Nightly News   |  February 18, 2010

Joe Stack's final act

As investigators and journalists raced to piece together a picture of the suspected pilot who crashed into a Texas building early Thursday, a story of growing frustration and rage emerged. NBC's Pete Williams reports.

Share This:

This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> janet shamlian in austin tonight. thanks. within minutes after the crash this morning, investigators and journalists raced to piece together whatever they could on this pilot joseph stack. what they find is a story of growing desperation and anger. our justice correspondent pete williams has more on this in our washington bureau. pete, what have you learned about him and his life story through his words?

>> reporter: all of that anger was expressed in a 3,000-essay amounting to a suicide note posted on the website for his software company hours before he crashed his plane, with the final touches added only this morning. he entitles it, "well, mr. big brother irs man take my pound of flesh" and talks about his battle over taxes. he lost "my retirement life savings." california officials say he had tax problems there, too, and his license to do business was suspended twice. he directed particular anger the at a 1986 federal law that affected self-employed engineers like him. faced with mounting debt, his frustration mushroomed into general anger at the federal government . on the gm bailout, "a handful of thugs and plunderers can commit unthinkable atrocities but the government came to their i had in days. bankers and businessmen steal from the middle class ." and on the health care bill, "they see there is no crisis as long as the dead people don't get in the way of corporate profits." he ended, "i've had all i can extend and i am finally ready to stop the insanity." he intended it as a therapy hoping to quell what he called the storm raging in his head. friends who knew him say he was raised in a pennsylvania orphanage. he worked for a time in california and moved to austin , but they say they are shocked he would do something like this, brian.

>> pete williams rounding out our coverage of this bizarre and tragic story out of austin , texas, today. pete, thanks.