‘Killer Sally’ Explained: Who Is Sally McNeil? What Is Sally Story? – The Netflix crime documentary series “Killer Sally” examines the murder of bodybuilder Sally McNeil while posing some crucial issues for discussion. The three-part documentary series features interviews with several of Sally’s friends and colleagues, Ray’s acquaintances, their kids, and Sally herself as they discuss the circumstances leading up to the events of February 14, 1994. “Killer Sally” is fairly nicely made as a documentary, with an excellent, engaging edit and a crucial question of who is, after all, to be referred to as a victim.
Who Is Sally McNeil?
Sadly, Sally McNeil, a former bodybuilder and amateur wrestler gained notoriety for reasons unrelated to her line of work in 1994. Around 1987, Sally joined the US Marine Corps and became interested in bodybuilding after beginning to love keeping her body in shape and consistently working out at the gym. She acknowledges that her initial goal was to bulk up so she could defend herself, but she quickly became interested in bodybuilding competitions. She had competed for the first time in the 1987 Armed Forces Bodybuilding Championship, which was held on Valentine’s Day.
She had finished fourth overall. Sally’s enthusiasm for bodybuilding continued to increase from that point on, and it was through this sport that she initially met Ray McNeil. The two started dating right away; Ray was in the Marine Corps, a sergeant, and also a bodybuilder. Sally and Ray wed soon after their whirlwind passion solidified. By 1989, they had moved into an apartment in Oceanside, California, where they lived with Shantina and John, Sally’s children from her first marriage. Ray and Sally had both competed in and won numerous bodybuilding contests by this point. While Ray aspired to reach the professional stage right away, he also struggled with poor self-esteem and perhaps a fear of failing.
Ray began taking steroids to increase his muscles more quickly due to this and the times they were living in as a strong justification. He was totally dependent on Sally for all of this because she had made it her personal goal to make Ray into a professional bodybuilder. The happy times were short-lived, though, as the marriage that on the surface appeared to be a success began to disintegrate. On Valentine’s Day in 1994, Sally McNeil called 911 and told the police that she had shot her husband to stop him from physically attacking her. This was the conclusion of everything.
What Happened Between Ray and Sally at Murder Night
On February 14th, Sally wanted to spend some romantic time with her spouse, the love of her life, while Ray was out at the bar. Ray entered their home after she had already started to get ready so she could go to the pub and look for him. The two got into a fight after arguing about Ray’s absence; he was choking his wife and may have also been beating her. This was actually not the first time that things like this were happening inside Ray and Sally’s apartment in Oceanside, despite how most people on the outside believed their love life to have been. Sally had endured abuse from the man the whole time they were married, and he even slapped her on the third day following their nuptials.
Additionally, Ray had a history of using excessive force and was also the victim of abuse at one point. Ray’s biological mother had abandoned him when he was a newborn, and his aunt took it upon herself to raise him in abject poverty. Young Ray was sexually assaulted and coerced into doing things against his will by another boy who used to reside at this aunt’s home. Due to the circumstances of his upbringing, Ray may have only found solace in violence, and he discovered that serving in the military was an excellent method to do so.
Ray used to periodically serve as a bouncer in bars on free evenings when he started working in professional bodybuilding. On a few of those nights, he had severely battered males who caused a commotion inside the club. On one particular occasion, the enormously strong and powerful man had brutally beaten up a troublemaker. He pressed his fingers over his eyes with such force that the victim afterward lost his vision. Sally stated that Ray would beat her up frequently at night whenever he could not vent his wrath and aggravation on someone outside before she murdered her husband and currently in her interviews with the cast of “Killer Sally.”
Did he violate Sally’s boundaries physically and sexually, forcing her to engage in sexual activity with him as a token of her pardoning his abuse? Even though Ray’s mentality may have contributed to a lot of the violence, Ray’s use of steroids for bodybuilding also played a significant role in it. Ray’s blood had five different types of steroids at the time of his demise. It seemed as though the steroids would send the man into a state of blind wrath where he would act violently and abusively toward others, even his stepchildren.
Shantina, Sally’s daughter, was terrified that night, as she is most nights, that her stepfather would severely harm her mother. When she heard the first shot, she worried that Ray might have run Sally into a wall. Sally had purchased the shotgun she used to shoot her husband earlier to put inside her home as a deterrent against danger from the outside. Although Sally had always kept quiet about her experience with her violent husband and had been very protective of him, she had decided to return with her children to her mother’s home and was saving money to do so.
She had become warier after hearing a recent story of a bodybuilder who had killed his girlfriend by strangling her, and on this particular night, when Ray was also choking her, she managed to free herself, grab the shotgun, and shoot Ray twice. Sally had called 911 after putting the man down in a pool of blood and handing the gun to a bystander to demonstrate that she posed no threat to anyone else. Ray died in the hospital as the police were questioning her about the incident, and Sally was charged with murder. The prosecution had prepared a case for her showing how Sally herself was an incredibly aggressive person with proclivities and a history of beating up numerous individuals.
She was held up for trial in court at the same time the following year, in 1995. The prosecution argued that Sally was apparently too strong and muscular (or even manly, as was suggested) to have been a simple victim of abuse. This was in contrast to the defendant’s case, which was set up to show that Sally had been a victim of a toxic marriage and the ego of a pathetic human being. The prosecution’s case was that Ray intended to leave his wife, but Sally could not handle it because of her jealousy. Ray’s long-term relationship with a different lady was made public in court. According to what they said, Sally’s behavior was a deliberate part of her strategy to ensure that no one else could if she couldn’t have her husband.
Killer Sally (2022)
Interviews with friends, family and Sally McNeil herself chart a bodybuilding couple's rocky marriage – and its shocking end in a Valentine's Day murder. pic.twitter.com/2Yf7sumlUN
— Lex in Tex (@alexissTyler) October 24, 2022
While the jury’s verdict tended to favor Sally overall up to a certain point, Sally’s testimony in court is what ultimately changed it—and, in my opinion, pretty incorrectly. Sally wanted to tell the world her side of the story from her own mouth since she was sick of being portrayed as a horrible ex-Marine who had killed her husband in cold blood. However, as she was doing so, some events from her past worked against her in the case. Sally had grown accustomed to an abusive system, which is why she had not left him or, at times, had even supported him against her own children. She had already experienced physical abuse from her stepfather and her ex-husband, so when Ray started acting violently toward her, she may not have known how to respond other than to remain submissive.
Despite Ray’s intense desire to become a professional bodybuilder, he entirely depended on Sally for his financial well-being. Being a bodybuilder herself, Sally competed in several strength contests for the cash, and she was the one supporting the family. After a while, she began competing as an amateur wrestler in several on-demand videos where she defeated guys. These videos provided Sally with a vast source of riches, despite the fact that they had no nudity or explicit activities and mainly were used for pornographic purposes. She soon established her own business, accepting payment from men to wrestle them in hotel rooms or on mail-order DVDs, and she used this cash to assist Ray by getting him steroids.
Although she was always inferior to him in his opinions, and the jury did not approve of her history of such activities, Ray never recognized her value. After all, Sally had performed under the name “Killer Sally” while using these names and performing these deeds. Sally was depicted carrying the same shotgun that was used in the murder while yelling about her bravery and strength and pleading with potential clients to purchase the opportunity to wrestle with her in one of the films and the posters for it.
“Killer Sally” Explained
On March 19, 1995, a month after the court trial had started, the jury was prepared to render its verdict. Sally shot Ray twice, once in the chest and once in the face, but it was decided that only the first shot was necessary to keep the violent husband wounded and on the ground. Sally had to walk to her bedroom to retrieve the second bullet that had been fired at Ray while he was on the ground before she reloaded the gun and shot her husband. The jury reached a different conclusion despite Sally’s repeated claims that she was still attempting to defend herself by ensuring that Ray could not hurt her or her children.
The jury was persuaded that Sally committed second-degree murder and that Ray was killed on purpose because she had to move to another room to reload the revolver in the interim. The woman received a sentence of 19 years to life in prison and will be behind bars until May 2020. Shantina and John, her children, were reared by their grandmother over these long years after she had taken them in shortly after Sally’s arrest; today, they are adults with their own families. Even though they had fallen out of touch in the interim, they do remain in communication with their mother, and Sally has also found a new love. The final segment of the documentary series “Killer Sally” shows Sally and her new partner being married in a chapel.
The movie “Killer Sally” successfully poses the topic of whether a person should only be seen as a victim if they commit no wrongdoing at all. In retrospect, Sally McNeil recognizes that some of her actions and choices were poor. However, that does not change the fact that she endured years of physical and sexual abuse at the hands of her husband before that fateful night when she decided to end it all. On the other hand, one can debate whether it is just and appropriate justice to shoot someone to death for their horrible deeds. After all, Sally had never informed the law or the authorities of Ray’s acts.
However, Sally’s position went beyond just the isolated incidents. It focused more on the systemic violence that is established in society, much like the situations of many other women who continue to experience domestic abuse today. Because Shantina experienced abuse from her ex-partner and John inflicted cruelty on his ex-wife, both of Sally’s children have been affected by this trauma. Even though Sally had been tortured for years before that specific occurrence, it was practically anticipated that she would not have fired the second shot that killed her husband. She was, however, too powerful and well-built to have been a victim.
Netflix is now broadcasting the 2022 crime documentary series “Killer Sally.”