What Happened To The Toy Box Killer's Accomplice, Cindy Hendy?

Content warning: The following article includes descriptions of torture and sexual assault.

While most serial rapists and murderers work alone, there are notable cases where sadistic partnerships have been formed. For example, the multiple rapes and murders committed by "Ken and Barbie Killers" Paul Bernardo and Karla Homolka have been the subject of several books and a feature film, while the sadistic acts carried out by Fred and Rosemary West are still the stuff of nightmares in their native Britain.

One duo from the U.S. is still making headlines two decades after they were brought to justice. True crime enthusiasts most likely will know the name "The Toy Box Killer," and how he possibly be responsible for the murders of up to 60 women in the southwestern United States. Though no bodies were ever found, his recorded statements played to victims while they were being held captive warned them that they might be his next murder victim, and his diaries gave such detailed chilling descriptions of torture and murder that lead the FBI to believe that he was indeed a murderer (via All That's Interesting).

David Parker Ray was the man convicted in 2001 for multiple counts of kidnapping, rape, and torture of two women. Sentenced to serve more than 200 years behind bars, he was able to escape a lengthy prison stay, as he had a massive heart attack in prison and died only a year into his sentence.

Ray kept his unknown number of victims chained inside a converted box truck, which he had fashioned into a torture chamber he referred to as "the toy box."

He didn't work alone. His most enthusiastic participant was his girlfriend, Cindy Hendy.

Hendy met Ray in 1997

Hendy met Ray when she moved from Washington to New Mexico in 1997 and began working in a state park (per All That's Interesting). At 37, Hendy had already lived a long and rough life. Raised by an alcoholic mother, she was often left to go hungry as a child. There were several abusive men that her mother became involved with, resulting in a young Hendy seeing her mother physically assaulted. One stepfather made his way into Hendy's bed one night when she was only 12 years old and attempted to rape her. Rather than have her husband prosecuted, her mother threw the pre-teen out of the house, forcing her into a life where she lived with drug dealers and became a sex worker to survive.

Her interest in sadistic sex acts began to form around this time. One partner later recalled that Hendy had told him of a fantasy that involved them kidnapping and raping a sex worker. 

As an adult, Hendy didn't fare much better than her mother. She bore three children, all with different fathers. Unable or unwilling to be a parent to them, she sent all three away to live with their grandparents when the youngest child was 10. 

Free of her children and away from the abusive boyfriend she left behind in Washington, Hendy quickly became involved with Ray. Though 20 years his junior, she forged a relationship with Ray and the couple was soon living together in the small town of Truth or Consequences, New Mexico. It was here that Ray divulged his sexual deviances to Hendy, leading to her involvement in horrific acts against young women.

Hendy worked with Ray to find victims

According to All That's Interesting, Hendy would help Ray find victims. Luring these women away from safety, they would drug and restrain them. According to Hendy, Ray was the aggressor in most of the torture. But she was a party to some, and an active participant in multiple sexual assaults. Their last victim, Cindy Vigil, was held captive by the couple for three days, forced to endure multiple rapes and horrific amounts of torture. On the third day, Vigil caught a lucky break. After Ray left for work, she noticed that Hendy had left a set of keys within her grasp. Vigil managed to get the keys, but a struggle quickly erupted. While Vigil quickly tried to locate the key on the ring that would free her of the chain she was secured to the wall with, Hendy attacked her with a lamp. Vigil found the correct key and freed herself. But Hendy wasn't going to give up so easily. The two women struggled, Hendy, trying to subdue her victim with a knife. In desperation, Vigil found an icepick and stabbed Hendy in the neck with it. She ran naked out of the house and managed to get an elderly neighbor to phone the police. Hendy and Ray were arrested and charged later that day.

Though Ray wouldn't ever see life outside of the prison walls again, Hendy fared better with the courts. Prosecutors threatened her with 25 felony counts that could net her as much as 197 years behind bars. This most likely prompted her to take a plea deal in exchange for testifying against Ray (via All That's Interesting).

Hendy is a free woman

Hendy was able to provide authorities with information that led to a former accomplice of Ray named Roy Yancy being charged with murder. And though Ray himself wasn't charged with the murder of Yancy's ex-girlfriend Nancy Parker, Hendy's information did get Yancy two 15-year sentences for the act (via All That's Interesting). Her cooperation made the state's case against Ray easier as well, ultimately leading to his conviction on numerous charges of rape, torture, and kidnapping.

In exchange for her testimony, Hendy was sentenced to 36 years in prison. KRQE News reports that she plead guilty to charges of criminal sexual penetration and kidnapping and narrowly escaped having to serve the majority of her sentence. Her plea arrangement was accepted just months before New Mexico passed a law making violent offenders serve at least 85 percent of their sentence. This led to Hendy being paroled after serving only 16 years.

Hendy was released in July 2019 and does not have to serve parole. As her last two years in prison were counted toward her parole requirement, she is now a free woman, not having to report to any state authorities other than registering as a sex offender.

In 2022, it was revealed that Hendy had moved to Hamilton, Montana. KPAX News tells us that residents of this small community in the western end of the state are frustrated that a convicted criminal with a violent history now resides in their town. It appears as though Hendy has been free of legal issues since her move there, with Ravalli County Sheriff Steve Holton confirming both her registration and compliance.