David Parker

In the 1990s, David Parker Ray terrorized the New Mexico area as a serial killer and rapist. Ray’s crimes were particularly heinous, involving the abduction, rape, and torture of numerous victims. He was known as the “Toy Box Killer.”


David Parker Ray was born in 1939 in Belen, New Mexico. During their childhood, David Parker Ray and his younger sister Peggy were raised by their strict grandfather. Ray’s father, a violent alcoholic, would pay him visits and bring him magazines depicting sadomasochistic pornography.

Early in his life, David Parker Ray developed sexual fantasies that included rape, torture, and even the murder of women.

Crimes of David Parker Ray

He was a former mechanic and part-time park ranger who lived in Elephant Butte. Ray began abducting women and bringing them to his home in the 1990s, where he tortured and raped them in a custom-made “toy box” he had built for this purpose.

David Parker Ray allegedly tortured his victims and murdered them with a variety of tools, including whips, chains, pulleys, straps, clamps, leg spreader bars, surgical blades, electric shock machines, and saws.

David Parker Ray installed a mirror in the ceiling above an obstetric table to which he would strap his victims, in addition to the various tools and restraints he used during his crimes. He also built wooden contraptions that would bend his victims over, immobilizing them while he raped them with his dogs and other friends.

The Investigation and arrest of David Parker Ray

David Parker Ray would drug his victims in order to induce amnesia and keep them from reporting the assaults. He even taped himself telling one of his victims that he was giving her “sodium pentothal and phenobarbital” in order to achieve this effect. Ray used this disturbing tactic to cover up his crimes and evade law enforcement.

Cynthia Vigil was abducted from an Albuquerque parking lot on March 22, 1999, by David Parker Ray and his girlfriend, Cindy Hendy. She was taken to Ray’s house in Elephant Butte, where she was confined in a trailer and tortured and sexually abused.

Vigil managed to escape the trailer after three days and ran down the road until she found help. Cynthia Vigil fled from David Parker Ray’s trailer while still wearing an iron slave collar and padlocked chains. Ray was arrested and convicted on multiple charges as a result of her bravery.

Authorities were able to find evidence of Ray’s crimes, including the custom-made “toy box,” videotapes of his crimes, and a detailed manual on how to kidnap, rape, and torture women, thanks to Vigil’s testimony and a search warrant.

Ray was subsequently charged with multiple counts of sexual assault, kidnapping, and torture.

Trial and Sentencing

Law enforcement agencies worked tirelessly to bring Ray to justice after his crimes were discovered. Ray was convicted in 2001 on a variety of charges related to his crimes, including kidnapping, rape, and torture. He received a sentence of more than 200 years in prison and died in prison in 2002.

Cindy Hendy, David Parker Ray’s accomplice, was sentenced to 36 years in prison for her role in the crimes in 2000.

She testified against Ray during his trial, leading to his conviction. She was due to be released on parole in 2017. She was released on July 15, 2019, after serving her two-year prison sentence.

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