The word “monster” gets thrown around a lot these days. The definition would suggest a frightening, ugly, and imaginary creature, although when we toss the word into the direction of a human being, it implies that the threat of the monster becomes all too real to handle. We usually use “monster” as an ample description with regard to serial killers, but few serial killers are truly as deserving of the “monster” moniker as one David Parker Ray was during the height of his reign of terror against the locals of Truth or Consequences, New Mexico.
Hailing from New Mexico, David Parker Ray was born in 1939. As an adult, he served in the United States Army and then later became a mechanic. He used his mechanic background to develop a truly sinister mechanism that he called The Toy Box. In this Toy Box, he stashed away several different women and, over a number of days, would torture them, sexually assault them, and, on occasion, kill them. He had been abducting and killing for so long that his body count is unknown to this very day (perhaps even to David Parker Ray himself), but his number of victims has been estimated to range anywhere from 14 to 60. Ray was finally apprehended for his crimes in the year 1999 at the age of 59, but in the years prior to this, he terrorized New Mexico as The Toy Box Killer. The dearly disturbed mind of David Parker Ray had done a lot of damage to the women in his path, and it’s with a serious warning that we say that the facts surrounding his life are not for the faint at heart. Be warned that what is about to be seen and discussed below will be some of the most disturbing facts that any human being would have the displeasure of learning about a truly sickening individual. Take heed to this warning and continue reading with caution for those up to the task.
15. His Childhood
As with most serial killers, David Parker Ray’s deepest, darkest desires stem from having a rough childhood. In Ray’s case, this was namely due to his alcoholic father. Although Ray lived with his grandfather as a child, Ray still saw his biological father on occasion, and whenever he did, his father beat his son in an unmerciful drunken rage. He also struggled to maintain a social life while in high school because he was shy around girls and often bullied by his peers. In his teenage solitude, he started abusing alcohol and drugs, and from there, his fantasies driven by sexual assault and torture started to surface. It’s also worth noting that Ray once confessed to his first wife that it was in his teenage years that he committed his first murder. Though there’s no proof to back up his claim, Ray told his wife that he tied a woman to a tree, tortured her, and killed her.
14. His Lovers
When one looks at the pre-murder profile of David Parker Ray, one has to admit that he doesn’t come off as an ideal choice for women to procreate with. Astonishingly enough, four women disagreed with that notion and found Ray charming enough to wed the man. Ray was married four times, and every time, the marriage ended in divorce. After these four marriages, Ray eventually found himself falling head over heels into the arms of one Cindy Hendy. Hendy, like Ray, came from a bad childhood. Hendy was molested as a child, and when she told her mother what her stepdad had been doing to her, no one believed the girl. Ray and Hendy found a natural connection together and fell in love from there, so much so that Hendy unquestionably and consistently helped Ray lure women to his infamous Toy Box.
13. The Toy Box
Much of the allure regarding David Parker Ray and his murders came from the mystery behind his Toy Box. The Toy Box referred to a trailer in the middle of nowhere for which Ray had paid $100,000 to buy, but this wasn’t just any simple old trailer. Well, it was just a regular trailer, but Ray made a number of unsettling decorating decisions on the trailer’s interior to separate it from the average trailer that one may walk into. Ray had the interior of this trailer decked out with all sorts of torture devices and sex toys which he’d use on his victims. Such devices included syringes, gynecology chairs, a fur-lined coffin, whips, chains, and a homemade breast shocker. He even had a box with a hole cut out where he would stuff his victims and do despicable things to their faces.
12. How He Snatched Victims
Serial killers often have a specific, ritualistic M.O. when it comes to choosing their victims. Just as Jeffrey Dahmer often picked up his victims at the La Cage gay bar and John Wayne Gacy picked up teens off of a bus stop, David Parker Ray was no different. Ray often frequented the Elephant Butte area and headed straight towards the Blue Waters Saloon. There, he would meet unsuspecting women, form a charming rapport with them, and convince them to come home with him. Whenever they were charmed enough to agree to go home with him, Ray would bring them straight to his Toy Box to do despicable things to them every time. One victim, Kelli Van Cleave, admitted on the trial stands that Ray’s own daughter had drugged her and helped Ray do unspeakable things to her.
11. His Accomplices
One of the more shocking facts regarding the David Parker Ray’s murders is knowing that the man didn’t work alone. It’s disturbing enough to think that a man like Ray would have such perverted thoughts and act on them. It’s even more disturbing to think that Ray could find someone who would lend a helping hand in his deadly deeds, especially when one of those accomplices happened to be his only daughter, Jesse Ray. In 1986, 13 years before David Parker Ray was caught, Jesse had notified the FBI of her father making a career out of abducting and torturing women. Unfortunately, her claims were considered to be too nonspecific and authorities stopped investigating quickly. Jesse soon realized that if she couldn’t beat him, she might as well join him. By 1999, Jesse was willingly helping her father with his crimes. Other accomplices included, allegedly, old girlfriends of David Parker Ray.
10. Dennis Roy Yancy
Another accomplice of David Parker Ray’s was a man named Dennis Roy Yancy. As a friend to a guy as deranged as Ray, it makes sense that Yancy was just as disturbed as Ray was. It was once documented in 1987, before Yancy even met Ray, that he and some friends went on a rampage across town where they strangled cats and knocked over historical gravestones. Yancy actually dated one of Ray’s victims, a woman named Marie Parker. When he was arrested, Yancy admitted to the police that he strangled Parker to death after Ray had already kidnapped and tortured her. This landed Yancy two 15-year prison sentences, but he was paroled in 2010 after serving 11 years.
9. His S-x Parties
As if the story of David Parker Ray couldn’t get more disturbing, he often had an audience for the explicit things he did to his captives. Not only did he have a handful of people help him out with his crimes; enough people in the neighborhood also knew about David Parker Ray’s crimes to the extent that he was able to throw sex parties putting his victims on display for a sea of lunatics to witness. In his recorded transcripts, which he played for his victims to let them know what their stay in his “home” would entail, Ray admitted that he liked to put on shows for his close friends and that sometimes, he’d let his friends have sex with the victim. Often, at these parties, Ray would allow his dogs to have sex with the woman while she laid on the ground on hands and knees in front of a crowd of people.
8. He Had A Type
Like most normal people whose hobbies don’t include sadomasochism or torturing people in a homemade torture chamber, David Parker Ray had a preference when it came to his women. In fact, that’s probably the only connection we can make between Ray and most normal human beings. Admit it or not, we all have certain preferences when it comes to our lovers, and Ray was the same. Granted, we wouldn’t go as far as to call Ray’s victims “lovers” (not in the romantic sense, anyhow), but however you want to call them, they all fit a specific type that Ray enjoyed. Ray’s choice of woman was someone who was a prostitute, a drug addict, or both. This was because these types of women wouldn’t be looked for by anyone if they went missing, and they were easy to convince to leave with him.
7. His Recording Transcripts
The more one reads into the unsettling actions and manipulations of David Parker Ray, one cannot help but feel like it all sounds strangely reminiscent of a horror movie come to life. This next fact, for example, sounds all too similar to a Saw movie. Before he would do anything to his victims, Ray would bring them to his Toy Box once they were unconscious after being roofied at the Blue Water Saloon. The victim would awaken by a tape recording that would play Ray’s voice explaining exactly what he would do to them. While no audio is available anywhere after the tapes were destroyed (some given to one of the victim’s families), a transcript of Ray’s recordings have been leaked online. It read as such:
“Hello there, b*tch. Are you comfortable right now? I doubt it. Wrists and ankles chained. Gagged. Probably blind folded. You are disoriented and scared, too, I would imagine. Perfectly normal, under the circumstances….You probably think you’re gonna be r—d, and you’re f–kin’ sure right about that. Our primary interest is in what you’ve got between your legs. You’ll be r—d thoroughly and repeatedly, in every hole you’ve got. Because, basically, you’ve been snatched and brought here for us to train and use as a sex slave….”
6. He Used Mind Control
This just keeps getting weirder and weirder. Realizing that a sea of dead bodies popping up around the Truth or Consequences, New Mexico area would look awfully suspicious, Ray rarely killed any of his victims. In fact, out of the countless women he stored away in his torture chamber, only three were confirmed to be murdered. Ray preferred to let them go once he was done with them, but obviously, he couldn’t just let a woman he tortured go under the presumption they wouldn’t talk. So he did something similar to MK-Ultra mind control. When he decided to dispose of his victims, he would first drug them over the course of a couple days while brainwashing them. Then, when he’d kick them out or drop them off somewhere, the victim wouldn’t remember a thing. Apparently, this worked, as one victim, Kelli Garrett, recalled that she always thought her memories of David Parker Ray were just nightmares until the FBI knocked on her doorstep to remind her of her traumas.
5. Kelli Garrett
David Parker Ray often videotaped his victims and the brutal sexual things that he did to them. In one video, when police investigated the case in wake of Ray’s arrest, a woman was found in the videos with an ankle tattoo. The woman was later identified to be Kelli Garrett. Days before she crossed paths with Ray, Garrett had just gotten married. Later on, she befriended Jesse Ray, who took her to a bar where she met David Parker Ray. When he wasn’t looking, Jesse slipped a roofie in Garrett’s beer, and from there, Garrett was dragged to David Parker Ray’s torture chamber. Garrett was subjected to intense sexual and physical abuse over the course of three days before David Parker Ray decided to drug Garrett again and dump her body on the side of the road near her in-laws’ house. Since she couldn’t recall exactly where she’d been the last few days, her in-laws assumed she had spent the last few days on a drug binge. Meanwhile, her husband divorced her on the assumption that Garrett cheated on him in those days.
4. Angelica Montano
This next fact reveals a shocking overstep in the investigation of police officers. Angelica Montano was one of the victims who were taken in and tortured by David Parker Ray. He found Angelica hitchhiking off the road looking for a ride to her mother’s place. Ray promised just that but instead took her to his sadistic Toy Box. Ray opted to release the woman after sexually assaulting and torturing her for four days straight. As soon as Ray let her go, Montano immediately went straight to authorities with her story about what Ray had done to her. Surprisingly enough, the authorities didn’t believe any of Montano’s claims. Even worse, they didn’t even attempt to investigate anything to see if she was telling the truth because her story appeared so absurd. Montano didn’t come forward with her story again until another victim, Cynthia Vigil, escaped the clutches of David Parker Ray.
3. His Arrest
In 1999, David Parker Ray crossed paths with a woman named Cynthia Vigil. To kidnap her, Ray posed as an undercover cop and approached Vigil to arrest her, going as far as to handcuff her. He dragged her back to his Toy Box where he kept her captive. It wasn’t until March 22nd that Vigil was able to escape after Ray had left for work. It was then that Vigil managed to get the keys to her chains, unlock herself, fight off Cynthia Hendy by stabbing her in the neck with an icepick, and storming out of the trailer. Nude and wearing nothing but a dog collar chain, Vigil ran down the road where she found a homeowner who brought her to the safety of the police. She told them everything that had happened to her and shortly after, police arrested Ray and his accomplices.
2. His Failed Trials
Upon his arrest, David Parker Ray was expected to be taken to three separate trials regarding his victims by the names of Cynthia Vigil, Angelica Montano, and Kelli Garrett. However, there were plenty of different and unfortunate roadblocks going into these trials. The trial involving Vigil wound up ending in a mistrial, though there was later a retrial that did eventually convict Ray of all 12 accounts that he was tried for. With the second trial, Montano died before it began, and therefore, that trial wasn’t conducted. Kelli Garrett’s trial went on without a conviction. However, Ray ended up opting for a plea bargain through which he was sentenced to 224 years in prison, the reason being after seeing Vigil have a hysterical breakdown during her trial, Ray wanted to put a stop to the trials by taking a plea bargain.
1. His Death
When we hear about the cruel actions of a monster like David Parker Ray, we can only hope that the killer ends up being convicted and rotting away in prison for the rest of his life. We essentially hope that such a man would suffer properly for his actions. In the case of David Parker Ray and the multiple life sentences that he received, that seemed to be the case, but sadly, not quite. Before he could be tried for his crimes, David Parker Ray was transferred to the Lea County Correctional Facility in Hobbs, New Mexico. State police intended to interrogate him that day, but before any interrogation took place, Ray died of a heart attack. Some argue that Ray got off easy and didn’t truly suffer the fate that a killer of his caliber was deserving of.
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