FlatlineTV Myth and Murder

FlatlineTV: Myth and Murder 1.28.19


Born in November of 1939, Army Veteran, David Parker Ray lived with his younger sister in Belen, New Mexico under the thumb of a strict, disciplinarian grandfather. During his teenage years, he would be sporadically visited by his drunk, violent father who, in the course of beating him, would also supply him with pornographic magazines, including sadomasochistic themes, due to him being bullied often in high school because of his shyness around girls. 

As his twisted sexual fantasies grew, his sister Peggy found pornographic drawings of women being tortured, raped, and murdering women in sadomasochistic fashion, in addition to pictures of bondage type material cut from magazines. As he got older, he honorably discharged from the Army, worked as a general mechanic, divorced four times, and had two children, including his later accomplice to his crimes, Glenda Jean “Jessie” Ray. 

Victim – Sylvia Marie Parker

In 1999, David Ray approached Cynthia Vigil in a parking lot, posing as an undercover police officer, and informed her she was being arrested for “sex work”. He handcuffed her, and physically, and sexually tortured her in his “Toy-Box” trailer for three days, before she managed to escape her manacles by grabbing a set of keys, fortunately left behind on a nearby table, by another of Ray’s accomplices, Cindy Hendy. After a brief fight, Vigil escaped naked, wearing only a locked slave collar, and padlocked chains, by stabbing Hendy in the neck with an ice pick, and making it to a neighbor’s house, where the authorities were alerted. 

As evidence was collected after Ray, and his accomplices’ arrest, video tapes were discovered of the heinous torture and abuse. Victims were identified and contacted by investigators, including Kelli Garrett, who was attacked in 1996, escaped after being left for dead with a slashed throat, and survived. She was identified on one of the videos by a tattoo on her ankle. She, like many other surviving victims who came forward as the investigation moved forward, told their story to their local police, with little to no follow-up. In Kelli’s case, neither the police, nor her husband believed her. Her husband chose to divorce her, believing she had cheated on him. 

During the course of the investigation, Ray admitted to three murders, including a former business partner, and accomplice, Billy Bowers. The FBI sent 100 agents to examine Ray’s property and surroundings, but no identifiable human remains turned up there. Bodies were not discovered because they were dumped down abandoned mines on the East side of Caballo Lake by Ray’s accomplices. To prevent his victims from reporting the crimes, Ray had drugged them with agents to induce amnesia. On of his tapes, he was found to admitting to using “Sodium Pentothal” and “Phenobarbital”. One victim remained believed that her memories of the abuse were only nightmares until contacted by the FBI. After questioning, she came to remember her mistreatment in increasing detail.

Ray’s daughter, Glenda Jean “Jesse” Ray was also tried and charged for her role in kidnapping her friend, Kelli Garrett; she was sentenced to two and a half years in prison, with an additional five years to be served on probation. David Parker Ray agreed to a plea bargain, under the terms of which he was sentenced to 224 years in prison for numerous offenses involved in the abduction and sexual torture of three young women at his Elephant Butte home. Though he was only convicted for those offenses his accomplices fingered him for at least 40-60 more deaths. Ray died three years into his incarceration of a heart attack, in May 2002, at the Lea County Correctional Facility, in Hobbs, New Mexico before he could be interrogated by state police.