Ki-lling of Tim McLean

On July 30, 2008, Tim McLean, a 22-year-old Canadian man, was brutally attacked while traveling on a Greyhound Canada bus along the Trans-Canada Highway, approximately 30 km (19 mi) west of Portage la Prairie, Manitoba. Tragically, he was st*bbed, beh*aded, and cann*balized. The perpetrator of this heinous act was Vince Li, a 40-year-old man. However, on March 5, 2009, Li was deemed not criminally responsible for m*rder due to his schizophrenia. Consequently, he was committed to a high-security mental health facility in Selkirk, Manitoba, where he remained until his release on May 8, 2015.

Tim McLean

Timothy Richard McLean Jr. was born on October 3, 1985, in Winnipeg, Manitoba. He spent his childhood in both Winnipeg and Elie, Manitoba. At the time of his tragic death, he was 22 years old and had been employed as a carnival worker, specifically working as a carnival barker in Edmonton, Alberta.

On December 21, 2008, just five months after McLean’s passing, his girlfriend Colleen Yestrau gave birth to their son. A custody dispute between Yestrau and McLean’s parents over guardianship of the child commenced in 2009. Ultimately, the boy began living with the McLean family in January 2015, and in February 2016, the McLean family was granted full custody.

McLean’s mother has expressed her deep love for her grandson, describing him as “a gift from God sent by my son to give me a reason to get up every day and to take care of.” Due to disagreements with the agency overseeing visitations and McLean’s estrangement from her husband, the boy has continued to reside with McLean’s mother. As a result, neither Yestrau nor Timothy McLean Sr. have seen the child since 2018 and 2016, respectively.


On July 30, 2008, Tim McLean, who worked as a carnival barker, was heading back home to Winnipeg after wrapping up his duties at a fair in Edmonton. He boarded Greyhound bus 1170 bound for Winnipeg via the Yellowhead Highway through Saskatchewan. McLean took a seat towards the back, just a row ahead of the restroom. Around 6:55 p.m., the bus stopped in Erickson, Manitoba, where a new passenger, Vince Li, boarded the bus.

Described as a tall man in his 40s with a shaved head and sunglasses, Li initially sat towards the front but later moved to sit beside McLean after a scheduled break in Brandon. Witnesses noted that McLean barely acknowledged Li before nodding off against the window with headphones covering his ears.

According to witness accounts, McLean was asleep when Li suddenly produced a large knife and began st*bbing him in the neck and chest. The bus driver pulled over, and everyone evacuated the bus, but attempts to save McLean were thwarted by Li, who chased them away with the weapon. Tragically, Li decapitated McLean and displayed his severed head to those outside through a window before returning to the body to further mut.ilate it and consume parts of McLean’s flesh. This horrifying ordeal lasted for several hours.

At 8:30 p.m., the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) in Portage la Prairie received reports of a st*bbing on the Greyhound bus. Upon arrival, they found the suspect still aboard, being restrained by another passenger, the driver, and a truck driver who had provided makeshift weapons. The other passengers were visibly distressed, with some crying and vomiting at the scene. The driver had activated the emergency immobilizer system to prevent the suspect from driving the bus away.

By 9:00 p.m., police had established a standoff with the suspect and called in negotiators and a heavily armed tactical unit. During the standoff, Li alternated between pacing the bus and desecrating the corpse, with police witnessing him consuming parts of the body. At one point, Li was overheard saying, “I have to stay on the bus forever,” adding to the chilling nature of the situation.

In the early hours of July 31, 2008, around 1:30 a.m., the suspect made a bid to flee the bus by smashing through a window. The RCMP promptly apprehended Li shortly thereafter. He was subdued with two Taser shots, handcuffed, and placed in the back of a police car. Authorities recovered parts of the victim’s body, which were bagged, from the bus. Additionally, the victim’s ear, nose, and tongue were discovered in Li’s pockets. Sadly, the victim’s eyes and a portion of his heart were never found and are presumed to have been consumed by Li, despite his vehement denial.

Meanwhile, the stranded passengers were transported from the scene to undergo interviews at the Brandon RCMP detachment. On July 31, 2008, at 10:00 a.m., Greyhound representatives escorted the remaining passengers to a local store to replace their belongings left on the bus. They eventually arrived in Winnipeg at 3:30 p.m. on the same day, where they were reunited with family and friends.

Witness Garnet Caton recalled the attacker’s detached demeanor during the assault, noting Li’s calmness amidst the violence. “There was no rage or anything. He was like a robot, st*bbing the guy,” Caton remarked.

Vince Li

At 12:05 p.m. on July 28 in Edmonton, Li boarded a Greyhound bus destined for Winnipeg. The following day, around 6 p.m., Li disembarked the bus in Erickson, Manitoba, carrying at least three pieces of luggage. He spent the night on a bench near a grocery store. According to a witness, at 3 a.m., Li was observed sitting upright with wide-open eyes.

On the morning of July 30, still at the bench, Li sold his newly purchased laptop to a 15-year-old boy for $60. The laptop was confiscated by the RCMP as evidence. It contained over 20 resumes for various job positions, including roles in convenience stores, fast food restaurants, IT departments, and with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. However, it wasn’t specified for which position Li was applying.

Additionally, the laptop contained several images, such as body shots of female models, photos of military parades by the People’s Liberation Army, and pictures taken by Li himself. These included shots of various mountains in British Columbia and multiple angles of a BAE CT-155 Hawk mid-flight. It’s presumed that these images were captured during Li’s travels across Canada while experiencing schizophrenic episodes.

There was also an undated and unsent message addressed to either a family member or friend in China. In the message, Li expressed his enjoyment of living in Canada but mentioned feeling homesick and that Canada was not meeting his expectations.


During his appearance in a Portage la Prairie courthouse to face charges of second-degree m*rder, the only words reportedly spoken by Li were “Please k.ill me.” Li’s trial began on March 3, 2009, where he pleaded not criminally responsible due to mental disorder. This plea indicated that while he acknowledged the offense, he claimed he lacked the mental capacity or mens rea required for criminal responsibility.

Stanley Yaren, Li’s psychiatrist, testified that Li’s schizophrenia made him not culpable. Li believed McLean was a malevolent force and an imminent threat, perceiving him as a demon in disguise and an alien needing destruction. This delusion drove Li to mut.ilate McLean’s body to prevent resurrection. Li also claimed he was compelled by voices, which he believed were divine, instructing him to k.ill McLean or face his own demise.

Both the defense and prosecution agreed with Yaren’s evaluation, advocating for Li’s involuntary commitment to a mental institution rather than incarceration. Judge John Scurfield accepted the diagnosis, ruling Li not criminally responsible for the k*lling. Consequently, Li was remanded to the Selkirk Mental Health Centre.


Following the attack, Greyhound Canada decided to remove a series of nationwide advertisements, including one with the slogan, “There’s a reason you’ve never heard of bus rage.” This incident sparked widespread calls and petitions for increased security measures on intercity buses.

  • Tim McLean’s family filed a lawsuit of $150,000 against Greyhound, the Attorney General of Canada, and Vince Li. As of July 2018, the lawsuit was reported to be “in limbo” according to Timothy McLean Sr.
  • On June 3, 2010, Li was granted supervised outdoor walks within his mental health facility by a provincial review board.
  • On February 16, 2011, two passengers, Debra Tucker and Kayli Shaw, initiated a lawsuit against Li, Greyhound, the RCMP, and the Canadian government for being exposed to the beheading. However, on July 14, 2015, the lawsuit was dropped by the two women.
  • On May 30, 2011, CBC reported that Li was responding well to psychiatric treatment, with his doctor recommending gradual increases in freedoms over several months.
  • On May 17, 2012, Li was granted temporary passes allowing him to leave the Selkirk Mental Health Centre for supervised visits to the town of Selkirk.
  • In an interview with Chris Summerville of The Schizophrenia Society of Canada, Li spoke publicly for the first time on May 17, 2012, expressing remorse and acknowledging his guilt. He expressed a desire to reduce the pain he caused and offered an apology to Tim McLean’s mother.
  • On February 27, 2014, CBC reported that Li would be permitted unsupervised visits to Selkirk starting at 30 minutes and expanding to full-day trips. Since 2013, he had been allowed supervised visits to Lockport, Winnipeg, and nearby beaches.
  • On July 17, 2014, it was reported that Corporal Ken Barker of the RCMP, one of the first officers on the scene, had committed suicide due to post-traumatic stress disorder.
  • On February 27, 2015, CBC News reported that Li was given unsupervised day passes to visit Winnipeg, provided he carried a functioning cellular telephone during his outings.
  • On May 8, 2015, CTV News reported that Li would be granted passes to group homes in the community.
  • In February 2016, it was revealed that Li had legally changed his name to Will Lee Baker and was seeking to leave his group home to live independently. He was granted the right to live alone on February 26 upon the recommendation of the Criminal Code Review Board.
  • On February 10, 2017, the Manitoba Criminal Code Review Board ordered Li’s discharge, granting him an absolute discharge, relieving him of any legal obligations or restrictions related to independent living.

This article uses material from the Wikipedia article K*lling of Tim McLean, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License

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