Stanley Walker and Michelle Ansley Murders – On April 22, 1974, Ogden, Utah, became the scene for one of the most shocking and despicable crimes ever to take place in American history. Hostages were subjected to hours of torture and rape, and ultimately their lives were taken while perpetrators loaded stolen audio equipment with plans of selling it later. Ogden residents were fearful and anxious following these violent murders, but law enforcement quickly responded. Suspects were quickly identified and eventually arrested. Surprisingly, two out of the five hostages managed to emerge unscathed from their ordeal; one even bravely testified in court as an eyewitness account of what had transpired.
NBC documentary ‘Violent Minds: Killers on Tape‘ provides viewers with a gripping depiction of the brutal killings and subsequent investigation that led to their capture, providing greater insight into this heartbreaking event that unfolded inside a Hi-Fi store on that fateful night. By delving deeper into this gripping documentary, they gain more in-depth knowledge about this tragic unfolding.
Michelle Ansley and Stanley Walker Murder Story
On April 23, 1974, newspapers in Ogden, Utah, were gripped by a shocking headline depicting the tragic events at a Hi-Fi Shop. With no leads as to who may be responsible or where their investigation should start, police collected clues in search of justice.
Michelle Ansley was just 18 years old when she started working at the Hi-Fi shop for one week and had only just become engaged. Stanley Walker had held onto his night manager position for much longer – this may explain why Michelle and Stanley may have been acting in lieu of other employees on that fateful night. Reports suggested they may have even been covering for them at that momentous moment in history.
As soon as two vans arrived at Stanley and Michelle’s store before closing time, four individuals emerged from each vehicle, two remaining outside with each van parked outside. Armed intruders quickly entered and brandished pistols at them before brandishing ties that tied and gagged young employees, sending them down into the basement, where thieves took advantage of this situation by loading stolen audio equipment into waiting for vans.
The identities of those responsible for this heinous crime must be revealed. Dale Selby Pierre (known as Selby), William Andrews, and Keith Roberts were eventually apprehended and charged for their roles; however, later, it emerged that six individuals might have been involved – however, there wasn’t sufficient evidence against three additional suspects to convict them.
Cortney Naisbitt, 16, entered the store as she attempted to park nearby and request parking from Stanley before running errands at nearby stores. However, she soon became unaware that she had inadvertently entered a nightmare scenario as three assailants fled in one van, leaving Selby and Andrews inside while Roberts remained outside in another van. She would remain bound and transported down into the basement throughout their captivity.
Orren Walker, Stanley’s father, arrived at the shop around 9 PM that evening out of concern for his son’s welfare and to offer any assistance necessary with his recently purchased Jeep that Stanley was driving. But upon entering, Orren heard a commotion coming from the basement, where gunmen had ordered him down into it as soon as one gunman approached and ordered Orren to descend with them into it as well. On spotting his father yelling out in anger and confusion as both were forced down into its depths together by two gunmen
Michelle, Cortney, Stanley, and Orren were held hostage by their captors for over two hours as they attempted to negotiate their release and plead with their attackers to take their loot without further violence against them. Michelle, in particular, wanted her life back, while Cortney could not identify their perpetrators due to being unknown to them, thus urging their assailants to take their loot quickly without harm.
Carol Naisbitt, 52-year-old mother of Cortney Naisbitt and concerned for his wellbeing, entered the premises but was immediately met by one of the gunmen and forced into a basement with other hostages for interrogation.
Once held captive in the basement, hostages were subjected to excruciating suffering. Selby and Andrews decided to provide what they claimed was vodka mixed with sleeping pills to render their captives unconscious while making their escape plan. Unfortunately, this liquid proved deadly instead as it contained Drano–an extremely toxic drain cleaner–making consumption an agonizing ordeal for hostages who experienced immediate and excruciating injuries; their mouths and lips blistered, their tongues burned, and throats were burned as they were forced down this poisoned substance which caused immediate blistering while tongue burnt throat burnt burns, peeling lips began, and skin began peeling as soon as ingestion began taking place.
As part of an attempt to hasten their deaths, perpetrators continued to force-feed the hostages more Drano. When their victims began screaming and convulsing in pain, assailants attempted to silence the sounds by taping over their mouths with tape, but due to chemical burns on their faces, the tape wouldn’t adhere securely enough and be thus lost on them.
Michelle was separated from the other hostages and subject to repeated sexual assault by Selby in a basement room, as reported by Andrews, who stood idly by and witnessed it all. Following this ordeal, Michelle was permitted to use the bathroom before returning to her fellow hostages, who suffered excruciating pain and vomiting heavily.
Selby, in a fit of anger at Carol and Cortney Naisbitt’s prolonged suffering, shot them both in the back of their skulls, taking their lives. Orren was shot but miraculously survived when only the bullet grazed him; Stanley, however, did not survive being shot twice in the back of the head and did not live through. Selby and Andrews then turned on Orren again before shooting him again, but the bullet only caused minor wounds.
Once they thought they had successfully eliminated all hostages, the perpetrators took one final video of Michelle before loading up stolen equipment into their van. Yet Orren, still alive and aware, caught the attention of one of their assailants, who came down to check on hostages in the basement. Orren managed to survive attempted strangulation with wire by skillfully positioning his neck so air could pass while tightening neck muscles; his assailants then took more extreme measures – forcing a ballpoint pen into Orren’s ears before forcefully pounding hard on it, rupturing his eardrum and injuring him severely.
After several hours had passed, Stanley and Orren’s wife and other son arrived at the shop looking for them in Roberts’ van. As soon as they discovered the scene of destruction and heard Orren’s plea for assistance from his basement, they immediately called emergency services. Tragically, Stanley and Michelle lost their lives during this ordeal, while Carol succumbed to her injuries shortly after being transported to St Benedict’s Hospital for treatment. Cortney endured immense suffering and sustained severe burns, yet survived after spending 266 days in a hospital despite permanent brain damage and amnesia due to these incidents. Though tortured and burned, Orren managed to stay alive, albeit with hearing loss.
On April 22nd, 1974, events that unfolded at Ogden’s Hi-Fi Shop left an immeasurable mark on Ogden and beyond. Selby, Andrews, and Roberts perpetrated horrific crimes that sent shockwaves through society and left indelible scars that have yet to heal for victims’ families and survivors alike.
Investigate, Arrest, and Prosecution.
Police conducted rapid investigations following the Hi-Fi Shop murders in Ogden in the mid-1970s, although forensic technology wasn’t as sophisticated back then. Orren Walker provided a simple description of the suspects: they were African American males approximately 5’9″ to 6′ tall. Officers took great pains not to profile, instead showing respect towards this community in Ogden.
Sarah McClennan, an African American woman driving home from work after hearing radio reports of the horrific crimes in Ogden, expressed fear and concern when her 16-year-old son, who is black, had been stopped solely on account of his race by police officers. Racial profiling caused tensions to arise between African Americans in Ogden and law enforcement officials in Ogden; luckily, an anonymous tip from an airman stationed nearby proved useful in the investigation; they reported William Andrews had stated his intent to rob them Hi-Fi Shop before warning them against getting in his way and would even kill those standing in his way; thanks to these anonymous tipster reports William Andrews had even stated his intent as an intention robber.
Two boys later discovered wallets and purses discarded near Hill Air Force Base near a dumpster near it. Recognizing victims from Hi-Fi Shop inside, two detectives were quickly brought in, along with crowds. Detectives used tongs to retrieve evidence from a dumpster while most service members watched with astonishment and fear. Two individuals, identified as Andrews and Selby, were seen pacing, shouting, and gesturing at and around it – later investigation linked them with this crime.
Searches of Andrews and Selby’s barracks yielded further evidence. Hi-Fi shop flyers and rental agreements for storage units were located, along with stolen audio equipment that had been taken from Hi-Fi Shop stores through serial number identification. A search warrant was then secured against their storage units, leading to further discoveries, such as stolen audio equipment hidden there since its theft from Hi-Fi Shop stores.
Selby, Andrews, and Roberts were charged with first-degree murder and aggravated robbery, with Roberts facing only an aggravated robbery charge. The trial began on October 15, 1974, with Orren Walker testifying about what transpired in that night of horror while Cortney suffered amnesia as a result of her experience and was thus unable to provide testimony against Roberts; Roberts claimed that the movie “Magnum Force” inspired his use of Drano for murderous purposes.
On November 16, 1974, Selby and Andrews were found guilty of three counts of first-degree murder and two counts of aggravated robbery; Roberts, who wasn’t present during the murders, was convicted on two counts of aggravated robbery but eventually served out 13 years before being paroled.
Selby and Andrews were sentenced to death on November 20, 1974. At their clemency hearings, Selby claimed the crime happened spontaneously and that more people arrived after his initial encounters. Andrews’ lawyers attempted to argue for commutation, citing his young age, drug influence, lack of intent to kill, etc. However, his prison record showed numerous infractions and violent behavior against Andrews.
Selby was executed via lethal injection on August 28, 1987, at age 34; Andrews followed shortly after that on July 30th, 1992, aged 37; after Andrew’s execution, Keith Roberts took his own life.
Cortney Naisbitt died at 44 on June 4th, 2002, due to longstanding health problems, while Orren Walker (father of one of her victims) passed away two months prior on February 13th, at age 69.
The Hi-Fi Shop murders enormously affected their families, the Ogden community, and the criminal justice system. It highlighted many issues regarding race profiling, mental health, and law enforcement response.