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The Justice Files: The Ogden Hi-Fi Murders

Justice Files

OGDEN, Utah (ABC4 Utah) – It was the unimaginable terror that five people faced in 1974.

Before that April night was over, three people were murdered and two more were tortured and shot, but they managed to survive.

Ogden police arrived at the electronics store on Washington Boulevard.

One of those called to the scene was George Throckmorton who was then a forensic crime scene specialist for the department.

“When I got there, there was a man with a pen stuck in his ear running around,” said Throckmorton who is now retired.

That man was Orren Walker who was wounded and someone had shoved a pen in his ear and stepped on it forcing it to go through his skull.

“We found out the grisly details,” said Throckmorton. “The first thing we noticed was there were four people down there who had been tied up. Their feet had also been tied up. With the exception of the one girl who had been raped and killed. She was shot.”

But they had also been tortured according to Throckmorton. He said they were given a cleaning solvent to drink.

“They were given Drano and when the people in the basement found out it didn’t kill them because they got sick and threw up,” said Throckmorton. “So they gave them Drano again and put tape over their mouth so that they couldn’t throw up. And when that didn’t happen they went around and started shooting them.”

One of those shot and killed was Carol Naisbitt who went to the Hi-Fi Shop looking for her son Cortney.

Back in 2012, Dr. Bryon Naisbitt told ABC4 about that night as his wife left their home.

“There was police down there and everything and I had no idea what was going on,” said Dr. Naisbitt.

Along with his wife, 18-year-old Sherry Michelle Ansley was raped and shot to death. Her co-worker, 20-year-old Stanley Walker also was murdered.
But Walker’s father, Orrin and Cortney survived the brutal attacks.

“I was surprised she was alive at all,” said Dr. Naisbitt referring to his wife who was rushed to the hospital but later died.

Throckmorton said Ansley, Stanley Walker and Cortney Naisbitt were working at the store when the parents of the Walker and Naisbitt became worried about their sons.

“What happened is that they were closing up when the people who were working there were kidnapped and taken downstairs,” recalled Throckmorton. “When they didn’t show up for home the mother of one of them came down and she was kidnapped and brought down. Later on, the father came back down and he was also taken down and tied up.”

The manhunt was on. But about two days later, a tip from Hill Air Force Base brought police there. They searched a dumpster on the base after someone found personal items of the victims.

Throckmorton was looking in the dumpster with another detective.

“He stopped,” said Throckmorton. “He looked at the barracks and pointed his finger and said that’s where Dale Pierre lives.”

Pierre Dale Selby was an airman stationed at Hill Air Force Base.

Throckmorton said he was already a suspect in another murder involving an auto theft ring. He said they got a search warrant for his barracks.

“As I went over to lift up the carpet, between the carpet and the padding there was a folded piece of paper,” said Throckmorton. And as I opened the paper, it was a lease agreement of a storage unit that was about a block from the Hi-Fi shop and Dale Pierre had signed it.”

He said he went back to where the detective was with Selby. Throckmorton said Selby was talking non-stop with police.

“I said ‘bingo, we’ve got him.” Throckmorton said. “I showed him the lease agreement and Pierre looked at it and shut his mouth and never spoke another word.”

He said they went to the storage unit which was a few blocks from the Hi-Fi Shop.

“It was filled with all the hi-fi equipment stolen from the store,” he said.

Selby was arrested and charged with multiple counts of aggravated murder and attempted murder.

Another airman, William Andrews, was an accomplice and faced similar charges.

A getaway driver, Keith Roberts, was also charged but was only convicted of aggravated robbery.

At a 1987 commutation hearing, Selby described the brutal murders

“I just continued shooting,” Selby told the board. “I figured I had shot Naisbitt so I just started shooting everybody else.”

Selby said he saw a movie where victims were forced to drink Drano.

“When I was using the bathroom I saw the Drano in there,” he said. “I remember the noise they were making, the sound of pain really.”

He died by lethal injection in 1987 but Andrews appeals’ lasted five more years.
In a 1992 interview, Andrews expressed remorse for the crime.

“I am very ashamed with my participation in the crime,” he said. “I feel a lot of remorse for the victims and family members of the victims.”

Andrews never pulled the trigger but still was sentenced to die. He claimed the death penalty unfairly targets African Americans.

“There are numerous instances that came after me that were perpetrated by white people and in some cases, a lot of cases, first-degree murder wasn’t even asked for and why not?” he asked the reporter.

Back then African Americans and others in the Utah community supported a commutation for Andrews claiming he was only an accomplice.

Rev. France Davis of the Calvary Baptist Church in Salt Lake City was one of those in support of Andrews. Even today, he still supported a commutation because the justice system remains unfair for people of color.

“The death penalty was being used as a racist device that there were more African Americans being put to death than there were any other group,” he said.

Back then, Jim Gillespie was earning a career in law enforcement.

“It was a tragic event that just happened to be black individuals that committed the crime,” said Gillespie.

He was a former Ogden police officer and investigator for the state liquor commission.

“I believe in God but I also believe, as a lot of people talk about blood atonement, a life for a life. So I do believe that those people had to be executed.”

Gillespie later worked for the Department of Corrections and announced Andrews’ death to the media. It was a somber moment.

“Very sorrowful because a life had been taken, a life is gone,” he recalled.

The two survivors, Orrin Walker and Cortney Naisbitt are now deceased.

Dr. Byron Naisbitt never attended the executions of the two men. He refused to let the tragic event in 1974 alter his life. He remarried, and eventually retired from his medical practice after delivering thousands of babies in Ogden.

“My life is going to go on,” he told ABC4 in 2012. “Hey nobody’s going to change that but me, nobody.”


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