‘Killer Sally’ paid for husband’s steroid use through ‘muscle worship’

True crime fans have another Netflix series to binge watch. Killer Sally delves deep into the story of bodybuilding's most notorious crime.

On March 19 1996, former professional bodybuilder Sally McNeil was convicted of second degree murder, after shooting her husband and fellow bodybuilder Ray McNeil on Valentine's Day 1995.

Sally, who grabbed a gun after Ray started choking her and shot him twice, claimed it was self defence, but was sentenced to 19 years to life in prison.

Meanwhile, the prosecution argued that it was premeditated murder, and that the "pumped-up princess" was jealous and aggressive.

Sally and Ray's children confirmed that their father had been abusive to both them and their mother – but the case proved to be much more complicated than that.

In court it was revealed that both the parents had been using steroids – linking the murder to "roid rage," which is a sudden burst of violence which can be linked to steroid use.

Sally claims in the docuseries that she was funding Ray's steroids through something called "muscle worship", and she was described as the "main breadwinner" of the household. The series looks further into this "seedy side of bodybuilding".

What exactly is muscle worship? Here we explain how Sally was able to earn thousands of dollars.

What is muscle worship?

Muscle worship, also known as sthenolagnia, is when someone touches the muscles of another person in a sexual way.

It usually involves wrestling, being in wrestling holds or lifts, as well as rubbing, massaging, kissing or licking.

The dominant person is usually a professional bodybuilder, fitness competitor or wrestler – while the "worshipper" is usually someone smaller.

How did Sally McNeil earn money?

Sally McNeil served for the United States Marine Corps when she met her bodybuilder husband Ray.

The pair got married in 1987, and three years later she was discharged from the marines.

Money was tight, and Sally soon realised there was a lucrative trade where fans of "muscle worship" would pay to be wrestled to the ground.

She set up her own production company, and would offer one-on-one "private time" where men would pay her to beat them up.

In the trailer to the Netflix series, Sally explained how if she wrestled 10 men, she could earn $3,000 (£2,615).

She explained: "I would wrestle these men at a hotel, at their house or my own apartment.

"There were Wall Street guys to garbage workers. Actually the garbage truck guys smelled better than Wall Street guys. They stank like they had just gone to the bathroom and then came to wrestle me.

"I was disgusted. It was bizarre, but I was making so much money that it compensated for the bad feelings. The money – $300 an hour – outweighed the dark side of it."

She also claimed that doing this paid for her husband's steroids.

It was claimed that Sally spent over £20,000 on steroids for her husband in just one year.

Sally server her sentence at the Central California Women's Facility in Chowchilla, and was released on parole in May 2020 after serving 25 years.

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