Questions Raised Over Boeing Whistleblower’s ‘Suicide’

Last Saturday, a former Boeing employee turned whistleblower was found dead in his vehicle, parked at a hotel in Charlotte, North Carolina.

The employee, John Barnett, reportedly died from a “self-inflicted” gunshot amid participating in a multi-day deposition against Boeing.

On Friday, Breitbart reported that Barnett had expressed concerns about Boeing safety protocols for years and had “made powerful enemies” along the way.

One of Barnett’s coworkers, who spoke to the New York Post on the condition of anonymity, was alarmed that Barnett’s death was quickly labeled a suicide. The coworker shared: “It actually gives me a pit in my stomach because of what he’s been saying, and he’s dead now. Maybe he killed himself.”

“I don’t know what to believe,” added the coworker. “We don’t really talk about it on the (assembly) line. We’re on camera from the minute we get on the property. They can hear us. So no one wants to talk about it at work. A lot of people are skeptical because he made some pretty powerful enemies.”

A second coworker told the Post: “Nothing surprises me when it comes to Boeing. It’s a good job but you’ve got to stay in line. If you don’t, you won’t work there anymore.”

Barnett had shared his concerns in legal briefs and during an interview with TMZ. During the interview, Barnett charged Boeing with “not doing due diligence to ensure that door plugs on 737 planes were installed properly.”

The BBC detailed Barnett’s concerns and death in a video profile.

Barnett also shared that at times, “substandard parts” were removed from scrap bins and “fitted to planes to prevent delays on the production line.”

The former quality manager testified that administrators were informed but disregarded his concerns. “Safety was compromised,” he said.

Barnett’s family members are adamant that John did not commit suicide. “I know he did not commit suicide, there’s no way. He loved life too much.”

One of Barnett’s friends claimed John said to him before the deposition began, “If anything happens to me, it’s not suicide.”

Boeing has received significant negative press in recent months as multiple planes have experienced mechanical failures, prompting groundings and inspections by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

Last week, the FAA revealed its six-week audit on the field identified “multiple instances where the company allegedly failed to comply with manufacturing quality control requirements.”

A statement from Boeing read: “We are saddened by Mr. Barnett’s passing, and our thoughts are with his family and friends.”