David Parker Ray, better known as the Toy Box Killer, was a known serial rapist and alleged serial killer whose reign of terror started in the early 1950s. By the time he was caught on March 22, 1999, it is thought the 60-year old killed at least 14 women inside his soundproof sex truck trailer. But according to his accomplices, that number could be as high as 60.
Ryan was convicted of kidnapping and torture in 2001 and received a 224 year sentence. He was never convicted of murder, because no bodies were ever found. He died just months later of a heart attack, taking all his secrets with him.
Who Was David Parker Ray?
David Parker Ray was born in Belen, New Mexico on November 6, 1939. His father Cecil was an abusive drunk who treated his wife Nettie, David, and his sister Peggy poorly. The couple divorced when David was 10 and the three moved in Mountainair, New Mexico to live with Nettie’s disciplinarian grandfather, Ethan Ray.
Ethan had strict rules that he expected everyone under his roof to follow. Failing to follow his rules was met with physical abuse. While his father did not live with them, he visited periodically, and gave David pornographic magazines depicting sadomasochism.
Even though David Parker Ray was considered to be handsome, the 6’2” teenager was bullied at Mountainair High School for being shy around girls.
It is thought that these insecurities drove David, who became a loner at this point, to spend most of his time drinking and using drugs.
David Parker Ray Develops Fascination with Sadomasochism
It was around this time that David Ray Parker developed a fascination with sadomasochism. Peggy discovered a collection of erotic photographs depicting acts of bondage and sadomasochism.
When their grandmother died, David and Peggy were split up.
David managed to graduate from high school, but was a less than stellar scholar, who generally received grades in the low Ds. After high school he worked as a mechanic before joining the U.S. Army, where he also worked as a mechanic. He received an honorable discharge from the Army.
At some point during the 1950s, while still a teenager, probably around 16 or 17, it is thought that he started to abduct, rape, and torture women. Presumably, he started killing women too. Years later, David Parker Ray told his fiancée that his first victim was a woman he tied to a tree, tortured, and murdered.
Whether this story is true or not, or part of his sadomasochistic fantasies, is not known. But if past actions are a precursor to future behaviors, it is quite possible that this event occurred.
David Parker Ray was married four times, with each one ending in divorce. He had two daughters, including Glenda Jean “Jesse” Ray.
Regular Day Job Kept David Parker Ray under the Radar
David Parker Ray never ever came up on anyone’s radar because, on the outside, he was a normal person with a regular job as a maintenance man for the New Mexico Parks Department.
It was under this façade of normalcy that he was able to commit what is considered to be some of the most heinous acts ever imagined. Ray’s decades-long torturous killing spree only came to light in 1999 after his last victim, 22-year-old Cynthia Vigil, escaped the clutches of the Toy Box Killer and contacted police.
Why Was He Called the “Toy Box Killer?”
David Parker Ray was known as the Toy Box Killer because he spent $100,000 sound-proofing and stocking a trailer with devices used to sexually torture his victims.
With the help of his girlfriend, Cindy Hendry, his daughter Jesse Ray, and her boyfriend, Dennis Roy Yancy, David Parker Ray would lure women to his home, drug them, confine, rape, and torture them in the “toy box” he had on his rural property.
The “hidden playroom,” was a 15-by-25-foot cargo trailer that was fitted with steel walls, floor, and ceiling. The virtually soundproof toy box had steel doors with two keyed locks. The hinges were welded on and there were two heavy deadbolts on the outside; making it virtually escape proof.
Even if his victims did somehow manage to escape, there was no place to go. David Parker Ray lived on a rural plot of land in Elephant Butte, a town of 1,350 that backs up against the Elephant Butte Lake State Park. That state park could also have been used by Ray to dispose of the dead bodies that were never found.
The toy box itself was filled with torture devices, surgical tools, sex toys, electrical wires, whips, chains, pulleys, straps, clamps, leg spreader bars, syringes, saws, and video cameras. In addition to these implements, Ray kept a fur-lined coffin, a box with a hole cut out to hold the victim’s head, and a surgical steel gynecological chair wired to shock his victims.
There was also a mirror on the ceiling so his victims could watch their own torture.
Over the course of the days, weeks, months that the women were held captive, he raped, tortured, brainwashed, and humiliated them. His girlfriend and friends also took part. Some women survived. Many did not. When he released the women, they did not have an immediate recollection of where they were taken or what happened because he pumped them with mind-altering drugs (sodium pentothal and phenobarbital).
Transcript of the Tape Ray Played for New Victims
David Parker Ray was generally selective about the women he took to his toy box; preferring girls in their early to mid-teens. That said, he occasionally grabbed women he found walking, cycling, jogging, or broken down on the side of the road.
He would also kidnap women from bars, in particular the Blue Waters Saloon; a dive bar in Elephant Butte that attracts drifters and a few locals. It was there that his daughter, Jesse slipped something into a victim’s drink, and they’d take the groggy women home with them.
When the women woke up, they found themselves naked, bound, gagged, and sometimes blindfolded. It was then that David Parker Ray forced them to listen to an audio tape explaining what was going to happen to them in his torturous sex dungeon.
He raped, tortured, and killed so many women it was just easier for him to hit “play” on the tape recorder and stare at his terrified victims.
Below is a transcript of a portion of the audio tape, which is public record. Be warned, it contains extremely disturbing content.
What Victims First Heard When They Woke Up
“Hello there, b*tch. Are you comfortable right now? I doubt it. Wrists and ankles chained. Gagged. Probably blindfolded. You are disoriented and scared, too, I would imagine. Perfectly normal, under the circumstances. For a little while, at least, you need to get your sh*t together and listen to this tape. It is very relevant to your situation. I’m going to tell you, in detail, why you have been kidnapped, what’s going to happen to you and how long you’ll be here. I don’t know the details of your capture, because this tape is being created July 23rd, 1993 as a general advisory tape for future female captives. The information I’m going to give you is based on my experience dealing with captives over a period of several years. If, at a future date, there are any major changes in our procedures, the tape will be upgraded. Now, you are obviously here against your will, totally helpless, don’t know where you’re at, don’t know what’s gonna happen to you. You’re very scared or very pissed off. I’m sure that you’ve already tried to get your wrists and ankles loose, and know you can’t. Now you’re just waiting to see what’s gonna happen next. You probably think you’re gonna be raped and you’re f*ckin’ sure right about that. Our primary interest is in what you’ve got between your legs. You’ll be raped 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. Sound kind of far out? Well, I suppose it is to the uninitiated, but we do it all the time. It’s gonna take a lot of adjustment on your part, and you’re not gonna like it a f*ckin’ bit. But I don’t give a big rat’s ass about that. It’s not like you’re gonna have any choice about the matter. You’ve been taken by force, and you’re going to be kept and used by force. What all this amounts to is that you’re gonna be kept naked and chained up like an animal, to be used and abused any time we want to, any way that we want to. And you might as well start gettin’ used to it, because you’re gonna be kept here and used until such time as we get tired of f*ckin’ around with you. And we will, eventually, in a month or two, maybe three. It’s no big deal.”
The 30-minute plus audio tapes ends with this bit of advice: “Be smart and be a survivor. Don’t ever scream. Don’t talk without permission. Be very quiet. Be docile and obedient and, by all means, show proper respect. Have a nice day.”
What Did David Parker Ray Do to His Victims?
David Parker Ray’s transcript explains in graphic detail what he and his “lady friend” are going to do to their victims. The details have also been verified by those victims that escaped the so-called toy box.
Ray says the women are “pieces of meat, to be used and exploited.” And the toy box was essentially stocked with devices and equipment, to “satisfy our sexual fetishes and deviations.”
For starters, a steel collar was padlocked around their necks. It was attached to a long, heavy chain that was padlocked to a ring in the floor. The collar was never removed until they were turned loose. Or murdered.
As far as sex goes, Ray would visit his victims two or three times a day. His girlfriend visited the toy box at least twice a day.
“Our fetishes and hang-ups include stringent bondage, dungeon games, a little sadism, nothing serious but uncomfortable and sometimes painful,” he says on the audio tape.
Starting on day one, his kidnapped victims were subjected to daily rape and torture by multiple accomplices.
On top of that, his victims were taken to his living room, strapped to a metal frame on the floor, and forced to have sex with his dogs. David Parker Ray and his friends would sit on the couch and chairs and watch.
The girls were fed once a day “like the rest of the animals.” They didn’t get much, “but enough to keep you healthy.”
In addition to being chained up, there were a number of rules the girls had to follow. They couldn’t resist, or struggle; could only speak when spoken to; and had to respond to any questions or commands with “yes, master” or “yes, mistress.”
Every time they “got out of line” they’d be subject to a whipping or electro shock. In extreme cases, he warned on the audio tape, if they bite him or his girlfriend during sex, he would cut them with a knife, and in some cases, slice off a nipple.
If they broke the rules over and over again, the punishments became “harsh and even brutal and you won’t have anyone to blame but yourself.”
Ray ended part of the audio tape, “If you can learn to do all of that, there will not be a great deal of punishment. We’ll get along pretty good.”
David Parker Ray warns though that his victims are expandable. And “it’s no big deal to go out and snatch a replacement.”
“It may sound harsh and cold, but if you give us too much trouble, or if you pose any kind of a threat to us, I won’t have any qualms at all about slicing your throat. Like I said before, I don’t like killin’ the girls that we bring here, but occasionally things happen. What can I say? I would really hate to have to dump that pretty little body off in a canyon somewhere, to rot. I’m not trying to scare you. That’s just the way it is.”
22-Year Old Cynthia Vigil Escapes, Brings Ray to Justice
David Parker Ray’s decades-long sex abuses came to an end on March 22, 1999, when 22-year old Cynthia Vigil, naked and with the metal choker padlocked around her neck, escaped and ran for help.
On March 29, Vigil worked as a prostitute in a parking lot in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Ray approached her claiming to be an undercover police officer, and told her she was under arrest. He placed her in the back of his car.
He took her back to his place and chained her to the gynecological table in the toy box. Ray told Vigil she was never going to see her family again and that they’d kill her just like all the others.
Over the next three days, Ray, along with his girlfriend Cindy Hendy, raped and tortured Vigil, using whips, medical instruments, electric shock and sexual instruments.
On the third day of her captivity though, while Ray was at work, Hendy accidentally left the key’s to Vigil’s restraints on a table. After Hendy left the room, Vigil grabbed to keys and freed herself.
Hendy returned and tried to stop her, but Vigil grabbed an icepick and stabbed her in the neck. She escaped from the trailer, naked, bloody, and wearing the heavy slave collar and chains.
Vigil made it to a nearby mobile home and explained her story. The police were called and both Ray and Hendy were arrested. The two alleged that Hendy was a heroin addict and they were trying to help her detox.
Unfortunately, Vigil’s story was hard to verify. She was an admitted prostitute and there was, allegedly, no way to prove she was not there on her own accord. But, all that changed after newspapers ran Vigil’s story and described the arrests of Ray and Hendy
Angelica Montano came forward, explaining that she too was kidnapped, raped, and tortured by Ray and Hendy for three days, then drugged and left on a highway out in the desert. She told police but the story was never followed up.
David Parker Ray often videotaped his rapes. In one video, police identified Garrett through an ankle tattoo. They tracked her down in Colorado. She believed that her memories of being with David Ray Parker were actually just nightmares and the events really didn’t take place. The video proved otherwise.
Ray’s daughter, Jesse drugged Garrett’s drink in a bar. She too was subjected to brutal sexual and physical abuse for three days before being drugged and left on the side of the road near where her in-laws lived. Since Garrett could not remember where she’d been over the last three days, her in-laws unfortunately just assumed she was on drugs.
David Parker Ray & Accomplices Arrested
Ray and Hendy were arrested and charged with multiple counts, including kidnapping. Both pleaded not guilty.
Police photos taken at the scene show the toy box contained a myriad of instruments and weapons of torture: sex toys, custom-made tools, medical implants, and a gynecological table.
But it didn’t take long for Hendy to turn on Ray. She struck a plea deal that reduced her sentence to 36 years in prison.
She told investigators that Ray told her about 14 murders he committed and where he dumped the bodies. Hendy also detailed how he committed his crimes and gave up the names of the other accomplices, including Ray’s daughter Jesse and Dennis Roy Yancy. According to Hendy, Jesse and Dennis murdered Dennis’ ex-girlfriend, Marie Parker, 22.
She pleaded guilty and received 36 years in prison
Dennis Roy Yancy
Dennis Roy Yancy was brought in for questioning and eventually pleaded guilty to killing his ex-girlfriend Marie Parker. He said that David Parker Ray kidnapped and tortured Parker and told him to kill her. Her body was never found.
He was sentenced to 20 years in prison, was paroled once, then violated his parole and was returned to jail. He has since finished his sentence.
Glenda Jean “Jesse” Ray
Jesse Ray, David’s daughter, denied having anything to do with her father, the abductions, or the murder of Marie Parker.
She pleaded no contest and was sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison and five years of probation.
David Parker Ray Sentenced to 224 Years in Prison
David Parker Ray was initially charged with 37 counts involving three women: Cynthia Vigil, Angelica Montano, and Kelly Garrett. He was tried separately for each woman. The first ended in a mistrial and in the retrial he was convicted on all 12 counts.
The second trial ended when Montano died before she could take the stand.
He later agreed to a plea deal in the third trial and was sentenced to 224 years.
David Parker Ray’s Daughter Tried to Expose Him
Even though it is alleged that Jesse Ray helped her father drug and kidnap his victims, she also tried to warn the FBI about what he was doing back in 1986. According to FBI agent Doug Beldon, she said her father abducted, tortured, and sold women in Mexico. The bureau allegedly investigated her claims for an entire year but could not substantiate any of the allegations.
By the time her father was arrested in 1999 though, Jesse Ray went from confiding in the FBI to being an accomplice, helping him kidnap and sexually torture women.
David Parker Ray’s “Toy Box” Still at Albuquerque FBI Office
Police officers spent hundreds of hours scouring David Parker Ray’s toy box when he was arrested in 1999, looking for clues. He was only charged for kidnapping, raping, and torturing three women, but authorities say Ray kidnapped, raped, and murdered as many as 60 women.
The high body count comes from Ray’s own diary that he kept, detailing what he did to each victim. But he didn’t say where any of the bodies were buried. As part of his plea deal though, he was supposed to tell police all of his secrets, this includes where any bodies may have been buried.
But he died just a few months into his sentence of a heart attack, taking all of those secrets to the grave.
Authorities haven’t given up on finding other victims though; David Parker Ray’s toy box remains at the FBI office in Albuquerque.
“We’d like to, if there’s bodies out there, find them [and] bring some closure to people,” Baughman said. “I would love to see that before my career ends,” said Lisa Baughman a member of the FBI’s Evidence Response Team.
Cindy Hendy Ready to Be Released
In 2000, Cindy Hendy took a plea deal and was handed a 36-year prison term. But she is now set to be released after serving just half her sentence. Hendy’s plea deal came three months before a new law went into effect, requiting violent offenders to serve 85% of their sentence.
According to the Parole Board, Hendy can submit a plan for where she will live when she is released. Once it is approved, she will be out on parole for two years.