The Beauty Web

What the Documentary Doesn’t Tell You About Killer Sally Mcneil

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The Beauty Web

The True Story of ‘Killer Sally’ and Bodybuilder Sally McNeil

Killer Sally, the new three-part Netflix documentary that traces the story of Sally McNeil, a successful bodybuilder and mother of two, has us truly gripped. The docuseries chronicles Sally’s rise to fame and her unhealthy relationship with her husband, Ray McNeil, a fellow bodybuilder, whom she shot dead on Valentine’s Day 1995, something she has always defined as an act of self-defense. Own (despite a jury finding her guilty of second-degree murder).

However, this case is far from solved: Sally was later released from jail in 2020 following a parole hearing, and now, in the new documentary, she speaks out for the first time and again alleges that Ray was unfaithful and abusive. She claims he was fueled by steroid-induced rage when he attacked her on the day of her death. She also alleges that Ray abused his two children, John and Shantina.

The Story Behind the Documentary

The Story Behind the Documentary

In the new Netflix production, Sally McNeil tells in first person the abuse she suffered while growing up in a violent family. As time went by, she had to learn to defend herself, and that is how she decided to enter the world of bodybuilding during the eighties.

At the same time, he managed to enter the United States Army in the Marine Corps. However, he left his position around 1993 after having fallen in his place. But shortly before Sally met the person she would marry and have two children: Ray McNeil.

They married in 1987, although Ray began cheating on Sally with other women soon after. To get money, she had to dedicate herself to participating in private fighting events, where she charged $300 per hour to fight with men.

How did Sally Mcneil Kill her Husband on Valentine’s Day?

How did Sally Mcneil Kill her Husband on Valentine's Day?

National bodybuilding champion Ray McNeil died on Valentine’s Day 1995, murdered by his wife, Sally McNeil. She killed him by shooting him twice with a shotgun in her Oceanside, California, apartment.

According to the initial versions of Ray’s friends and the prosecutors in the case, Sally was identified as a cold-blooded murderer. However, she always claimed that she acted in self-defense, detailing her partner’s history of domestic brutality.

According to her explanation, the man was strangling her at the shooting. However, on March 9, 1996, she was convicted of second-degree killing and sentenced to 19 years to life in prison.

It is worth noting that she served her sentence at the Central California Women’s Center in Chowchilla. After the passage of years, her parole was granted on May 29, 2020, by the state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

The Version of Sally Mcneil In The Series Killer Sally

The Version of Sally Mcneil In The Series Killer Sally

As presented in the trailers for “Killer Sally, ” McNeil recounts a case of domestic violence that was caricatured by much of the media, especially when they discovered that the woman worked acting in fetish wrestling videos.

Despite a documented history of domestic abuse, Sally claimed it was self-protection, a split-second decision to save her life. The prosecution said it was a premeditated murder committed in retaliation for a jealous and hostile wife. They called her a “bully” and a “monster.” She was dubbed the muscle bride’ and the ‘puffed-up princess’ by the media. “Sally says she useless her life doing whatever it took to survive, trapped in a cycle of violence that began in early days and ended with Ray’s death,” according to the series’ official synopsis on Netflix.

On the other hand, the documentary includes the evidence of Sally and Ray’s own kid, who also admits to being abused by his father. “I remember how convoluted it used to be to have to sit there and watch him mistreatment my sister and know that I was next,” he says in the film’s teaser.

Who are Sally McNeil’s children?

Who are Sally McNeil's children?

Sally has a son, John, and a daughter, Shantina, both from a previous relationship, and both appear in the documentary series. In the first chapter, John claims that Ray used to be physically violent towards him and Shantina, especially when his mother was not home. John only nine years old when his mother imprisone and, like his mother, Sally’s two sons later enlisted in the army in some capacity. Both unfortunately had post-traumatic stress disorder after their service and are now parents.

After Sally convicte, John and Shantina spent time in a foster home before raise by their maternal grandparents. John says that now, looking back, he wishes he had done more for his mother and later had drug addiction problems. After a period in which they did not speak, Sally and John maintained a good relationship and talked regularly on the phone. Sally and Shantina are also in touch.

Sally Married Before Ray

The Netflix true-crime documentary covered Sally McNeil’s life before marrying Ray McNeil, including her previous marriage to Anthony Lowden. Sally and Anthony marry for four years and had three children. Though only two shown in the Killer Sally documentary, Shantina and John. Sally mentioned that her relationship with Anthony had started strong. But had deteriorated after the pair had married, leading to Sally’s first experiences with spousal abuse. And the eventual serving of divorce papers. During the couple’s divorce, their third child put up for adoption and taken in by another family, leaving Sally as a single mother with two young children.


Sally McNeil, her friends, her family, and the attorneys gather to discuss. The events leading up to the death of Sally’s husband, Ray McNeil. She began bodybuilding as a pastime while serving in the Marine Corps in 1987, met Ray while there. Sally immediately drawn to him and regard him as a potential stepfather for her children.

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