Chilling Facts About The 1974 Hi-Fi Murders
On April 22, 1974, four armed men entered the Hi-fi Shop in Ogden, UT, around closing time and took the store's two employees as well as a 16-year-old boy hostage. When two worried parents arrived at the shop looking for their children, they were taken hostage, as well. Over the course of the evening, two of the men committed extreme acts of torture on the five victims before killing three of them and leaving the two survivors with lifelong injuries.
The Hi-Fi murders as they're now known rocked the town of Ogden and laid bare the racial tension and biases that existed in the city. This list explores what happened to the victims of the Hi-Fi murders and how two of the perpetrators were ultimately executed for their crimes.
On April 22, 1974, Five People Were Taken Hostage At The Hi-Fi Shop In Ogden, UT
When six robbers arrived at the Hi-fi Shop in Ogden, UT, on the evening of April 22, two stayed in vans as getaway drivers while the other four men, led by Dale Selby Pierre, entered the store and drew their weapons. Inside the electronics store were two employees, 20-year-old Stanley Walker and 18-year-old Sherry Michelle Ansley, who were quickly taken to the basement and tied up as the men began robbing the store.
In the midst of the robbery, 16-year-old Cortney Naisbitt entered the shop and was also taken hostage. Naisbitt had only gone inside to thank Walker, who had allowed the teenager to park his car in the Hi-fi Shop's lot. At that point, Naisbitt was also taken to the basement and bound.
Stanley Walker's father, Orren Walker (43), went to the store to check on his son and was subsequently taken hostage, as well. A little while later, Cortney Naisbitt's mother, Carol Naisbitt (52), also went to the store to check on her son, and she was bound, gagged, and placed with the other prisoners.
Dale Selby Pierre Forced The Victims To Drink Drano
While two of the men stayed upstairs to complete the robbery, 21-year-old Dale Selby Pierre and 19-year-old William Andrews stayed in the basement with the hostages.
Pierre instructed the five victims, still bound and gagged, to drink a substance he claimed was a combination of vodka and sleeping pills. The liquid was actually Drano, which immediately burned and blistered the victims' mouths and throats. As the victims cried out in pain, the perpetrators attempted to tape their mouths shut but were unsuccessful.
When it became clear that the Drano would not kill the victims, Pierre became inpatient and proceeded to shoot Carol Naisbitt, Cortney Naisbitt, Orren Walker, and Stanley Walker in their heads.
Pierre Assaulted And Murdered Sherry Michelle Ansley
Sherry Michelle Ansley had only been working at the Hi-fi Shop for about a week when the store was robbed. After shooting the four other hostages, Pierre took Ansley to the other side of the basement, where he r*ped her. Conflicting reports claim the other men may have also sexually assaulted Ansley.
Ansley was then taken back to join the other victims, where Pierre proceeded to shoot her in the back of the head. Reportedly, Ansley's last words were, "I'm too young to die."
Orren Walker Survived The Attack By Pretending To Drink The Drano And Convulsing
After shooting all of the hostages, Andrews and Pierre noticed Orren Walker was still breathing. What the assailants didn't know was that Walker did not drink the Drano. When he saw the pain the other four victims were enduring, he allowed the cleaner to pour out of his mouth. When the others began convulsing, Walker mimicked it and feigned death.
Upset he was still alive, Pierre reportedly tried choking Walker to death by wrapping a wire around his throat but was unsuccessful. The men then placed a pen inside Walker's ear, and Pierre stomped on it.
Believing Walker was finally dead, all four men left the store, but Walker managed to survive. He went on to testify against his assailants and lived until 2000.
Cortney Naisbitt Also Survived But Suffered Massive Brain Damage
Carol Naisbitt didn't immediately succumb to her injuries but later died at the hospital. Cortney Naisbitt also survived the attack and recovered, though he did suffer amnesia and extensive brain damage. He also dealt with chronic pain for the remainder of his life.
Despite the physical and mental trauma he endured, Cortney graduated from high school just two years after the incident, and he later married. Cortney Naisbitt died in 2002 at the age of 44.
When Cortney died, his father, Dr. Byron Naisbitt, told the press, “This is the end of the Hi-Fi story. I want this to be the end of it.”
Pierre Reportedly Got The Idea To Use Drano From The Film 'Magnum Force'
The day after the murders, police received a tip from an airman stationed at the same Air Force base as Andrews and Pierre. The man informed the police he witnessed the two men watch the movie Magnum Force the previous night. He also heard whispers from the two about a future robbery. In the film Magnum Force, a woman is forced to drink Drano, causing her immediate death.
After the tip, police promptly traveled to the Air Force base and arrested Andrews and Pierre. Keith Roberts, another airman, was later arrested after police learned he was in one of the getaway vans. Investigators were never able to obtain enough evidence to convict the three other unidentified men involved in the crime.