Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Victim: The Other Side of Murder” as Want to Read:
Victim: The Other Side of Murder
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Victim: The Other Side of Murder

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  292 Ratings  ·  54 Reviews
Now a classic of true crime, Victim is a compelling and tragic look at how lives can be changed forever by a random act of violence. During an armed robbery, several hostages were brutally tortured, shot in the head, and left for dead. Victim focuses on the members of one family -- including a mother who died after the attack and a son who was left barely alive -- as they ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published May 19th 1999 by Atlantic Monthly Press (first published November 30th 1981)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Victim, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Victim

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Petra X
When people campaign for the release of a particular prisoner, or lifting the death penalty on him, or saying how cruel the injection execution can be, they don't think for one moment of what that person has done to deserve imprisonment and maybe death. They don't think of the extreme cruelty that the murderer might have inflicted with great joy on others. They only think of the offender and not the victim. Once a case goes to court, it is the offender who is the star and no one even cares if th ...more
Paul Bryant
Apr 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: true-crime
The Hi Fi Murder case was written up as an orgy of torture and murder but I think (if the distinction is worth making) that rather it was psychopathic stupidity. Here’s what happened.

On 22 April 1974 five, maybe six US Air Force airmen decided to rob the Hi Fi Store in Ogden, Utah. They waited till the shop was about to close at 6 pm, then two of them went inside and stuck up the two assistants Stanley Walker and Michelle Ansley. They were bundled into the basement and tied up. The gang then st
Oct 14, 2011 added it
I first heard about the "Hi-Fi murders" that occurred in my home town when William Andrews was executed at the Utah State prison in 1992. I vaguely remember hushed whisperings about it when I was younger, but not enough to pay attention. I remember watching protesters on the news when Andrews was executed and asking my mother about it. That's when she told me about happened at the Hi-Fi shop on April 22, 1974. What she told me gave me nightmares for years to come.

I won't bother going into the go
Jul 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Read long ago. Not this edition but same story: "Hi-Fi murders of`74". WARNING..."ONCE READ - NEVER FORGOTTEN". ...more
Lori Reed
I won't rate this book because I was about nine years old when I read it. I found a copy in a home where my mom and I were babysitting. I cringe at the thought of my nine year old reading this.

This is a true crime story based on the HiFi muders that occured in 1974 where a group of employees and family members of a home audio shop were held hostage and tortured. The book goes into grim detail about the torture.

Maybe it's because I was so young when I read this, but this book haunts me to this d
Oct 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a story that needs to be told, and read, and heard. This is a book told from the victim's side. How this crime affected Cortney Naisbitt and his family, and several other families. Horrible crimes are committed every day, however, this one is particularly vicious. You hear on the news, and read in the newspapers, all about the criminals. But you never hear any follow-up on the victims. It's as if they're forgotten.
Cortney Naisbitt was only 16 years old in 1974 when he was part of the Hi
Cullen Daniel
Sep 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Incredible book. Very powerful. Highly recommend. I will never forget what happened at the Hi-Fi shop. Tears ran down my face throughout. A devastating and tragic event. This book will remain on my book shelf.
Feb 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: No one.
Dear God,
How can you be a part of creating Dale Pierre who forced people to drink Drano and then shot them in the head, and Orren Walker who was such a nice man and had to endure Pierre's torture? I will never understand it.
My Mom and Dad were good friends with the Walker family. I remember hearing all about the torture and murder in 1974 from the Walker family's perspective, but I did not hear as much about the Nasibitt family because I didn't know them. The whole thing is so h
Andrea Simunovich
So revealing!

This book gave a voice to a neglected faction of the true crime story, the Victim. I read this book for the first time when it first came out, and was gripped by the story. Now that a new epilogue has been added, even richer...A must read for any fan of true crime fiction.
Ana-Maria Bujor
Nov 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: crime, non-fiction
Some people compare this book to Capote's "In cold blood" as being a landmark of the "true crime" genre. Although it does not have the same eeriness and masterful language like Capote's masterpiece, Victim is more likely to stay with its reader.
If you have problems with gory scenes and long descriptions of painful procedures and mental anguish, then maybe this book is not for you. But this is not "crime porn", but a highly intelligent and emotional book about powerful decisions: when should you
Tom Mueller
Feb 01, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This grisly crime became known as the Hi-Fi Murders. The multiple and ongoing physical and psychological traumas "Duke" has to endure is gut wrenching.
The premise of this one is different from most true crime works I have read. Written in the 3rd person omniscient from the psychological POV of the extended victim (family of a murdered wife and grievously injured son). The primary protagonists are the husband/father and the son, who is comatose through most of Kinder's work. The lasting affects o
Nov 09, 2010 rated it it was amazing
The reason that I am giving this book a 5 star is not just because it is an extraordinary true story of the victims of a violent crime and the history of the aftermath that I think is well researched and written, but that if you can stomach it - it makes you reconsider or contemplate your viewpoints on capital punishment and our legal system / system of appeals.(Although it may do more to get your blood boiling than any other thing in the recent past.) No disrespect to the family, but it also re ...more
Jan 26, 2015 rated it liked it
Some people choose romance novels for their guilty pleasure reading, I choose true crime. (Thanks Mom!) This was a well-organized novel about a very terrible multiple homicide in a small Utah town. The story was incredibly detailed and well-rendered. Unfortunately, some of the gruesomest passages will likely stay with me forever. My one complaint: at times it seemed the author sacrificed objectivity to maintain the reader's empathy for the victims. Without giving too much away, the author seemed ...more
Drew Zagorski
May 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: true-crime
This was an excellent book... I picked it up after reading Ship of Gold in the Deep Blue Sea, which I also really enjoyed. As the title suggests this tells the story of a horrible crime, but from the victim's perspective. If you're looking for chapters and chapters about the perpetrators you won't find it here, except in how their actions impacted lives of their victims. The book's main focus is on one of the survivors and his family (his mother was murdered in the incident), and his own struggl ...more
Nov 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I was required to read this book in my Victimology class while obtaining my BS in Criminology. My professor had to give ample warning that this was not a book to read in public. Meaning, don't take it to the nail salon while you get a pedicure, or to the park, or anywhere else for that matter. She said the range of emotions that one can experience while reading this book are incredibly intense, and you may feel the need to yell, cry or gasp at any particular moment. This is a true story and a la ...more
Jan 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jeff by: Discovered it on my own.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Bonnie Maier
Oct 11, 2010 rated it it was amazing
One word "Unforgettable!" I read this book shortly after it was released and again with the author's update. It's a heartbreaking account of the struggle for life by one survivor of a horrific crime - Cortney Naisbitt. Ultimately unable to completely recover from the affects of his wounds, Cortney died on June 4, 2002. It is a compelling account of the affect that one terrible crime had on so many people.
True crime has always facinated me, however this is one book that attempts to show the side
Justine Fermán
Jul 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
Mandatory for a Victimology class at St. Edward's University; I thought the book was very intriguing. I had to keep reminding myself that this was a true story and the events that took place were real. It explained the importance of how a victim of a homicide does not only involve the person who was in the tragical event, but also the victims include the people in the hospital treating the patient and most importantly the friends and family of the patient. It also shows the different emotional i ...more
Oct 22, 2010 rated it really liked it
This book freaked me out more than any other true crime story ever has. I read it when I was about 19, and it changed me. It was the first time I ever really wondered about kinds of cruelty people are capable of. The criminals didn't even know their victims. It is truly a horrible story all the way around. One of the victims was only 16, and he had just completed his first solo flight and had only gone through the store as a shortcut when the men decided to rob the store and torture these poor p ...more
May 30, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: crime, nonfiction
A decent account of a horrendous crime. Most interesting part (which is the bulk of the story) concerns survival and remarkable recovery of one victim (and credit must be given to all the caregivers). Although it obviously was slanted to telling his story, and a bit of one of the perps, it would have been a much more rounded effort had the other victims and their families been included more. They disappear in the telling. The court coverage a bit weak. Whoever compared the book to Capote, howeve ...more
Megan Waters
Dec 15, 2012 rated it liked it
This book was interesting because it brought attention to the victim of a horrible crime. I couldn't believe the suffering that cortney had to endure. I can understand his dad wanting to keep him alive, but cortney really suffered and I'm not sure he wanted to live out his life with all the disabilities. It made me think about our society and how we put attention on the criminals/prisons, but what about the survivors? I think the way in which people change is by developing empathy for one anothe ...more
Nov 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I was 13 and living just north of Ogden when the HiFi murders occurred. I had been in the HiFi store, although I never knew any of the people. My mother was working as a nurse at the hospitals where Corey Naisbitt was treated and had him as one of her patients. I had a hard time making myself read this book as the murders were a source of many of my nightmares. But this was a good book about a horrible topic and well worth reading. I recommend it to anyone who wants a realistic look at the conse ...more
Feb 09, 2008 rated it really liked it
Takes the True Crime genre out of the sleaze bin and raises it to the level of art. This it does by focusing on the victim's story, and detailing, for what may well have been the first time ever, what a crime victim goes through both during and after the assault. Also illustrates the behaviors and, arguably, the motivations of those who would have the perpetrators of abominable acts like these be treated with leniency.
May 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
I find myself drawn to true crime books. This is the most powerful book in that genre. Any other true crime book focuses on the killer, and very little is said about the victims. This book takes you into the crime scene described by a witness who experienced the entire crime first hand. It also gives you a true perspective of the victim's terrible journey of survival and how the family coped and supported their family member through his years of recovery.
Rachelle Wallace
Jul 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I have no idea how to rate a book like this. Thank you to the family for telling their stories, thank you to Cort for being so incredibly resilient, and I am so sorry anyone ever had to go through this. The 5 starts are for family strength, medical personnel, and all of the feelings this book has in between a it's covers. Unbelievable. Inconceivable. I my heart absolutely goes out to the families who are on the other side of murder.
Apr 18, 2010 rated it really liked it
While this is a rather unpleasant and upsetting book, it was also incredibly moving and gripping. I knew nothing about this case before picking up the book so I was in suspense regarding how it was going to turn out. I am impressed with the strength and hope the family was able to exhibit. It's hard to want to recommend such an emotionally raw piece of literature but in the end I found that it was truly worth the journey.
Jim Strozier
Aug 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I found this to be the most emotional book I've ever read. I cried during so many parts of the story, and this is not my nature. Gary does such a good job of telling this story from such a different perspective that I found myself lost in the character's lives. It is an old event, but I found the story very relevant today.
Jan 23, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: true-crime
This was a pretty wrenching read. Discusses the aftereffects on the victims of the notorious Ogden Hi-Fi Murders of 4/22/74. Focuses especially on the extreme suffering and brutally slow recovery process of a 16-year-old survivor of the killings. Goes somewhat into the very odd thinking of the man responsible for the crime, but never fails to hold him accountable for his acts.
Jun 09, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
This book details the experience of victims of the Hi-Fi Murders in Ogden, Utah in 1974. This book is not for the faint at heart. Very clear imagery is used.
This book made me look at the legal system in a different way. I realized that once again that once you are a victim of a crime it becomes a part of who you are on many levels.
Sep 27, 2008 added it
I read this because I remember overhearing bits and pieces of the story as a child. One day, I learned it was an actual event that effected many people who I knew and grew up with. It was very well written and kept me interested. I cried during many parts. Gave a look into the victims' lives and not just the murders', like most books do.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 next »
  • Scream at the Sky: Five Texas Murders and One Man's Crusade for Justice
  • A Stranger in the Family: A True Story of Murder, Madness, and Unconditional Love
  • The Basement: Meditations on a Human Sacrifice: With a New Introduction
  • Victorian Murderesses: A True History of Thirteen Respectable French and English Women Accused of Unspeakable Crimes
  • Child of Satan, Child of God
  • Cannibal: The True Story Behind the Maneater of Rotenburg
  • Operation Solo: The FBI's Man in the Kremlin
  • Stolen in the Night: The True Story of a Family's Murder, a Kidnapping and the Child Who Survived
  • Defending the Damned: Inside Chicago's Cook County Public Defender's Office
  • The Making of Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith
  • The Most Evil Women in History
  • The Most Evil Men And Women In History
  • The Best American Crime Writing 2006
  • Missy's Murder
  • The Boston Strangler
  • Operation Family Secrets: How a Mobster's Son and the FBI Brought Down Chicago's Murderous Crime Family
  • The Sleep of Reason: James Bulger Case
  • Shake the Devil Off: A True Story of the Murder that Rocked New Orleans