Mary Vincent scrambled up the bank after her arms had just been cut off with a machete by a sadistic sociopath. A terrifying sight she ran to the road for help as horrified drivers refused to stop. This is her story of survival from a monster named Lawrence Singleton.
A Teenage Hitchhiker
A pretty 15-year-old girl named Mary Vincent with a promising career in dance in her future had decided to run away from home. She was upset with her parents who were getting divorced,
The year was 1978 and her destination of choice was Los Angeles. Seeking a ride to the I-5, a blue creeper van slowed down beside the young brunette on a scorching hot Southern California day. The driver was not interested in the group of fellow hitchhikers surrounding her. He was only interested in picking up one passenger and that was Mary Vincent.
Mary was feeling exhausted from the heat and readily accepted the ride from 50-year-old Lawrence Singleton. Her friends strongly protested as she climbed into his van.
A Harmless Old Man
Singleton was a sea merchant at the time and looked like a harmless old man. He was a serious alcoholic and drank liquor out of a milk carton as he drove. Mary fell asleep for much of the first leg of the journey.
Singleton completely passed by the I-5 and drove them into a remote area. Startled by this, Mary grabbed a tool from the truck and demanded that Singleton turn the van around to return to the freeway. Singleton apologized profusely claiming it was an honest mistake.
Singleton stopped the van again claiming he had to urinate. Mary took the opportunity to get out of the sweltering van and stretch her legs. She was hit on the back of her head with a hard object as she bent over to tie her shoelace.
A Fight for Survival
The teenager was brutally raped and sodomized at the hands of Singleton overnight. Mary passed out as he forced her to drink the liquor out of his milk carton. He promised her if she would cooperate he would let her go.
Singleton lied. Mary was told her to lie face down on the ground where the older man took a hatchet and chopped off both of her arms. Mary had somehow gotten to her feet in the commotion and had tried to take a swing at the man. It was then she came to the shocking realization her arm was no longer there. Singleton grabbed the badly injured girl and threw her down a bank.
Mary was completely conscious at the time of the amputations. He left her there to die assuming that she would bleed to death and her body without fingerprints would be unidentifiable.
Mary wasn’t about to give up her life to Singleton. In an agonizing crawl, she made her way up the bank and started walking toward the distant noise of the I-5 traffic. She was a truly gruesome sight as she stumbled down the road, naked and holding up what remained of her mutilated arms.
The passengers of the first car that came along sped right past her, they were horrified by her appearance. Two women in a second vehicle stopped for her and rushed her to a hospital.
Mary was rushed to the hospital where she was able to provide a detailed description of her attacker. Singleton’s neighbor immediately called the police as he recognized the composite sketch that portrayed such a realistic likeness of him.
Singleton was sentenced to just 14 years in prison, only eight of which he served. Mary had been forced to face him in court wearing her prosthetic arms. Singleton’s defense was that she was a ten-dollar whore!
In 1997, Singleton murdered the 31-year-old mother of three, Roxanne Hayes in Florida. He was given the death sentence.
In 2001, Lawrence Singleton died in prison from cancer.
Mary was asked what gave her the strength to crawl up that mountain with just a shirt wrapped around her bloody stumps. She replied that she knew if she didn’t do it, there would be countless other women who would fall victim to this man.
Mary became an accomplished artist and today enjoys a happy and fulfilled life.