‘Killer Sally’ Ending, Explained: Why Did Sally Kill Her Husband?

Welcome to the Ending Explained for Killer Sally, a new documentary series that is now available on Netflix. The series tells the story of Sally McNeil, a woman bodybuilder who entered a relationship with another bodybuilder named Ray McNeil. What began as the union between two athletes in search of their dreams, quickly became a nightmare plagued with abuse and humiliation. The new Netflix docuseries, focusing on the case and how those involved are today, was released this week.

The series does a very good job of creating context around the case and showing us, the audience, the different angles from which it could be looked at. The documentary also takes us to a time when the women’s movement wasn’t as developed as it is today, and seeing how Sally was treated despite her crime, is something truly awful. The documentary also has the advantage of having Sally herself talk about her own experience. It makes the docuseries feel more relevant than if she weren’t.

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The following paragraphs contain spoilers for Killer Sally. Read at your own risk.

Why Did Sally Kill Her Husband?

The docuseries begins by introducing us to Sally, our main character and the main subject of the docuseries. We meet Sally in prison, where she is willing to talk to the cameras about her case, and what happened to her during the entire ordeal. We also start right at the beginning of her career as a bodybuilder. Not only that, but we see how Sally got interested in the sport and how she started doing bodybuilding while in the army, where she reached the rank of sergeant in the Marine corps.

Sally managed to do well in this bodybuilding competition, and she imagined that she could do very well by trying to go pro. She developed a routine and a discipline that no other woman had. It was at this moment that she met Ray McNeil. Ray seemed like a very handsome, polite, and strong man. The kind of man Sally liked. She decided that Ray would be a good partner in life, and just after a couple of months of dating, they got married. Sally trusted that Ray could be a good influence on her two kids from a previous marriage.

The kids, now adults, remember Ray in different ways. They remember him as a very charming guy who made her mother happy, and a person who became their dad for a while. However, they also remember him being abusive not only to them but to their mother as well. As Ray’s career in bodybuilding started to do well, it fell to Sally the responsibility of being the breadwinner in the family, and everything she did went in some way or another to fund Ray’s career.

However, things were not looking good for the couple, they started fighting more, and more and Ray felt like he was a superior being to Sally. He also started seeing other women, and sadly, one night, one of their encounters passed the point of violence and became a truly deadly affair. Sally shot Ray twice with a shotgun, and that was the last of Ray McNeil. Sally immediately called the police, and she was taken into custody. Sally declared that she only killed Ray because she was beating her up. As we all know, everyone has a limit.

Why Did Sally Get Sentenced To Jail?

Sally called the police right after she shot Ray. She would have thought that this proved she had nothing to hide and that she only killed Ray in self-defense. However, the prosecution had other things in mind. They wanted to put Sally in jail no matter what, so they planned a very furious plan of attack that focused on Sally’s image. The defense, on the other hand, tried to pin everything on the fact that Sally had been abused for years by her husband. In a moment of rage, she picked up the shotgun and killed Ray.

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The prosecution wanted to prove that Sally’s crime had been premeditated. Sally shot Ray twice, and it was the second shot that the prosecution used as proof that she has basically executed Ray on the spot. This was not a spur-of-the-moment thing, she has been planning this. The revelation that Ray was clearly going to leave Sally, and that he had a relationship with another woman, made things look worse for Sally. The prosecution was not going to let the jury see Sally as a victim. For them, she was one of the most dangerous criminals in the world, and she needed to be punished.

Not even having Sally’s daughter testify made the jury see Sally as anything but a criminal. The prosecution also played out that a woman of her physical strength could not be a victim. The prosecution really got away with stuff that would not have flown in today’s court. In the end, Sally was put in jail, and she quickly lost contentment with her kids, both of them ended up joining the army just like her mother and doing tours in Afghanistan.

Sally got out of jail after more than 25 years and is now enjoying the freedom she lost all those years ago. She even has a new partner in life, and she is reconnecting with her kids.

  • Nelson loves all things related to storytelling. He has spent most of his life studying narrative, applied across all mediums; film, TV, books, and video games. Mulholland Drive is his favorite film.