Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Ricky and Dena

Meeting Dena

Dena Riley
Dena Riley

Dena Riley was hired last winter as a seasonal, 25-hour-a-week assembler at a Kansas City metal fabrication factory, the same place where Ricky Davis worked as a janitor.

Shortly after meeting at work, Riley and Davis were living together in Independence, Mo., a city of 110,000 at the eastern edge of Kansas City.

They took an upstairs apartment in a rather stately brick home on Truman Road, named for President Truman, Independence's most famous native son.

Davis wouldn't seem to have been much of a catch, but both he and Riley were at the bottom of the relationship food chain. She was an overweight, bleached-blond meth addict whose teeth were going bad.

"Water seeks its own level," noted Dr. Seifert.

Richard Davis
Richard Davis

Davis, born July 9, 1964, was 5-foot-8 and 145 pounds, with brown hair, hazel eyes, a scruffy mustache and cleft turtle chin. He had bulging prison muscles and a collection of bad jailhouse tattoos on his wrist, ankle, buttocks, chest and back.

In prison and just after, he wore his hair in an outdated mullet style — short bangs and a cascade of hair down his back. (He later cut it off.)

He was so obviously an ex-con that he might as well have had his prison I.D. number stamped on his forehead.

But he considered himself a player, and he apparently hit on nearly every woman he met.

His downstairs neighbor, Carol Boydston, told reporters that he was a tireless seducer.

  "He tried to get me up there, but I never wanted to get involved with him," she told KMBC-TV in Kansas City. "I thought he was just a big flirt."

"He seemed like a real nice guy," she told the Independence Examiner, although "he did have a strange side."

For example, Boydston said, Davis made sure she knew every time he had a woman in his apartment. He often tried to give her the details of his sexual conquests, including the ages of female guests — some as young as 18.

"He bragged he still had it," she said.

What he didn't explain is that most of the women who visited his busy bed were meth addicts who were lured there in a sex-for-drugs exchange.

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