From Democracy Now!: More Information about Ferguson Grand Jury Witness 40

By Elaine Magliaro

Last Wednesday, Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez spoke with William Bastone, the lead author of The Smoking Gun article that exposed the identity of “Witness 40.” On Monday, The Smoking Gun identified “Witness 40” as Sandra McElroy–a “bipolar Missouri woman with a criminal past who has a history of making racist remarks and once insinuated herself into another high-profile St. Louis criminal case with claims that police eventually dismissed as a ‘complete fabrication.'” McElroy told the grand jury that Brown charged at Wilson “like a football player.” It is now believed that McElroy lied “about witnessing the shooting, which occurred 30 miles from her home.”

Was Key Grand Jury Witness in Michael Brown Case a Racist, Mentally Ill, Lying Ex-Felon?

Amy Goodman asked William Bastone to explain how The Smoking Gun discovered who “Witness 40” was.

WILLIAM BASTONE: Well, what we did is we looked at two volumes of her grand jury testimony, which is heavily redacted, but we zeroed in on the portions that gave a little bit of biographical detail about her…And we used that information—you know, everything from the fact that she was adopted, divorced, had a couple of felony convictions and some other stuff—and then we basically went online and looked at some—a Facebook page that we believed she was associated with. And I’ll spare you all the details, but by a process of elimination, we zeroed in on her, figured out—got her name, and then we went and checked on Sandra McElroy’s background, and it basically dovetailed exactly with Witness 40—everything.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Now, in her testimony, she had admitted that she had been convicted of—


JUAN GONZÁLEZ: —check fraud, right?

WILLIAM BASTONE: Two felony counts of check fraud in 2007, had received three years of probation, a suspended sentence. And so, you know, then we reached out to a couple other people who had had interactions with her, and it made us convinced it was the same woman.


Was Key Grand Jury Witness in Michael Brown Case a Racist, Mentally Ill, Lying Ex-Felon? (Democracy Now!)


“Witness 40”: Exposing A Fraud In Ferguson–TSG unmasks witness who spun fabricated tale (Smoking Gun)

St. Louis Prosecutor Bob McCulloch Says He Knew “Witness 40″ Lied to the Ferguson Grand Jury (Flowers for Socrates)

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9 Responses to From Democracy Now!: More Information about Ferguson Grand Jury Witness 40

  1. So, if we get another GJ and witness 40 is forbidden to testify (especially without the “journal”)

    Can we get an indictment ?

  2. “What’s clear now, and what was actually clear to the FBI and the prosecutors before she ever testified, is that Sandy McElroy wasn’t anywhere near Canfield Drive the day Brown was killed and made her entire story up. Not only that, but Sandy McElroy was on record with the St. Louis police as having lied and concocted fanciful stories in other murder cases in which she falsely claimed to be a witness.

    Her inclusion in the grand jury pool of witnesses poisoned the well and her testimony is the most quoted testimony of conservative pundits; Sean Hannity alone has quoted her at least 21 times in various broadcasts. In addition to her calling African Americans “apes” and saying police should “kill the niggers” in the aftermath of Brown’s death, she regularly posted comments on various social networks showing her affection for Darren Wilson weeks and weeks before she ever claimed to be a witness.

    The FBI, in its interrogation of Sandy McElroy, completely tore apart her story and proved that she never drove onto Canfield Drive, never drove off of Canfield Drive, was never seen on Canfield Drive, and couldn’t find one person or photo or message before or after the event to confirm that she was ever there. She claimed she told her ex-husband all about what she saw, but he swore she didn’t and he has problems remembering things”

  3. Wham huh says:


    At the very end, is that “he” or “she” has a problem remembering things?

    My conundrum issue larger is,

    Where did she get the journal idea?

    Just sayin….

  4. Elaine M. says:

    Lawrence O’Donnell: Why did McCulloch pin so much on unreliable ‘Witness #10′?

    MSNBC host Lawrence O’Donnell questioned on Tuesday why St. Louis County prosecutor Bob McCulloch would rely so heavily on testimony from one witness who seemingly changed his story for the grand jury that ultimately decided not to indict police officer Darren Wilson for killing 18-year-old Michael Brown this past August.

    “We would like to be able to judge the credibility of all the witnesses. We would all like to be able to do that,” O’Donnell said. “We would like to know as much as we can about them. But what we know about ‘Witness #10′ is that the prosecutors willfully did absolutely nothing to help the grand jurors judge the reliability of the only witness who completely agreed with Darren Wilson’s description of what Michael Brown’s movements were.”

    O’Donnell referred to the witness as McCulloch’s “favorite witness,” saying that McCulloch had enough trust in the witness’ observations to highlight only his testimony while announcing on Monday that Wilson would not be indicted.

    But during his testimony, O’Donnell said, the witness said he was not sure what kind of “body gesture” Brown made before being shot and killed by Wilson on Aug. 9, and that he could not “fully recall” what Brown did, except to say Brown was not surrendering.

    “There’s the district attorney’s favorite witness — the only one he quoted last night — saying, ‘I cannot fully recall, I’m not sure, I’m not sure,’ within the body of an answer in which the only thing he’s absolutely sure of is that Michael Brown did not do a surrendering motion,” O’Donnell said.

    In a real courtroom, O’Donnell said, that kind of answer would not survive cross-examination.

    Instead, he explained, the only real challenge the witness received from prosecutors was to be asked if he wore glasses or contacts after describing his vision as “pretty good.” And even then, O’Donnell said, the witness was not asked when his eyesight had last been tested, or if it had been tested at all, after telling police two days after the shooting that he saw the altercation between Brown and Wilson from 100 yards away.

  5. eniobob says:

    Off Topic but this thing is going off the rails here in the Metro New York/New Jersey area

    Just a small sample


  6. Elaine M. says:


    I’ve been keeping tabs on this story. Here’s an article from Vox :

    Rudy Giuliani says Obama and black leaders incite “anti-police hatred”

  7. swarthmoremom says: “And while many were still trying to come to terms with such a senseless tragedy, the effort to inject partisan politics into the calamity was almost immediate. Former Mayor Rudy Giuliani (R) helped lead the way, appearing on Fox News early yesterday, connecting “four months of propaganda starting with the president” to the slaying.

    Giuliani went out of his way to be clear that he’s not blaming a handful of bad apples. He thinks the culprits are everyone protesting police misconduct everywhere.

    “The protests are being embraced, the protests are being encouraged. The protests, even the ones that don’t lead to violence – a lot of them lead to violence – all of them lead to a conclusion: The police are bad. The police are racist,” said Giuliani. “That is completely wrong. Actually, the people who do the most for the black community in America are the police.”

    He was hardly alone. Former New York Gov. George Pataki (R), who last week talked up a possible presidential campaign, lashed out at NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio and Attorney General Eric Holder. Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) pointed fingers at Obama, among others.

    Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) blamed the shooter, but only after saying Holder and de Blasio use a “tone” that “incites crazy people.” Even former Sen. Scott Brown (R), fresh off his latest failed campaign, was quick to point fingers at the Oval Office. “I’m not sure what this country will look like with two more years of divisive rhetoric from the White House,” the Republican said, just hours after the slaying.”

  8. eniobob says:

    All of this stuff is intertwined,and its really hitting a boiling point.

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