3 days of hell: Mum’s tor­ture-tape hor­ror

Warn­ing: this story will shock you. Two women lost their lives at the hands of a truly twisted cou­ple

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They left be­hind ev­i­dence of the most sick­en­ing kind...

In May 2006, a fish­er­man dis­cov­ered the bat­tered and naked body of moth­erof-two Mar­sha Spicer, 41, in a shal­low grave in a heav­ily wooded area in Bates City, near Kansas City. She’d been stran­gled.

As the po­lice be­gan to in­ves­ti­gate, they spoke to two other women – who told of a man who liked to choke women dur­ing sex.

Ricky Davis, a man al­ready well known to po­lice.

Richard ‘Ricky’

Davis was a life­long crim­i­nal, and most re­cently had served an 18-year stretch for rap­ing a woman at knife­point.

Now free, he’d be­gun a re­la­tion­ship with Dena Ri­ley, a woman with her own trou­bles. She was a metham­phetamine ad­dict who’d lost cus­tody of her four kids, sold her body for drugs.

Po­lice went to the home the cou­ple shared and ques­tioned Davis about Mar­sha. But he claimed he didn’t know her.

Still sus­pi­cious, but with­out firm ev­i­dence, of­fi­cers had no choice but to leave un­til they had a search war­rant.

When they re­turned the next day with the pa­per­work, Davis and Ri­ley had gone.

But they’d left ev­i­dence of the most sick­en­ing kind.

A search of their prop­erty turned up a video­tape with har­row­ing scenes of Mar­sha, her arms strapped down and mouth cov­ered with duct tape.

The hours of footage showed a man and woman sex­u­ally abus­ing, beat­ing and even­tu­ally stran­gling Mar­sha.

As she begged for her life, the cou­ple con­tin­ued to bru­tally at­tack her with hor­rific cru­elty.

The po­lice also found a video cam­era pointed at the bed and a note­book con­tain­ing vi­o­lent sex­ual ref­er­ences, with phrases and words such as sex­ual de­sires, chok­ing, chas­ing, and vic­tims.

The tape was so dis­turb­ing, there was talk of of­fer­ing coun­selling to those in­ves­ti­gat­ing the case.

‘We’ve had some pretty heinous crimes around here, but noth­ing of this par­tic­u­lar na­ture,’ said an FBI spe­cial agent.

Mean­while, Davis and Ri­ley were still on the run and were now the

FBI’S ‘most wanted’.

Yet, five days af­ter the cou­ple went miss­ing, Ri­ley bizarrely called the emer­gency ser­vices.

They’d been in­volved in a car ac­ci­dent in Bates City and she told a po­lice of­fi­cer they planned to hurt them­selves.

But it wasn’t just the two of them in the car…they had a 5-year-old girl, who’d been re­ported miss­ing days ear­lier.

It soon be­came ap­par­ent to the emer­gency ser­vices that the pair had kid­napped the girl.

Davis and Ri­ley were hos­pi­talised, be­fore be­ing de­tained by po­lice.

The po­lice searched the cou­ple’s home again as they re­mained in cus­tody, and came across a sec­ond video­tape show­ing the rape and tor­ture of a dif­fer­ent vic­tim.

Mother of four Michelle Huff-ricci had dis­ap­peared in April 2006, was re­ported miss­ing by fam­ily mem­bers. Now au­thor­i­ties be­gan to won­der whether she’d faced the same fate as Mar­sha.

Just days later, Michelle’s charred re­mains were found in Clay County, Mis­souri.

In 2008 at Cir­cuit Court, Ricky Davis and Dena Ri­ley faced a string of hor­ri­fy­ing charges.

Ju­rors had to watch the

He will die for his atroc­i­ties, she will never be free again

graphic and dis­turb­ing tor­ture videos the po­lice had found – and were of­fered coun­selling.

The judge said the pub­lic gallery should be spared from the vi­o­lent im­agery.

But sounds of un­rolling duct tape, scream­ing, punch­ing, gag­ging and wail­ing were heard through­out the court­room.

It was so dis­tress­ing, some mem­bers of the vic­tims’ fam­i­lies had to leave court.

Dur­ing the case, it was re­vealed in tes­ti­mony from a de­tec­tive that the po­lice had con­fis­cated four video tapes that Davis had hid in the ceil­ing of his work­place.

The tapes to­talled seven hours, 33 min­utes, and in­cluded some film of con­sen­sual sex with women other than Mar­sha and Michelle.

The de­tec­tive had edited the tapes to 90 min­utes of film time.

Fur­ther sor­did de­tails of the mur­ders had come to light.

High on meth, the cou­ple had launched vi­cious at­tacks on the women, video­ing ev­ery sec­ond on cam­era and then hid­ing the tapes away.

The con­nec­tion be­tween the cou­ple and their vic­tims is un­clear – but both Mar­sha and Michelle were known to be ad­dicted to meth.

Davis and Ri­ley kept Michelle as a sex slave for three days in late April 2006, sub­ject­ing her to vi­o­lent rape and tor­ture.

De­cid­ing to kill their vic­tim to keep her quiet, they kept her drugged while they made a plan.

Bundling her into the back of their Toy­ota, they drove to her to a heav­ily wooded area. Davis got out of the car with Michelle and told Ri­ley to drive away.

Davis tried to stran­gle Michelle with a rope but failed, so he then cov­ered her mouth and nose, and suf­fo­cated her.

The next day, the cou­ple re­turned to the wooded area where they’d left Michelle’s naked body.

Dous­ing her with lighter fluid, the cou­ple watched as their vic­tim’s corpse went up in flames.

In Au­gust 2008, Davis was con­victed of first-de­gree mur­der, kid­nap­ping, rape, sodomy and as­sault of Mar­sha

Spicer and the kid­nap­ping, rape, sodomy and as­sault of Michelle Huff-ricci.

In De­cem­ber 2008, Ri­ley en­tered into a plea bar­gain where, if she pleaded guilty, she would avoid the death penalty.

Ri­ley, who sobbed through­out the hear­ing, ad­mit­ted the first-de­gree mur­der of Mar­sha and the kid­nap­ping, sodomy and abuse of Michelle.

Ricky Davis was sen­tenced to death.

Dena Ri­ley was sen­tenced to life with­out pa­role for the mur­der, and to eight ad­di­tional life sen­tences and 239 years in prison for 25 other counts. In Septem­ber 2009, a dif­fer­ent judge sen­tenced Ri­ley to an­other life sen­tence for kid­nap­ping the 5-year-old girl, but pros­e­cu­tors dis­missed those charges for Davis.

In 2012, the cou­ple both pleaded guilty to the mur­der of Michelle Huff-ricci. Their sen­tences re­mained the same.

Michelle Huff-ricci’s ex-hus­band Matthew Lee spoke to re­porters af­ter the court hear­ing.

‘As a Chris­tian man, I want them to burn. I want them to go to hell,’ he said.

Mar­sha’s sis­ter Jackie Schu­macher called Davis and Ri­ley ‘de­mented per­verts that shouldn’t live’.

‘No­body should do what they did to Mar­sha. I haven’t seen the tape. I don’t want to see the tape, but I’ve heard – and no­body, no­body should be treated the way she was treated.’

In 2015, Davis at­tempted to ap­peal his death-row sen­tence.

The lawyer rep­re­sent­ing him ar­gued at the State Supreme Court that Davis’ for­mer lawyers failed to present ev­i­dence of Davis’ men­tal ill­ness, and this should have been con­sid­ered.

The courts turned down the ap­peal.

So Davis will die for his atroc­i­ties and Ri­ley will never be free again.

But their crimes con­tinue to haunt so many, in­clud­ing the fam­i­lies of their vic­tims – and ev­ery­one who had to watch their twisted tor­ture tapes.


Vic­tims: Mar­sha


...and DAVIS

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