Two out of the five survived the vicious attack, but their lives would never be the same.
On 22 April, 1974 five people were held hostage and tortured in what has come to be known as the “Hi-Fi murders”. Three people tragically lost their lives in this brutal attack.
Just before 6pm Dale Selby Pierre (22) and William Andrews (19) entered the 'Hi-Fi Shop' on Washington Boulevard, Ogden, Utah. They pointed their guns at the two employees, Stanley Walker (20) and Michelle Ansley (19).
They took the employees to the basement of the store and tied them up. They returned to the store and began to rob it of $25,000 worth of electrical equipment, which at the time was an incredibly large amount.
Before long 16 year old Cortney Naisbitt entered the store. He came to talk to Stanley and was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Pierre and Andrews threatened him and then tied him up in the basement with Stanley and Michelle.
Stanley’s father Orren Walker (43) started to worry that his son hadn’t come home for the night. He was long overdue. He came to check on him, and he, like all the others, was tied up and taken to the basement.
Torture and Death
Finally Carol Naisbitt (52), the mother of 16 year old Cortney came into the store looking for him. She was taken to the basement, tied up and placed next to her son.
Each of the victims were propped up into sitting positions and forced to drink the liquid. They were told it was vodka laced with sleeping pills. In fact, the liquid was Drano – a liquid drain cleaner composed of sodium hydroxide and sodium hydrochloride.
The effect the drano had on the victims was to immediately blister and burn their lips, tongues and throats, peeling the flesh away from their mouths. Michelle Ansley begged for her life and was given a reprieve from the drano, but all of the other victims were forced to ingest it, and then had their mouths duct-taped closed.
Pierre got the idea of this method of torture from a movie. In the scene in the 1973 Dirty Harry movie “Magnum Force” the victim is forced to drink drano and dies a magnificent, quick death. The reality was not like that at all. They were making too much noise, and their deaths were taking too long. Pierre was annoyed by now, so went up to Carol and Cortney Naisbitt and shot them both in the back of the head. He then aimed at Orren Walker and shot, but missed, and next was Stan Walker. This time he didn’t miss, and Stan was killed instantly. He tried again with Orren, grazing the back of his head.
Pierre grabbed Michelle Ansley, the 19 year old shop assistant who was working her first week at her new job, and took her to the far corner of the basement. He made her remove her clothing at gunpoint, and then proceeded to brutally rape her. He allowed her to go to the bathroom when he had finished, and then dragged her back to the rest of the hostages, still naked, threw her to the ground and shot her in the back of the head.
This done, they decided it was time to finish loading their van with their stolen goods and depart – as if all they had done was commit a robbery.
Michelle Ansley, Carol Naisbitt and Stanley Walker were dead. Cortney Naisbitt and Orren Walker were seriously injured.
A few hours later two teenage boys were going through garbage bins near the Hill Air Force Base. They found wallets and purses and recognised the victims from seeing their photographs on the television.
The Ogden police also received an anonymous telephone call from an Air Force employee telling of how a fellow pilot named William Andrews had once confided that one day he was going to rob that Ogden Hi-Fi shop and would kill anyone who got in the way.
Pierre and Andrews were found guilty and sentenced to death. In 1987 Pierre was executed by lethal injection. Five years later Andrews was also executed at the Utah State Prison. The third man, Keith Roberts, was convicted of robbery and sent to prison, but as he was not involved in the killings, and technically did not even know about them (he waited in the getaway car) he was released from prison in 1987.
Put together by Ashley Hall