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Warnings Unheeded

Twin Tragedies at Fairchild Air Force Base
Narrated by: Michael F. Cochrane
Length: 11 hrs and 41 mins
5 out of 5 stars (3 ratings)

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Summary

Mass murder and military aviation disaster. One community's experience with two fatal tragedies that occurred suddenly...but not without warning. 

On 20 June 1994, a gunman opened fire on the patrons and staff of the Fairchild Air Force Base hospital. Four days later, a B-52 bomber with four souls onboard went down in a fiery crash. Hundreds of ordinary men and women experienced the tragedies...countless others had struggled to prevent them. 

Everyone who met the would-be gunman thought he was odd, but the disturbed airman struck fear in those who knew him. Doctors had him committed to a military psychiatric ward, only to watch him slip through the cracks of a broken system. They warned their staff, "This is the kind of patient who...one day...he's going to come back and kill you." 

A veteran B-52 pilot wowed the crowd at Fairchild’s annual air shows. But the men who had to fly with him shared tales of the reckless aviator routinely stressing the airliner-sized bomber and her crew to their breaking point. When their leadership failed to act, concerned aircrews said, "We predicted the worst air-show disaster in history when we found out that he was gonna fly." 

Warnings Unheeded is compelling narrative nonfiction from former military policeman and criminal investigator, Andy Brown. Drawing from extensive research, and interviews with the people who witnessed the tragedies unfold, Brown captures their story with cinematic clarity. As the man who ended the killing spree, Brown reveals how he had prepared for the deadly gunfight and offers a candid insight into the hidden cost of becoming a "hero".  

Warnings Unheeded is a story of courage and resilience, a true survival story and a lesson from history.  

Listen to this fascinating true story of mental illness, mass murder, and aviation disaster.  

"A highly readable book...from a unique source. Recommended for a wide audience." (Ron Franscell, best-selling true-crime author of Delivered From Evil and The Darkest Night)  

©2016 Andy Brown (P)2017 Andy Brown

Critic reviews

"In vivid and thoroughly researched detail, Andy Brown masterfully weaves two tragic stories ... this is an important and well-written read." (Gregory K. Moffatt, PhD, author of Blind-Sided: Homicide Where It Is Least Expected)

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Profile Image for Brendon Smart
  • Brendon Smart
  • 14-01-18

My review of Warnings Unheeded by Ssgt Andy Brown

First of all let me state for the record I Have never met Andy and we are not related! We were both however USAF Security Policemen! We both were stationed at Kirtland Air Force Base at different times. I own and have read his book, several times over! In 20 years as an Air Force Cop I have never needed to either draw my M9 or chamber a round in my M-16! Andy not only had to draw but also engage an armed mass murderer at a USAF hospital! In addition it’s the story of an out of control AF B52 pilot responsible for the death of his whole crew at an air show at Fairchild AFB! His in-depth research is worthy of an NCIS episode! I whole heartedly recommend this Audio book! SSgt F. Brown USAF ret. 377th Security Police Group.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Samantha Turner
  • 21-12-17

Great!

Incredible and informative. This book gives amazing insight and these tragedies and what we can do to try and stop them from happening again.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • S Brown
  • 28-07-19

Lessons for military leadership

Andy Brown’s experiences are presented with a bold honesty that lets you begin to understand the frustration felt by many military and law enforcement personal, not only dealing with mentally ill personnel, but the system that ignores them or passes them on for others to deal with. The system that allows high ranking officers to be immune from guidelines intended to protect the safety of everyone is also frustrating. As a former USAF Security Policeman and police instructor I can relate to this book and acutely remember when it happened. I highly recommended all Security Police personnel, commanders, supervisors and those in the flying community read this book and heed the lessons presented! Furthermore, the training principles discussed by Andy are truly valuable techniques I have practiced and taught. They will improve police officers skills if taken seriously.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • David J Sewell
  • 13-05-19

Eye opening details

Very detailed leading up to two preventable tragic events. Heartfelt recount by the the author Andy Brown.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Stutz
  • 10-05-19

Important lessons and well written.

This is an important story to tell. Mr Brown does a perfect job of laying out the facts and the timeline. As leader, an Airman and a citizen these are very important lessons to learn. So many people could have broken a link in these chains of events. Thanks for writing this book. Be vigilant!

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  • bill betcke
  • 22-03-19

Great story and History,,

This book was addictive for me once i started i wasnt able to stop until the end. I use audible to listen to books due to eye problems,,most i listen to cant keep my interest and pause and come back to or just not finish cause boring,,this story was like being there and the detail made it that way. Im a local to the area but was unfamiliar with the real details of what happened at that time and also was young at that time. i hope to read more from this author.

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  • Jacob Pinkerton
  • 23-12-18

Required reading

Whether you are in the military, law enforcement or basically any other walk of life, you have been touched by tragedy, heroics, mental illness or bureaucracy. This book should be required reading for you. The amazing details in this book of the before, during and after of two very preventable tragedies is astounding. I have been to active shooter training and “Warnings Unheeded” put my mind into the scenario of an active shooter more than any other simulated munitions ever could have. Amazing book written by a truly amazing American.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Josh
  • 19-08-19

What an impact. A must read!

A friend recommend this book to me. We share an interest in preventing aviation mishaps and in preventing gun violence, and this book uniquely caters to both interests. Andy Brown’s research into this book is phenomenal. I thought it might be just a superficial dive into the shooter’s life or into the accident, but he gives such detail that it paints a very clear picture the entire way through that leaves you wondering how either tragedy was allowed to happen... and thereby takes away any excuse of “no one could have seen this coming” or “this was out of the blue.” No... both the B-52 crash and the mass shooting were totally preventable and could have and should have been stopped. Plus, Andy’s the one who took down the shooter, and he becomes vulnerable and opens up about what that did to him and the impact on his life and others that day. It’s an amazing book. If you’re a pilot, it’s a must read. If you’re a law enforcement officer, it’s a must read. Overall, it’s a must read. I’m buying for my Air Force squadron and my friends in the LEO community.

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  • E6AFret
  • 28-07-19

Excellent narration of two very sad occurrences

Andy Brown successfully interweaves his story with that of Dean Mellberg , the shooter , starting at childhood and building to the action of June 1994 . He starts to add in the story of Lt Col Arthur Holland a few years prior to 1994 . He weaves them together very well .

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  • Stephen N. Camp
  • 06-07-19

Great Book

Brings home issues in all major bureaucracies. Inept people are promoted to levels above their abilities.