‘Hello there bitch! Are you comfortable right now? I doubt it. Wrists and ankles chained, gagged, probably blindfolded. You are disoriented and scared, too, I imagine,’ the ominous voice announced. As the cassette played on it continued, ‘I don’t give a flying fuck about your mind, or how you feel about the situation. You may be married, have a kid or two, boyfriend, girlfriend, a job, car payments; fuck it! It’s something you’re going to have to deal with after you’re turned loose. I make it a point never to like a slave, and I fucking sure don’t have any respect for you. Here your status is no more than one of the dogs, or one of the animals, out in the barn. Your only value to us is the fact that you have an attractive, usable body. And like the rest of our animals, you will be fed and watered, kept in good physical condition, kept reasonably clean, and allowed to use the toilets when necessary. In return, you’re going to be used hard. Especially during the first few days, while you’re new and fresh. You’re going to be kept chained in a variety of different positions, usually with your legs or knees forced wide apart. Your pussy and asshole is going to get a real workout!’

It had been three days since Cynthia Vigil had heard the recording, having been abducted while soliciting along the highway by a charming middle-aged man and his young girlfriend. Initially claiming to be a police officer, the man and his accomplice had forced the terrified woman into their vehicle and taken her to a location that he liked to refer to as the toy-box, a makeshift torture chamber where he indulged in his most twisted and perverse fantasies with his unwilling victims. ‘The way he talked, I didn’t feel like this was his first time,’ she would recall over a decade later. ‘It was like he knew what he was doing. He told me I was never going to see my family again.’ Having spent several days at his mercy, one morning Vigil awoke to find herself chained to the wall, naked except for a padlocked dog collar that kept her bound like an animal. The man had already left for work, leaving behind his partner to watch over their new sex slave, but when she saw a set of keys placed on a nearby table, she realised this would be her one and only chance of escape. Following a violent confrontation with the woman, Vigil staggered from the house and out into the early morning light.

A few blocks away, Darlene Breech walked into the kitchen of her trailer home when suddenly a naked woman burst through the door, the stranger half-conscious and in a delirious state. ‘As she was walking in the door, she just started screaming, ‘Don’t let them get me! Please help me!’ She grabbed my arms and didn’t want to let go,’ she explained. ‘Her wrists looked like hamburger meat. She had beautiful long brown hair, and it was all matted with blood. She was dirty all over, and it looked like she had pooped in her pants. Her poor little boobs were black and blue, and there were bruises all over her arms and legs.’ When the police investigated the young woman’s claims, they discovered a horror show far worse than they could have ever imagined, and as they began to search through all the sadistic devices and homemade videotapes, they realised that a seemingly respectable member of their small community was hiding a dark secret, one that even the authorities struggled to understand.

When investigators began to search the property, they found the chain where the victim had allegedly been held against their will, a bucket close by full of human waste, and a variety of sex toys that indicated a predilection for sadomasochism. But it would be upon entering an adjacent utility trailer that they would uncover the true depravity of her captors. At the centre of the workplace was a gynaecology chair with stirrups, that would allow a subject’s legs to be spread open wide, while a video camera at the base documented the proceedings in explicit detail. ‘The cops couldn’t take their eyes off the torture unfolding in front of them,’ detailed author Jim Fielder in his book Slow Death: The Sickest Serial Slayer to Stalk the Southwest. ‘The naked woman, spreadeagled on her back, was anchored to a black leather medical table by the red nylon straps on her wrists and ankles. Her eyes and mouth were covered with silver duct tape. She could barely move.’ An assortment of surgical equipment were laid out close by, and strung up on the wall, overlooking this dungeon, was a homemade sign that read Satan’s Den. A collection of videotapes not only served to corroborate the claims made by Vigil, but also indicated that she was only one of countless victims that had been subjected to unspeakable torture at the hands of a sadistic monster. And that monster was soon revealed as David Parker Ray.

I got pleasure out of the woman getting pleasure

‘I get my excitement from making a woman happy,’ he told Albuquerque’s KOB 4 shortly after his conviction. ‘My trailer had numerous sex toys in it; of different types, all different fetishes. I got pleasure out of the woman getting pleasure. I did what they wanted me to do.’ Throughout the subsequent trial, Ray maintained that each of the women that were captured on video inside his trailer were willing participants in his role-playing bondage games, and that he felt raped by the accusations that had been levelled at him in court. But on 22 March 1999, after Vigil’s escape from his home, fifty-nine-year-old Ray, a local mechanic and father-of-two, was arrested and charged with kidnapping and sexual torture. And yet, as agents of the FBI began to carefully examine each of the videotapes, they witnessed the brutal fantasies of a savage mind, and soon thoughts turned to the possibility that many of these women may have been murdered soon afterwards. But without any bodies or missing person cases that could be linked to the suspect, the authorities were unable to build a case. ‘Federal investigators said they were ‘looking into anything and everything,’ including the possibility of homicides,’ reported the New York Times almost two weeks after his arrest. ‘They are tracking down leads in Arizona, Texas, and Mexico.’

The crimes of David Parker Ray would take place in the small New Mexico city of Elephant Butte, a quiet, rural community with a population of less than one-thousand, four-hundred residents. Situated approximately seven miles north of Truth or Consequences, this relatively secluded area seemed like the most unlikely of locations for a sex fiend and potential murderer to be discovered. ‘From an economic perspective, I’m not speaking a moral or ethical perspective, but on some levels, a heinous or sensational crime can brand a town in a way,’ insisted tourism president Peter E. Tarlow in the weeks following the revelation that a monster lived among them. A native of New Mexico, Ray was born on 6 November 1939 in Belen, but with parents disinterested in their children, David and his sister, Peggy, were sent to live with their grandparents on a farm close to the town of Mountainair. Unable to form a bond with his family, and too shy to talk to young girls, the boy retreated into a world of true crime literature and delinquency. While this would first be manifested in homemade explosives, the true nature of David Parker Ray first emerged while still in his teens.

‘By the time I was fifteen, I had a private dungeon under a big piñon tree; I had a hangman’s noose, and a collection of broken beer bottles I planned to use on girls someday. When I got lonesome, I used to fuck a hole I dug in the ground,’ he confessed to Special Agent John Schum during his interrogation. ‘I was real shy when I was a child. I wouldn’t even look at a girl, I always kept my eyes down. I didn’t have my first date until I was eighteen-years-old. It was kinda funny what happened that night. We parked by the Grand Rio in her car, and she said she wanted me to drive home. I asked for the keys, and she dropped them down the front of her blouse and told me to come and get them. The next year I got married for the first time, and I swear to God, I was almost a virgin when I got married.’ On 23 June 1950, less than five years after the Second World War had finally come to an end, the United States entered a new conflict with North Korea, and in the summer of 1960, twenty-year-old David Parker Ray enlisted in the military and was deployed overseas. By the time he returned home the following year, he had filed for divorce and had become a father. His second marriage would last a mere three months, but his third vows were made with Glenda Burdine and, in 1967, a year into the relationship, Ray’s daughter, Glenda Jean, was born.

The Toy-Box

Even though he had attempted to create a façade that he was a respectable member of society, both a loving husband and father, the perverse and sadistic fantasies that had populated his adolescent imagination were still festering in his mind, and by the time his marriage came to an end after fifteen years, Ray was ready to indulge in his darker desires. Leaving with a relative of his wife, he travelled to the Sierra Nevada Mountains, before relocating to Phoenix, where he first found work as a mechanic. Marrying once again in 1983, Ray started to act out his obsessions with an assortment of prostitutes, but in 1986 he first came to the attention of the authorities when his teenage daughter reported him to the FBI. ‘The allegations made were non-specific in nature. Names and identifying information regarding the alleged victims were not provided. No homicides were alleged,’ revealed Special Agent Doug Beldon in May 1999. ‘For over a year after, the FBI in New Mexico conducted an investigation in an effort to substantiate the allegations. No victims were identified and none came forward.’ Yet despite no convictions being brought against Ray, his wife was unable to tolerate his double life and, in 1994, announced that she was leaving him once and for all.

But just when did David Parker Ray progress from experimentation to sadism, and was he truly capable of taking another person’s life? During the investigations that followed his arrest in March 1999, Ray would be linked to one death and another disappearance that occurred a decade apart. On 22 September 1988, a man by the name of Billy Ray Bowers, whom biographer Fielder claimed was Ray’s line manager, failed to return home, and despite a reward being raised by the family, his fate remained uncertain. Twelve months later, on 28 September 1989, the remains of a body was discovered by a fisherman on Elephant Butte Lake, but with no paperwork or distinct marks, the police were unable to make a positive identification. It would not be until mid-April 1999 that the FBI confirmed that the body had been that of Bowers. ‘There was no official comment on whether the death of Billy Ray Bowers is related to a sex torture case that surfaced last month at the Butte,’ claimed the Associated Press in their 16 April edition. ‘He had a gunshot wound in the back of the head, and was roped to two boat anchors when found by boater Peter Seitz.’ In October 2011, the police reopened the unsolved case of twenty-two-year-old Jill Troia, who had disappeared in 1995, when agents found the description of a young woman that matched her appearance in a written account by Ray. While her remains would not be found, the FBI and local police were convinced that they may uncover other bodies in the area.

While there is no evidence to connect Ray to the fate of Bowers or Troia, there was one disappearance that the authorities were convinced he was responsible for. On 5 July 1997, twenty-two-year-old Marie Parker had left the Blue Waters Saloon in Elephant Butte with the intention of returning to one of her two daughters. Among those present that night were her twenty-five-year-old ex-boyfriend, Dennis Roy Yancy, and Ray’s daughter, Glenda, known among her friends as Jesse. Parker had recently been evicted from her home and had spent some time living in her Geo Metro, before finally taking shelter on a beach close to Ray’s home. She had allegedly become involved in the drug scene in Truth or Consequences, and was known to provide sexual services at a Central Street motel in Albuquerque. On the night of her disappearance, witnesses reported that she had argued with Jesse Ray, but as the evening came to an end, Ray offered to drive her home. Despite being angry at her friend, Parker reluctantly agreed. This would be the last documented appearance of Parker. ‘I just want people to know how good a person she was,’ declared her half-brother, Thomas McCauley. ‘She never once did anything to deserve this. Nobody deserves something like this.’

On 9 April 1999, Yancy was arrested and charged with the murder of Marie Parker. Yancy had become a close associate of David Parker Ray, and as the guilty parties began to confess to their crimes, it soon became apparent that he was involved with the kidnapping and sexual torture that Ray had been accused of. Although Parker’s body would never be recovered, the police were convinced that Yancy had taken her life. Yancy had only been at his new job as a fry cook for ninety minutes when the police arrived at the Black Range Motel and Restaurant to take him into custody. ‘State police and FBI investigators with shovels looked for her remains in a rugged area off of N.M. 195 near town, Saturday,’ reported the Albuquerque Journal. ‘They didn’t find any, but police said they discovered other possible evidence that might be related to the case.’ Yancy and Ray’s thirty-nine-year-old girlfriend, Cynthia Lea Hendy, had both indulged in the sadism and possible murders of several young women in the Elephant Butte area, with Ray capturing the suffering and humiliation on video, which he then added to his personal collection, like a hunter collecting the trophies of his prey. Events would take an even peculiar turn when Ray’s own daughter, Jesse, was taken into custody at her father’s trailer home later that month, with the bonds of both David Parker and Glenda ‘Jesse’ Ray, and Cynthia Lea Hendy, set at $1m.

But the fate of Parker would echo that of another victim of Ray and his cohorts, one in which the woman had survived, but the way in which she had been abducted sounded all too familiar. It is unknown whether Parker ever saw the inside of the toy-box, or whether Yancy had executed her under the instructions of Ray, but during their investigation, the FBI found conclusive evidence that would lead them to the home of a survivor. The utility trailer adjacent to Ray’s home was designed for one thing: suffering. And he liked to document every moment of their pain as he explored their bodies, inside and out. It was clear from examining the apparatus in Ray’s toy-box that they had been crafted by-hand by the suspect, having used his skills as a mechanic through his employment with the Elephant Butte State Park. The investigators that searched through the property would be traumatised by what they witnessed, with one agent allegedly vomiting after leaving the trailer. ‘To see it for the first time just kind of gave you a feeling of sickness. It was remarkable how everything was set up. Everything in here denoted pain, everything in here denoted destruction,’ explained Norman Rhoades of the New Mexico State Police in the documentary The Sex Chamber. ‘I’d never seen anything like it in my life. The first thing my eyes focused on was this black chair, which turned out to be a gynaecology chair.’ While they had yet to find evidence of a homicide, the police were convinced that Vigil’s statement was true and that they must now attempt to identify his other victims.

Cynthia Vigil

A significant breakthrough in the case would come during an examination of one of Ray’s videotapes, during which he placed duct tape over his victim’s mouth, and then stroked her naked body with his fingers. With her legs spread wide, the investigators were able to see a tattoo on the woman’s calf, and so sent the cassette to the FBI for the footage to be enhanced. With the identifying marking revealed to be a bird, the image was released to the press, eventually leading investigators to Kelli Van Cleave. In 1996, she had been friends with both Jesse Ray and Dennis Roy Yancy, and had recently moved in with her new husband, Patrick Murphy and his family. ‘He was in the Navy in San Diego, and home on leave when he met her. It was kind of a quick thing when they got married,’ explained his mother, Janet. ‘Right after they got married, they were staying at my house, and he was catering to her all the time. I guess they were having sexual problems, just like a lot of newlywed couples do. They fought one night, and the next morning, Kelli came to me and said, ‘Mom, I’m going to see some friends and I’ll be back later.’ She didn’t come back for three days. I was really upset and so was Patrick. He reported her missing, and he looked for her night and day. He was really worried that she was hanging out with some really bad people.’

What Patrick and Janet did not realise, however, was that Van Cleave had been abducted by David Parker Ray. ‘I was scared. I didn’t know what they were going to do. I wanted to go home,’ she later confessed under oath. ‘One sat beside me on the couch. The one on the couch held a knife to my throat. They put a dog collar on my neck. I was being pulled by the neck, like they had a leash. I was already tied to the table, naked. I was kind of in a position a woman is in when she has a baby; my feet were in stirrups.’ By the second day of her abduction, her husband decided that he would file for divorce. ‘Patrick Murphy, whom the woman married just before the crimes, testified on a videotape statement watched by the jury that his wife walked away from his parents’ home, where they were staying, after an argument,’ stated an article published by the Las Cruces Sun-News. ‘Murphy said she reappeared a few days later; smelly, dishevelled, and shoeless, driven home by Ray, who said he found her on the beach. His wife claimed not to know where she had been. ‘She was out of it. She wasn’t coherent. I thought she was under the influence of a narcotic or something.’ Angry, he told her to leave. Assuming she had left him, he had already filed papers to dissolve the marriage, Murphy said in his statement. Murphy said his ex-wife was a friend of Ray’s daughter, and he figured the three had concocted Ray’s story.’

In the three years since the incident, Van Cleave had struggled to recall the events that had taken place during her disappearance, and even with a few years having passed, she regularly suffered horrific nightmares involving chains, while also struggling to be intimate with her husband. When she saw her tattoo on the news, it soon became all too clear that she had been another victim of David Parker Ray. ‘I feel so guilty,’ she later told the FBI. ‘I can’t tell you how dirty I feel.’ Arguably the most shocking revelation was that Ray’s daughter had not only been aware of the crimes, but had been a willing participant, even luring her friends into his depravity. ‘A complaint filed in Sierra Country magistrate court charged the daughter, Glenda Jean Ray, also known as Jesse Ray, thirty-two, with kidnapping and six counts of criminal sexual penetration,’ revealed the New York Times. ‘It said she and her father, David Parker Ray, had kidnapped and assaulted the woman over the course of four days in July 1996. The arrest was the fourth since a naked woman was found running down a road in nearby Elephant Butte on 22 March. She told the authorities she had been kept in chains, raped and tortured for three days, in the trailer home of Mr. Ray.’

Another participant in Ray’s sadistic crimes was Cynthia Lea Hendy, more commonly known as Cindy. Born and raised in the state of Washington, Hendy had first fallen foul of the law due to grand theft and charges of drug possession, before abandoning two of her children in the spring of 1997 and relocating to Truth or Consequences. After accusing her boyfriend of domestic violence, she became involved with a man called Irwin Arrey, and it was during this time that she first made the acquaintance of Ray during her time at Elephant Butte Park. She would engage in sexual relations with both Ray and Yancy, before finally starting a relationship with the former. Following her arrest, she claimed that Ray had been responsible for at least fourteen murders, in an effort to secure herself a plea deal with the court. ‘She told them what they wanted to hear,’ insisted Jeff Rein, Ray’s attorney. ‘Forty-five days later, we still don’t have any bodies.’ Hendy’s plea deal soon found its way into the pages of newspapers around the country. ‘It was not immediately known what the proposed plea bargain might provide, but pleas typically require defendants to admit to some charges carrying lesser penalties, and perhaps cooperate with prosecutors,’ wrote the Associated Press. ‘Dozens of FBI agents and state police have collected evidence and searched for more victims in the case, which authorities say spans ten states.’

He didn’t want to kill her

Upon examining the toy-box, the police and the FBI discovered how meticulous Ray had been, both in his design of the torture chamber and his control over the other three participants. Stapled to the wall were a list of instructions and warnings, including many common excuses that women may use to avoid being raped, such as menstruation, pregnancy, and sexually-transmitted diseases. This had clearly been something that had been developing inside of Ray for many years, and through both his knowledge of engineering and the remote location, he was able to abduct young women and violate them in any way he saw fit. And with Hendy arriving in his hometown in 1997, he found another disturbed mind that allowed him to explore these dark fantasies even further. On the same day that Hendy’s plea deal was announced, Yancy also discovered that his partner had turned against him. Christina Yancy spoke to the press following a meeting with her husband, and revealed that he had been involved in the disappearance of Marie Parker. ‘He strangled her, I guess,’ she declared. ‘He was there when she was kidnapped and murdered. He said he was manipulated into doing it. He didn’t want to kill her, is what he said.’

Van Cleave would not be the only survivor of David Parker Ray that felt moved to tell her story following the sight of Cynthia Vigil on the news. Watching the young woman taken away by police officers, as Ray’s home on Bass Road was dissected by forensic officers, awoke a repressed memory inside of twenty-seven-year-old Angelique Montano. Much like Vigil, she had worked as a prostitute on Central Avenue, the same road where Parker had allegedly operated from, and it was on 17 February 1999, a month before Vigil’s abduction, that her life would change forever. She had moved to Truth or Consequences three years earlier in an attempt to start a new life, and it was through her association with Cynthia ‘Cindy’ Hendy that she came to the attention of Ray. ‘The horror began the day I decided to bake a cake for my boyfriend, Frank Zambrano, who lives with me and my five-year-old boy, Abel. I knew Cindy vaguely through a friend, and she had offered to give me a cake-mix packet, and ingredients for frosting,’ she would later recall. ‘I went with her to a white-and brown recreational vehicle. David, whom I’d never met, was hiding inside. He put a knife to my throat and said I was being abducted.’

Much like Vigil, Montano seized the opportunity to escape and, waiting until her captors were separated, carefully plotted to manipulate them. Hendy left the trailer to go grocery shopping, leaving Ray alone to guard their hostage. Realising that her only chance of survival was to turn his lust against him, she calmly asked him to come and sit beside her. In a rare moment of tenderness, Ray confessed that he believed she was a decent person, and that in some way he regretted what she was being subjected to, and by the time Hendy returned home, he had granted her freedom. Ray agreed to release her in Albuquerque so she could hitchhike her way back, and Montano finally managed to catch a ride from a sheriff but, despite recounting her ordeal over the last five days, he refused to believe her outrageous story. Fearing that she would be branded a liar, she vowed to remain silent, and it was not until Vigil escaped from Ray’s home that she decided to approach the authorities with her own horrific tale. By the time that her case was brought to trial in June 2000, Angelique Montano had passed away from complications relating to pneumonia, and so she would not live to see justice served.

Cynthia Lea Hendy

It was clear from the beginning of the trial that opinions would automatically be biased against the accused kidnapper and rapist. When a selection of potential jurors were asked their opinion on the suspect, many of the females questioned had clearly already come to a decision. ‘I just think it was such a sick mind that gave rise to such acts against women,’ stated one of the selected jurors when approached by Assistant District Attorney Jim Yontz. Another simply referred to Ray as the ‘scum of the earth.’ Rein, who had been hired to defend Ray, protested against this line of questioning. ‘If jurors are so disgusted by the evidence that they think he’s guilty before hearing the case, then we don’t have a chance,’ he lamented. The initial trial had taken place in the summer of 2000, but this had concluded in a mistrial. ‘The two female jurors who opposed the conviction said they didn’t believe the prosecution’s lead witness, who testified that Ray kidnapped and sexually assaulted her,’ reported the Albuquerque Journal. With the proceedings ending in a mistrial, Yontz pushed the courts to arrange for Ray to return to court as soon as possible, but a series of events would cause further delay.

The first obstacle came when the Supreme Court announced that State District Judge Neil Mertz must first assessed what evidence the prosecution were allowed to present, while Ray’s health was called into question following reports of chest pains that resulted in him being hospitalised. Despite a retrial set for January 2001, the proceedings were interrupted by the sudden death of Judge Mertz on 30 November following a heart attack earlier that morning. The previous August, the defence had attempted to remove Mertz from the trial as they hoped to combine David Parker and Glenda ‘Jesse’ Ray’s case. But following the death of Mertz, the retrial was postponed until April 2001 so that the courts could find a suitable replacement. After both the prosecution and defence rejected two candidates, the second trial of Ray commenced on 3 April under the watchful eye of District Judge Kevin Sweazea, with the jurors advised of the explicit material they would be subjected to. ‘There will be some graphic portrayals, nudity or the like,’ warned Yontz to the selection of twelve men and women. ‘Will there be any problems looking at graphic photos?’ During the coming weeks, Kelli Van Cleave recounted her experience at the hands of Ray, with the jurors observing a homemade video of the young woman strapped to a bench as he ran his hands across her naked flesh. ‘She’s being kidnapped. She does as she’s told if she has weapons held on her,’ Yontz told the court.

The prosecution finally rested its case on 12 April 2001, with the jurors dismissed for the weekend, following a little over a week of testimonies, cross-examination, and an array of lurid torture devices and photography laid out before the court. Despite the overwhelming evidence on display, there were still those that doubted Ray’s guilt. ‘I have total faith in my uncle,’ declared Laura Hooper, a niece from Rock Springs, Wyoming. Ray, too, would maintain his innocence. ‘It was consensual,’ he insisted. ‘It was a source of entertainment for me to create these tapes. That’s why there was a disclaimer at the beginning of the tape stating it was for adult entertainment only.’ With Dennis Roy Yancy having already pleaded guilty to the murder of Marie Parker, resulting in a twenty-year prison sentence, while Cynthia Hendy’s attempts at a plea deal had not allowed her to escape sentencing, the focus of the trial remained on Ray and his daughter. As both faced severe punishment, Ray finally decided to admit his guilt in an attempt to save her from a lifetime behind bars and so, on 20 September 2001, David Parker Ray was sentenced to two-hundred-and-twenty-three years.

‘On Thursday, he testified that he could not undo the crime or take it back. ‘I can only be sorry for what I did,’’ wrote the Las Cruces Sun-News. ‘Ray said there were numerous lies and distortions about him during the case, which originally involved three victims. But the sentence handed down by State District Judge Kevin Sweazea dealt with just two victims tortured in 1996 and 1999. The third victim, Angelique Montano, died of pneumonia last year, and Ray was never tried for her part in the case. Under his plea agreement, the district attorney’s office dismissed that third case.’ By the time that the jury had reached a verdict, two-and-a-half years had passed since his arrest, and the trial had become a nationwide scandal, with every person having their own opinion on the accused. ‘Before Ray was sentenced, Attorney General Patricia Madrid, representing the state, said it was necessary to ‘keep the animal in his cage. The animal can’t live among us,’’ wrote the Associated Press. ‘He said he pleaded guilty in July to kidnapping, rape, and conspiracy to kidnap in the 1999 case to prevent his daughter, Glenda ‘Jesse’ Ray, from serving additional prison time as his accomplice. His daughter also entered a plea agreement, and was sentenced earlier this week to time served – two-and-a-half years – plus five years’ probation. After her father was sentenced Thursday, she said, ‘Dad,’ and when he turned, she blew him a kiss.’

Although he had been found guilty of the crimes in which he had been accused, the authorities were convinced that Ray had raped and tortured many more, possibly having even murdered them and disposed of their bodies at the bottom of Elephant Butte Lake. Even his accomplices would accuse him of murder, but without a body there was no crime. ‘Yancy killed Marie Parker back in 1997, under instructions from David Ray,’ claimed Hendy in an interview with the FBI. ‘Roy strangled her to death while David sat nearby, taking photographs.’ Whether or not David Parker Ray ever took a life, or was the sadistic serial killer that history will remember him as, is a secret that he took to his grave. By the time that his sentence began, Ray was sixty-two-years-old and suffered from numerous health issues that included prescriptions for pantoprazole, enalapril, and nitroglycerin, the latter for an ongoing heart condition. But on 28 May 2002, barely six months into his sentence, David Parker Ray passed away at the Lee County Correctional Facility in New Mexico. He may not have lived to serve his sentence, but his gruesome legacy will live on forever in the hearts and minds of his victims and their families. ‘This was a very sick man,’ insisted Cynthia Vigil in 2011. ‘The only thing that gives me any comfort is that he’s gone!’ 

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