3rd Boeing whistleblower a bit spooked after 2 others died within weeks: "I have to prepare myself"

A third Boeing whistleblower is a bit spooked after two others died within weeks of each other — one by a gunshot and the other by a "sudden, fast-spreading" infection.

Santiago Paredes — a former inspector at Boeing supplier Spirit AeroSystems whose repeated warnings of quality and safety issues were ignored — went public after his co-worker, whistleblower Joshua Dean, died in April. And although the 40-year-old doesn't want to believe the two deaths were part of a conspiracy, he can't help but be a little paranoid.

"But, you know, I'm always looking behind my mirror to make sure nobody's car's following me," he told The Independent.

"I'm not saying that I'm scared, but at the same time, I can't put a blind eye to the reality of what could be. I have to prepare myself for that," he added. "I'm picking up the mantle of where he left off and I have to carry on and see it through."

From The Independent:

Paredes spent more than a decade as an inspector and team leader at Boeing supplier Spirit AeroSystems before leaving in 2022 after repeatedly issuing warnings to superiors about quality control failings – which at one point resulted in his demotion, he says. Spirit AeroSystems — not to be confused with Spirit Airlines — manufactures plane components, including fuselages and wing parts, and Boeing is its largest customer. ..

Paredes had been friendly with Dean, an auditor, who contacted him last year and asked him to help with a shareholder lawsuit. Paredes agreed to participate anonymously – but went public with his claims earlier this month after Dean's death, revealing that he'd been encouraged to play down any defects he found when inspecting plane fuselages.

After Dean's death, Paredes said, their lawyer "said he felt like we were in a battle and we were losing people.

"I was in a place where I started to freak out about what we were doing – if it was even the right thing," Paredes said. "It's discouraging to lose people – not just friends, but friends who are with you in this battle." …

And it's not just Paredes who's a bit on edge. "My mom has been scared," he said. "I've been like, 'Nothing's going to happen. It's going to be all right. This is something I've got to do … somebody's gotta do it.'"