I was fifteen years old in 1978 when my frantic mother made me go to the living room and watch the news. She generally ignored the news but today she was terrified bordering on hysterical.
In the news was Mary Vincent, also fifteen years old. The reporter said Mary had been kidnapped, raped, and had her arms cut off with an ax. Then she was thrown in a ditch to die. Naked and covered in her own blood, she managed to crawl to the road. Eventually, someone found her and took her to the hospital.
Mary appeared in a news interview a few weeks later. She spoke publicly for the first time since her rape and mutilation. Mary was wearing two hooks for arms. She said that she would not let her new disability stop her from having a normal life. She seemed positive. Despite her horrific ordeal, you could still see the spark in her eyes. She was an upbeat energetic teen. Her positive attitude was somehow a relief. She was my age. I wanted her to be okay.
The following year, Lawrence Singleton 51, was arrested for the attack on Mary. Singleton was found guilty and sentenced to 14 years in prison. The maximum sentence for his crimes per California law. The Judge, Earl Maas said, “If I had the power, I would send him to prison for the rest of his natural life.”.
Eight years later, Mary is on TV again. Now twenty-four years old, Mary is barely recognizable. The spirited teenager was gone. The charismatic smile was gone. Despite her claim that she would live a normal life, the life seemed drained from her.
She was in the news that day because her attacker was being let out of prison early, for good behavior. To add insult to injury, he told the press that he would be bringing a lawsuit against Mary Vincent.
Because of this case, California changed some of its laws. Now a person who commits torture cannot get out of prison early, and they extended the maximum possible sentences for certain crimes.
After getting off parole, Singleton moved to Tampa, Florida, Twice he as sentences to jail time for non-violent crimes.
On February 19, 1997, Singleton was on arrested on national TV for the murder of Roxanne Hayes, a mother of three. She had multiple stab wounds, a neighbor heard the commotion and went to help, but could not stop the murder of Roxanne.
As he was being led out of his house in handcuffs, he told the reporters, “I did it.” Mary testified at the murder trial. She said Singleton took everything from her, she said her children will never feel the touch of her mother’s hands. He was found guilty and sentenced to death.
On the day Singleton murdered Roxanne Hayes, he was using on Paxil, Demerol, and Vistaril. (1) There is no toxicology information available for the day Singleton attacked Mary Vincent.
The side effects of Demerol include; mood changes, agitation, confusion, hallucinations. Paxil has more serious side effects including violent tendencies. A massive lawsuit against the makers of Paxil accused the drug company of negligence in testing the drug and in failing to adequately disclose its harmful effects.
Mary Vincent – raped and mutilated, lived.
Roxanne Hayes – brutally murdered.
Orphaned – the three children of Roxanne Hayes, ages three to eleven.
Mary Vincent’s children. Will never feel the touch of their mother’s hand.