Samantha Bell, the daughter of the pilot who burned down his house and then flew a plane into a federal building targeting IRS employees, calls her dad “a hero.”
“I think too many people lay around and wait for things to happen. But if nobody comes out and speaks up on behalf of injustice, then nothing will ever be accomplished,” Samantha Bell, Joseph Stack’s daughter from his first marriage, told “Good Morning America” in a phone interview that aired Monday morning.
Vernon Hunter, a 61-year-old IRS collections agent and Vietnam veteran, was killed by Stack’s actions.
Even so, his daughter says he should be respected. Stack is a hero, Bell said, “because now maybe people will listen.”
“I have many cases of people I know that are suffering in the hands of the government and people literally dying because they are not getting the help they need,” she said.
Bell did say the attack was “inappropriate” and “wrong.”
“He may have been somewhat frustrated, but he was a very quiet man,” Bell continued. “The father I knew was a loving, caring, devoted man who cherished every moment with me and my three children, his grandchildren… This man who did this was not my father.
“He must’ve kept this bottled up all these years.”
Bell moved to Norway because she couldn’t get health care when she became pregnant. Ironically, Bell says even though she pays more taxes there, she gets more for her money.
UPDATE: Bell later called Good Morning America to amend her comments.
Bell later called “Good Morning America” to retract her statement and say unequivocally that her father was “not a hero.”
Rather, she said the only hero involved in the attack was its victim, Vietnam veteran Vernon Hunter, the only person besides Stack killed in the attack.
“I don’t want to hurt anybody,” Bell said. “We are mourning for Vernon Hunter.”