Torture Survivor Says Pierre Selby Should Die
Aug. 14, 1987
POINT OF THE MOUNTAIN, Utah (AP) _ A survivor of a 1974 torture-shooting at a hi-fi shop said Friday that the man who tried five times to kill him ''seemed to be enjoying what he was doing'' to his pleading victims.
In emotion-choked testimony before the Utah Board of Pardons, Orren Walker said Pierre Dale Selby should die by lethal injection as scheduled on Aug. 28.
Walker contradicted much of Selby's account of the events in the basement of the Ogden Hi-Fi Shop the night five people were shot in the head and forced to drink a caustic drain opener. Three of the victims died.
The victims included Walker's son Stanley, 20; Carol Naisbitt, 52; and Michelle Ansley, 19, who was raped before being killed. Mrs. Naisbitt's son, Cortney, then 16, also survived.
''Michelle said, 'I'm just 19. I don't want to die.' Stanley said, 'We're all young. We don't want to die.' Cortney, in kind of a quivering voice, 'I don't want to die,''' Walker recounted, his voice breaking.
''It's hard for me to see how anything but the death penalty can be substantiated,'' he said.
Selby is scheduled to become the first person executed in Utah since Gary Gilmore in 1977.
The three-member board, which has the authority to commute Selby's death sentence to life in prison, has until Aug. 21 to decide his fate.
In a brief statement before the hearing ended Friday, Selby said he was not the same man as in 1974 and now would be incapable of such acts.
''I've sat here for two days listening to a lot of background about myself, most of which I'm not proud of, some I can't deny, some because I cannot remember, others I would just as soon forget,'' he said.
''It is my hope that whatever way the decision goes, I can accept it for what it is.''
Selby, 34, of New York City, and William Andrews, 32, Jonesboro, La., were airmen at nearby Hill Air Force Base when they committed the crime many consider the most infamous in Utah history. Andrews' appeals trail Selby's by about six months.
On Thursday, Selby appealed for mercy, weeping as he recounted a severe beating he had received during a strict upbringing.
Walker said that contrary to Selby's first public statements about the crime, the killer did not seem impaired by alcohol and drugs, was not prompted to kill by a racial epithet from Mrs. Naisbitt and did not quickly dispatch his victims.
''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,'' Walker said.
Five minutes after shooting Mrs. Naisbitt, ''then he shot Cortney. Then the same thing took place and he shot Stanley the first time,'' Walker said.
Selby said four of the five were shot in rapid succession after Mrs. Naisbitt called him a ''godless nigger'' and that while he may have tried to rape Miss Ansley, the marijuana, beer and Valium he'd taken would have made him impotent.
Walker said Mrs. Naisbitt could not have said anything to Selby before being shot because her mouth was taped. He also said he smelled no alcohol on Selby's breath during the more than three hours the crime unfolded.
When the caustic drain cleaner was administered, Walker said he let it dribble out the side of his mouth. The others swallowed it.
After shooting everyone but Ansley, Selby untied her and took her fully clothed into a back room for about 15 minutes, Walker said. She was wearing only a pair of socks when she returned and Selby placed her next to Walker, he said.
''He was standing directly over her and he shot her right in the head,'' he said, and then shot a still-breathing Stanley Walker a second time.
''I guess you just know your kids. I could tell when Stan stopped breathing,'' Walker said.
Selby then took a cord and tried to choke Walker, who was playing dead but tightened his neck muscles so he could breath when he relaxed. Then Selby kicked a pen into his ear three times, three inches deep, and left him for dead. Walker also was shot in the head. He was found by his wife.
''This has been hard for me,'' Walker said. ''It's hard for me to believe that I was ever involved with this. My son Stanley's life was taken with two shots and Drano. He (Selby) tried five different times to kill me. Each one could have been lethal. It certainly has changed our lives. ...''
Walker said a younger son slept on a mattress in his parents' bedroom for a year and would not go into the basement of the house.
''Most of my wife's time is spent in bed trying to forget,'' he said.