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‘It’s Not Suicide’: Boeing Whistleblower Warned Friend Before Death

Screenshot: <a class="link " href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sA44FFi95PA" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:ABC News 4;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas">ABC News 4</a>
Screenshot: ABC News 4

John Barnett, 62, was in the process of testifying against the Boeing Company regarding the aircraft manufacturer’s manufacturing processes when he was found dead in South Carolina with what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. Now, though, a family friend of Barnett’s says that, before he died, he warned her that if he were found dead, it would not be the result of a suicide.

Jennifer, who did not share her surname, spoke to local ABC news affiliate WPDE about a concerning conversation she says she had with Barnett. She alleges that Barnett came by to visit her when she needed help, and they began to speak about his upcoming deposition in Charleston, South Carolina.

“He wasn’t concerned about safety because I asked him,” Jennifer told WPDE. “I said, ‘Aren’t you scared?’ And he said, ‘No, I ain’t scared, but if anything happens to me, it’s not suicide.’”

Barnett was staying in a Holiday Inn in Charleston ahead of his deposition; when his lawyers were unable to contact Barnett, they called in a wellness check, according to police reports obtained by the New York Post. A hotel staff member found Barnett’s body in his pickup truck; he was holding a silver pistol in his hand and appeared to have died from a single gunshot wound to the head.