Boeing, Boeing, GONE: Another Whistleblower Has ‘Died Suddenly’

I don’t know the secret to a long life, but I can tell you how to “die suddenly.” Point a finger at Boeing.

Die the friendly skies

Roughly two months after Boeing whistleblower John Barnett, 62, was found dead in his car of a supposedly self-inflicted gunshot wound, something he warned his family he would not do, another Boeing quidnunc has somehow managed to die mysteriously.

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The family of Joshua Dean, 45, who had recently been testifying about the “serious and gross misconduct by senior quality management of the Boening 737 production line,” was recently found dead.

What we know

Dean’s family announced his death on Facebook, claiming he came down with pneumonia in April. He suffered a stroke after battling an MRSA infection and had tested positive for influenza B. Shortly before he passed, Dean’s hands and feet had turned black from infection, leaving doctors to consider amputating them.

Dean’s sister-in-law wrote about his condition on Facebook, claiming, “He is in the worst condition I have ever known or heard of. Even the hospital agrees.”

FACT-O-RAMA! An MRSA infection is a serious staph infection that can resist most antibiotics. Infections can have a direct, casual role in causing a stroke. In 2021, 41,309 people died of pneumonia. MRSA can be spread by physical contact and is found mostly in hospitals.

According to the Seattle Times, Dean “had been in good health and was noted for having a healthy lifestyle” but had died shortly after coming down with a “sudden, fast-spreading infection.”

Dean began speaking out in 2022 about defects he found while working at Spirit Aerosystems, a Kansas-based company that makes plane parts for Boeing. Within a year, Dean was fired.

“I think they were sending out a message to anybody else,” Dean related to NPR after he was canned. “If you are too loud, we will silence you.”

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FACT-O-RAMA!  Spirit Aerosystems would throw a pizza party for its workers when the number of reported defects fell. Dean claimed that the number of defects never fell; they were just reported less.

Boeing’s problems came to light when a plane door blew off in mid-flight in early January. 

Dean’s untimely death comes almost two months after fellow Boeing whistleblower John Barnett allegedly shot himself hours before continuing his testimony against Boeing. His family and friends aren’t buying it.

“I know he did not commit suicide there’s no way,” claimed Jennifer, a family friend who chose not to give her last name. “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. I think somebody didn’t like what he had to say and wanted to shut him up and didn’t want it to come back on anyone so that’s why they made it look like a suicide.”

Barnett’s lawyers also don’t believe that his client would kill himself.

“John was in the midst of a deposition in his whistleblower retaliation case, which finally was nearing the end,” Barnett’s lawyers released in a statement. “He was in very good spirits and really looking forward to putting this phase of his life behind him and moving on. We didn’t see any indication he would take his own life. No one can believe it.”

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What have we learned?

We have learned that alerting the world to Boeing’s shoddy work might be dangerous to one’s health. 

Two people instrumental in the Boeing whistleblower trials have died roughly two months apart. The first, Barnett, allegedly claimed he would not kill himself yet was found with a bullet in his head and his finger still around the trigger.

Dean, who was reportedly healthy, came down with pneumonia, followed by a highly contagious staph infection, influenza B, and ultimately had a stroke and died.

Who stands to benefit from both untimely deaths? Boeing, that’s who.

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