Video Game Commemorates Austin Suicide Pilot
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"We didn't know that he had frustrations and troubles," said Pam Parker, who had known Stack and his wife, Sheryl, for several years and last spoke to him a few weeks ago.
"He always was very easygoing," Parker told the Austin American-Statesman. "He was just a pleasant friendly guy."
Stack, 53, played bass in the Billy Eli Band with Parker's husband, and he and his wife -- a pianist in the graduate music program at the University of Texas -- would put on concerts for their friends at their sprawling home.
"You wouldn't have pegged him to do anything crazy let alone a big spectacular crazy thing," Parker said.
Jim Hemphill, a member of the band, said he was shocked by Stack's actions and the anger revealed in the note.
"I never saw anything like this in Joe," said Hemphill.
Stack's ex-wife also expressed shock.
"He was a good man. Frustrated with the IRS, yes, but a good man," Ginger Stack told the LA Times. "I'm in shock right now. He had good values. He really did."
His father-in-law said Stack's wife had complained to her parents of an increasingly frightening anger in her husband in recent weeks and took her 12-year-old daughter, Margaux, to a hotel Wednesday night to get away from him.
They returned home Thursday morning to find their house ablaze and Stack already gone to the airport.
"This is a shock to me that he would do something like this," said Jack Cook, who knew his son-in-law had a "hang-up" with the IRS and still doesn't believe he wanted to kill anybody.