Is Netflix’s Killer Sally a true story? Who is Sally McNeil, did she kill her husband Ray, where is she now
Netflix true crime documentary series Killer Sally follows the shocking murder case involving a professional female bodybuilder
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Killer Sally, a new Netflix limited documentary series features interviews with friends and family of Sally McNeil as well as the woman herself as it charts her rocky marriage which culminated in a brutal Valentine’s Day murder.
Who is Sally McNeil?
Sally McNeil is a 62 year old former professional bodybuilder from America. She worked in the Marine Corps in the 1980s where she reached the rank of sergeant. She met Ray McNeil in the marines and married him in 1987. Sally was discharged from the Navy around 1990 and made money from bodybuilding - she took part in muscle worship, where she wrestled men on camera, earning thousands of dollars a time.
Because Sally was earning so much money, Ray was able to quit the Marines and pursue bodybuilding full time - he also began to use steroids, and Sally claimed that he would regularly hit her. Sally had two children with Ray, a son, John, and a daughter, Shantina, but Ray was known to have had several affairs and Sally’s relationship with her husband continued to deteriorate until things came to a head on Valentine’s Day 1995.
Did Sally McNeil kill her husband?
On 14 February 1995 Sally called 911 and told police that she had just killed her husband, Ray McNeil - she had shot him twice with a shotgun, once in the abdomen and once in the head. She said that she did it because he had been abusing her, telling the operator: "I just shot my husband because he just beat me up”. The killing became a tabloid sensation at the time, and she was branded ‘Killer Sally’ by the press.
Sally claimed that she acted in self defence as a result of her husband’s abusive behaviour - the couple’s children corroborated that he was abusive, both to Sally and to them. However, at court it was revealed that both Sally and Ray had been using steroids, and the killing was linked to ‘roid rage’ - a sudden outburst of violence which can be attributed to the use of steroids.
Sally was convicted for second degree murder for the killing and sentenced to 19 years to life in 1996. Second degree murder encompasses cases in which the killing was not premeditated or deliberate. Sally served out her sentence at Central California Women’s Facility, the largest women’s correctional facility in the US and home to California’s only women’s death row.
Sally appealed the conviction on several grounds and it was initially overturned by an appeals court - however the State of California appealed to the US Supreme Court which reversed the lower court’s ruling. The appeals court reconsidered the case and supported the initial conviction which was then reinstated.
Where is Sally McNeil now?
Sally was granted parole in May 2020, 25 years into her sentence - she now lives in Northern California. Now 62, Sally has recently married her new boyfriend and both her children attended the wedding.
When Sally was arrested John and Shantina went into care before living with their grandparents - they lived 3,000 miles from were Sally was incarcerated so only visited about once a year. Both children went on to serve in the military as adults.
When is Killer Sally on Netflix?
Killer Sally is a three-part docuseries and will be released in one go on Netflix on Wednesday 2 November.
Is there a trailer for Killer Sally?
Yes there is, and you can watch it right here: