Profile of Serial Rapist David Parker Ray

Nicknamed "The Toy Box Killer"

David Parker Ray at his sitting next to his attorney diring pre-trial hearing.
Joe Raedle / Getty Images

David Parker Ray, also known as the Toy-Box Killer, was a serial rapist and torturer and suspected serial killer. Police in Arizona and New Mexico suspect that Ray was responsible for the murders of at least 60 people, based on accusations by his accomplices.

Ray earned the moniker the "Toy-Box Killer" because he spent $100,000 sound-proofing and stocking a truck trailer with devices used to torture his victims. He referred to the trailer as the "toy box."

Early Years

Ray was born in Belen, New Mexico, on November 6, 1939. His parents, Cecil and Nettie Ray, were poor and lived with Nettie's parents on a small ranch where they raised David and his younger sister Peggy.

Cecil was an abusive drunk who lashed out at his wife and children. He eventually left Nettie and the children when David was 10 years old. After Cecil divorced Nettie, the decision was made to send David and Peggy to live with their grandparents on their rural ranch in Mountainair, New Mexico.

Life for David and Peggy took a dramatic turn. Their grandfather, Ethan Ray, was nearing 70 years old and lived with strict standards which he expected the grandchildren to follow. Failure to follow his rules would often result in the children being physically disciplined.

At school David, who was tall, shy and awkward, had a hard time fitting in and was often bullied by his classmates. Much of his spare time was spent alone drinking and using drugs. It was during this time that David Ray began to develop his secret fascination of sadomasochism. David Ray's sister discovered his collection of erotic photographs of acts of bondage and sadomasochistic drawings.

After high school, he worked as an auto mechanic before joining the Army, where he again worked as a mechanic. He received an honorable discharge from the Army.

Years later, he told his fiancé that his first victim was a woman he tied to a tree and tortured and murdered when he had just become a teenager. Whether this was true or materialized out of his constant fantasies of bondage and torture is unknown.

The Escape

On March 22, 1999, in Elephant Butte, New Mexico, 22-year-old Cynthia Vigil, covered in blood, naked and with a metal choker collar padlocked around her neck, was running for her life. She had no idea where she was and desperate to find help before her captors caught up with her, she spotted a mobile home with the front door opened.

Cynthia ran inside, pleading for help from the shocked homeowner. The police arrived shortly afterward and listened as Cynthia told her terrifying story of kidnap and torture.

Kidnapped, Enslaved, and Raped

She told them that a man and a woman had kidnapped, enslaved her, and raped her for three days. There she was tortured with whips, medical instruments, electric shock, and other sexual instruments until she managed to escape.

The bruises, burns and puncture wounds that covered her body backed up her story.

According to Cynthia, she met her captors in Albuquerque while working as a prostitute. The man had offered her $20 in exchange for oral sex and they went to his RV. Inside there was a woman who helped the man tie and gag her, along with placing a metal collar around her neck.

They drove for over an hour before stopping and dragged Cynthia inside a trailer where she was chained to a bedpost. She then listened to an audiotape describing what would be happening to her while she was there.

On the tape, a man she assumed was David Ray, explained that she was now enslaved for forced sex and she was to refer to him only as "master" and the woman with him as "mistress" and never to speak unless spoken to first. She would be naked and chained up, fed, and cared for like a dog. She would be tortured, raped, perform for friends while having forced sex with animals, subjected to anal penetration with large dildos and placed in various positions which exposed the private areas of her body. She was also warned that she was one of many enslaved people that had been held captive and many of those who did not cooperate, died.

Fighting For Her Life

A FBI team investigates a trailer home where a woman says she was kidnapped and tortured.
A FBI team investigates the "toy box" trailer. Joe Raedle / Getty Images

By the third day of her captivity, Cynthia had been exposed to electric shocks, endured being cattle prodded, whipped, and had medical instruments and large dildos inserted into her vagina and rectum. She was hung up and raped repeatedly by David Ray. Cynthia was certain that soon she was going to be killed.

She managed to escape after Ray left the trailer and she got a hold of the keys and unlocked herself from the chain. She tried to call 9-1-1 but was interrupted by her female captor. The two fought and Cynthia managed to grab an ice pick and stab the woman in the neck. She then ran from the house and kept running until she found the mobile home.

Cynthia provided the police with the location of the trailer, but they were already at the home after the 9-1-1 call abruptly ended.

Inside "The Toy Box"

David Parker Ray and his girlfriend, Cindy Lea Hendy were apprehended. During questioning the two stuck to the same story — that Cynthia was a heroin addict and they were trying to help her detoxify.

A search of Ray's property told another story. Inside Ray's mobile home the police found evidence that backed up Cynthia's story, including the audiotape.

Inside another trailer that sat next to the mobile home was what detectives assumed was the "Toy Box" as Ray called it. Inside were various instruments of torture, drawn pictures of how Ray would torture his victims and various restraints, pulleys, whips, and sexual devices. However, the most shocking piece of evidence was a videotape of a woman being tortured by the couple.

Ray and Hendy were arrested and charged with multiple counts including kidnapping. As the investigation continued, additional evidence revealed that there had been many more victims and more than just Ray and Hendy involved in the crimes.

Investigators also suspected that along with Ray being a serial rapist, he was also likely a serial killer.

Angelica Montano

The problem that the authorities faced was Cynthia's credibility. She was an admitted prostitute and there was no way to prove that she was not there willingly. But then, after the newspapers ran the story about the couple's arrest, another victim came forward.

Angelica Montano told police that she had also been kidnapped, raped, and tortured by Ray and Hendy for three days, then drugged and left by a highway out in the desert. She was found by the police, but for unknown reasons, her complaint against the couple was never followed up. She decided to pursue it again after she saw that the two had been arrested.

Kelly Garrett

Investigators also found the woman that was on the videotape after they identified a tattoo on her ankle. Kelly Garrett, who was found in Colorado, had been married just a few days before she was held captive by Ray and his daughter, Jesse Ray. Jesse Ray, who was friends with Garrett, took her to a bar and drugged the beer that she was drinking. As Garrett struggled to leave the bar, Ray hit her on the head from behind. She was subjected to torture and rape for three days, then drugged and left on the side of the road near her in-laws' home.

Garrett's in-laws assumed she had been on a drug binge, and she was still too confused to recall exactly what had happened. As a result, she was asked to leave and she returned to Colorado. As time went on she remembered more about her ordeal, but she still suffered from amnesia.

Cindy Hendy: A Quick Turnaround

Once in custody, Cindy Hendy was quick to turn on Ray in a plea deal that included a reduced sentence. She told investigators that Ray told her about 14 murders that he had committed and where some of the bodies had been dumped.

She also told of some of the different ways Ray would torture his victims which included using a mirror which was mounted in the ceiling, above the gynecologist-type table he used to strap his victims to so that they would have to watch was being done to them. Ray would also put his victims in wooden contraptions that bent them over and immobilized them while he had his dogs rape them and sometimes other friends. 

She also gave the names of other accomplices, which included Ray's daughter, Glenda "Jesse" Ray and Dennis Roy Yancy. According to Hendy, Jesse and Dennis had participated in the murder of Dennis' ex-girlfriend, 22-year-old Marie Parker.

Dennis Roy Yancy: The Fear Factor

Yancy was brought in for questioning and eventually admitted to being present when Ray and his daughter Jesse kidnapped Parker and took her to the Toy Box. After three days of torture, Ray and Jesse told Yancy to kill her, which he did by strangling her with a rope. Yancy said Ray threatened to kill him if he ever told anyone about it.

Glenda Jean "Jesse" Ray: Complete Denial

Jesse Ray denied having anything to do with her father, the abductions, or with the murder of Marie Parker.


David Parker Ray talking to his attorney during his pre-trial hearing in Truth or Consequences.
Joe Raedle / Getty Images

Cindy Hendy was sentenced to 36 years as agreed to in the plea bargain. She also testified against Ray during his trials.

Dennis Roy Yancy received two 15-year sentences for second-degree murder and conspiracy to commit first-degree murder. He was released after serving 11 years, but returned to custody until 2021, after violating his parole.

Jesse Ray was found guilty of kidnapping women for sexual torture and was sentenced to nine years in prison, six of which could be served out of prison and on parole.

It was decided that David Parker Ray would be tried separately for each victim — Cynthia Vigil, Angelica Montano, and Kelly Garrett. He later agreed to a plea deal and he was sentenced to 224 years.


On May 28, 2002, Ray died of a heart attack while on his way to an interrogation by state police at Lea County Correctional Facility.

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Montaldo, Charles. "Profile of Serial Rapist David Parker Ray." ThoughtCo, Aug. 28, 2020, Montaldo, Charles. (2020, August 28). Profile of Serial Rapist David Parker Ray. Retrieved from Montaldo, Charles. "Profile of Serial Rapist David Parker Ray." ThoughtCo. (accessed January 24, 2021).