BOCA RATON, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) — Ten thousand dollars can be yours if you have pivotal information about a 1974 murder that leads a trail from South Florida to the northwest part of the state. It's a fascinating drug story that seems destined to be an episode of A&E's “The Glades,” yet went down nearly a decade before Florida became synonymous with Miami Vice.
A $10,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest of the perpetrator(s) of the 1974 murder of James Norris whose body was found in Dixie County. Tipsters can remain anonymous.
“Someone has the information we need to solve this murder,” said Florida Department of Law Enforcement Commissioner Gerald Bailey. “We are asking anyone with information to call 1-888-ANY-TIPS and help us take these dangerous criminals off the street.”
“We have a great deal of information regarding this case and believe we are close to an arrest,” said Dixie County Sheriff Dewey H. Hatcher, Sr. “Just a little information could crack this case.”
On the morning of October 4, 1974, San Francisco, Calif. resident James Norris arrived by commercial flight in Miami, Fla. He was traveling under the alias Richard Gunning. The investigation shows that Norris traveled to Citrus County, Fla. to purchase marijuana from an organization operating in that county. The investigation has uncovered the names of members of that organization.
Norris was carrying a large amount of cash with the intention of purchasing Columbian-grade marijuana that was not at the time available in California. That afternoon, Norris mailed a postcard to his family from Inglis, Fla. That was the last contact his family had with him.
On April 16, 1976, a bulldozer operator cutting through the woods off U.S. Highway 19 in northern Dixie County, near the Taylor County line, came upon skeletal remains.
The body remained unidentified until 2011 when advances in DNA allowed the remains of James Norris to be positively identified.
A $10,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest of the killer(s) of James Norris. The tipster can remain anonymous.
The family of James Norris contributed $6,000 to the reward fund. FDLE and Dixie County Sheriff’s Office each contributed $1,500 and Crime Stoppers contributed $1,000.
If you have information about the murder of James Norris, please contact 1-800-ANY-TIPS.
The Norris family has established a website, www.whokilledjamesnorris.com, which describes the family’s long search for their loved one.