had carried broomsticks and wooden guns. One tall white guy wearing a German forage cap oversaw the proceedings. Every few days, Jaslowski said, black SUVs with Washington, D.C., plates rolled up, laden with supplies and whiskey. "These were government cars," he said. "The CIA was involved. Guaranteed. The government was in on this somewhere."

But men on-site had a different narrative. They told the Herald they were only filming a movie called Swamp Rats. Responding detectives said the head of the production company behind the movie ­— which existed only on paper — was Thor Hansen. Reporters soon deluged the curious scene.

One intrigued journalist was mustached freelance photographer Ron Laytner, who had done work for the New York Times and the Palm Beach Post.

Soon, Thor let it slip. "Thor Hansen said the Haitians are training to 'restore the rightful government in Haiti,'" the Miami News reported on January 10, 1981. "Hansen said the CIA was aware of the situation and had adopted a hands-off policy." Thor further informed reporters that he wasn't alone.

Two men were directing the planned invasion. The brains of the operation was Dr. Nguyen Chi, a former Vietnamese politician turned professor at Carleton University in Ottawa. And its leader was Roland Magloire, a great-nephew of the Haitian president who'd preceded François "Papa Doc" Duvalier. The plan was to depose the Haitian dictator and replace him with Magloire.

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3 comments
RosieK
RosieK

Wow - great article, I wish more were covered this well.  Also, Thor seems like a character out of a Tim Dorsey book.  That said; I think there could be some truth to what he says.  His connections with the Outlaw bikers would put him in a great position to move weapons and drugs and the CIA used people like that and when they were done they threw them away, or locked them away.

joedoakes101
joedoakes101

In the old days the CIA sold drugs to fund covert operations.  They had the mafia guard the money. This guy was either played by someone who made that claim, and he bought it, or he is telling the truth.

run.randrand
run.randrand

WE ARE WAITING WITH-ALMOST-BATED BREATH-FOR THE HISTORICAL ARCHIVAL RELEVANCY OF THIS STORY! THE D.E.A. ERA OF MIAMI VICE---LOOOONG OVER! THE POPE IS FALLING DOWN-HE IS SO OLD! THE TRASH AIN'T GETTIN; PICKED UP! NOBODY SENT THE 500 DOLLARS TO THE DAUGHTER...WE "GET IT"! ---AND LEX-LUTHER'S POP-UP JIG-A-FACE IS GOING UP AND DOWN ON MY SCREEN LIKE A SHOOTING GALLERY TARGET AT THE CHEAP SIDE-SHOW BOOTHS AT THE DADE COUNTY YOUTH FAIR!!! YET TO COME TONIGHT..."THE ANOINTED ONE" PONTIFICATES ON LIFE IN AMERICA......

 
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