Five different kinds of steroids in one human being at once, homemade backyard wrestling videos and absolute chaos is the best way to summarize the “Killer Sally” miniseries.
The story follows the couple Sally and Ray McNeil, both competitive bodybuilders throughout the late ‘80s and early ‘90s. Sally McNeil is interviewed and recounts her rocky marriage and the days leading up to when she murdered her husband on Valentine’s Day. Nothing says love more than that, right?
Sally McNeil was one of the pioneers of female bodybuilding. She was dedicated to the art of bodybuilding while also demonstrating serious strength and competing in power-lifting competitions for money. McNeil was the breadwinner for her family to support her two children and their stepdad Ray, who was so dedicated to winning Mr. Olympia that he didn’t have an actual job.
To make some extra cash, a wrestling coach discovered Sally and, mesmerized by her physique, decided she would be a great wrestler against men in a backyard. She proceeded to dominate her male opponents, only for them to not fight back. McNeil was making good money doing this, with $300 to travel to different states and put Wall Street guys and trashmen in headlocks for their pleasure. The $300 per wrestling match was ultimately put towards Ray’s steroids. Sally traveled to Tawanna to get drugs for her husband because it was legal there, bringing her young children along on these trips.
Ray and Sally represent relational toxicity at its highest. Sally went through domestic violence and infidelity and wasn’t the kind of woman to keep quiet and not stand up for herself. It’s sad to hear what she went through all those years, feeling like she had no escape because she thought she needed to stay with her husband.
Sally met Ray at the gym in the 1980s and married him two months later. Red flags had emerged early in the relationship after Ray punched her in the face and split her lip open. Ray’s serious “roid rage” contributed to years of abuse toward Sally. The bodybuilder had five different types of steroids in his system at his death. Thinking that he would kill her one night, Sally shot Ray and then called 911.
I felt for Sally’s children, who had been put through so much trauma at a young age, from being physically abused by their stepfather to watching him die.
During the court case, the prosecutors said Sally’s crime was premeditated. Her defense could not prove Ray’s year of abuse with DNA and the prosecutors found a shotgun shell in the bedroom, which could mean Sally reloaded the gun. The prosecutors used Sally’s history of violence and physical strength, but could not view her as a domestic violence victim. All of these points were used to convict her of second-degree murder.
The former bodybuilder was released on parole in 2020, and now lives better and has a relationship with her children and grandchildren.
Some parts of this miniseries are disturbing to watch as it follows the central theme of domestic violence, which still happens to many today.