The Messed Up Truth About The Hi-Fi Murders

On April 22, 1974, a brutal attack that resulted in the murders of three people — and caused permanent damage to two others who were tortured — changed the town of Ogden, Utah, forever. They occurred at the Hi-Fi Shop, a local electronics store, when at least two men entered, attacked the people inside, and proceeded to torture them before killing three of them. Dubbed the Hi-Fi Murders, the grisly killings rocked the state and the nation, and the sentencing of those responsible would go on to be controversial, prompting accusations of racial bias in the Utah justice system.

According to the Ogden Standard-Examiner, the killers entered the store around 7 p.m. to find employees Stanley Walker, 20, and Sherry Michelle Ansley, 18, as well as 16-year-old Cortney Naisbitt inside. They took the three hostage, holding them in the basement. Soon, Walker's father Orren and Naisbitt's mother Carol came looking for their children and were also taken hostage. The victims were forced to drink Drano, but when this did not kill them, the attackers began shooting them. They raped Ansley before shooting her in the head and stabbed Orren Walker in the ear with a pen, kicking it through his skull while choking him with a wire. Despite such brutality, he ultimately survived the attack, as did Cortney Naisbitt, but both suffered permanent, life-altering injuries.

The sentencing of the Hi-Fi Murderers brought allegations of racial bias in the Utah justice system

Although investigators believe six men to be involved in the attack, they were only able to find evidence to convict three. The men were members of the Air Force. They found that Dale Selby Pierre, 21, and William Andrews, 20, had entered the store and attacked the victims. Both were given the death penalty for the crime. A third man, Keith Roberts, 19, was convicted of robbery, as he acted only as the getaway driver.

According to The Independent, the capital punishment in the case was controversial, as Pierre was the only one who committed the murders. Although he did take part in the torture and rape, Andrews had left the room when Pierre shot the victims. The case sparked controversy due to Utah's tendency to not execute white murderers. The execution of Pierre was carried out in 1987, and despite the controversy behind Andrews' capital sentencing, he was executed by lethal injection in 1992. Both of the surviving members have since died. Walker died in 2000, and Naisbitt died in 2002. His death was believed to have been related to the injuries he sustained in the attack.