Scheibert and the others don't doubt Thor's love for Nancy Ann. The giant said Thor has often spoken of her, and she visited him once several years ago. Those weeks were filled with sun-drenched afternoons walking in the mountains near his house, and Nancy Ann's anxiety had quieted. Thor, friends said, had thought she'd perhaps one day come to live with him.

Still, Scheibert wasn't convinced whether Nancy Ann alone — or, rather, a mixture of narcissism and revenge — fueled the biker's trip to the United States. "To tell you the truth," said Scheibert, removing his cowboy hat, "I think Nancy is dead anyway."

A cell phone in front of Scheibert rang. It was Thor. This was the seventh time he'd called tonight. The biker's voice, graveled by decades of whiskey and cigarettes, boomed and cackled. He was in a good mood. Finally, he said, he had the proof he needed to prove his innocence — and make Laytner pay.


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.)
Thor's daughter Nancy Ann Hansen was last seen in Oceanside, California, last June.
Courtesy of Thor Hansen
Thor's daughter Nancy Ann Hansen was last seen in Oceanside, California, last June.

On January 16, the day of Thor's trial, he wore mismatching black shoes.

One was size 9, the other size 11. They made Thor, swallowed by a huge black suit from Walmart, walk with a discomforted and awkward gait. But shoes were the least of his problems. He couldn't quell his rambles. Even during opening arguments, Thor, who eschewed a lawyer and defended himself, spoke without notes or apparent preparation. The audience, a few reporters sprinkled among Thor's entourage, had begun to murmur. Scheibert had his notebook open. This, he whispered, was great material for his screenplay.

Thor repeated the claim he'd made for years. "[The CIA] fabricated this indictment against me," he said, pounding the podium, quivering with indignation. "I'm very angry, as you can see. For 32 years, I've been dragging around this cross, and I need to get this settled so I can start looking for my daughter. No one else is looking for her."

The prosecutors called three witnesses. First, the now-gray-haired federal attorney who'd prosecuted Thor in 1981 on the cocaine charge. On cross-examination, Thor excoriated the man, pummeling him with accusation after accusation. But the man batted away every allegation. The charges against Thor, he testified, weren't manufactured.

The next witness, William Ledweth, one of the DEA agents who'd arrested Thor at Runway 84, was equally perplexed. "Sir, with all due respect, I don't know what you're talking about," he said, responding to allegations that he'd framed Thor.

Thor's knuckles whitened. "Why are you lying?" he challenged. "I'm going to nail you with perjury! You're going to lose your pension and go to jail!"

At an afternoon recess, Thor's friends expressed exasperation that all of the witnesses had lied. Thor's blond-haired old lady smoked Marlboro after Marlboro. "No," she said, contemplating whether some aspect of Thor's narrative was false. "Definitely not. Thor would never lie."

There was one more witness. Ron Laytner arrived wearing a red button-down. The 79-year-old's wrinkled hands shook with apparent arthritis as he petered toward the stand. Thor stared at the demure old man and chuckled. "Been a long time," he said.

Laytner testified he'd originally pursued Thor because he thought he'd make a good yarn.

"Well, I hope I'm still a good story," Thor smirked. "But this time, you're going to be a good story — whether you want to or not.

"I'm going to prove you a liar," Thor continued. "Isn't it true that you worked for the Central Intelligence Agency at one time?"

"No, that's not true."

"But it says so on your website," Thor said.

"No, it doesn't."

This upset Thor. Afterward, his raving accelerated, one question melting into the next. At the 1981 trial, "you told me that I had to immediately get home and save my wife and daughter and get them out of harm's way; isn't that true?"

"It's not true," Laytner said. "I don't want to be rude, but this sounds like madness. You're talking with Martians."

"This is a CIA spin doctor!" Thor shrieked. "They know how to spin!"

Then, for once, Thor didn't know what else to say. He stuttered, looking defeated and confused. Sighing loudly, the biker looked down. "He's going to lie," Thor finally said. "They're all going to lie. But I have one more question. How do you live with yourself?"

After Laytner descended from the stand, he declined an interview, saying only, "I think this guy is crazy. I don't want anything to do with this."

It took the jury six-and-a-half hours to find Thor guilty of jumping bond in 1981. When the pronouncement came down, Thor shook his head and, hands clasped behind his back, flicked his left thumbnail against his left palm. A crooked smile streaked across his face. He predicted appeals and revenge upon Laytner. Then he was gone.

In March, Thor will be sentenced and faces up to five additional years in prison.

Internet searches reveal a website called EditInternational.com, founded by Laytner. A profile of Laytner on his site says he was "asked by the CIA to go into a secret meeting in Cuba... and take pictures of every open notebook." The article also put him in dozens of countries and in "Africa investigating the murder of a young CIA pilot." A separate profile of Laytner on a local photo gallery's website says the photographer had worked as a "CIA field agent" in Cuba, the Soviet Union, and China.

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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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