Often, those who have dealt with the most hardship are much better equipped to deal with the random curve balls that fate can throw their way. Take for example Cynthia Vigil, whose own difficult life had forced her into the world’s oldest profession.
Unfortunately, Albuquerque, New Mexico isn’t like Las Vegas, New York, or Los Angeles, and despite her lucrative but illegal career choice, Cynthia was still struggling. All that changed the night she met a man named Ray…
Featured Photo Credit: www.abqjournal.com
Cynthia Vigil’s life was anything but glamorous. A recent string of bad choices and money troubles found her working in Albuquerque, New Mexico as a prostitute. One March evening in 1999, a customer rolled up on her. She thought he was just another John.
When the supposed John revealed to her that he was an undercover police officer, Cynthia was understandably upset. The man told her that she was under arrest for solicitation and placed her in handcuffs. Once she was cuffed, however, things began to get a bid odd…
The John/officer then manhandled her and shoved her into his car. Cynthia knew that something was wrong. A police officer wouldn’t have treated her this way. When they arrived in Elephant Butte a few hours later, she found he had more in store.
The Torture to Come
The man sat her down and showed her a 20-minute video that he had apparently used several times before. It informed her of what he planned to do next, that for the next three days,the man and his accomplice were going to make her suffer in the worst ways imaginable…
As it turned out, the depraved man’s name was David Parker Ray and the reason that he had been so nonchalant about Cynthia’s impending torture was because he had done this many times before. Once they were in Elephant Butte, he showed Cynthia a huge truck trailer. Inside were whips, chains, pulleys, straps, clamps, spreader bars, surgical blades, and even some saws…
The Terror Inside
A mirror was mounted in the ceiling of the trailer, right above the gynecologist-style table that Ray used to strap in his victims. He wanted his victims to see all the things that he was going to do them. For three days, Ray and his accomplice, Cindy Hendy tortured and abused Cynthia…
Need to be Free
After three days of abuse, Cynthia knew two things, that they were going to torture her until she died, and that she needed to escape. She waited until Ray went to work and Cindy was in the other room in the phone. Then, she reached over to a nearby table where Cindy had mistakenly left the keys to her shackles and unlocked herself.
Rough and Tumble
Cindy came back just in time to find Cynthia unshackled. A fight soon broke out, which found both women rolling around the floor. Cindy broke a lamp over Cynthia’s head, she thought it was all over, but she managed to push herself past the pain and stab her captor in the neck with an icepick…
Cindy fell to the floor and passed out. In an instant, Cynthia was running for her life, naked, and still wearing her iron slave collar and padlocked chains. She ran down the road to a nearby house, where the owner took her in and comforted her. Once she had calmed down, the homeowner called the police.
Search for Him
Cynthia was back to full strength in no time at all and by the time the police arrived, she was ready to lead them to her would-be killers. They arrived at Ray’s house and arrested him and his accomplice. As they looked into Ray’s sordid past, they found a number of red flags that might have served as warning signs of his deviant behavior to come….
Damaged from Childhood
When he was a child, David Parker Ray lived with his grandfather, but would often spend time with his physically abusive father. He was a shy young man who had trouble talking to girls, a trait which made him an easy bullying target for his peers at Mountaineer High School in New Mexico.
History of Abuse
Once he was in his upper teens, he began abusing drugs and alcohol, often retreating into his own depraved sexual fantasies of raping, torturing, and murdering women. His sister cottoned onto this behavior when she discovered some of his sadomasochistic drawings, but decided not to tell anyone. She thought it was just a phase, she couldn’t have been more wrong…
Ray’s arrest drew a great deal of public attention and before long another victim, Angelica Montano, came forward with a similar story. She explained that she had reported the incident to the police but had not heard about any sort of follow-up afterwards. Meanwhile, the FBI sent 100 agents to examine Ray’s property and surroundings for some proof of his murderous behavior.
Despite not finding any human remains, Ray was initially charged with 37 counts involving three women: Cynthia, Vigil, Angelica Montano, and another woman. Still, even with all the proof and first-hand survivors’ accounts of his terrible deeds laid bare, the feds could not prove had killed anyone…
The belief was that Ray had terrorized many women with the items in his “Toy Box” trailer for many years. He had many accomplices during that time who helped him enact these tortures, several of them were even women that he was dating. Yet none of these accomplices ever came forward.
Two other accomplices were uncovered by the feds including: Glenda Jean “Jessie” Ray, his daughter, and Dennis Yancy, a friend. Yancy even admitted to strangling a former girlfriend named Marie Parker, after Ray had taken her into his Toy Box for a while. But the question still remained, where were the bodies buried?
Despite the lack of bodies, several of Ray’s accomplices came forward with allegations that he had killed as many as 60 people from Arizona and New Mexico, all while living in Elephant Butte. The court case went on for years and was the subject of much talk in the press during that time.
Cindy Hendy, who testified against Ray, received 36 years. Dennis Roy was convicted of the murder of Marie Parker. In 2001, Ray was convicted of kidnapping and torture, but was never convicted of murder. He did, however, receive what was essentially a life sentence for his crimes. As fate would have it, Ray would end up spending very little time in prison…
A Killer Dead
On May 28, 2002, Ray was being transported to the Lea County Correctional Facility in Hobbs, New Mexico. State police had some more questions for him and had wanted to interrogate him further.He died of a heart attack before the scheduled interrogation took place, after having served only two years of his sentence.
As for Cynthia Vigil, who is now Cynthia Jaramillo, she’s doing just fine. She is raising three boys in Albuquerque and caring for her grandmother. She’s asked about Ray from time to time and her response often is, “This was a very sick man…The only thing that gives me any comfort is that he’s gone. If I didn’t get away, I wouldn’t have my three wonderful boys. I wouldn’t be here.”