Where is Sally McNeil now from Netflix’s Killer Sally?

Your 2022 update

Sally McNeil now
(Image credit: Netflix)

Killer Sally is the latest true crime documentary on Netflix to sink your teeth into. But many are now asking, where is Sally McNeil now - the woman at the centre of the story.

Netflix seems to be unstoppable when it comes to true crime content at the moment. Viewers were repulsed by the true story of serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer, looking for answers on where Charles Cullen is now after watching  The Good Nurse - based on the true story of the former nurse, and similarly hocked by the true story of The Stranger. The latest gripping series comes in the form of Killer Sally, a three-part documentary which tells the true story of Sally McNeil, who killed her husband Ray McNeil on Valentine's Day in 1995.

For many watching along, they have questions over what happened to Sally McNeil and where is she now? Did she go to prison? Why did she kill her husband? Read on for all the answers.

Where is Sally McNeil now?

Sally McNeil is currently based at Central California Women's Facility in Chowchilla, California. She was found guilty of second-degree murder in 1996 and is serving out her life sentence.

Former bodybuilder Sally, who won the US armed services physique championship in the 1980s, met Ray McNeil while they were both serving in the United States Marine Corps. The pair bonded over their love of fitness and eventually tied the knot in 1987.

Speaking about when they first met, Sally said: "He looked like the Statue of David. He was beautiful. Lust at first sight.”

Three years after marrying Ray, Sally was discharged from the Navy and had to find alternative ways to make money. Sally engaged in "muscle worship," which involves recorded sessions where she was paid to wrestle men into the ground.

In the trailer for Killer Sally, she says: "If I wrestled 10 of them, that's $3,000." 

What did Sally McNeil do?

On Valentine's Day 1995, Sally and Ray got into a fight in their apartment in Oceanside, California which turned fatal when Sally grabbed a gun and shot him. She shot Ray twice with a shotgun - once in the abdomen and then in the head.

She immediately called 911 and said: "I just shot my husband because he just beat me up.”

Killer Sally tells the story of the tumultuous marriage that led that fateful night in 1995, with Netflix describing it as "a complex true crime story [which] examines domestic violence, gender roles, and the world of bodybuilding."

At her trial, prosecutors argued that the killing of Ray was premeditated. Plus, forensics proved that after firing the initial shot, which put Ray on his back in the living room, Sally went to her bedroom, reloaded the weapon, and returned to unload a second shot directly into his face.

Sally was found guilty of second-degree murder in 1996.

Sally McNeil with former husband Ray McNeil

(Image credit: Netflix)

Why did Sally McNeil kill her husband?

Sally claims that she shot her husband in self-defense after 'years of abuse.' The Netflix synopsis for Killer Sally reads: "Sally claimed it was self-defense, a split-second decision to save her life. The prosecution argued it was premeditated murder, the revenge of a jealous and aggressive wife. They called her a 'thug,' a 'bully,' a 'monster.'"

It adds: "Sally says she spent her life doing whatever it took to survive, caught in a cycle of violence that began in childhood and ended with Ray's death."

Sally says that their marriage was volatile and that Ray often 'beat' her. Speaking about her muscle worship work, which enabled Ray to leave the Marines and start his own bodybuilding career, Sally said:  "Made Ray happy that it was paying for his steroids, then he hit me."

In the docu-series, Sally explains how from the get-go, Ray was prone to punching her in the face and choking her.

Sally McNeil now in the Killing Sally documentary series

(Image credit: Netflix)

Sally's children affirmed their mother's harrowing tale, including her son, who revealed haunting details of Ray's alleged abuse in Killer Sally. "I remember how tortuous it used to be to have to sit there and watch him abuse my sister and to know that I was next," he said.

However, prosecutors managed to challenge Sally's story, as investigators found the couple were both using steroids, leading people to dub the murder the "roid rage killing."

Speaking in Killer Sally, Sally said: "I have the right to defend myself. I couldn't take it anymore. I didn't want to die."

Sally McNeil in a photo from the 90s showing her bodybuilding

(Image credit: Netflix)

Who was Ray McNeil?

Ray McNeil was a champion bodybuilder who served in the United States Marine Corps. He met Sally when they were both serving in the Navy.

Ray was also a budding stand-up comedian and in 1994 - a year before his death - he started taking acting classes. In August of that year he began appearing at The Comedy Club in nearby La Jolla for free. 

Ray was training for the Pro Ironman Championships in Redondo Beach in 1995 when a week before the competition, he got into a fight with Sally on Valentine's Day.

The couple began to argue and while Ray was in the kitchen cooking chicken, Sally went into the bedroom and loaded her 12 gauge shotgun, came back into the kitchen and shot Ray in the abdomen. She then went back to the bedroom, reloaded again, and returned to fire a second shot into Ray’s head.

The first shot went through three ribs and blew almost a pound of liver tissue away. The bullet’s destructive path caused a 6 by 5 inch hole in his diaphragm and tore through his pancreas, adrenal gland, kidney and abdominal aorta. The second shot shattered his upper jaw, tore out half of his lower jaw and shredded his tongue.

Ray was 30 years old when he died.

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Robyn Morris
Entertainment writer - contributor

Robyn is a freelance celebrity journalist with ten years experience in the industry. While studying for a degree in Media and Cultural Studies at London College of Communication, she did internships at Now and Heat magazines. After graduating, she landed a job at Star magazine, where she worked her way up to features editor. She then worked at Future as Deputy Celebrity Content Director across Woman, Woman’s Own, Woman’s Weekly and Woman & Home magazines.