Dr. Byron Naisbitt's life was shattered on the night of April 22, 1974, when his wife and son fell into the hands of the notorious killers in Ogden's Hi Fi Shop.
His wife, Carol, and his 16-year-old son, Cortney, were forced to drink a caustic drain cleaner, and then a bullet was planted in the back of their heads.Carol Naisbitt died, along with Stan Walker and Michelle Ansley. Cortney Naisbitt and Stan's father, Orren Walker, survived. But Cortney was left with permanent brain damage.
Orren Walker was luckier. He suffered only minor injuries when one of the murderers kicked a pencil into his ear.
The final chapter of the ordeal was within three days of coming to an end - William Andrews had been scheduled to be executed early Tuesday. But the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Saturday stayed the execution, pending more legal arguments.
Three men were arrested the day after the murders. Pierre Dale Selby was executed two years ago. He was the trigger man.
Now Andrews, 34, waits to learn whether he'll face the same fate as Selby. The third defendant, Keith Leon Roberts, was convicted of robbery, released on parole a few years ago and has left the state.
But the ordeal never will be over for the Naisbitt family, investigating police officers or the owner of the now-infamous shop.
Byron Naisbitt lost his wife, and his children lost their mother. He has since remarried. Another tragic consequence of the killings is having to live with the loss of an intelligent, happy son who wanted to grow up to be a doctor.
"Cortney's doing the best he can. He always has trouble taking care of himself. He'll always have trouble taking care of himself," Byron Naisbitt said. "Cortney is not real well. He never will be."
Byron Naisbitt is concerned about a judicial system that pays considerable money to keep a murder case in court for 15 years.
"Somebody has to care about victims," he said. "Who's looking out after them? Who cares about Cortney? Who is Cortney's advocate?"
The doctor suggests that to ease the pain and suffering for victims who fall prey to criminals the state should set up an equal fund to help care for them instead of just spending millions on caring for the perpetrators.
He said that if his son had been involved in an accident, he would have been set financially for life because of insurance claims.
The doctor said he doesn't much care what happens to Andrews. "This is not a personal thing with me," he explained. "I don't think about him at all. It's the state that's dealing with Andrews, and they have to deal with him in their own way."
The murders also have affected the lives of police officers who arrived at the crime scene and later arrested Andrews.
Lt. Dave Reed said he was the duty lieutenant the night the dispatcher told him of a multiple homicide at the Hi Fi Shop.
"They (the victims) were all lying on the floor in the basement," Reed recalled. "I've seen death in every form possible, but I've never seen anything like that. I've never seen anything that horrible since."
Reed said he remembers the scene so vividly that it seems like it just happened yesterday instead of more than 15 years ago.
"I remember so clearly Mr. Walker walking out into the parking lot with a pencil stuck in his ear," the officer said.
With an eyewitness to the crime, Reed said pieces started falling into place and police knew they were looking for two black men who were driving a blue van.
Police interviewed local blacks in an attempt to crack the case.
They got their break the next day when children playing around a dumpster at Hill Air Force Base found some of the victims' identification in the garbage.
Selby and Andrews became suspects and soon were arrested. Both were stationed on base.
One question that remains unclear to Reed is the possibility that more than three men were involved in the robbery.
Reed noted that Roberts was the lookout man, and Selby and Andrews spent their time inside the Hi Fi Shop. Thousands of dollars worth of stereo equipment was taken out of the store, and not all of the property could have fit into the van and been taken away in one trip.
"It's possible that more people were involved in the robbery, but we never could nail that down," Reed said.
The lieutenant also said he would be comfortable if Andrews were given a sentence of life in prison. At one point, Reed said he favored capital punishment and would serve on a firing squad to kill Selby. But he's a devout Catholic now and against the death penalty.
Lt. Richard Peterson said he was working narcotics when the Hi Fi murders occurred. He was pulled off that detail and ordered to go to the base and arrest Andrews.
"We had quietly cleared out the barracks," Peterson remembered.
Peterson said he arrested Andrews without incident and when they were walking to the patrol car the officer spotted the van and asked Andrews if he had driven it.
"Andrews told me Roberts had been driving the van," Peterson said. "Andrews implicated Roberts."
Peterson said the defendant told him that he had been to Ogden where he saw a movie, a movie in which a pimp forced a prostitute to drink drain cleaner.
Once they got to police headquarters, Peterson said Andrews was read his rights but was too scared too talk.
"I never saw him again," Peterson said. "I learned 25 years ago that you don't dwell in the past. If you're going to keep your sanity in this job, you can't dwell on past crimes."
The Hi Fi Shop no longer sits where it did the night of the murders. The business was torn down to make way for the Ogden City Mall. The current Hi Fi Shop is across the street.
Owner Brent Richardson said there is a certain mystique to his store with local customers because of the murders, but business is good in spite of history.
Carol Naisbitt was Richardson's aunt, and Cortney Naisbitt is his cousin. He said he doesn't get to see Cortney much any more.
The murders always will hover over him, and he says the execution of Andrews should take place.
"I can still picture where I was sitting at four o'clock that morning when I got the news," Richardson said. "I can still hear the words my father said. I'll carry that to my grave.
"Nothing will ever heal what happened, but it (the execution) will heal the rage," Richardson said. "Andrews should be executed. It's the law.
"He had control over the situation. There was a twinkling of time when he could have been a hero, but he chose not to be," Richardson added. "He plotted his course."