Closer look: Pilot's suicidal rant



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Posted on February 19, 2010 at 12:11 AM

Updated Friday, Feb 19 at 7:35 AM

The pilot in a fiery Northwest Austin plane crash, Joseph Stack, 53, had quite a history of hate for U.S. government. It is now believed he targeted the Echelon Building One because nearly 200 IRS employees work there.

His plane took off from the Georgetown Airport around 9:44 Thursday morning. The single engine Piper Cherokee 140 was full of fuel about 50 gallons.

Sixteen minutes later investigators believe he intentionally crashed into the second floor of that Echelon Building.

The IRS was the agency Stack ranted about in a six page suicide letter he posted on his website this morning.

Stack wrote “If you’re reading this, you’re no doubt asking yourself, ‘Why did this have to happen?’ The simple truth is that it is complicated.”

"Sadly, starting at early ages we in this country have been brainwashed to believe that, in return for our dedication and service, our government stands for justice for all."

Stack, an engineer, launched his own software company in California in 1983 called Embedded Art. He struggled after the dot com bust, writing: "To survive, I was forced to cannibalize my savings and retirement."

He moved to the Scofield Farms neighborhood in North Austin with his new wife. He apparently tried to start over, even joining a band.

According to Stack’s letter, an IRS audit left him with a $10,000 bill. It fueled his fight against the government.   

He wrote: "I know that by not adding my body to the count, I insure nothing will change."

"Violence not only is the answer, it is the only answer."

Perhaps the most chilling words from the letter were these: "Mr.Big Brother IRS man, let's try something different. Take my pound of flesh and sleep well."         

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