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The Hi-Fi Murders

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Hi-fi shop murders in ogden utah

In 1974 the high profile case of the Hi-Fi Shop murders would forever change the lives in the community of Ogden Utah.

In years past, one could walk down the streets of Ogden Utah with a feeling of security, without the worry of who might be waiting around the corner, or just beyond the door. On April 22, 1974, all that would change for this picturesque town in Northern Utah. Having a relatively low crime rate at the time, the citizens of Ogden would be rocked by the events of this night, forever changing their community.

April 22, started out like any other spring day, but before the day’s end, five people would experience the most inexplicable terror they could have ever imagined.

The day wore down to late afternoon, and prominent Ogden citizen, Carol Naisbitt, wife of Doctor Byron Naisbitt, became worried when her son, Cortney was extremely late arriving home from an errand at the Hi-Fi Shop, located on Washington Blvd in Ogden. As the minutes ticked by, Carol became more worried, knowing this was completely out of character for her son. Deciding he had been gone way too long, Carol went in search of her son. When she walked into the Hi-Fi Shop, Carol walked onto the scene of what would soon become one of the most grisly murders in Utah history.

Cortney and three other people, Sherry Machelle Ansley, Orren Walker, and (Orren’s son) Stanley Walker were being held hostage by two black gunmen. Just after Carole walked through the door, the two men locked up the doors of the Hi-Fi shop and forced the five hostages into the basement at gunpoint.

Once in the basement, Sherry Machelle Ansley was forced into another room where she was brutally raped. When the perpetrators were finished with her, they forced her and the four other victims to drink Drano before shooting each of them in the head with a 25 caliber gun. Then the two men made off with over $25,000 in stereo equipment. Of the five victims, only Cortney and Orren would survive.

When police arrived on the scene some time later, they were aghast at the brutality of the crimes committed against these people; the manhunt was on, and they would leave no stone unturned until these monsters were brought to justice.

The next day an unnamed informant called in a tip to Ogden City Police with information that would help wrap up the case much sooner than police had anticipated. The informant, an airman stationed at Hill Air Force Base, told police that he had overheard two of his fellow airmen talking about robbing a store and reenacting the violent scenes of the movie, Magnum Force, which the two had seen the night before the murders.

Shortly after receiving the tip, police arrived at the air force barracks and arrested two suspects, William Andrews and Pierre Dale Selby. Later, police would also arrest Keith Roberts, whom apparently had been waiting outside in a car for the two suspects to finish their business on that fateful night.

The story that Orren Walker told at the trial, struck terror into the hearts of all that heard him. Orren Walker recounted the atrocities that he and the other victims were forced to endure at the hands of these killers. Orren witnessed the murder of his twenty year old son, before their attempt to murder him. One of the bullets missed his head, the other just grazing it. When the suspects ran out of bullets, they jammed a pen in his ear and attempted to strangle him before leaving him for dead.

With a severe gunshot wound to the head, and brain damage, Cortney Naisbitt’s survival was nothing short of miraculous. Cortney lay in a coma for days, struggling for his life. His family was told that if he lived, he would probably be a vegetable. Not only did Cortney survive, but he went on to finish high-school and obtain his pilots license, which had been his life long dream. Cortney’s heroic fight for survival was the subject of Gary Kinder’s 1982 best-seller, “Victim; the Other Side of Murder, which was made into the 1991 TV movie, Aftermath, A Test Of Love, starring Richard Chamberlain.

The court found that Keith Roberts had no role in, or knowledge of the murders, though he was convicted of armed robbery. Roberts was paroled in 1987. Andrews and Selby were found guilty of three counts of aggravated homicide and sentenced to death. After years of appeals, Selby was executed in 1987; Andrews’ sentence was carried out five years later. Though there was no joy throughout the community at the execution of these two men, neither was there a display of remorse. With their vicious actions, these two men had not only changed the lives of three families, but they changed the life style of an entire town.

Unfortunately, the result of this case would be mass distrust of the black community in Ogden. The people were blamed and mistrusted for something they had nothing to do with; it would take decades for the racial tension to dissipate.


This is horrible. I'll post more of it once Wikipedia comes back up.

edit - This tells the story much better.

Edited by riotboy555

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Gosh, I remember when this happened as a child. It still gives me chiles when I think about kicking the ball point pen thur the ear. :no:


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