While it is a mark of camp culture to reference sadomasochism and sexuality as a game or dungeon pursuit, David Parker Ray made this a reality. His custom built $100,000 trailer full of torture devices and S & M paraphernalia gives testimony to the deeply rooted deviancy at work in his nature. The instinct to abduct, torture, and kidnap women and maintain a level of pain and continual submission has no redeeming social value. The killing was premeditated, a lust crime, and a manipulation of control and dominance over an undeserving victim.
Unlike many profiled serial killers, David Parker Ray had a clean rap sheet and few problems with others. His disturbing sex hobbies were kept under wraps and only carelessness led to his arrest. David Parker Ray derived no monetary or other profit from his crimes, such as video earnings, internet publicity, or book royalties from memoirs or movie deals. In fact, David Parker Ray did not survive long in prison although the judge afforded him 224 years, plenty of time to get the hang of incarceration.
Most human beings will luckily not have any contact with evil such as Ray inflicted and created in his “Toy Box’. the specifics of the crime scene involved a litany of unorthodox items serving as weapons or instruments of torture for the use of by Ray and his girlfriend Jessy. At trial Ray’s daughter was charged and may have been involved in “roping” or luring victims to the Toy Box or other locations where Ray secured their persons involuntarily. Kidnapping and conspiracy were just as biting offenses to the ultimate trial as the sexual abuse, as Cynthia V. Hill had been taken across state lines from Oregon.
David Parker Ray was a serial killer of the sexual sadist type, employing isolation mechanisms toward his girlfriend to encourage her participation. Ray had recorded tapes of his voice playing over sound systems in the Toy Box, while chained victims squirmed under torture and applied instruments of physical pain. The glib summation of events after the fact minimizes the chaotic worry of relatives and the panic caused in a small town aptly named Truth or Consequences, New Mexico. With each media report neighbors grew understandably more concerned.
As recently as 1999 David Ray utilized his personal torture chamber on a victim named Angela Moreno. Her pleadings to be returned to her son found a chord in Ray, who was used from then on to targeting a prostitute. Curiously Angela’s filed report of electrical shock, torture and rape was not followed up by local police, even after David Ray’s arrest. Only when the victim came forward were her reports taken seriously because her past as a prostitute “diminished” her testimony. Angela would die at 25 years of age due to accelerated post-traumatic drug use and pneumonia.
The catalog of torture and sadism paraphernalia found in the David Ray Toy Box was extensive. Electrical equipment, specialized medical devices, anatomy books, and recorded audio and video items of David Ray and his activities were all found inside the trailer. If Hendy had removed the items linking the runaway victim to the couple, prosecution might have been much more difficult. The broken lamp, confrontation weapon, and adult toys and accessories spoke volumes. As it was, prosecution despite the literal mountain of evidence proved thorny for the courts.
The ability of David Parker Ray to purchase, design, install and use such equipment on people is proof of both premeditation and lack of insanity. The absurdity of a trial was underlined by the clear lack of situational or ‘crime of passion” elements to David Ray’s killing methods. Hendy’s revised statements to police after pursuing a reduced sentence show that David Parker Ray may have murdered many more people but his under-the-radar profile left few clues and no trail for the FBI.
Just the names of the items found in David Ray’s “toolbox’ have a quality of a salacious and unappetizing lexicon of horror; metal and leather bindings, “leg spreaders”, dog collars, clamps, hooks, straps, and more. Chains, locks, handcuffs, bindings, gags, and other items were used to repeatedly subdue and rape victims and instill fear again and again.
David Ray was a lanky, 50ish man who worked a blue collar job. His aim was not for glamour or riches but concentrated escalation of sexual desire in an illicit manner. His perception of the victims was as a practical aid to his sex life, nothing more. Appreciation for human life was all but eradicated. Ray’s lack of remorse and ludicrous protestations of innocence, together with the avalanche of physical evidence brand him one of the most disturbed serial killers America has ever seen.
But Ray was not foolish enough to keep bodies stacked in the basement or underneath the nearby soil. By drugging his victims and subjecting them to torture, he was breaking down any further witnesses into states of unacceptable lack of reality. Even after a conviction, the loopholes in the legal system of the courts strangely assisted his attorneys in breaking down witness and causing mistrials. Ray’s daughter had hinted years earlier to police about a white slavery ring to police, and journals tracking every victim and “lockdown” procedures in Ray’s handwriting survived to exhibit his intent.
David Parker Ray’s trailer in Elephant Butte, New Mexico would become famous as a “dungeon” where he imprisoned victims for sexually sadistic torture and death. There was a gynecologist chair, suspension rigging, belts, whips, chains and various accessories commonly found in adult stores and shops. Ray had made an instructional video of his activities and left evidence all over the trailer, with no attempt made to dispose of or destroy incriminating items.
David Parker Ray’s accomplices are equally notorious by association. Cindy Hendy was a tough woman with a past history of untenable relationships, jobs, and friends. Her assistance subduing and guarding Ray’s victims, as well as participation in the sadistic torture, earned her prosecution by state and local authorities. Laundry lists of psychological and applied torture methods, personal reminders, and detailed drawings of Ray’s sadistic plans shattered any attempt to prove lack of premeditation.
The “Toy Box” attracted notoriety in the media after Ray’s arrest. Crime scene photos displayed the medical instruments that became sadistic torture devices when applied to victims. With the erotic focus on Ray’s own narcissistic power ‘trip”, the torture and murder of innocent victims merited nothing less than the death penalty. The need to cause pain and death was exhibited by David Parker Ray throughout his serial killer career. Astonishingly, both Ray and Hendy pleaded not guilty to charges.
Conveniently, David Ray had a heart attack during the end of his trial and served only a few years in prison. The body of Billy Ray Bowers was found in 1989, a curious coincidence as this was David Parker Ray’s boss. If not for the escaped victim, and the subsequent arrest of both Glenda Jessy Ray’s involvement and David Roy Yancy for the death of Marie Parker, the string of four victims might have been much longer. Some who followed the crime coverage and the trial suspect unknown victims of David Ray’s may lie unacknowledged under the New Mexico sands, reservoir, and waterways.
Hendy was sentenced to 36 years imprisonment. Yancy’s accounts suggested both complicity and fear of David Ray when better instincts surfaced. Proof of restraint against one’s will is difficult when one party claims an S & M lifestyle is at work and all parties are consenting adults. Ray was careful not to kidnap young girls or young men, and trusted nobody he felt he could not control or intimidate with his secret. Ray’s extreme pursuit of sexual torture may have had a beginning in his adolescence, but predictably none have survived to tell the tale.
In all David Parker Ray was responsible for the deaths of anywhere from 14-60 people. He claims to have killed at least one person per year during his reign of terror, but we will never know for sure as direct evidence is lacking.
Article by Roy Whyte. Visit his Google+ page for more.