Buchtel College of Arts and Sciences
Date of Last Revision
Honors in Art
Number of Credits
Bachelor of Fine Arts
Date of Expected Graduation
Richard Hansen, 43 at the time of his arrest, kidnapped two young girls aged nine and ten from Lorain, Ohio in 2013. He kept them in his home for five years where he repeatedly raped them and denied their basic needs. One girl, Jess Foster, died in captivity after less than a year due to improper care. The other girl, Maya Narvaez, escaped in 2018 and exposed Hansen’s actions which led to his arrest and imprisonment. Richard Hansen sits in prison to this day serving a life sentence plus 1,000 years with no chance of parole.
I heard about this case a few times on the local news channels of Northeast Ohio in 2018 but never heard it discussed in public. I aim to draw attention to a very serious and grossly underreported kidnapping case, it deserves to be known by every Ohioan. Maya lost five years of her young life to Richard Hansen and Jess and her family lost so much more. I have collected the main facts of the case and other evidence to inform the viewers of this exhibition, to memorialize Jess’s death and to glorify Maya for her bravery and courage during those five long years in captivity.
This work raises awareness of childhood kidnappings and abusive relationships, displaying significant points from the perpetrator’s and victims’ lives via photography and mixed media. Perhaps the most significant part about the Richard Hansen kidnappings is that they never happened, and that I fabricated them.
I aim to draw attention to how easy it is to disguise and distort the truth in today's seemingly post-truth society. What is the truth? Where can you find the truth, and when you do find it how can you be sure it's really the truth?
This document showcases the work of parafiction and its culminating exhibition, using photography, mixed media and installation as its methods of display. Included in this document is a six page narrative essay, the work's artist statement, copies of the court documents and views of the printed works from the exhibition.
Honors Faculty Advisor
Lacey, Sarah, "The Richard Hansen Kidnappings" (2021). Williams Honors College, Honors Research Projects. 1227.