So back in the mid to late ’90s my husband (at the time, now ex, it’s all good) and I went to New Mexico A LOT. We got married on Sandia Crest, our honeymoon (summer of ’98) was two weeks in a small red, long bed, pick-up with an extra tall camper shell on the back, racing up and down mountain roads, thoroughly messed up, looking for the most out-of-the-way camping spots.
A couple of our fave places were Truth or Consequences and Elephant Butte State Park. We camped in the park and along Elephant Butte lake many times over the years (95ish to 99). This happened to be the funtime and place for none other than David Parker Ray and his travelling Toy Box. He was a guy that liked to take his lady victims, hold them a few days, drug them, sexually torture in a obgyn chair he had fitted up especially for his pleasure. He had an rv he kitted out with all kinds of sadistic shit and he’d take them in there and ….. Some of the ladies, after being drugged with psychotropic drugs he let go. Rumor is that the other bodies he dumped in the lake, buried in his yard or left in the barren landscape somewhere. Oh, and he was a Satanist. His designation, not mine.
So it was our jam to get as wasted as humanly possible and still live while spending a few days in remote places no one knew we were in, and do the whole ‘primitive camping’ thing. Once, after one of these escapades, we were so bad off, I’m sure we needed a hospital, but instead I packed us all up (took me a good four hours I was so messed up), somehow got him, all the gear and the dog in the truck and just started driving. I had no idea where I was or where I had been or where I was going. Don’t know how long the drive was really, but it was at least a few hours, I do know that. After winding through unknown uninhabited areas, I finally came to a town, Truth or Consequences. Turns out we’d been camping either in or right near Elephant Butte State Park. Welp, we cleaned up and had a night or two on the shore of the lake, then moved on. We revisited several more times, our last trip the summer of ’99, but by then the bad guy was gone. He was caught in March of ’99 – so he was active each and every time we were there totally gorked out of our minds. I heard this on Casefile (a terrific true crime podcast with one hell of a narrator) on one fairly recent show, that was in three parts. I was WHAT THE FUCK TAKES THREE PARTS. It is so unbelievable creepy to know I was there, and primed for easy pickins’.
I was able to give the ex the BIGGEST ‘I told you so’ ever. There really were dead bodies in the lake!
Thankfully he and his cohorts were caught and arrested. There are women’s bodies still unaccounted for, and authorities believe there are open missing women cases that could be attributed to him. Crazy shit has been going on like this since humanity began, I know. I am still surprised by the cruelty and depravity of some humans. It’s one of the things that hurts and sickens me about people. Not all people. There are more good people than bad, I tell myself and hope that I am right.
And that, my friends, is the story of the day. I have more to tell, like the time he got drunk and tried to call the cows in the area to the camp site, and they came. An entire herd of cows with at least one in heat. Good times.