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
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.
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.