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As the coroner releases the official findings, the cause of death of Boeing whistleblower John Barnett has been revealed.

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South Carolina’s Charleston – The investigation into the murder of Boeing whistleblower John Barnett, who was discovered dead in his truck in March of last year, has been formally made public by the Charleston County Coroner. When Barnett, a vocal opponent of Boeing’s safety procedures, was found dead in a hotel parking lot, there were first some unanswered concerns.

Specifics of the Event

Barnett did not show up for his scheduled morning deposition in a well-known case against Boeing. His legal team asked for a health check, concerned about his absence. When the police arrived, they discovered Barnett inside his truck suffering from a gunshot wound to the head. He was holding a revolver in his right hand, there was gunshot wound residue on his hand, and there was one round casing inside the car. On the passenger seat, there was also a suicide note discovered.

Coroner’s Report

Bobbi Jo O’Neal, the Charleston County Coroner, has determined that Barnett’s gunshot wound was self-inflicted. The coroner’s report said, “All findings were consistent with a self-inflicted gunshot wound.” Gunshot wounds have been documented as the official cause of death, while suicide has been listed as the mode of death.

According to the inquiry, Barnett was alone himself inside his secured car and there was no sign of outside criminal activity. Surveillance footage verified that he had parked his car just before the event and that his phone records and travel schedule were normal.

The History of John Barnett

After more than thirty years of employment at Boeing, where he retired in 2017 as a quality-control engineer, Barnett passed away. He gained notoriety for his whistleblower efforts, especially after he claimed in 2019 that Boeing was sacrificing safety in order to accelerate the manufacture of their 787 Dreamliner aircraft. Earlier this year, Barnett also voiced worries on the quick return of Boeing’s 737 Max 9 aircraft to service in the wake of safety concerns.

Barnett filed a complaint against Boeing, alleging that the firm had surveilled, harassed, and retaliated against him for his vocal criticism of their safety procedures. Barnett’s attorneys don’t believe the coroner’s conclusions. One of Barnett’s lawyers, Robert Turkewitz, had earlier said that he doubted Barnett would commit suicide since it did not fit with his client’s personality.

The legal team representing Barnett has not yet released a revised statement in light of the coroner’s report. They have already demanded a comprehensive inquiry into his passing, emphasizing the necessity of lucidity and openness in light of the significant financial risks associated with the legal battle with Boeing.

Boeing’s Position and Business Advancements

In the past several years, Boeing has had many difficulties, such as criticism of its corporate governance and safety procedures. The business has continuously refuted Barnett’s accusations of any misconduct. Unrelatedly, in the midst of the company’s continued struggles, Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun declared his intention to step down by year’s end.

Family and Community Reaction

Many people have responded to Barnett’s passing in a variety of ways. His mother has placed part of the blame on the conditions and pressures he encountered as a whistleblower. His family has been outspoken in their sorrow and search for answers.

Concerned observers and safety advocates in the aerospace industry have also responded, viewing Barnett’s passing as a sobering reminder of the personal toll that whistleblowing can have.

The Charleston County Coroner has officially declared John Barnett’s death to be a suicide, which puts an end to the many unanswered mysteries surrounding his terrible demise. But his death’s consequences and the larger questions his whistleblowing revealed still have an impact on the business and beyond. The legacy of Barnett’s dedication to safety and openness continues to play a major role in the conversation around Boeing’s future as it navigates its current issues.

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