Late on the night of April 22, 1974,
two airmen named Dale Pierre (aka Pierre Dale Shelby) and William
Andrews entered the local Hi-Fi Shop in Ogden, Utah, where Stanley
Walker and Michelle Ansley worked and Naisbitt was walking through.
The two men decided they were going to rob the store.
They overpowered the workers and
Naisbitt and took them to the basement. Carol Naisbitt (Cortney's
mother) and Orren Walker (Stan's father) arrived at the store
looking for their children after Cortney, Michelle, and Stan had
already been taken to the basement of the store and tied up.
Pierre and Andrews forced them to
drink liquid Drano, and then Pierre shot them in the head. Michelle
Ansley was also raped. Michelle Ansley, Carol Naisbitt, Stanley
Walker, died, while Orren Walker and Cortney Naisbitt survived.
Pierre and William Andrews were
convicted of three counts of aggravated homicide and sentenced to
death. Pierre was executed in 1987, and Andrews was executed in
A third participant in the robbery,
Keith Roberts, had acted as a lookout and did not actually enter the
store. He was found by the court to have had no role in or knowledge
of the murders. He was convicted of armed robbery and paroled in
1987. Cortney Naisbitt's story was the basis of the book, "Victim:
The Other Side Of Murder" (1980), by Brian Kinder, and the 1991
film, "Aftermath: A Test Of Love."
Hi-Fi Murders was an infamous criminal case involving murder,
rape and robbery which occurred in the Hi-Fi Shop in Ogden, Utah on
April 22, 1974.
The crimes were committed by
two 19-year-old United States Air Force airmen, Pierre Dale Selby
and William Andrews. Selby and Andrews took five people
hostage, killed three of them, and left the two who survived with
Following a trial, both men were found guilty and sentenced to
death. The NAACP campaigned to commute Selby and Andrews' death
sentences, despite overwhelming physical evidence and witness
accounts that identified them as the killers beyond a reasonable
rape, and murders
Andrews entered the Hi-Fi store in Ogden just before closing time,
brandishing handguns. Two employees,
Stanley Walker, age 20, and Michelle
Ansley, age 19, were in the store at the time and taken
hostage. Selby and Andrews took the two into the basement of the
store, bound them, and then began robbing the store.
16-year-old boy named Cortney Naisbitt
entered the store to thank Walker for helping him with an errand and
was also taken hostage and tied up in the basement with Walker and
Ansley. Later that evening, Orren Walker,
Stanley's 43-year-old father, became worried that his son had not
returned home. Orren arrived at the store and was also taken
hostage; at this point, Ansley began begging and crying.
After Orren was taken to the
basement, Selby ordered Andrews to go out to their van and bring him
back something. Andrews returned with a bottle in a brown paper bag,
from which Selby poured a cup of blue liquid. Selby ordered Orren to
administer the liquid to the other hostages, but he refused, and was
bound, gagged and left face-down on the basement floor. Just then,
Carol Naisbitt, Courtney's
52-year-old mother, entered the store looking for her son. Carol was
taken to the basement, bound, and placed next to her son.
Selby and Andrews then propped
each of the victims into sitting positions and forced them to drink
the liquid, telling them it was vodka laced with sleeping pills.
Rather, it was an industrial drain cleaner whose active ingredient
was sodium hydroxide. The moment it touched the hostages' lips,
enormous blisters rose, and it began to burn their tongues and
throats and peel away the flesh around their mouths. Ansley, still
begging for her life, was not forced to drink the drain cleaner.
Pierre and Andrews tried to duct-tape the hostages' mouths shut to
hold quantities of drain cleaner in and to silence their screams,
but pus oozing from the blisters prevented the adhesive from
sticking. Orren Walker was the last to be given the drain cleaner,
but seeing what was happening to the other hostages, he allowed it
to pour out of his mouth and then faked the convulsions and screams
of his son and fellow hostages.
Selby became angry because the
deaths were taking too long and were too loud and messy, so he shot
both Carol and Cortney Naisbitt in the backs of their heads. Selby
then shot at Orren Walker but missed. He then fatally shot Stan
Walker before again shooting at Orren, this time striking him in the
back of the head.
Selby then took Ansley to the
far corner of the basement, forced her at gunpoint to remove her
clothes, then repeatedly and brutally raped her while Andrews
watched. When he was done, he dragged her, still naked, back to the
other hostages, threw her on her face, and fatally shot her in the
back of the head.
and Selby noted that Orren was still alive, so Selby mounted him,
wrapped a wire around his throat, and tried to strangle him. When
this failed, Selby and Andrews inserted a ballpoint pen into Orren's
ear, and Selby stomped it until it punctured his eardrum, broke, and
exited the side of his throat. Selby and Andrews then went upstairs,
finished loading equipment into their van, and departed.
were discovered four hours later when Orren's wife and other son
came to the store looking for them. Orren's son heard noises coming
from the basement and broke down the back door while Mrs. Walker
called 9-1-1. Stan Walker and Ansley were already dead; Carol
Naisbitt lived long enough to be loaded into an ambulance, but was
pronounced dead on arrival at hospital.
Although Cortney was not
expected to live, he did survive, albeit with severe and irreparable
brain damage, and required hospitalization for 266 days before being
released. Despite his severe injuries, Orren Walker survived,
although with extensive burns to his stomach and esophagus.
Hours after news of the crime
broke, an Air Force officer called the Ogden police and told them
that Andrews had confided in him months earlier, "One of these days
I'm going to rob that hi-fi shop, and if anybody gets in the way,
I'm going to kill them."
Hours after that call was received, two
teenage boys Dumpster diving near Hill Air Force Base where Selby
and Andrews were stationed discovered the victims' wallets and
purses, and, recognizing the pictures on the drivers' licenses,
called the police. A crowd of airmen quickly formed, including Selby
The detective who responded to the scene, believing
that the killers might be in the crowd, put on a show, speaking
dramatically and waving each piece of evidence in the air with tongs
as he removed them from the Dumpster. He later noted in his report
that out of all the airmen gathered around the dumpster, most of
whom stood still and watched in relative silence, two in particular
paced around the crowd, spoke loudly, and made frantic gestures with
The detective later identified these two airmen as
Selby and Andrews. The detective later received an award from the
Utah branch of the Justice Department for his use of proactive
Based on Selby's and Andrews's
reactions to the evidence being removed from the trash bin, and the
officer's implication of Andrews, Andrews and Selby were taken into
custody and a search warrant was issued for their barracks. Police
found fliers for the hi-fi shop and a rental contract for a unit at
a public storage facility.
Police obtained a warrant for the storage
unit, where they discovered several pieces of stereo equipment which
were later identified from serial numbers as having been taken from
the hi-fi store. During the course of removing the equipment from
the storage unit, detectives discovered the half-empty bottle of
industrial drain cleaner that had been used on the hostages. Based
on this evidence Selby and Andrews were formally charged with the
person, Keith Roberts, was also charged.
and Roberts were tried and jointly for first-degree murder and
robbbery. Selby and Andrews were convicted of all charges and
sentenced to death. Roberts was convicted only of robbery and was
sentenced to imprisonment.
the trial it was revealed that Selby and Andrews had robbed the
store with the intention of killing anyone they came across, and in
the months prior to the robbery had been looking for a way to commit
the murders quietly and cleanly. The two then saw the film Magnum
Force, in which a prostitute is forced to drink Drano and is
then shown immediately dropping dead. Selby and Andrews decided that
this would be an efficient method of murder and decided to use it in
their crime. Orren Walker and Cortney Naisbitt were the star
witnesses for the prosecution; both testified on the stand, in spite
of Naisbitt's brain damage and Walker's mutilated throat.
issuing of death sentences, the NAACP demanded that Selby and
Andrews' sentences be reduced to life with the possibility of
parole, claiming that Pierre and Andrews had been unfairly convicted
since they were both black, and the victims and jury were all white.
Andrews was quick to accuse the judicial system of racism following
the NAACP's request for reduced sentences, and in an interview with
USA Today, he claimed that he had never intended to kill anyone;
this was later rebutted when detectives cited a statement by Andrews
in which he admitted being the one to purchase the drain cleaner and
bring it to the store on the night of the killings.
Selby and Andrews became
notoriously hated prisoners, even amongst the black population. They
were particularly reviled on death row, especially by Gary Gilmore
(also facing capital punishment and imprisoned at the same
facility), whose final words to his fellow inmates before being
taken to face the firing squad were, "I'll see you in Hell, Pierre
and Andrews!" Gilmore is reported to have laughed at Selby and
Andrews as he passed by their cells.
Despite movements by the NAACP
and Amnesty International, Selby and Andrews were both put to death
by lethal injection, Selby on August 28, 1987, Andrews five years
later in 1992.
The Hi-Fi Murders are still
seen as among the worst crimes ever committed in the state of Utah.
The case is now taught to FBI trainees at the FBI Academy at
Quantico, Virginia, and it was included as a sample case in the
FBI's Crime Classification Manual.
Cortney Naisbitt's story
became the basis for the book Victim:
The Other Side of Murder by Gary
Kinder. This book was viewed by many as pioneering because it
was one of the first true crime books that focused on the victims of
a violent crime rather than the criminals. Cortney suffered chronic
pain for the rest of his life, until his death on
June 4, 2002 at the age of 44. Due
to his brain damage, he was forced to drop out of college, and
because he could not hold down a job, had to apply for social
Walker, the other victim who survived the brutal attack, died on
February 13, 2000.
Dale Pierre and William Andrews
Dale Pierre, also known as Pierre Dale Selby, was born on the isle
of Tobago in 1952, but grew up on the isle of Trinidad. Growing up,
Dale was always in trouble for one thing or another, although his
parents tried to instill in him the difference between what was
right and what was wrong.
Dale was a compulsive liar and he had a temper
that he tried to control, and when he knew that someone had his game,
he became subdued. If Dale didn't get what he wanted, when he wanted
it, there was no standing him, but this side of him was not known to
In June 1970, Dale left Trinidad and Tobago for
the United States, arriving in New York on June 7th. He lived in
Brooklyn until May 1973, when he joined the United States Air Force,
and was assigned to the Hill Air Force Base in Utah as a helicopter
Dale was new to the Air Force when he became a
suspect in the murder of Sergeant Edward Jefferson. Jefferson was
found in his apartment, murdered by a bayonet. The detective in
charge of the case, Don Moore, pieced together what happened from
witnesses and records.
On Sunday, October 1, 1973, Dale Pierre had been
at Jefferson's apartment taping music, when Jefferson discovered
that his car keys were missing. Although Pierre and Jefferson
thoroughly searched the house, the keys remained missing. It wasn't
until the next day that the keys were found.
How they were found is the key to the murder. It
seems that Pierre swiped the keys and brought them to the base for
duplication. When Jefferson's car keys and apartment key were
duplicated, Pierre signed the name 'Curtis Alexander', in an attempt
to conceal the fact that he had stolen them. When Pierre returned to
Jefferson's apartment the next day to help him find the keys, and
miraculously, the keys reappeared.
Jefferson immediately became suspicious of
Pierre, and changed the locks to his apartment and changed his
ignition. When confronted by Jefferson, Pierre denied everything.
Sometime during the hours of 10:00 PM on Thursday, October 4th and
4:00 AM on Friday, October 5th, Jefferson was murdered with a
The perpetrator of that crime had jammed the long
knife with such ferocity into Jefferson's face and head, that only
the handle could be seen. After interviewing dozens of witnesses,
and after researching the name of 'Curtis Alexander,' Detective Don
Moore came to the conclusion that Pierre had murdered Jefferson.
However, there wasn't enough evidence to arrest
or convict Pierre. The case remained unsolved until he, and William
Andrews, were brought to trial for the Hi Fi Shop murders.
William Andrews was born in Virginia in 1953. His
childhood was basically normal, and William, by all accounts, was a
well behaved child. He joined the Air Force in 1973 and was also
assigned to Hill Air Force Base as a mechanic for helicopters. At
Hill, the two men became friends, against all odds.
None of the other Air Force men wanted to be
friends with Pierre, because of his attitude and sullen ways. On the
other hand, Andrews had quite a few friends, but these friends
drifted away when Andrews became close with Pierre. In March 1974,
both men filed for separation from the Air Force. To their
commanding officer, it seemed that Andrews was basically a follower,
and that Pierre, with his uncontrollable rage, was the leader.
Hi-Fi Torture Victim Dies 28 Years Later
Glen Warchol - The Salt Lake Tribune
July 15, 2002
Twenty-eight years after the
brutal Hi-Fi murders shocked Utah, Cortney Naisbitt, one of the two
survivors of Ogden's 1974 torture-murder rampage, has died.
Naisbitt, who was plagued throughout his life by
disabilities that stemmed from being tortured, shot in the head and
left for dead, died June 4 in Seattle after a long, undisclosed
illness. He was 44.
His father, Byron Naisbitt of Ogden, declined
comment except to say: "This is the end of the Hi-Fi story. I want
this to be the end of it."
The story of Cortney Naisbitt's struggle to
survive his wounds and rebuild his life after the crime, which was
made into a book and later a television movie, is credited by many
with starting the victims' rights movement. Byron Naisbitt says a
deeper understanding of the victims of crime would be the best
legacy of his son's struggle.
On April 22, 1974, the 16-year-old high school
science whiz had just completed his first solo flight as a pilot.
After having his shirt tail unceremoniously cut off by his
instructor and nailed to the wall of the flight school, Naisbitt
headed for home.
But he decided to stop at a downtown Ogden photo
shop to pick up some pictures. To get back to the parking lot, he
took a shortcut through the neighboring Hi-Fi Shop. There, Naisbitt
was confronted by Pierre Dale Selby and William Andrews, airmen from
Hill Air Force Base, who were in the process of robbing the store.
Selby and Andrews took hostage the high school
student and two other people -- Stanley Walker and Michelle Ansley.
Later, when Naisbitt's mother, Carol Naisbitt, and 20-year-old
Walker's father, Orren Walker, came to look for their sons, they too
were held at gunpoint in the store basement.
The men forced their five hostages to drink
caustic Drano drain opener. Selby raped 18-year-old Ansley. Later,
he began shooting each hostage in the head. When Orren Walker showed
signs of life, Selby, who had run out of bullets, kicked a
ball-point pen into his ear.
Although Orren Walker and Cortney Naisbitt
survived the ordeal, Naisbitt, badly brain damaged, never remembered
the events of that day. Walker was the key witness in the trial.
Selby was executed by lethal injection in 1987.
Despite appeals on the basis that Andrews had not done any of the
shootings, he was executed in 1992. A third man, who was waiting
outside in the getaway car, was convicted of robbery.
After Andrews' execution, Naisbitt told The Salt
Lake Tribune he had forgiven Selby and Andrews, but added, "Where
does the anger a victim feels for a perpetrator go when the
perpetrator is gone?"
In an interview, Gary Kinder, author of Victim:
The Other Side of Murder, which recounts Naisbitt's struggle to
survive his horrible wounds and graduate high school, said the
16-year-old was never expected to live.
"The doctors, from the moment he arrived in the
emergency room until he got out of the intensive care unit seven
months later, thought he was going to die at any time," Kinder said.
"In ICU, you either get better in a few days or you die. He stayed
right on that edge."
Kinder said Naisbitt's survival was a testimony
to the support he received from his family, church and community,
particularly his father Byron Naisbitt.
"It was as if Byron willed him to live. He had
someone there holding Cort's hand 24 hours a day. Brothers, sisters,
members of his church. Doctors are not particularly sentimental, but
they saw no other reason whatsoever for him to have survived."
Naisbitt later trained in computers and held a
job at Hill Air Force Base.
Kinder, now a best-selling author, said he wrote
Victim in 1984 to explore the lasting impact of crime on the victims.
Books about criminals always have been popular, he said. "This was
the only book until recently that dramatized the victims' side of
crime. I hope I made these people real because they were your next-door
When Kinder, who had never before written a book,
approached Byron Naisbitt to write the book, the widowed father said
simply, "If you think hearing our story will help somebody down the
road, let's do it."
Over the years, the author, who remains close to
the family, says he has heard from many readers, including criminal
defense attorneys, who have been forced to rethink their beliefs
about justice and capital punishment.
"It did not bother me at all when they executed [Selby],"
Kinder said. "Pierre Dale Selby was a psychopath. The other two men
were terrified of him."
But Kinder is still struggling to make sense of
Naisbitt's death after so many years of struggle: "I don't know how
to answer that question."
802 F.2d 1282
Dale S. PIERRE, a/k/a Dale Selby, Petitioner-Appellant,
Kenneth V. SHULSEN, Warden of the Utah State Prison, and
David L. Wilkinson, Attorney General of the State
of Utah, Respondents-Appellees, Cross-Appellants.
Nos. 85-1021, 85-1082.
United States Court of Appeals,
Oct. 6, 1986.
Rehearing Denied in No. 85-1021 Nov. 3, 1986.
Before McKAY, McWILLIAMS, and
SEYMOUR, Circuit Judges.
SEYMOUR, Circuit Judge.
Dale Selby, a/k/a Dale S.
appeals from an order of the United States District Court for
the District of Utah dismissing a habeas corpus petition
challenging the constitutionality of his death sentence. See
Selby v. Shulsen, 600 F.Supp. 432 (D.Utah 1984). We affirm.
Dale Pierre and William
Andrews were convicted in Utah state court on three counts of
first degree murder and two counts of aggravated robbery. The
two men were sentenced to death for each of the murder
convictions. Further facts and procedural history appear in the
companion case of Andrews v. Shulsen, 802 F.2d 1256, 1258-60
(10th Cir.1986), which we have filed together with this decision.
Although we have considered and rejected most of Pierre's
arguments in the course of deciding Andrews,
he raises two additional issues that warrant brief discussion.
Pierre argues first that the
statutory scheme under which he and Andrews were convicted and
sentenced impermissibly shifted the burden of proof to
defendants in the penalty phase of their case, thereby resulting
in the imposition of mandatory death sentences. The State's
threshold response based upon procedural default in the state
courts is mistaken; Pierre has preserved this claim. See Selby,
600 F.Supp. at 433 n. 1.
We have considered the merits
of Pierre's argument in connection with an assessment of the
Utah statutory scheme as a whole and have implicitly rejected it.
See Andrews, 802 F.2d at 1261-62. We further agree with and
adopt the district court's express treatment of this issue. See
Selby, 600 F.Supp. at 433-34. The Utah statute imposes no
unconstitutional burden upon defendants in capital cases.
Pierre also argues that the
use of certain expert testimony at the penalty phase of his
trial violated his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination,
citing Estelle v. Smith, 451 U.S. 454, 101 S.Ct. 1866, 68 L.Ed.2d
359 (1981). The expert, Dr. Louis G. Moench, was a psychiatrist
originally appointed by the trial judge at the request of
Pierre's trial counsel to perform a pretrial competency
At the sentencing hearing, Dr.
Moench testified for the State that Pierre could distinguish
right from wrong, that his ability to do so was unimpaired by
any apparent mental disease or defect, that his mental condition
had not changed significantly between the time of the crime and
the examination, and that Pierre was of average intelligence and
able to assist in preparing his defense. See rec., vol. XVI,
state trial rec., vol. T-23, at 4134-37.
Pierre had not been advised
that he had a right to remain silent during Dr. Moench's
competency examination. However, Dr. Moench repeated nothing
that had been said during that examination but only stated the
expert opinions he had formed.
The district court erred in
electing to treat this claim on the merits. Pierre's failure to
present the issue on direct appeal as required by Utah law, see
Andrews v. Morris, 607 P.2d 816, 819-20 (Utah), cert. denied,
449 U.S. 891, 101 S.Ct. 254, 66 L.Ed.2d 120 (1980), or on
collateral attack in the state courts, constitutes a procedural
default that is governed by the cause and prejudice test.
See Reed v. Ross, 468 U.S. 1, 104 S.Ct. 2901, 2907-08, 82 L.Ed.2d
Without deciding the question
of cause, we conclude that Pierre suffered no actual prejudice
from Dr. Moench's testimony, which was carefully limited by the
trial judge to the doctor's general conclusions and constituted
only two pages of the sentencing transcript. Under the
circumstances here, the testimony cannot fairly be characterized
as tending to establish an aggravating circumstance that would
counsel in favor of the death penalty. See generally Andrews,
802 F.2d at 1261-62 (Utah provides for weighing of aggravating
and mitigating circumstances to determine appropriate sentence
in capital cases).
At most, Dr. Moench's
testimony might have negated mitigating evidence offered to show
that Pierre did not fully comprehend the wrongfulness of his
conduct. But Pierre offered no such evidence. His mental
condition at the time of the murders and thereafter was never
disputed. He neither pleaded an insanity defense nor introduced
evidence of diminished mental capacity during the penalty phase.
There is thus no basis for
concluding that the jury might have decided upon a sentence of
life imprisonment rather than death had the challenged testimony
been excluded. The overwhelming evidence of aggravating
circumstances in this case, see generally Andrews, 802 F.2d at
1258-60, coupled with a paucity of mitigating evidence, confirms
this conclusion. Dr. Moench's testimony was not prejudicial.
For the reasons stated in this
opinion, we affirm the judgment of the district court denying
Pierre's petition for a writ of habeas corpus. Because this is a
capital case, when the final order of this court is entered,
following the consideration of any rehearing petition that may
be filed, we will stay our mandate and the execution of Pierre's
death warrant for 30 days pending the filing of a petition for
certiorari in the Supreme Court of the United States. If a
petition for certiorari is filed within such time, then the stay
of our mandate and of petitioner's execution will continue until
disposition by the Supreme Court of the petition for certiorari.