The Toy Box Killer David Parker Ray's Motive For Murdering Dozens Of Women

The following article includes graphic descriptions of sexual assault.

Cynthia Jaramillo, née Vigil, had been a sex worker since age 13 (via KRQE). She considered herself pretty experienced and able to keep herself safe from harm most of the time. One day, in March 1999, Jaramillo was working in Albuquerque, New Mexico, when she was stopped by David Parker Ray. He propositioned Jaramillo, offering her money for her services (per truTV). He walked her over to his RV, and after Jaramillo got in the vehicle, Ray claimed he was a police officer and arrested Jaramillo on the spot for soliciting sex.

Like a horror movie come to life, this was the start of Cynthia Jaramillo's harrowing days in the "Toy Box." David Parker Ray invented a twisted world of pain and suffering for his victims, and Jaramillo was his latest. Ray wasn't actually a police officer at all, and he had kidnapped many women before. 

After Ray handcuffed Jaramillo, he called out to Cindy Hendy, his girlfriend who lived in the RV with him, who startled Jaramillo with a shock from a cattle prod. Ray started up the RV and drove off with the newest victim of his Toy Box of horrors. 

Kidnapped by the Toy Box Killer

This was just the start of Cynthia Jaramillo's encounter with David Parker Ray — also known as the Toy Box Killer — who had plenty of horrible tricks up his sleeve for his numerous victims (per KRQE).

Jaramillo woke up naked and chained down on a table to hear a cassette tape recording of Ray telling her exactly why she was captured: she was going to be his "sex slave." Per truTV, the tape played for 20 minutes, detailing sexual abuse she would be forced to commit with animals and painful sexual torture using stretching devices, whips, and toys. She would later find out that Ray had been using the same tape to taunt new victims for the past six years (via KRQE).

Jaramillo said that Ray bragged about kidnapping women, telling her he would kill her just like the other victims (via the Albuquerque Journal). Inside his trailer of horrors were homemade torture devices, sex toys, whips, and chains. Per TruTV, Ray decorated the Toy Box with toy dolls in torture positions.

Women forced to watch their own torture

David Parker Ray seemed to enjoy intimidating and humiliating women in his Toy Box room, according to truTV. In one gruesome example, Ray's voice on the cassette tape told Cynthia Jaramillo her nipples would be stretched to the breaking point. Other times, he would tie her up and violate her. Cindy Hendy, who later said she loved the adrenaline rush of torture, looked on. After leaving Jaramillo hanging from the ceiling or stuffed into a coffin, Ray raped her many times in the small trailer.

Ray clearly loved scaring his victims by showing them in exact detail what he was doing. He had a collection of photographs that he'd taken of his prior victims (via Albuquerque Journal). He also had camera equipment aimed at a gynecological bed so that as he tortured the women, they could watch what was happening to their own bodies on a monitor (via truTV). Another of Ray's victims said that while abusing her in both the Toy Box and the trailer, Ray would run electrical currents through her private parts, giving her excruciating shocks.

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

Keeping the victims submissive

The Albuquerque Journal reports that David Parker Ray journaled extensively about his experiences kidnapping and torturing women. This is how police know that Ray had at least 40 victims, even if their remains have never been found. He collected medical books with anatomical diagrams and had a copy of the novel "American Psycho" that he seemingly took inspiration from (via truTV). To further dehumanize his "packages," Ray wrote a long list of ways to disorient and upset these women. His tactics included keeping them off balance, being unpredictable toward them, brainwashing them, keeping them blindfolded, and never letting up the stream of verbal and physical abuse.

Per truTV, another of Ray's victims said that after he kidnapped her, he made her walk around on a leash like a dog and refused to give her any food or water. Like other victims, she was forced into humiliation and sexual abuse while strapped into gynecological stirrups.

Making an escape

Per The New York Times, although police did a thorough search of the area and brought a cadaver-sniffing dog to the scene, they were not able to find any other bodies, though they did find medical equipment and restraints inside the RV. A friend of Cindy Hendy told police that during a drunken night at the bar, Hendy let it slip that she and David Parker Ray had sunk some of the victims' bodies into the depths of Elephant Butte Lake while burying other victims' remains in the desert.

According to the Albuquerque Journal, police have continued to search Elephant Butte since the charges came to light but have found no evidence or remains that would implicate Ray and Hendy. And Ray would sometimes give his victims an amnesiac drug, which made it hard for them to escape or tell anyone else what had happened to them while in the Toy Box (via Oxygen). 

Out of the 40 or more women captured by the deadly duo, Cynthia Jaramillo was actually Ray and Hendy's final victim, as the Albuquerque Journal reports. On her third day of captivity, Hendy accidentally left her keys lying around where Jaramillo could reach them (via KRQE).

Why did Ray create the Toy Box?

Cynthia Jaramillo unlocked the padlock on her and made her escape in March 1999, running naked to get help (via KRQE). She was covered head to toe in blood after a fight with Cindy Hendy and was wearing only a dog collar with a chain. She sprinted to a nearby house, where the homeowners called the police. Jaramillo is one of just a few victims who got away from the Toy Box.

So why did David Parker Ray create the Toy Box? In case it was unclear that Ray was a sick man, he was given a diagnosis of a "criminal sexual sadist" by the FBI officials who talked with him about his crimes (per truTV). During his trial, Ray tried to claim that he was having extreme but consensual sex with his victims. And he later told the media that he actually felt "raped" by the accusations. 

'The more I hurt, the more he got off'

The design of the Toy Box had one function, as Cynthia Jaramillo said (via KRQE): "The more pain that I showed, the more I hurt, the more he got off." 

David Parker Ray maintained his innocence during the trials. Per Oxygen, even today, there is barely any physical evidence of Ray and Cindy Hendy's murders, although Ray wrote pages of details about how he tortured his unnamed victims. According to KRQE, Ray admitted to burying some bodies, but none were ever discovered. Ray was tried separately for three of his victims to maximize his punishment (per truTV). He tortured as many as 40 women, at least according to his journal entries (via KRQE). But with no evidence, prosecutors could only charge Ray with the sexual torture of Jaramillo and one other victim for a total of 223 years in prison. However, Ray died in prison in 2002. 

In 1999, Cindy Hendy was sentenced to 36 years in prison. At her trial, Jaramillo faced her abuser and told her to "rot in hell," per truTV. However, Hendy was released in 2019, having served 20 years behind bars, per KRQE.