Skip to comments.Hi-Fi Torture Victim Dies 28 Years Later
Posted on 07/15/2002 10:43:47 PM PDT by Utah Girl
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 neighbor."
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."
until we start taking seriously what people like these are capable of...and putting them away early....then these types of crimes will continue
look at what those idiots did in witchita....how can they ever repay the families or society for taking the best of our young people like that...answer is ...they can't
That's a class "A" sicko..........
Selby was executed by lethal injection in 1987.
Who could argue?
I remember reading this account a few years ago. It's just as sickening today as it was then.
I would call them inhuman.
I was an email friend of Cortney's a few years ago.....I was trying to find his email when I stumbled upon the news that he had died. I will hope he is in peace as he was such a fighter and I had great respect for him as a person..................J
You stumbled upon a four year old thread that was on the latest posts page four years ago. Imagine that.
That is very weird...the reason that I was trying to find his email at this time is that I unpacked a box with the book 'Victim' in it a month or so ago. It got me thinking about how he was doing...I live in Seattle and corresponded with him but we never met. I thought about him once in awhile but unfortunately never got back in touch. I truly have respect for him as a person.
Amen, excellent observation.Lifetime is very concerned with political correctness, and not so much the facts of a case.I wish they had hung them as they were originally scheduled to be executed by that method. These guys were animals.
I just was reading Wikipedia about these murders.
The two murderers were black. At least one was in the Air Force. Both were in the military.
The NAACP tried unsuccessfully to get the verdicts overturned due to the fact that the perps were black and the victims white.
Incredibly brutal murders!!!
I just finished reading Victim an hour ago. Lovely, amazing family, a great, genuinelly nice kid. As a parent I know that feeling of concern for a child's safety, when panic over-powers rational thinking.
What a lovely family inbelievable that something so brutal and horrible to the extreme happened to them.
Just read “Victim” on the Kindle...heart wrenching and chilling. RIP Cortney