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Killer Describes Why He Tortured And Killed Innocent Strangers During Utah's Hi-Fi Murders
“I guess I must have gotten into a frenzy or something,” Dale Pierre Selby said of his reason torturing and killing his victims during a robbery. “At times I can get so that I have a rage.”
Five innocent strangers were tortured for hours at a Utah stereo shop where they were forced to drink Drano and shot in the head in horrific acts that claimed the lives of three people.
When Dale Pierre Selby, the mastermind of the sadistic robbery, was later asked about the brutal slayings, he admitted the violence had been “unnecessary.”
“I guess I must have gotten into a frenzy or something,” Selby said from behind bars, according to Oxygen’s “Violent Minds: Killers on Tape.” “At times I can get so that I have a rage. Given the incident, given the state of mind and all that, I think all that rage probably just came out at that time. I guess I probably just got into the violence of it. Because if you look at it, it’s unnecessary.”
Selby gave the glimpse into his mind during a one-time discussion with Dr. Al Carlisle, a psychologist at the Utah State Prison who spent his career trying to understand why someone becomes a violent killer. Carlisle’s recordings of his conversations with the notorious killers, recollection of law enforcement officers and new psychological analysis from experts today serve as the basis of the new Oxygen series.
Selby and his fellow airman, William Andrews, carried out one of Utah’s most disturbing mass killings after going to The Hi-Fi Shop in Ogden the evening of April 22, 1974, just as the downtown stereo store was set to close.
“The Hi-Fi Shop was right downtown on Washington Boulevard. They sold upper end stereophonic equipment and they had a listening room. People would come interact, gather,” said Stephen Dirks, the mayor of Ogden at the time. “It was a safe, community place.”
Michele Ansley, 18; Stanley Walker, 20; and Cortney Naisbitt, 16; were working that night, when Selby and Andrews held them at gunpoint, led them to the basement and tied them up, according to Utah’s ABC4. Naisbitt’s mother, Carol Naisbitt, and Walker’s father, Orren Walker, both went to the store after their children failed to return home and were taken hostage themselves and tied up in the basement with the rest of group.
What played out over the next three hours was a terrifying real-life nightmare.
“It was the most heinous, horrible crime that Ogden, Utah had ever seen,” Ogden Police Det. Don Moore told “Violent Minds: Killers on Tape.”
Cortney Naisbitt and Orren Walker survived the torture and gunshot wounds, but Ansley — who had been raped and left naked on the floor — Stanley Walker and Carol Naisbitt lost their lives that night.
Investigators linked the crime to Selby and Andrews after Orren provided critical details about the attackers, describing them as two Black males, and gave a detailed description of the van used in the brazen robbery.
Investigators got a tip that sent them to nearby Hill Air Force base where they found personal property from the victims in a dumpster. Selby and Andrews were among the milling crowd at the base, but Moore said they were acting “a little suspicious.” That, combined with the fact that they fit the description of the robbers, was enough for investigators to dig deeper and get a warrant to search their barracks. One investigator discovered a receipt for a storage facility where authorities found the stolen merchandise.
The pair were convicted later that year and sentenced to death, but for years they never provided any insight into why they carried out such a brutal crime.
More than a decade after the murders, Selby finally agreed to talk to Carlisle.
“Dr. Al Carlisle worked on Dale Pierre just by being a friend, being caring, just showing that someone cared about him. Finally, one day about ten years later, Dale Pierre he said ‘I’m ready to talk,’” Carlisle’s long-time assistant Carrie Anne Drazewski-Keller recalled.
As it turned out, Selby had endured his own violent past growing up in Trinidad with an abusive mother.
“I remember my mother, you know, giving me a beating. I remember my mother throwing a rager,” he said. “After she beat me, she hadn’t worked up a rage enough to beat me again. I remember thinking God, my head hurt.”
Selby told Carlisle that overtime he learned to have “no emotional response to anything,” yet he also admitted to his own violent emotional outbursts as a child.
“I had some fights. There’s the guy, his name was Christoff. I hit him with a stone. Even as I hit him on his head. I opened him and he was bleeding. Pretty big gash in his head too. I remember I was in such a rage,” Selby said, adding he later told his victim “that serves you right.”
On another occasion, after a classmate told him to shut up, Selby said he flew into a rage, grabbed a cricket bat and beat the student.
“I remember coming back up behind him and took a swing, almost brained him,” he said. “I told him, ‘next time sucker, I ain’t gonna miss.’”
Drawing from his research, Carlisle — who died in 2018 at the age of 81 — would later describe a mass murderer in his writings as a “loner” who is “quiet and fairly intelligent.”
“He does not have a lot of friends, possibly with a border line personality disorder,” he wrote.
Eventually, Selby migrated with his family to New York and joined the Air Force when he was around 19 years old.
After being transferred to Hill Air Force base in 1973, he met his co-conspirator William Andrews, who agreed to talk with one of Carlisle’s colleagues in 1985, describing how the idea for the robbery began.
“I remember it was on a Saturday afternoon, the Saturday afternoon before the crime took place. We got to rappin’ about robberies and crime and all this stuff. The subject of stereos might’ve came into play because we were sitting there listening to the stereo. And uh, we had all been to the Hi-Fi shop before. Looking at stereo equipment. So, we all knew this store. And we knew that it had a lot of good stuff in it,” Andrews said in the recorded conversation. “So, Pierre went out and rented the ah, the storage unit on the same Saturday afternoon. And uh, we planned that Monday going there at closing time, throw down on everybody, tie them up and take the equipment.”
Andrews also revealed that the group had discussed in advance whether or not they planned to kill the witnesses at the store.
“In my mind, I wasn’t, I hadn’t concluded that the witnesses should be killed. I hadn’t made that conclusion yet,” he said. “But apparently somebody in the group had made that conclusion.”
Andrews described Selby as “very irrational” with little “self-control.”
“He lets his anger get the best of him,” he said.
After tying the victims up in the basement, Andrews said the two decided to force them to drink Drano, which they had brought in the van, in an attempt to silence their witnesses. Andrews said he “didn’t have the nerve” to carry it out and instead Selby forced the victims to drink the caustic cleaner in a move inspired by a scene in the Clint Eastwood movie “Magnum Force,” which had been playing at the base at the time.
According to Moore, Orren held the drain cleaner in his mouth and tilted his head to side while laying on the basement floor, letting the substance drip out the side of his mouth, sparring him from some of burning pain others endured. However, Selby did put a pen into Orren’s ear during the torture and kick it with his steel boots, lodging the pen into his brain and esophagus.
When the Drano failed to kill the witnesses, Andrews said he encouraged Selby to just leave.
“I told Pierre, I said, ‘Man, I can’t kill these people and I doubt if you can either. So let’s just go ahead and leave,’” Andrews recalled. “I think that when I said that Pierre may have taken it as a challenge. So, at that point, I said, ‘Man, I’m gone. I’m leaving.’ I went outside, got in the van and drove off.”
The victims were left alone with Selby, the more sadistic of the pair, who raped Ansley and then shot each victim in the head.
Orren later testified in front of the Utah Board of Pardons that the victims had begged for their lives before they were killed.
“After he shot Mrs. Naisbitt first, then he was kind of prancing or walking in a manner that I got the impression he was kind of enjoying what he was doing,” Orren testified, according to The Associated Press.
When Carlisle asked Selby whether the pleas had meant anything to him, Selby said he “didn’t know” and claimed the violence “just happened,” blaming his behavior on a cocktail of alcohol, marijuana and valium.
He described the effect of being under the influence to Carlisle as being similar to watching a movie that comedized violence.
“In some of the old comedies, you know like Charlie Chaplin, you know type of stuff, it seemed to have that sort of effect. You can watch somebody being beaten or assaulted and it be the funniest thing you’ve ever seen,” he said. “The actions seem to be over stated, larger than life, it’s like almost like a gags. As a matter of fact, if you’d be assaulted it would be the funniest thing.”
Not everyone bought Selby’s story, however.
“There is nothing in the story that suggests to me that he blacked out,” Gary Brucato, a psychologist specializing in violent crime, told “Violent Minds: Killers on Tape." “The memory of the event when he feels like it, giving accurate information, is extremely detailed with almost an awareness of himself and everything that was going on and yet he’s trying to tell us that the whole thing occurred in a state of trance or something.”
Orren also testified that during the violence Selby had not appeared to be under the influence of drugs.
Pierre was executed in 1987. Andrews was put to death by lethal injection in 1992.
To learn more about the violent crime and what Selby revealed during his interview, tune in to “Violent Minds: Killers on Tape” Sundays at 7/6c on Oxygen and streaming the next day on Peacock.