Boeing Whistleblower Left Note Where He Was Found Dead After Testifying Against Company

Boeing Whistleblower Left Note Where He Was Found Dead After Testifying Against Company
ABC News 4

John Barnett, a former Boeing quality manager who blew the whistle on the company’s safety standards, was found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound just days after testifying against the aviation giant. Barnett, 62, had spent over 30 years working for Boeing before retiring in 2017. Post-retirement, he exposed substandard production practices at Boeing’s North Charleston plant, particularly concerning the 787 Dreamliner. He claimed that workers were pressured to use faulty parts, which could result in one in four oxygen masks failing in an emergency.

Barnett’s testimony had significant repercussions, leading to a lawsuit against Boeing. However, the stress and pressure from the high-profile case seemed to take a toll on him. He was discovered in his car in a South Carolina hotel parking lot with a suicide note. The note, authenticated by authorities, expressed his frustrations with the lack of protection for whistleblowers and his disdain for Boeing, alongside personal messages to his family and friends.

The note revealed Barnett’s deep anguish, reading: “I can’t do this any longer! Enough! F*** Boeing. America, come together or die!! I pray the mother****** that destroyed my life pay!!! I pray Boeing pays!!! Bury me face down so Boeing and their lying-ass leaders can kiss my ass.” He also expressed love for his friends and family, stating he had found his purpose and was at peace.

Boeing responded to the tragic news with a statement expressing their sadness and extending condolences to Barnett’s family and friends. Despite Barnett’s death, Boeing’s CEO, Dave Calhoun, was re-elected to remain on the company’s board, although he had previously indicated he was seeking feedback to find a new chief executive.

Barnett’s death has intensified discussions about the pressures faced by whistleblowers and the need for stronger protections. His testimony and subsequent death follow other troubling incidents involving Boeing aircraft, highlighting ongoing concerns about safety standards within the company. The aviation industry continues to grapple with these revelations as it seeks to rebuild trust and ensure the safety of its operations.