Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

David Parker Ray: The Toy Box Killer

Desert Fantasies

Cynthia was aware that some of the details she related might seem hard to credit, yet she was able to show them the welts on her back, punctures on her breasts, cuts, bruises, and a recent bump on her head. She had met her abductor, she admitted, while working as a prostitute in Albuquerque. Vernon Geberth offers the details in Sex-Related Homicide and Death Investigation. The man, David Parker Ray, had offered her $20 for oral sex in his Toyota RV. Cynthia climbed into the cab, where she encountered Cindy Lea Hendy, Ray's live-in girlfriend. Cynthia sensed a trap, but then Ray flashed a badge and told her she was under arrest for solicitation.

Book cover: Sex-Related Homicide and Death Investigation
Book cover: Sex-Related Homi-
cide and Death Investigation

As they bound and gagged her, she realized they were not police at all, but intended to kidnap her. They placed duct tape over her mouth and locked a steel collar around her neck, and drove for several hours with her in the back. There was nothing she could do to resist. When they stopped, they took her into a double-wide trailer and chained her to a post next to a bed. Apparently, it was where they lived. Soon, she said, they had played a twenty-minute tape for her that informed her of what was in store: she was now their sex slave and she could expect a great deal of abuse: among other things, she would have sex with animals, the taped voice told her, be forcibly raped with dildos, have her nipples stretched to the fullest extent they would go, and give oral sex to Ray whenever he demanded it. She was also told that other women before her had died.

David Parker Ray
David Parker Ray

They applied a series of electrical and medical instruments to different areas of her body, ignoring her muffled moans of pain and the pleas in her eyes to be released, and she was certain they meant to use her as long as possible and then kill her. They suspended her from the ceiling, whipped her, and threatened her with a gun. Ray had raped her repeatedly as well, and done other things to humiliate her. He had told her that he had a secure room in which he had more extreme implements and that she would soon be taken there. She looked for some possible way to escape before she was ever subjected to this: to her mind, that secure room would be her tomb.

Cindy Lea Hendy
Cindy Lea Hendy

The officers responding to the interrupted 911 call apprehended David Parker Ray, 59, and his girlfriend, Cindy Lea Hendy, 39, in their Toyota RV as they were leaving the trailer. Both were arrested and taken to the police department, where they gave matching statements: they had been trying to help Cynthia kick a terrible heroin habit. Although the case thus far was now largely a matter of "he-said, she-said," the officers weren't willing to turn these two potential offenders loose until they sorted out the facts. A background check indicated that Ray was a mechanic with the state parks department, which gave him access to a wide swath of state land. In itself, that was not troubling, unless he had in fact killed people.

The state police quickly secured a warrant to look for the items the victim had told them about, as well as evidence of her being there. If they could find the tapes, whips, and other implements, this would be clearly not a case of a pair of friends helping another kick a drug habit. Yet what Cynthia had described hardly prepared them for what they found.

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