The situation sucked exactly as much ass as you'd imagine being stalked by a bunch of murderous racists would, but at least the attack helped rekindle Hansen's relationship with Cotter. Surely they would conquer this obstacle together and live happily ever after.
Well, that was Cotter's idea, anyway ... right up until the police turned up and arrested his ass.
The Real Story:
Cotter had staged the entire thing to win Hansen back. Yes, knives in the back and everything. We'd like to think he did the whole thing for love, but since he was also heavily in debt at the time, we're guessing a potential gold medalist girlfriend (and the chance to sell their sensational story to the media) probably seemed like a nice little bonus.
"And once I fake my death in a plane crash, she'll definitely agree to marry me."
Here's how it went down: Helped by two accomplices, Cotter first inflicted the injuries on himself -- a project he took so seriously that he wound up losing well over two pints of blood. While he was in the hospital, his buddies mailed the racist letters to Hansen and the others in an attempt to give more credibility to Cotter's white supremacist story. However, the goons' Nazi letter writing skills proved inadequate and, after finding various inconsistencies in Cotter's story, the police eventually arrested the whole trio.