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Soldier of Fortune

Many years ago, while Doug Norwood was a student in law school at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, his wife Cathy’s ex-husband hired five different groups of  hit men to kill Doug, who advertised their “gun for hire” services in the classified ads of Soldier of Fortune magazine. This group made several attempts to murder Mr. Norwood, including breaking into his student apartment and shooting him once in the chest and once in the leg, rigging his car with a bomb, and several other failed attempts.

Fortunately, Mr. Norwood survived and eventually the different hit teams and Cathy’s ex-husband who  hired them, were identified, caught and put in prison. They turned out to be responsible for attacks on many people around the country, and soon the FBI was involved in the case.  Doug sued Soldier of Fortune magazine for damages for allowing the hit men to run “gun for hire” ads in their classified ads. The story became national news, and Mr. Norwood was asked to speak about his experience. He was interviewed by reporters from around the country, and appeared on several talk shows, including Oprah Winfrey,  to discuss the incident and his harrowing experience.

Even to this day, many people are still fascinated by the story and when they meet Mr. Norwood they ask him questions about his experience. Given the public interest, Mr. Norwood has compiled some of the information on this website about the “Soldier of Fortune Story”,  which tells the story and what happened, how the hit teams were caught, and Mr. Norwood’s role in breaking open the national case.

In the Press

Want Ads in Soldier of Fortune Magazine Led a Blundering Gang of Alleged Killers to Their Victims
Norman “Doug” Norwood, 31, was not a man with a reputation for making enemies. An ex-prison guard turned law student at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, he was a friendly sort who divided his time between his law books, classroom lectures and the company of his 29-year-old fiancée, Cathy Smith Gray. His life in rural Arkansas was predictable—even soporific—until the morning last summer when two nattily attired men knocked on the door of his campus apartment, claiming to be private detectives looking for information on a fellow student.

Read more at People Magazine

The Mail-order Murders Gun For Hire: 37 Year Old Professional Mercenary Desires Jobs. Vietnam Veteran. Discrete And Very Private. Body Guard, Courier, And Other Special Skills. All Jobs Considered.

IT WOULD HAVE BEEN COMICAL if it hadn`t been so deadly, if lives hadn`t been mercilessly ended or, at the very least, haunted by terror. They were called the gang that couldn`t shoot straight, yet they were a gang that had so many shots, they were bound to hit their targets sometimes, and people were bound to die.

For months they tried to kill Doug Norwood, but whether they came at him with machine guns or bombs or stun guns, they always managed to screw up. The same thing with Dana Free. Three times they tried to get him with grenades and three times they missed. And when it came time to kill Victoria Barshear, well, the gang just decided she was too pretty to die.

Read more at the Sun Sentinel

Doug Norwood

  • SuperLawyer™
  • Former Deputy Prosecuter
  • Defended over 25,000 cases
  • Defended over 8,000 DWIs
  • Serving NWA since 1988
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV-rated
Norman Douglas NorwoodReviewsout of 278 reviews
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