Many Suspicious Over Boeing Whistleblower’s Alleged Suicide

Before whistleblower John Barnett’s alleged suicide a week ago, he had “made powerful enemies,” according to Boeing employees.

Barnett, 62, was found dead on Mar. 9 inside his truck in the parking lot of a South Carolina Holiday Inn in an apparent suicide after his lawyers requested a welfare check when they could not get ahold of him. He was scheduled to continue his closed-door testimony that day involving a lawsuit against Boeing.

According to police, Barnett’s driver’s license was still in his room when he was found.

While authorities are investigating his death, Barnett’s family, friends and his lawyers don’t believe that he killed himself.

“He wasn’t concerned about safety because I asked him, I said, ‘Aren’t you scared?’” Barnett’s friend, only identified as Jennifer, told ABC News 4. “And his voice, the way he would talk, ‘Nah, I ain’t scared,’ he said, ‘but if anything happens to me, it’s not suicide.’ I know that he did not commit suicide — there’s no way. He loved life too much, he loved his family too much, he loved his brothers too much to put them through what they’re going through right now.”

One Boeing employee spoke anonymously to the New York Post about Barnett’s death. They reported that employees believe his death occurred under suspicious circumstances and that workers are always under surveillance, making it difficult to discuss the incident.

“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,” the employee said.

“I don’t know what to believe. 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.”

The employee also told the outlet that other employees believed that Barnett had made some “pretty powerful enemies.”

Barnett was employed with Boeing for over 30 years as a quality engineer. After his retirement in 2017, he began to speak openly about his concerns about Boeing’s safety issues. He reported that Boeing was aware of mechanical issues that could endanger the lives of others.

His death even shocked his lawyers, Robert Turkewitz and Brian Knowles, and his brother, Rodney Barnett. All of them suspect foul play. Turkewitz and Knowles said that Barnett was in “very good spirits,” showing no signs of wanting to end his life.

After his death, Boeing released a brief statement reading, “We are saddened by Mr. Barnett’s passing, and our thoughts are with his family and friends.”

Even though Barnett is dead, his lawyers reported that they will continue with the lawsuit.