United States

Boeing Whistleblower John Barnett Died By Suicide, Police Report Confirms

Boeing whistleblower John Barnett's death has been confirmed as a suicide by the Charleston Police Department. Barnett, who raised concerns about safety standards, was found deceased in a vehicle in March.

John Barnett Photo: X

A police report released on Friday confirmed the death of Boeing whistleblower John Barnett as a suicide. The 62-year-old former employee, known for raising concerns about safety and production standards within the aerospace giant, was found deceased in a vehicle on March 9, succumbing to a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Barnett's demise, discovered at a Holiday Inn parking lot where officers were dispatched for a welfare check due to his absence at a deposition against Boeing, stunned many. Despite his legal battle with the company, his lawyers emphasised his seemingly positive demeanour nearing the conclusion of his deposition.

"We didn’t see any indication he would take his own life. No one can believe it," expressed his attorneys, Robert Turkewitz and Brian Knowles.

The Charleston Police Department concluded their investigation, affirming Barnett's death as self-inflicted. Evidence, including a note found in the vehicle and signs of personal distress in a notebook, indicated his struggles.

Details from his suicide note stated, "I can't do this any longer. Enough."

He further mentioned, "I found my purpose. I am at peace."

The note, shared with CNN, revealed Barnett's grievances towards Boeing, further highlighting the challenges he faced in his whistleblowing efforts. However, the police reminded that beyond the investigation lies the profound loss of Barnett's life, extending condolences to his family.

John Barnett, a former quality manager with decades of experience at Boeing, brought attention to safety issues within the aerospace giant in 2019. He revealed to The New York Times that he had uncovered hazardous wiring clusters during Boeing's manufacturing processes. Barnett warned that if these clusters were severed by nearby metal slivers, they could potentially trigger catastrophic aircraft failures.

In response to Barnett's claims, Brad Zaback, a site leader and general manager of the 787 program at Boeing's plant, defended the company's integrity. Zaback disputed The New York Times' report, asserting that it portrayed an inaccurate picture of Boeing's operations and its team.