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The Looking Glass A look back at the old, but not forgotten, murders and other violent crimes of the past.

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Old 03-22-2007, 06:46 AM
Gary Dee Gary Dee is offline
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Alert The Hi-Fi Murders

The so-called Hi-Fi Murders was an infamous criminal case involving murder, rape and robbery which occurred in the Hi-Fi Shop in Ogden, Utah on April 22, 1974.

The crimes were committed by two 19-year-old United States Air Force airmen, Pierre Dale Selby and William Andrews. Selby and Andrews took five people hostage, killed three of them, and left the two who survived with horrific injuries.

Following a trial, both men were found guilty and sentenced to death. The NAACP campaigned to commute Selby and Andrews' death sentences, despite overwhelming physical evidence and witness accounts that identified them as the killers beyond a reasonable doubt.

The robbery, rape, and murders

Selby and Andrews entered the Hi-Fi store in Ogden just before closing time, brandishing handguns. Two employees, Stanley Walker, age 20, and Michelle Ansley, age 19, were in the store at the time and taken hostage.

Selby and Andrews took the two into the basement of the store, bound them, and then began robbing the store. Later, a 16-year-old boy named Cortney Naisbitt entered the store to thank Walker for helping him with an errand and was also taken hostage and tied up in the basement with Walker and Ansley. Later that evening, Orren Walker, Stanley's 43-year-old father, became worried that his son had not returned home. Orren arrived at the store and was also taken hostage; at this point, Ansley began begging and crying.

After Orren was taken to the basement, Selby ordered Andrews to go out to their van and bring him back something. Andrews returned with a bottle in a brown paper bag, from which Selby poured a cup of blue liquid. Selby ordered Orren to administer the liquid to the other hostages, but he refused, and was bound, gagged and left face-down on the basement floor. Just then, Carol Naisbitt, Cortney's 52-year-old mother, entered the store looking for her son. Carol was taken to the basement, bound, and placed next to her son.

Selby and Andrews then propped each of the victims into sitting positions and forced them to drink the liquid, telling them it was vodka laced with sleeping pills. Rather, it was liquid Drāno. The moment it touched the hostages' lips, enormous blisters rose, and it began to burn their tongues and throats and peel away the flesh around their mouths. Ansley, still begging for her life, was not forced to drink the drain cleaner. Selby and Andrews tried to duct-tape the hostages' mouths shut to hold quantities of drain cleaner in and to silence their screams, but pus oozing from the blisters prevented the adhesive from sticking. Orren Walker was the last to be given the drain cleaner, but seeing what was happening to the other hostages, he allowed it to pour out of his mouth and then faked the convulsions and screams of his son and fellow hostages.

Selby became angry because the deaths were taking too long and were too loud and messy, so he shot both Carol and Cortney Naisbitt in the backs of their heads. Selby then shot at Orren Walker but missed. He then fatally shot Stan Walker before again shooting at Orren, this time grazing the back of his head.

Selby then took Ansley to the far corner of the basement, forced her at gunpoint to remove her clothes, then repeatedly and brutally raped her while Andrews watched. When he was done, he allowed her to use the bathroom while he watched, then dragged her, still naked, back to the other hostages, threw her on her face, and fatally shot her in the back of the head.

Andrews and Selby noted that Orren was still alive, so Selby mounted him, wrapped a wire around his throat, and tried to strangle him. When this failed, Selby and Andrews inserted a ballpoint pen into Orren's ear, and Selby stomped it until it punctured his eardrum, broke, and exited the side of his throat. Selby and Andrews then went upstairs, finished loading equipment into their van, and departed.


The victims were discovered almost an hour later when Orren's wife and other son came to the store looking for them. Orren's son heard noises coming from the basement and broke down the back door while Mrs. Walker called the Ogden police. Stan Walker and Ansley were already dead; Carol Naisbitt lived long enough to be loaded into an ambulance, but was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital. Although Cortney was not expected to live, he did survive, albeit with severe and irreparable brain damage, and required hospitalization for 266 days before being released.

Orren Walker survived, although with extensive burns to his mouth and chin, as well as the damage to his ear caused by the pen.

Hours after news of the crime broke, an Air Force officer called the Ogden police and told them that Andrews had confided in him months earlier, "One of these days I'm going to rob that hi-fi shop, and if anybody gets in the way, I'm going to kill them." Hours after that call was received, two teenage boys dumpster diving near Hill Air Force Base where Selby and Andrews were stationed discovered the victims' wallets and purses, and, recognizing the pictures on the drivers' licenses, called the police. A crowd of Airmen quickly formed, including Selby and Andrews. The detective who responded to the scene, believing that the killers might be in the crowd, put on a show, speaking dramatically and waving each piece of evidence in the air with tongs as he removed them from the dumpster. He later noted in his report that out of all the Airmen gathered around the dumpster, most of whom stood still and watched in relative silence, two in particular paced around the crowd, spoke loudly, and made frantic gestures with their hands. The detective later identified these two Airmen as Selby and Andrews. The detective later received an award from the Utah branch of the Justice Department for his use of proactive techniques.

Based on Selby's and Andrews's reactions to the evidence being removed from the trash bin, and the officer's implication of Andrews, Andrews and Selby were taken into custody and a search warrant was issued for their barracks. Police found fliers for the hi-fi shop and a rental contract for a unit at a public storage facility. Police obtained a warrant for the storage unit, where they discovered several pieces of stereo equipment which were later identified from serial numbers as having been taken from the hi-fi store. During the course of removing the equipment from the storage unit, detectives discovered the half-empty bottle of Drano that had been used on the hostages. Based on this evidence Selby and Andrews were formally charged with the crimes.

A third person, Keith Roberts, who waited outside in a car, was also charged with robbery.


Selby, Andrews and Roberts were tried jointly for first-degree murder and robbery. Selby and Andrews were convicted of all charges and sentenced to death. Roberts was convicted only of robbery and was sentenced to imprisonment. Roberts was paroled in 1987.

During the trial it was revealed that Selby and Andrews had robbed the store with the intention of killing anyone they came across, and in the months prior to the robbery had been looking for a way to commit the murders quietly and cleanly. The two then repeatedly watched the film Magnum Force[1], in which a prostitute is forced to drink Drāno and is then shown immediately dropping dead. Selby and Andrews decided that this would be an efficient method of murder and decided to use it in their crime. Orren Walker was the star witness for the prosecution. Cortney Naisbitt was too ill to testify. However his father, Dr. Byron Naisbitt, did testify.


Following the issuing of death sentences, the NAACP demanded that Selby and Andrews' sentences be reduced to life with the possibility of parole, claiming that Selby and Andrews had been unfairly convicted since they were both black, and the victims and jury were all white. Andrews was quick to accuse the judicial system of racism following the NAACP's request for reduced sentences, and in an interview with USA Today, he claimed that he had never intended to kill anyone; this was later rebutted when detectives cited a statement by Andrews in which he admitted being the one to purchase the drain cleaner and bring it to the store on the night of the killings.

Selby and Andrews became notoriously hated prisoners, even amongst the black population. They were particularly reviled on death row, especially by Gary Gilmore (also facing capital punishment and imprisoned at the same facility), whose final words to his fellow inmates before being taken to face the firing squad were, "I'll see you in Hell, Pierre and Andrews!" (Referring to Selby by his given name.) Gilmore is reported to have laughed at Selby and Andrews as he passed by their cells.

Despite movements by the NAACP and Amnesty International, Selby and Andrews were both put to death by lethal injection, Selby on August 28, 1987, Andrews five years later in 1992.

The Hi-Fi Murders are still seen as among the worst crimes ever committed in the state of Utah. The case is now taught to FBI trainees at the FBI Academy at Quantico, Virginia, and it was included as a sample case in the FBI's Crime Classification Manual.

Cortney Naisbitt's story became the basis for the book Victim: The Other Side of Murder by Gary Kinder. This book was viewed by many as pioneering because it was one of the first true crime books that focused on the victims of a violent crime rather than the criminals. Cortney was able to return to school more than a year after the incident, and he graduated with his Ogden High School class in 1976. Due to his brain damage, however, he was forced to drop out of college, and because he could not hold down a job, had to apply for social security assistance.

Cortney suffered chronic pain for the rest of his life, until his death on June 4, 2002 at the age of 44 .

Orren Walker, the other victim who survived the brutal attack, died on February 13, 2000.

Hi-Fi Torture Victim Dies 28 Years Later

Twenty-eight years after the brutal Hi-Fi murders shocked Utah, Cortney Naisbitt, one of the two survivors of Ogden's 1974 torture-murder rampage, has died.

Naisbitt, who was plagued throughout his life by disabilities that stemmed from being tortured, shot in the head and left for dead, died June 4 in Seattle after a long, undisclosed illness. He was 44.

His father, Byron Naisbitt of Ogden, declined comment except to say: "This is the end of the Hi-Fi story. I want this to be the end of it."

The story of Cortney Naisbitt's struggle to survive his wounds and rebuild his life after the crime, which was made into a book and later a television movie, is credited by many with starting the victims' rights movement. Byron Naisbitt says a deeper understanding of the victims of crime would be the best legacy of his son's struggle.

On April 22, 1974, the 16-year-old high school science whiz had just completed his first solo flight as a pilot. After having his shirt tail unceremoniously cut off by his instructor and nailed to the wall of the flight school, Naisbitt headed for home.

But he decided to stop at a downtown Ogden photo shop to pick up some pictures. To get back to the parking lot, he took a shortcut through the neighboring Hi-Fi Shop. There, Naisbitt was confronted by Pierre Dale Selby and William Andrews, airmen from Hill Air Force Base, who were in the process of robbing the store.

Selby and Andrews took hostage the high school student and two other people -- Stanley Walker and Michelle Ansley. Later, when Naisbitt's mother, Carol Naisbitt, and 20-year-old Walker's father, Orren Walker, came to look for their sons, they too were held at gunpoint in the store basement.

The men forced their five hostages to drink caustic Drano drain opener. Selby raped 18-year-old Ansley. Later, he began shooting each hostage in the head. When Orren Walker showed signs of life, Selby, who had run out of bullets, kicked a ball-point pen into his ear.

Although Orren Walker and Cortney Naisbitt survived the ordeal, Naisbitt, badly brain damaged, never remembered the events of that day. Walker was the key witness in the trial.

Selby was executed by lethal injection in 1987. Despite appeals on the basis that Andrews had not done any of the shootings, he was executed in 1992. A third man, who was waiting outside in the getaway car, was convicted of robbery.

After Andrews' execution, Naisbitt told The Salt Lake Tribune he had forgiven Selby and Andrews, but added, "Where does the anger a victim feels for a perpetrator go when the perpetrator is gone?"

In an interview, Gary Kinder, author of Victim: The Other Side of Murder, which recounts Naisbitt's struggle to survive his horrible wounds and graduate high school, said the 16-year-old was never expected to live.
"The doctors, from the moment he arrived in the emergency room until he got out of the intensive care unit seven months later, thought he was going to die at any time," Kinder said. "In ICU, you either get better in a few days or you die. He stayed right on that edge."

Kinder said Naisbitt's survival was a testimony to the support he received from his family, church and community, particularly his father Byron Naisbitt.

"It was as if Byron willed him to live. He had someone there holding Cort's hand 24 hours a day. Brothers, sisters, members of his church. Doctors are not particularly sentimental, but they saw no other reason whatsoever for him to have survived."

Naisbitt later trained in computers and held a job at Hill Air Force Base.
Kinder, now a best-selling author, said he wrote Victim in 1984 to explore the lasting impact of crime on the victims. Books about criminals always have been popular, he said. "This was the only book until recently that dramatized the victims' side of crime. I hope I made these people real because they were your next-door neighbor."

When Kinder, who had never before written a book, approached Byron Naisbitt to write the book, the widowed father said simply, "If you think hearing our story will help somebody down the road, let's do it."

Over the years, the author, who remains close to the family, says he has heard from many readers, including criminal defense attorneys, who have been forced to rethink their beliefs about justice and capital punishment.
"It did not bother me at all when they executed [Selby]," Kinder said.

"Pierre Dale Selby was a psychopath. The other two men were terrified of him."
But Kinder is still struggling to make sense of Naisbitt's death after so many years of struggle: "I don't know how to answer that question."

Condemned Utah Murderer Appeals for Clemency

Pierre Dale Selby weeping while speaking before the Utah Board of Pardons as his attorney, Gil Athay, poured him a cup of water. Mr. Selby is sentenced to be executed Aug. 28. He was convicted in the torture and shooting of five people in a 1974 robbery at a stereo store in Ogden. The board will hear five hours of testimony from each side before deciding by Aug. 20 whether to commute the death sentence. (AP) 60
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Old 03-22-2007, 01:10 PM
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I read a book about this case, "Victim: The Other Side of Murderby Gary Kinder," years ago. I remember being horrified that they made their victims drink Drano. I felt so sorry for Cortney Naisbitt, with his lifetime ordeal of health problems that were directly related to this crime.
You must give some time to your fellow men. Even if it's a little thing, do something for others - something for which you get no pay but the privilege of doing it.
-Albert Schweitzer (1875 - 1965)
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Old 03-22-2007, 08:09 PM
Gary Dee Gary Dee is offline
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Gary Dee will become famous soon enough

Originally Posted by crimeshot1
I remember being horrified that they made their victims drink Drano. I felt so sorry for Cortney Naisbitt, with his lifetime ordeal of health problems that were directly related to this crime.

The same for me, but topping all this is

Selby and Andrews inserted a ballpoint pen into Orren's ear, and Selby stomped it until it punctured his eardrum, broke, and exited the side of his throat

Just imagine all of this.I think it is not only the most horrible crime, in Utah history, but the most horrible murders i can remember for right now
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