22-year-old Tim McClean, a carnival barker working in Alberta, boarded a Greyhound bus on July 30th, 2008 bound for Manitoba. What McClean didn’t know was that sitting in the next seat was Chinese immigrant Vince Li, who would shock the nation by randomly killing McClean and defiling his corpse on the public bus. Vince Li decapitated the head of Tim McClean from his body before consuming several of his body parts within a psychosis episode lasting nearly 4 hours.
Tim McClean grew up in the small farming town of Eli in Manitoba and was popular, outgoing, and friendly to everyone he met. McClean’s openness to new experiences and adventures led him to travel and work with the carnival. However, Tim decided after a while he wanted to take a break from the traveling he was doing and spend time near his home and near B.C.
Several of Tim’s friends offered to buy the 22-year-old a plane ticket, but he refused, opting to take a Greyhound bus instead.
Bus 1170 was where Tim McClean’s paths crossed with a 40-year-old Chinese immigrant named Vince Li. Li purchases his ticket under the false name of Wong Pent after moving out of the home he shared with his ex-wife, leaving her a note stating “I’m gone, don’t look for me, I wish you were happy.” Li sold his laptop and burned his possessions at his previous stop in Erickson, where “God told him to stay,” sitting on a nearby park bench for 24 hours straight. Before the murder, Vince Li started attending church for the first time where he “found Jesus”. They also diagnosed him with schizophrenia in 2005 and was not taking medication for his illness.
Marlene Gregory, a passenger and witness to the murder, noticed Li pacing back and forth, speaking to himself in Chinese shortly before the murder. The murder happened on July 30th around 8:30 p.m. when Vince Li took out a “large Rambo knife” he purchased at Canadian Tire and began stabbing McClean in the neck repeatedly. The bus was nearly full carrying 36 of a possible 55 passengers. Fortunately, all other passengers exited the bus safely, locking Vince Li inside the Greyhound. For nearly four hours Li decapitates, mutilates, dismembers, and even consumes several of McClean’s body parts, including both eyeballs, part of his liver, and nearly all the heart.
Vince Li is apprehended by the RCMP around 1:20 a.m. where he is arrested and taken to Portage General Hospital to receive medical attention for a gash on his right hand. When asked about the murder, Li says that he “is sorry”. Since Vince Li was in a state of psychosis, he was not charged with murder, but sent to a group hospital to be treated and medicated. He eventually was allowed unsupervised visits to Winnipeg years later before being reevaluated.
“He is no longer a violent person,” Summerville said. “I will say, yes, he absolutely understands that he has to [take his medication] and has a desire to live a responsible, moral life and never succumb to psychotic episodes and not to hurt anybody ever again.”
Vince Li is now a free man, still living in Canada under the name of Will Baker.