Feature: Wednesday, February 6, 2003
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
Wirt’s World

For years, while Norrismoved among Fort Worth’s top families,law enforcement was hearing whispers of alleged molestations.

By dan malone

Prestigious clubs, debutante balls, celebrity friends, ties to the city’s best-known families, work with venerated civic institutions — these are the public elements of Wirt Norris’ world.

But if even a fraction of the stories circulating about Norris these days are true, then he also prowled a private realm, a world where a serial pedophile mingled with the upper echelons of Fort Worth’s society — the crowd where kids have nannies and chauffeurs — using his standing to gain access to young boys and his respectability to shield him from repercussions for more than 30 years.

In recent weeks, the accusations against Norris, first published on Fort Worth Weekly’s web site, have been aired in newspapers, radio, and television accounts. And it now appears that some law enforcement officials have been hearing whispers about Norris for more than 20 years. But officials say the stories they were told through the years were too vague or too old to act upon until late last year, when the scandal touched the family of an influential attorney.

But there’s more to it than that. The world in which Norris moved so comfortably for so many years made the accusations seem all so improbable. He was a well-known figure at the River Crest Country Club on the city’s west side, the Fort Worth Club downtown, the Fort Worth Boat Club on Eagle Mountain Lake, and in the world of debutantes and gala balls. When he offered to teach boys to water ski or dive, parents who dutifully checked him out learned that he was “good with kids” — a coach with Olympic connections who for years handed out trophies to young sailors.


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