OGDEN Utah (ABC 4 News) – It was a horrible crime in 1974 that is still affecting the families of victims today.
The Ogden Hi-Fi murders were a case of a robbery that went bad. The crime involved torture, rape, and murder. Some of the victims survived but were never the same.
It happened on April 22, 1974 and Ogden police come across a grisly scene.
“There was police down there and everything and I had no idea what was going on,” recalls Byron Naisbitt who lost his wife Carol and eventually his son Cortney.
When police arrived to the music shop there are three dead bodies and two other victims were fighting to stay alive.
“She got caught down there,” Naisbitt told ABC 4 News. “She was there when they broke in."
Naisbitt says his wife went to the music shop looking for their son.
But Cortney was caught in the middle of the robbery when Carol walked in.
"I was surprised she was alive at all," says Naisbitt.
In a 1987 commutation hearing before convicted killer Pierre Dale Selby was put to death, he described the horrible deaths.
“I just continued shooting,” Selby says. “I figured I had shot Naisbitt so I just started shooting everybody else. When I was using the bathroom I saw the Drano in there."
All the victims including Carol and Cortney were tortured, forced to drink Drano before eventually being shot in the head.
“I remember the noise they were making, the sound of pain really,” Selby told the commutation board.
Carol Naisbitt died at the hospital.
18-year old Michelle Ansley was raped and killed.
20-year old Stanley Walker also died, but his father, Orrin Walker, and Cortney survived the brutal attacks.
“They found a bottle of Drano down there they forced to take it, figuring it would kill him,” Naisbitt told ABC 4 News. “My hell I'd hate to take a teaspoon of that.”
Fearing the worst Naisbitt says he went to the hospital looking for his wife and son.
“I went down in the morgue to identify her and I can still see her,” he says. “That's amazing I think and she was dead.”
Cortney was in a coma. Doctors feared he wouldn’t make it. So did his father.
“So I knew my life had changed right there,” he says.
Cortney did pull through. But his father says he was never the same.
“He was still bright,” Naisbitt says. “(He had) A different kind of brilliance, different kind of brilliance.”
As for the killers, Naisbitt says there was no thought of revenge or hate.
“I had none of that,” he says. “I figured right off the bat that they were going to be taken care of and I didn't give them one thought.”
The justice system did take care of it. In 1987 Selby was put to death by lethal injection. Five years later, William Andrews who also participated in the crime was also executed at the Utah state prison.
A third man, Keith Roberts who was waiting in the getaway car, was convicted of robbery and was sent to prison. He was released in 1987.
“I didn't give it a thought,” Naisbitt says. “They had their choice on how to die. I didn't follow it that close.”
Naisbitt’s son Cortney lived twenty-eight more years. Despite his injuries, Cortney was able to work and get married but later died a mysterious death at an early age of 44.
“They couldn't find anything,” his father says. “(There was) Nothing in the brain nothing in his body. He just died.”
As for Byron Naisbitt, he remarried and finally retired from his medical practice after delivering thousands of babies in Ogden.
April 22nd 1974 changed his life forever. But his resolve to move on helped him live life to the fullest still remembering his murdered wife and son and not allowing the heinous acts of two men to guide him on his path in life.
"My life is going to go on,” he says. “Hey nobody's going to change that but me, nobody."
In 1984, the Ogden Hi-Fi murders were turned into a book; “Victim: The Other Side of Murder by Gary Kinder.
It profiled the Naisbitt family, Cortney's struggle to live and a father's determination to keep him alive.
It was the first time the focus was on the victim of a violent crime.
Later in 1992, Hollywood turned the Naisbitt’s story into a movie: “Aftermath, A Test of Love.”