In 1999, Cynthia Jaramillo thought she was going to die. She had been drugged, kidnapped and shackled to a chair inside a small motorhome in rural southern New Mexico where she was tortured and sexually abused for three days by a vicious man and his female accomplice. However, after the monstrous man left for work, she was able to break free of her restraints, stab the woman who was guarding her and make her way out of the deadly trailer to find help. Little did she know that she had just escaped the Toy Box, a customized torture chamber created by David Parker Ray where up to 40 women had been killed since the 1950s.
Little is actually known about the early life of Ray, who became known as the Toy Box Killer. According to a profile published by psychologists from Radford University, he was born in November 1933 to a family in Belen, New Mexico. Throughout his childhood, he was reportedly beaten by his father and raised primarily by his grandfather. Somewhere along the line, Ray took a liking to bondage and rape fantasies that he wrote about in his journals.
After reaching adulthood, Ray became a mechanic and served in the military until he was honorably discharged. It is believed that around this time was when he first launched into his nearly half-century-long murder spree.
To do so, Ray bought an old motorhome and spent over $100,000 to transform the inside of it into a torture den full of whips, chains, cattle prods, a gynecology chair and countless other devices that he handmade specifically for inducing pain. Then, starting sometime in the 1950s, Ray kidnapped his first victim, drugged her, took her back to the motorhome, which was nicknamed the Toy Box, and proceeded to sexually assault her for days on end until finally killing her.
For the next 40-plus years, Ray continued his spree, eventually bringing in his girlfriend, Cynthia Lea Hendy, to help. Together, the two tortured upwards of 40 women and made countless snuff films to document the horror. According to Jim Fielder in his book Slow Death, some of his victims, who were mostly young girls or prostitutes, were drugged heavily and killed in incredibly gruesome fashions—one way involved inserting a cattle prod into the victims until blood dripped from their mouths, a scene that played out in many of the tapes acquired by the FBI after Jaramillo heroically escaped Ray’s grasp.
In 1999, after Jaramillo fled from the Toy Box wearing only a pair of iron shackles and a slave collar, the FBI was called in to investigate what had been going on in this rural area of New Mexico. They uncovered the Toy Box and found countless tapes, written records and items belonging to missing women. However, despite this evidence, there wasn’t enough evidence at the scene to convict him of murdering all of the women they knew he kidnapped, especially since no bodies were ever found.
Though they couldn’t pin him to murder, they did have accounts from Jaramillo and another woman he had previously kidnapped and tortured, which was enough to sentence him to 223 years. According to the FBI, Ray died in prison in 2002.
David Parker Ray remains one of the most horrific serial killers in American history, a reputation that is made all the stranger by the fact that we have no idea how many people he actually killed.
This is the only known picture of one of his victims to be leaked:
David Parker Ray - The Toy Box Killer
In 1999, Cynthia Jaramillo thought she was going to die. She had been drugged, kidnapped and shackled to a chair inside a small motorhome in rural...