The health, psychological and legal implications of murder on a bus

Carol RoachStarred Page By Carol Roach, 15th Jun 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Health>General Health>Travel Health

Imagine sitting on a bus and suddenly a madman starts stabbed a passenger. You most likely would be frozen in your seat until everyone mad a mad dash outside the door.


You are sitting on a bus enjoying the scenery and listening to music, quietly minding your business and dreaming of things to come, places to go, and people to see. This is the stuff that memories are made of. This is the stuff that you will tell your grand-kids in the future. Except there is no future for you, you make one mistake, you say hello to a passenger looking for a seat on the bus, and then it all ends, your hopes, your dreams, your music.

That is exactly what happened to Tim McLean a young man who was had finished working at a fair in Alberta and was going home to Manitoba. All seemed right with the world until McLean said hello to Vince Weiguang Li, age 40, who then sat beside him.

Tim McLean, age 22, was sleeping and listening to music when he was stabbed 50 or 60 times. There were 37 shocked passengers on the bus who ran out the bus when Li lunged at them with a knife. They were able to keep him in the bus when the bus driver sealed the door behind him.

The crazy man proceeded to cut off McLean's head and carry it up and down the bus as the passenger stood outside looking in with horror.

Montrealers were appalled at such a situation, Montrealers have long known that this kind of violence happens in American quite frequently but in Canada, where we have relatively little homicides, how could this happen?

We in Montreal or the rest of Canada do not live in a world where we are afraid to board a bus or walk the streets. We do not have to worry about the health concerns of being hurt or killed on a bus or any kind of transportation. Though, having said that, Montrealers have been accosted at Metro stations and this is alarming enough.

Stabbed to death

This is what we had learned on the news when this piece first aired August 2008.

Never in my life had I heard of a murder on a bus in front of 37 other passengers and its bus driver before. There was a Canadian outcry, "Safety on buses we all shouted, how could anything like this every happen?" We wanted justice, and we wanted Li incarcerated where he could not hurt anyone ever again.

Even though Montrealers did not live anywhere close to murder, we could not tolerate this sort of thing happening here in Canada. Canada is one of the safest countries in the world to live in, or so it was before this gruesome murder taking place in a bus of all things.

Facebook and Myspace friends mourn his passing

Tim McLean's life was taken from him at the tender age of 22, his only crime was to say hello. Thousands of friends on facebook and myspace, mourned his senseless death. They all vouched for what a wonderful young man he had been. They will never forget his good nature and his laughter while the passengers on that greyhound bus will never forget his screams

A tormented mother

What was determined at the trial for the killing of Tim Mclean

Vince Weiguang Li had his trial seven months after the heinous murder. What came out later in the trial was that Li did more than just behead his victim. He cut out his intestines and other body parts because he was afraid the young man would come back to life.

CTV Montreal news reported that the heart was missing and it is quite possible Li ate it; possibly, along with the brain in some insane notion that these organs would give him power or strength.

Li was found guilty. He obviously did the crime; however, two psychiatrists argued that he was insane. Li had never done anything violent before. At the time of the murder Li was hearing voices from God telling him to kill McLean.

Justice John Scofield sentenced Li to second-degree murder, stating, ""grotesque" and "barbaric" but "strongly suggestive of a mental disorder." He said that the laws make allowances for people with mental illnesses.

Vince Li will serve his time in a mental institution. There is also a possibility that he will be released if in the future he is found to be mentally healthy. As you would imagine, many Montrealers are against the decision of every letting a man like that walk the streets again.

A tormented Mother speaks out

The question is where does that leave Tim McLean's grieving mother, Carol deDelley? Before the trial began she said that no possible outcome for her would be a good one, "The trial to me seems like another thing we have to endure - a formality that we have to sit through." Will this mother ever find closure from such a senseless crime?

Tim's mother cannot imagine a system that would possibly let her son's killer go free at some point. She wants the law to make sure that anyone not found criminally responsible for a crime still serve time behind bars in jail and not a mental institution. DeDelley said, "I can't have Timothy's death, the way it happened, be for nothing," He was minding his own, sleeping on a bus. It could have been anybody. But it was my son and it was brutal."

The lastest news

The latest news about Li updated on June 2, 2010

It appears that Li's health is of concern to Manitoba authorities. The Criminal Code Review Board of Manitoba has decided and approved allowing Li to walk outside the prison for exercise, providing he has two other staff members with him at all times. Li is currently living out his sentence at the Selkirk Mental Health Centre North of Edmonton, Alberta. The walks will start at 15 minutes intervals and will gradually be increased to a maximum of an hour twice a day. Li was found not criminally responsible for the brutal murder of Tim McLean. The evidence revealed in the trial pointed to Li being schizophrenic and had a psychotic breakdown when he murdered McLean.

McLean's mom, Carol deDelley, is reported as saying, "My son's human rights were violated in the most horrific manner, and that's completely disregarded and forgotten, and they're all concerned about Mr. Li's human rights.”

The family of Tim McLean is suing Greyhound and Vince Weiguang Li's family for $150,000.

Manitoba's Attorney General Andrew Swan states that the walks will not commence until the facilities can improved their security. They do not even have a fence around the property. He maintains the public security must come first.

The Crown is likely to appeal the decision, however the mental health supporters for managing schizophrenia say that it is inhumane to keep someone housed up in the forensic unit of a hospital without ever getting any fresh air or sunshine. They maintain that these walks are beneficial for Li's health and for managing his disease.

Since that time, Li has been given more and more freedom within the confines of the Selkirk Mental Health.

In May of 2015 Vince Li's mental heath has improved so much that he is allowed unsupervised passes outside of the hospital , It makes you wonder sometime about the logic of the court systems.

Montrealers as well as all Canadians cannot get over this senseless death.

All photos taken from the public domain
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Beheaded On A Bus, Beheaded On A Grayhound Bus, Killed On A Bus, Killed On A Grayhound Bus, Murder, Murder On A Bus, Murder On A Grayhound Bus, Tim Mclean, Vince Weiguang Li

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author avatar Carol Roach
Retired therapist and author of two books, freelance writer, newsletter editor, and blogger. I write, health, mental health, women's issues, animal , celebrity, history, and SEO articles.

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author avatar WOGIAM
16th Jun 2015 (#)

Controversial issues like this make me so sad for innocent victims who have lost their lives, Li is a murderer and maybe a cultist, whatever voices he claimed to have heard, where what he wanted to hear, he should never be allowed to be free in any way.

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