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Boeing Whistleblower John Barnett Dies by Suicide, Leaves Note: Police

Photo : X/@Megatron_ron

On March 9th, police officers made a grim discovery in South Carolina, US. They found John Barnett, a 62-year-old whistleblower who had raised concerns about safety and production standards at Boeing, dead in the driver's seat of his truck with a gunshot wound to the head.

Barnett's death was initially treated as a potential crime scene, but subsequent investigations led authorities to conclude that he died by suicide. According to reports, Barnett was scheduled to testify against Boeing in a legal case alleging illegal retaliation by the company. However, when he failed to appear at a court deposition, concern arose, prompting a welfare check.

During the welfare check, police found Barnett's body in his truck, along with a gun in his right hand. Further examination revealed gunshot residue on his hand and a single shell casing inside the vehicle. Additionally, investigators discovered a suicide note left on the passenger seat. The note, which had Barnett's fingerprints, expressed his anguish and included statements such as "I can't do this any longer" and "Enough. F*** Boeing. I found my purpose. I am at peace." He concluded with an "I love you all" directed towards his friends and family.

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The Charleston County Coroner's report confirmed the manner of death as suicide, stating that all findings were consistent with a self-inflicted gunshot wound. The report also noted that Barnett was alone and locked inside his vehicle when discovered. CCTV footage from a nearby hotel showed Barnett leaving alone and reversing into a parking spot, with no other individuals approaching or leaving the truck until the following morning when his body was found.

John Barnett had a long history with Boeing, working for the company for over 30 years until his retirement in 2017 as a quality control engineer. He gained attention in 2019 when he spoke out to the BBC, expressing concerns about Boeing's rushed production of its 787 Dreamliner jets, which he believed compromised safety standards. Barnett subsequently sued Boeing, alleging retaliation, harassment, and spying.

The news of Barnett's death has shocked many, with his lawyers expressing disbelief that he would take his own life. The circumstances surrounding his death have sparked investigations and renewed attention on the issues he raised during his time as a Boeing whistleblower.

May 18, 2024 4:14 p.m. 542

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