In 1999, Cynthia Vigil Jaramillo escaped her kidnapper and torturer — the Toy Box Killer –wearing nothing but a metal slave collar and padlocked chains. She was lucky, and is the main reason he stopped prowling the streets.
Who Was the Toy Box Killer?
Before breaking free from David Ray Parker’s makeshift torture chamber in Elephant Butte, New Mexico, she was held captive for three days and suffered unthinkable circumstances.
In an interview, the victim told reporters that while working in Albuquerque as a prostitute, Ray picked her up. At first, she thought he was just a customer, but entering his vehicle, he flashed a fake police badge and placed her in handcuffs. Thinking she was under arrest for solicitation, the poor woman soon realized the reality of her situation.
“The way he talked, I didn’t feel like this was his first time,” she said. “It was like he knew what he was doing. He told me I was never going to see my family again. He told me he would kill me like the others.”
Ray was a monster. He enjoyed being called a “dungeon master” and had an affiliation with the Church of Satan. Dubbed the “Toy-Box Killer,” he allegedly spent $100,000 to convert a trailer into a horrific dungeon. It was filled with chains, handcuffs, photographs of his helpless victims, cameras, whips, countless sexual torture devices and even a coffin.
According to Jaramillo’s story, when she was captured, she was tied up, drugged and forced to listen to a deviant tape recording of what was about to happen to her. Trust us: It’s not something you ever want to listen to. She was also told that other women who were taken in the past had been murdered.
To escape, she got ahold of the keys to her chains that Ray’s accomplice, Cindy Hendy, left on a nearby table. A fight took place once Hendy saw she was trying to escape, however, Jaramillo managed to stab her in the neck with an ice pick. Jaramillo then exited the trailer and ran down the road for dear life, later getting help from a nearby homeowner.
Her escape is what finally led to Parker’s capture.
Authorities believe he may have abducted, tortured, and murdered more than 60 victims, a figure that comes from Ray’s own detailed diaries. An unknown number of women were taken into that trailer, though it’s never been clear just how many came out. In 2002, he plead guilty to the kidnapping and sexual torture of three victims, and was sentenced to 224 years behind bars. But he died after only serving three years of it.
It is highly unlikely that his victims’ remains will ever be discovered. One of the most bizarre aspects of this story is that Ray’s wife and daughter were involved in his sick, twisted crimes.
Meet Cynthia in a 2016 interview with A&E, which covered the story.