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The Desert Journal’s investigative reporting team of Bill Johnson, Fred Mramor and David Pierre are honored to present their months or years of work on the David Parker Ray Trail of Sexual Torture case in a series of articles spanning more than four years from late March 1999 to August 2003.

The initial works by this team—dated from late March to the end of June 1999—won first place in the Investigative Reporting cate-gory of the New Mexico Press Association’s 1999 Better Newspaper Contest for Class 2 Weeklies. Judges were the Oklahoma Press Association, who commented on the DJ’s entry, “Excellent cover-age—excellent team effort. On sensation side—Does the public have the right to know [about] Satanism?” The judges scored the series at 97%.

We are providing this book of our investigative series because of the numerous inquiries we’ve received since the two books, Cries in the Desert by John Glatt and Slow Death by Jim Fielder, recently broke on bookshelves across America. People want to know what really happened and how this infamous crime case unfolded in one of New Mexico’s premier prize-winning newspapers, the Desert Journal.

Most of our stories on the David Ray case did not make it on our online news service at because of timing. The David Parker Ray case broke in March 1999 but Desert Journal Online wasn’t established until more than two years later in May 2001. That’s why this book project is so important—it brings it altogether in one package.

The following is an excerpt from the Desert Journal’s cover letter, dated July 21, 1999, to the contest judges of the Oklahoma Press Association, who judged the NMPA’s 1999 contest:

The horrifying story of a young woman who escaped an Elephant Butte residence wearing only a padlocked collar and chain around her neck after being kidnapped from Albuquerque and sexually tortured three days in March 1999 opened perhaps one of New Mexico’s largest criminal investigations in years. The case has since exploded, revealing three more victims and a total of four suspects now awaiting justice—David Ray, his daughter Jessy Ray, his girlfriend Cindy Hendy and Roy Yancy, who is the only one charged so far with murder—his victim being a young mother of two small children, Marie Parker.

Since the inception of the case with the first arrests of David Ray and Cindy Hendy, the Desert Journal has been hot on the trail after leads—information which otherwise has escaped competing local, statewide and national press. The DJ team of Bill Johnson, Fred Mramor and David Pierre hereby submits their single entry for investigative reporting, spanning 11 weekly issues, some containing multiple stories, from late March to the end of June [1999].

The investigative efforts of the Desert Journal trio have revealed more possible suspects and victims—both alive and dead—and more leads to fuel the police investigation in solving this enormous case, which spans into several states. It also reveals the dark side of the human soul when it appears to dabble, or practice more fully, in the occult.

The four-part series, “Profile of a Satanist,” which is included in this entry, takes a look at the satanic movement while also making a conclusion with the David Ray case. The Desert Journal’s series concludes that occult-related activity or crime may be a driving force, or at least a contributing factor, behind the multiple kidnap-ping and sexual torture case (and, in Yancy’s case, a murder and the investigation of another possible homicide victim to which he has been tied as a likely suspect).

With the police investigation still in its infancy, the Desert Journal expects to stay hot on the trail for a long time.


Respectfully Submitted,

Bill Johnson

Editor & Co-Publisher


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