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Saturday, April 1, 2023

She was only fifteen – Mary took a trick from a man who chopped off her hands, raped her and threw her off a cliff


In 1978, Mary Vincent, a 15-year-old girl from Las Vegas, is suffering from juvenile delinquency and revolts against her parents. So she decided to run away from home with her boyfriend, but he soon hit the rock and they got separated.

Mary was in California at the time and wanted to visit her grandfather who lived 400 miles away. She had no money and so decided to hitchhike, which was an extremely popular form of travel at that time.

Mary had cheated often before, being young and beautiful, and had never gotten into trouble, but now something else was at stake.

Mary in the courtroom.

With a few more putts, they positioned themselves at an intersection and waited patiently with their putt in the air.

Soon a blue van pulled up, the driver a middle-aged man who looked out at the crowd and pointed to Mary. She could get a ride, he was on his way to Los Angeles.

Mary was thrilled because it was only 60 kilometers from there to her grandfather’s house.

Implore Mary in vain

But the other puttalings didn’t like the invitation and pointed out to Mary that there was more room in the car for everyone.

There would be something odd about Mary being the only one getting a ride and being asked not to accept the invitation.

But Mary was tired, the hot sun scorched her, and she bitterly regretted running away from home.

The driver seemed like a nice guy, even if he didn’t talk much, and Mary soon fell asleep.

When she woke up, she immediately realized from reading a sign that they were going in the wrong direction and reported it to the driver. He said it was a mistake on his part and he just needed to pee and then he would roll over.

He stopped and left the road. Suddenly, a great feeling of uselessness took hold of Mary and she decided to run away while the man finished.

But as she got out of the car, she noticed that her shoelaces were loose, and when she bent down to tie them, the man suddenly approached her and hit her on the head with a hammer. Again and again.

He then dragged a bleeding, semi-conscious Mary into the van and raped her all night.

Here is freedom!

In the morning Mary had caught more theft and begged the man to let her go, she would not go to the police. He asked her if she was sure she wanted freedom? Of course?

Mary answered in the affirmative.

The man then picked up a sword and said the time had come for freedom.

He then cut off both of her arms, carried her out of the car and to the edge of a cliff where he threw her saying that now she could do whatever she wanted.

Laurent Singleton

Without handles and seriously injured, Mary survived the ten-meter fall. Knowing she didn’t have long to go, she was bleeding and resorted to scrubbing the remaining stumps of her arms out of the mud.

This brilliant advice saved his life as the blood flow stopped.

She then started climbing the ravine, using the stumps for support, and eventually succeeded.

When she got up, she lifted her stumps into the air and walked like that, naked and covered in blood, until she reached the road where an elderly couple were dismayed to find her.

They wrapped her in a blanket, carefully placed her in the back seat, and drove her straight to the hospital.

Difficult rehabilitation

Mary underwent several procedures over the following months until she was deemed ready to receive prosthetic hands. Then began long and difficult months of rehabilitation.

The man had never told Mary his name, but she remembered every detail of his appearance and was therefore able to give a good description to the police caricaturist.

The drawing was released and the media called the man the Mad Saxon.

The plan was so good that it only took a few days for a man in his fifties named Lawrence Singleton to be arrested. He had worked on merchant ships but was retired.

Mary immediately recognized her attacker, but Singleton denied everything and said he had never seen Mary before.

But the prosecutor needed no more evidence and Singleton was charged with kidnapping, rape, other sexual abuse, assault and attempted murder.

Will finish the job

The case went to trial in March 1979. Mary was just 16 when she stood before a packed courtroom and told her horrific story.

Singleton stared at her the whole time.

When asked to point at her attacker, Mary raised her prosthetic hand and silently pointed it at Singleton.

We heard a sewing needle drop.

As she left the witness box and walked past Singleton, he softly spat that he would finish the job even if it was the last thing he did.

There was never any question of the jury’s verdict, and Singleton was found guilty on all charges. The legal framework has changed significantly from what it was then and since Mary was alive the judge could not sentence Singleton to more than 14 years in prison, but said he personally believed that Singleton should never be free. Unfortunately, he couldn’t handle it.

Mary filed a civil suit against Singleton and was awarded $2.6 million, of which she never saw a dime.

Singleton gets freedom

Incredibly, Singleton was released after just eight years in prison.

Mary was in shock, as was the prosecutor’s office, which fought against the release, saying Lawrence Singleton was unlikely to commit further atrocities.

And it turned out that it was. But this time, the victim did not survive.

After serving a year of probation, Singleton was free to travel. It had turned out to be a nightmare for the authorities to place him, as no halfway house wanted to accept him. They eventually managed to house him, but after a year he was told he was not welcome in California. To say the least.

Singleton traveled to Florida where he settled into a trailer park. He was regularly arrested for shoplifting and was sentenced to two years in prison.


In 1997, a painter who was painting the block Singleton was living in at the time heard a woman’s screams of terror coming from one of the flats and called the police. Inside Singleton’s flat lay a bloodied woman, 31-year-old mother-of-three Roxanne Lea Hayes.

She died on the way to the hospital.

Singleton, acted in self-defense. Roxanne was a prostitute and she had agreed to have sex with him for a payment of $20.

He said Roxanne tried to steal it and picked up a knife. A fight broke out, he grabbed her, stabbed her and killed her.

No one believed the story and Singleton was sentenced to death. Among those who testified against Singleton was Mary Vincent.

Mary today.
The singleton law

The public was outraged that a man who had committed crimes like Singleton’s against Mary had been paroled and committed murder.

As a result, the law was changed and the so-called Singleton’s Law was passed, but it ensures that a person who commits a horrific crime that does not cause death is liable to a minimum sentence of 20 years.

Marie is married and the mother of two children. She taught herself to use her artificial hands to paint, and her works are in demand.

Marie is a talented artist.

She also fights for the rights of victims of violence, but mostly avoids the media spotlight and almost never gives interviews about the attack itself. Upon Singleton’s death, Mary commented that no one ever fully recovers from such a thing, but she was glad her attacker was dead.

She never forgot what he said in the courtroom, but now she could breathe easier.

Copyright © 2023 The Eastern Herald.

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The Eastern Herald’s Editorial Board validates, writes, and publishes the stories under this byline. That includes editorials, news stories, letters to the editor, and multimedia features on


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