Lawyers for Boeing Whistleblower and RFK Jr. Dubious About Suicide Narrative, 'No One Can Believe It'

AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File

Lawyers for the Boeing whistleblower who was found dead from a gunshot wound to the head Saturday are questioning the narrative that this demise was a suicide and are demanding a full investigation. 


As we reported, 62-year-old former Boeing quality control engineer John Barnett was slated to give testimony about his safety concerns but failed to show up for a scheduled appearance and was later discovered in his orange pickup truck with a silver handgun in his hand and finger still on the trigger. There was also reportedly a suicide note, but the contents of that have not been released.


Boeing Whistleblower Found Dead in Truck With 'Self-Inflicted' Gunshot Wound

Although the Charleston County, South Carolina coroner ruled the cause as a “self-inflicted” wound, Barnett’s attorneys aren’t buying that narrative

“We need more information about what happened to John,” attorneys Robert Turkewitz and Brian Knowles, who represent former Boeing manager John Barnett, said in a statement Tuesday. “The Charleston police need to investigate this fully and accurately and tell the public.

“We didn’t see any indication he would take his own life,” they added. “No one can believe it.

“No detail can be left unturned.”

Barnett, a 32-year veteran of the aircraft company who worked at Boeing's North Charleston plant, had been sounding the alarm since his 2017 retirement about some scary safety issues:

Barnett's death came during a break in depositions in a whistleblower retaliation suit, where he alleged under-pressure workers were deliberately fitting sub-standard parts to aircraft on the assembly line.

He said that in some cases, second-rate parts were literally removed from scrap bins, before being fitted to planes that were being built to prevent delays. A 2017 review by the FAA upheld some of his concerns, requiring Boeing to take action.

He had just given a deposition to Boeing's lawyers for the case this past week, his attorney Brian Knowles said.


Here is an undated clip of Barnett talking about some of those concerns:

The news comes as Boeing has been in the news a lot lately for all the wrong reasons.

Read more:

United Airlines Suffers Five Plane Incidents in Five Days — What’s Going On?

Plane That Lost Door Plug in Flight Had 3 Prior Depressurization Alerts; Alaska Airlines Kept It Flying

FAA Grounds 'Certain' Boeing 737 Max 9 Airliners After a Panel Blows Out During Flight

The lawyers continued, adding that there was no indication Barnett was suicidal and that he had seemed in “good spirits.” 

“John was in the midst of a deposition in his whistleblower case, which finally was nearing the end,” the lawyers said. “He was in very good spirits and really looking forward to putting this phase of his life behind him and moving on.”

Presidential candidate RFK Jr. expressed his condolences on social media and said that his sister had worked on a documentary discussing Boeing safety concerns. But Kennedy also appeared to question the suicide conclusion by putting the word in quotes:


Boeing killed 346 people out of greed. Let’s hope there is a genuine investigation of John Barnett’s “suicide.”

At this time, there is no proof of foul play, but when a whistleblower who was scheduled to deliver damning testimony against a huge multi-national corporation unexpectedly turns up dead, there are bound to be questions. 



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