David Parker Ray (November 6, 1939 – May 28, 2002) was a suspected American serial killer and known torturer of women; though no bodies were found, he was accused by his accomplices of killing several people, and suspected by police to have murdered as many as 60 people in the town of Truth or Consequences, New Mexico. He is occasionally known as the "Toy-Box Killer".
Ray’s childhood was the start of what many believe turned him into a murderer. Ray lived with his grandfather. He still saw his father, but his father physically abused him. Parker also was bullied by his peers for his shyness around girls. As a teenager, he started abusing alcohol and drugs. Ray’s rough start continued to progress into adulthood and eventually led to the victimization of young women.
David Parker Ray tortured and presumably killed his victims in a $100,000 homemade torture chamber he called his "toy box", which was equipped with what he referred to as his "friends": whips, chains, pulleys, straps, clamps, leg spreader bars, and surgical blades and saws. It is thought that he terrorized the town of Truth or Consequences with these tools for several years, with the added assistance of multiple accomplices.
Inside the torture room, along with numerous sex toys, torture implements, syringes, and detailed diagrams (made by Ray himself) showing different methods and techniques for inflicting pain, there was a homemade electricity generating device that was used in torture. Ray would often have a recorded audio tape of himself played for his victims whenever they regained consciousness.
Trial and conviction
On March 22, 1999, a living victim, Cynthia Vigil, escaped after being kidnapped and enduring torture in a three-day ordeal. To escape, Vigil waited until Ray went to work and then managed to get the keys to the lock of her chains that Ray's accomplice, Cindy Hendy, left on a table nearby while she was in another room on the phone. After getting the keys, Hendy noticed Vigil's attempt at escaping and fighting ensued. During the struggle, Hendy broke a lamp on Vigil's head, but she still managed to unlock her chains and then proceeded to stab Hendy in the neck with an icepick she found on the floor and escaped. Vigil ran away naked, wearing only an iron slave collar and padlocked chains. After Vigil's escape and rescue, Ray and Hendy were apprehended by the police.
Parker was arrested the day his last victim escaped. Throughout the trial, the prosecution brought forward two victims along with the mother of a deceased victim. Cynthia Vigil and Kelly Garret testified against Ray, describing the horrible tortures they endured. Garret was one who said she did not want him to receive the death penalty because she thought that was too easy. She wanted him to endure the pain she went through. She wanted him to stay in prison for his entire life.
Ray was sentenced to 224 years in prison after being convicted of numerous offenses involving the abduction and sexual torture of three young women at his Elephant Butte Lake home. His first trial ended in a hung jury in Tierra Amarilla, New Mexico. His trial was then relocated to a small town where he had been raised decades before. He was convicted of his crimes against Angie Montaño, and then admitted his crimes against Cynthia Vigil Jaramillo and another young woman, as part of a plea deal for a light sentence for Ray's daughter. He died eight months after sentencing, having been held for two and a half years while awaiting trial and re-trial. Hendy, who testified against Ray, received a sentence of 36 years for her role in the crimes.