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Supreme Court reinstates wife's conviction in killing of bodybuilder
By Associated Press
Monday, May 3, 2004


[ tribute to sally mcneil from several years ago and her here

WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court reinstated a murder conviction Monday in the case of a California woman who claimed she shot her husband to end his physical and sexual abuse.
      Sally and Ray McNeil were both bodybuilders and steroid users as well as former Marines, and had violently fought before over Ray McNeil's affairs and other things, according to court records.
      The San Diego couple's final fight on Valentine's Day 1995 was over the cost of some chicken, which he was cooking when he was shot.
      Sally McNeil was convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced to 15 years in prison.
      The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that she was not properly allowed to argue that the death was manslaughter and that she was psychologically damaged from his abuse.
      California authorities appealed to the Supreme Court, which ruled without hearing arguments in the case.
      In a short, unsigned opinion, the high court said although the jury in Sally McNeil's case heard instructions that were technically incorrect, a prosecutor quickly resolved any confusion.

      The case is Middleton v. McNeil, 03-1028.


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    [...] an eclectic blog of a female bodybuilder - loribraunblog home page - 06.22.2004:SUPREME COURT OF UNITED STATES REVERSES RELEASE OF SALLY MCNEIL![...]

Reader Comments (12)

If there are any supporters who would like to assist with attorney funds to keep the appeal process in motion, you may write Ms. McNeil at the address listed on the tribute site. Any contributions, no matter how small, would be appreciated!
September 8, 2004 | Unregistered CommenterMedford
Does anyone have an up-to-date email address for Sally? I tried the one on the tributes page and it failed to go through
May 21, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterClayton Peel
You people are funny, I knew both Ray and Sally Mcneil, Sally murdered Ray in a jealous rage, she concocted the story of rape and everything else to cover her crime. Period point blank. Anyone that knew the two knew she was the violent one, willing to unleash her anger on anyone, particularly any woman she may have thought had designs on Ray. She murdered Ray because she thought she could get away with it.

He lived long enough, to tell the police that he was cooking chicken when he was shot, the first blast did not kill him, so she ran into the bedroom, where she ejected the other shell and reloaded another shell to shoot him, a second time in the face.

It was the ejected shell left in the bedroom that got her convicted, as well as the constant calls to the insurance company, prior to the murder, and while she was in jail to confirm that she would still receive the insurance money.

I didnt write this to be a hatchet job on Sally. Ray cheated on Sally, quite a bit, and it was Sally who worked to support the family, it was Sally who sacrificed her own career to support the family and that has to be acknowledged.

Yet, all you know the concocted story, you know the made for TV story, designed to get Sally off of murder, but had you asked anyone, anyone who knew the two of them this thread, written to mark some supposed injustice would never have been erected. It is a terrible display to mark a murderer attempting to sway the opinions of the many...
May 25, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterIKNOW
Wow, how do you know all this, and can't say who you are. Anyone can say they knew those two. I say she must have planned this murder years in advance, faked injuries in hospitals, altered x-rays, and conned fellow Marines to testify to witnessing abuse years before the murder. This must be the work of a mastermind.
June 9, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterMedford
When I first read the article (tribute) about her regarding the murder, I felt overly sympathetic towards her. That was nearly 9 years ago. Now it felt surreal. Especially when I came across information that Sally McNeil herself wasn't in her right mind. This was well before "IKNOW"'s post.

I do not know the full story, nor the story of her life that led to the murder. However, I'm no longer believe his physical abuse alone (if true) is the cause for her killing him. It takes a very twisted, premeditated mind to take a gun, shoot someone, re-load the gun, and shoot him again. And it wasn't in self-defense, contrary to tribute. A battered woman, even a bodybuilder, wouldn't have the nerve to shoot someone. She's too afraid for her own life to want to take another's. The most she can do (usually) is run away. In most reported cases of spousal murders, they are motivated either by jealousy (of extramarital affair) or money (to claim insurance).

While the purpose of the website in empowering female bodybuilders be respected, I do insist that the authors check and re-check the facts before painting them as tragic saints. Frankly, I wonder about the credentials of the authors when they do such white-washing or glossy profiles of female bodybuilders involved with a crime. Sally McNeil is no saint. Neither are Graig Titus or Kelly Ryan.
February 15, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterarmslover
I trained with Ray in Gunner's Gymn. Shortyly after Ray returned to the states, I received a letter from Sally. I knew from her letter she was living in her own delusional world and it doesn't surprise me that she killed Ray.
April 13, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterpowerlifter
Well, I have no problem saying who I am. I knew Sally, but not before she shot and killed Ray. I met her a few years ago in Las Colinas, in Santee, Califrnia. She was my cell mate. I dont know much but I will tell you something. To the person who wrote that shit about sally being jealous, I think you are full of shit. I dont think you ever met Sally. I was her cell mate for 5 months, and not once in there did she even say a bad word. A temper? No. Not a chance. She was always talking me out of fighting, saying it was not worth it. I dont know who the people wrote the bad things about Sally, but I will say one thing. The one person Lied. you couldnt have known sally. That stuff you wrote about her is untrue. I also know for a fact that she was NOT the violent one in her household. i SAW the reports from the military police. I SAW the reports of the regular police, where Ray was always beating her up. I got out before Sally went back up to VSPW, but I would love to see her when she is released. When I was locked up, I got real sick. It turned out to be apendicitis, and I was transported to the hospital to get my apendice removed. Anyways, when I first got sick, Sally took care of me. I had such a high fever, and was hurting so bad. And it was Sally, that "murderer", that "jealous, crazy violent" person who took care of me until I was helped by the officers. When I colapsed on the dayroom floor, it was Sally who took my head in her lap and wiped my hair out of my eyes. *^#$%$# all of you who lied about her. Yes, people make bad decisions. She made one. That doesnt make her a bad person. My email is, for those who dont believe I knew her...
November 7, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterWalther
I knew both Sally and Ray McNeil from the days when we all used to work out in the same weight room on Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton / Camp Del Mar around 1989-1990. I was Corporal J. Barnes then. Personally they both had pretty short fuses, but Sally was clearly the nastier least she was that way to people in the weight room. Now I'm not saying Ray was a cuddly teddy bear because people have a way of showing the public one side of their personality then when they're at home they're totally many times have we as people found out something about someone and it would be proven to be true then we say...{ Man, I never seen that coming, I always thought this, or that...I would have never believed they were capable of doing that.}... All I'm saying is this...unless you're with someone 24/7 you really never know what going on in a person's life, they're only going to show you what they want you to see...that's just food for thought for both sides of the debat...for those who believe Sally is innocent as well
February 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterA former Marine
Sally is a personal friend of mine,,,, she stayed in my house for 6 months prior to her trial. I have known her since 1991. I cannot believe the lies I have seen written here, I can only tell you this. Sally is truly remorseful for what happened, and less anyone doesn't know she loved Ray. She didn't know how to walk away before this tragedy. She had a previous abusive relationship, and fell into a pattern. Ray had his faults but noone deserves to die the way he did. Let me remind all of you that they have two children, who I pray don't read this post and the lies in it. Sally has never been violent with me or even raised her voice in the almost 17 years that I have known her. I have a drawer full of letters in which most of them state her sorrow for how this turned out. You can not keep up a 17 year falsehood. She would call me after some of the fights with Ray. Again, I am not trying to justify anyones position, This was a tragedy and it left two children both grown now without a mother or father. Some of you need to get a life,
March 23, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKeith Gibson
Sally ALWAYS had a loose screw in her head. Always athletically gifted, yet dense as a day is long in December.

Was wondering how she turned out and just learned of this yesterday, so I had to research my friend's words to see if they were true. They were. I'm not surprised what's become of her. Let the bitch rot in jail.
To Whom this my concern i have very important information on ray mcneil, i was a former marine station in okinawa japan with ray Mcneil from late 1982 to 1984 then i meet up with him after returning and he told me in his own words on how he treated sally, i was living in San Clemente California i also was an up and coming bodybuilder at that same time we even competed in some the same contest i stayed a natural bobybuilder i rememeber the story though marine corp scuttle butt then say it on the news the next dy thinking this is crazy,heard of it but never said anything but everytime i saw something on female body building it made me always think of that day he was shot and thinking he finally got it , Not saying that she should have killed him but sooner or later some one would have done it that guy would screw anything and anyone. And she has served enough for her crime and she should be let out of prison. time served look at what how many woman are bieng treated this way every day and nothing is being done about it .
May 21, 2010 | Unregistered Commentervld drew
Wow! When i first heard about this, I just couldn't believe Sally finally snapped! For the year that i had Sally in my barracks over in Okinawa I watched how Ray emotionally abused her through mail and phone calls. She was half the world away and Ray was always threatening her about her even looking at the guys in the gym! My bodybuilder boyfriend at the time also knew the couple and while Ray was the cheating, abusive husband, Sally felt she was nothing without him. I feel sorry for them both that they didn't put their children before their own crap.

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