Boeing Whistleblower Found Dead in Charleston After Break in Depositions

Boeing Whistleblower Found Dead in Charleston After Break in Depositions

Boeing whistleblower John Barnett was found dead in his truck at a hotel in Charleston, South Carolina after a break in depositions in a whistleblower retaliation lawsuit.


That’s according to Barnett’s lawyer Brian Knowles.

In an email to Corporate Crime Reporter, Knowles wrote that Barnett “was supposed to do day three of his deposition here in Charleston on his AIR21 case.” (AIR21 refers to a federal law that provides whistleblower protection for employees in the aviation industry.)

“Today is a tragic day,” Knowles wrote. “John had been back and forth for quite some time getting prepared. The defense examined him for their allowed seven hours under the rules on Thursday. I cross examined him all day yesterday (Friday) and did not finish. We agreed to continue this morning at 10 a.m. (co-counsel) Rob (Turkewitz) kept calling this morning and his (Barnett’s) phone would go to voicemail. We then asked the hotel to check on him. They found him in his truck dead from an ‘alleged’ self-inflicted gunshot. We drove to the hotel and spoke with the police and the coroner.”

For almost three decades, John Barnett was a quality manager at Boeing.

For 28 of those years, he was with Boeing in Everett, Washington.

Barnett loved Boeing. He loved Boeing planes. He loved his work.

Then in 2010, Barnett was transferred to Boeing’s new plant in Charleston, South Carolina.

That’s where Boeing builds the 787 Dreamliner.

And things started going downhill.

“The new leadership didn’t understand processes,” Barnett told Corporate Crime Reporter in an interview in 2019. (See — John Barnett on Why He Won’t Fly on a Boeing 787 Dreamliner, (Corporate Crime Reporter, November 29, 2019).  “They brought them in from other areas of the company. The new leadership team – from my director down – they all came from St. Louis, Missouri. They said they were all buddies there.”

“That entire team came down. They were from the military side. My impression was their mindset was – we are going to do it the way we want to do it. Their motto at the time was – we are in Charleston and we can do anything we want.”

“They started pressuring us to not document defects, to work outside the procedures, to allow defective material to be installed without being corrected. They started bypassing procedures and not maintaining configurement control of airplanes, not maintaining control of non conforming parts –  they just wanted to get the planes pushed out the door and make the cash register ring.”

Barnett had been speaking to reporters recently about Boeing production issues, including the incident involving the mid-air blow out of a door plug on an Alaska Airlines flight on January 5, causing decompression of the airplane.

“Once you understand what’s happening inside of Boeing, you’ll see why we’re seeing these kinds of issues,” Barnett told ABC News in Australia in late January.

Mechanical problems with Boeing aircraft have been in the news a lot lately. The latest from just yesterday, March 11 — At least 50 hurt as LATAM’s Boeing 787 to Auckland ‘just dropped’ mid-flight

TMZ reported on this suicide yesterday, showing the following clip —

We’ve no idea about this but have learned that such indicators can be interesting if not revealing —

A little humour never hurts —


Original Article:


Neighbour's and family report he told them that if anything happens to me, “it’s not suicide.”