Boeing Whistleblower John Barnett Died By Suicide, Left A Note: Police

Police officers had found John Barnett dead on March 9 in the driver's seat of his truck with a gunshot wound to the head.

Boeing Whistleblower John Barnett Died By Suicide, Left A Note: Police

John Barnett, a whistleblower who had raised concerns about safety and production standards at Boeing, has died by suicide, the police said. 

The 62-year-old was found dead inside his truck on March 9, in South Carolina, US, reported CNN.

Initial investigations into his death were underway, but they have since been halted, the report added.

Mr Barnett was scheduled to testify against Boeing (an Aerospace company) in a legal case, alleging illegal retaliation by the company, the report mentioned.

However, when he failed to show up at a court deposition, police officers conducted a welfare check and found his body on the driver's seat of the truck. The gunshot wound to the head indicated that Mr Barnett died by suicide, the report said.

People, investigating the crime scene, found a gun in Mr Barnett's right hand. They also spotted gunshot residue on his hand and a  single shell casing inside the truck, the report mentioned.

Further examination revealed a single shell casing inside the truck and a suicide note left on the passenger seat. These findings confirmed Mr Barnett's death as a suicide. 

A report from the Charleston County Coroner stated that "all findings were consistent with a self-inflicted gunshot wound” with the coroner concluding that the manner of death is “best deemed as suicide.” 

There was reportedly also a suicide note which had his fingerprints. The note read, “I can't do this any longer. Enough. F*** Boeing. I found my purpose. I am at peace" adding an "I love you all" to his friends and family, as per the NY Post.

The police revealed that he was alone and locked inside his vehicle when they found him. CCTV footage from the hotel showed him leaving alone and reversing into a parking spot a few minutes later. No one was seen approaching or leaving the truck until the grim discovery the following morning. Investigations into his phone records also did not reveal any signs of unusual travel patterns or communications.

John Barnett worked at Boeing for more than 30 years, retiring in 2017 as a quality control engineer. He spoke out to the BBC in 2019, stating worries about Boeing rushing the production of its 787 Dreamliner jets, which he believed was risking safety. Mr Barnett then sued Boeing, claiming they had spied on him, retaliated against him and harassed him. 

Mr Barnett's lawyers said, "We didn't see any indication he would take his own life. No one can believe it.”