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Dena Riley and Richard Davis: Sadistic Serial Killer Couple

Richard Davis and Dena Riley were drug-crazed serial killers willing to do the unthinkable. They were the classic killer couple, feeding off each other's depravity and, in the case of Dena, willing to do anything to please her partner. There were few lines this duo did not cross, even though their killing spree was relatively short and included comparatively few victims.

Richard "Ricky" Davis was a repeat sex offender and general lawbreaker who was raised in Kansas City. He was institutionalized as a teenager. Later, he was imprisoned for stealing. Within months of his release, he was back in prison for raping a woman at knifepoint. He was sentenced to 25 years but was released in May of 2005 after roughly 18 years.

For nine months after his release, Ricky Davis catered to a bondage, strangulation and sexual murder fetish with pornography. At the same time, he attended sex counseling, drug counseling and kept in touch with his parole officer religiously. His compliance with his parole was probably an attempt to stay out of jail. What he really wanted to do was make snuff films. In other words, he wanted to film himself raping and killing women. It was just a fantasy until Ricky met the perfect accomplice–Dena Riley.

Dena Riley was 38-years-old when she met 40-year-old Richard Davis. She was also a Missourian who lived in and around Kansas City. Her methamphetamine addiction gave her a working knowledge of the seedy underbelly of meth circles in the area. Ricky had been away for a while and needed help finding his victims. Dena, apart from short stints in jail, had been active in the scene for a long time. She had lost her four children, allegedly sold her body for drugs and had nothing left to lose, apart from her humanity.

The couple met in a metal factory in Kansas City just a few months after Ricky's release from prison. They began dating each other and living together in Independence, MO shortly thereafter. Authorities believe that Dena helped find willing participants for Ricky's violent sex fantasies by seeking meth addicts who needed money or drugs. He allegedly asked one of these women to kill with him, but she refused and distanced herself from Ricky and Dena. Dena, on the other hand, was not repulsed by Ricky's fantasies.

On May 15, 2006, police found the body of Marsha Spicer, a meth addict who was choked to death and violently raped. On May 16, one of the women whom Dena had lured in for Ricky tipped off the police about his violent behavior and use of meth addicts as victims. The next day, the police showed up at Dena Riley and Ricky Davis' apartment. Because they did not have a warrant, they were unable to search the premises. They asked Ricky and Dena to leave until they could obtain one and conduct the search. The couple complied, knowing that they were now on the run. They knew what police would find in the apartment, but they had a head start.

After obtaining the warrant, police found video of Dena and Ricky raping and killing Marsha in the apartment. They also found video of them doing the same to another woman who was later identified as 38-year-old Michelle Ricci–another meth addict. Dena and Ricky were long gone before police even had an idea of where to look for them. They went and picked up Ricky's niece with the pretense that they would return the five-year-old girl to her parents after taking her out. Ricky's sister called police when they child was not returned. It was only then that she learned the danger her daughter was in. By the time she was found, the little girl needed surgery to fix the damage done by Ricky and Dena when they sexually assaulted her.

Dena accidentally turned herself in when she called 911 and asked for directions. Police went to the location Dena had given and found Ricky unconscious in their vehicle, which Dena was trying to push out of a ditch. A helpful passerby had the little girl in his car. It is unclear whether the injuries inflicted on her were obvious or if the man thought she was hurt in the apparent car accident. The two were arrested on the spot and are still incarcerated today.

Update: Davis is on death row. Riley is serving a lifesentence.


Krajicek, David, Ricky and Dena, retrieved 11/12/11,


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