Thursday, March 05, 2009

Greyhound Bus Killer Could Go Free ***Warning*** Graphic***

Do you remember when I posted something last year about the guy on the Greyhound bus who murdered the guy who was sitting next to him by stabbing him over a 100 times and decapitating him in the process? Yeah, that guy. Well, today in Manitoba he was found not guilty because he was mentally ill at the time of the killing.

Here in the United States, most jurisdictions allow for something like this, BUT, once the person is found to be sane again, they are transferred from a mental hospital to a regular prison. Much of these changes occurred after John Hinckley was found not guilty by reason of insanity after he attempted to assassinate President Reagan in order to impress Jodie Foster.

The law in Manitoba though says that every year Vince Li will be reviewed by a board in the hospital and once he is found to not be a danger to himself or to the public he will be released back into the community. This could happen as soon as one year from now.

Li killed Timothy McLean on the bus ride. McLean, a carnival worker, was returning home to Winnipeg on the bus from Edmonton. Listening to his iPod while sitting in the back row of Greyhound bus 1170, he said hello to Li when Li sat down next to him.

Then, around 8:30 p.m., Li pulled a buck knife from his side and began stabbing McLean — for no apparent reason, witnesses said. After passengers fled the bus, Li was barricaded inside the vehicle.

During the stabbing, Li was heard to say, "get emergency." During the five-hour standoff, he walked around the bus carrying the severed head in one hand, the knife in the other. At one point, he threw McLean's head into the bus's stairwell.

But hey, I'm sure he will be ready to resume his life as a carnival worker before long and interacting with the public. Right?

Thanks to Victoria for sending this in.


canadachick said...

OH Canada......i did not know about the law in Manitoba that could release him.....

Goodgrief said...

Holy Sh*t, I am at a loss for words and that doesn't happen often.

figgy said...

Enty, McLean was the carnival worker, not Li.

I'm usually an advocate of lowering imprisonment time here in the U.S.--especially in the case of drug users. But in some cases, I think Canada is FAR too lenient.

I know a teenaged girl who was sexually abused by her stepfather for years. He was caught, sent to jail--for only TWO years! Then he moved back and is living two houses away from the girl and her (fucked up) mother.

Meanwhile, the girl is becoming ever more of a delinquent, and I understand why. Her abuser should still be in jail.

Beth said...

As a Canadian, I find that really shocking and alarming. I understand the reactions.

However, I really doubt he's going to be found mentally fit anytime soon. I really doubt it. And you know that there is going to be a lot of pressure to keep him in the mental hospital.

At least I hope so.

Ror said...

What's the first thing you thought when you heard this story?

That fucker is CRAZY! Well...duh. He IS crazy! So why is it so shocking to find out he was found insane at the time? How many normal people would do this? Same thing with Hinckley. Anyone who tries to shoot anyone, let alone the prez has got to be fucking nuts.

And no, he'll never be released. It's just a SOP review all inmates are entitled to each year.

jax said...

Ror, that's not how is works up here, Enty is right.

What pisses me off is that he was found not guilty due to insanity.
Does an insane person pack a knapsack full of weapons and board a bus with intentions to kill?
He had Intent, crazy people don't.
this whole thng is fucked. other passengers interacting with him prior and said he was 100% normal in his conversations.
not fucking insane!

thanks Enty, you just saved me some time posting to my own.

jax said...

sorry i forgot to add the 'get emrgency' thing was his demands that the local news stations show everything that was happening or he'd butcher the kid to pieces,which he did.

AnonMom said...

The further details of what Li did are BEYOND disturbing, and depraved. If I were the family of the victim, I would be furious about the sentence. Unbelievable.

canadachick said...

oh and he doesn't get a criminal record ??

"He will be institutionalized without a criminal record and will be reassessed every year by a mental health review board to determine if he is fit for release into the community.
Such boards look at police reports and transcripts of previous judicial hearings, and also hear evidence from treating psychiatrists, who testify about a patient’s current mental condition, treatment plan and prognosis. Crown and defence lawyers get the opportunity to ask questions. The board must carefully consider whether a patient could function in society or would pose a risk to the public. Board members take into account a patient’s insight into the illness as well as into what happened."

Harriet Hellfire said...

But I am not eligible for Canadian Citizenship. Makes sense.

BlahFrickinBlah said...

How can anyone be rehabilitated when you cut some dude's head off and swung it around a bus? Hopefully,like others have said, the public will fight his release into society again. Bat shit crazy doesn't even begin to cover this psycho.

Majik said...

No,'re probably sane, employed, and speak at least one of the two official languages fluently. Why on earth would you be eligible?

Even if this guy was found sane and guilty, he'd likely only be sentenced to 18-25 yrs, getting out after 4-8. Welcome to the Canadian justice system...

Mooshki said...

I would like our justice system to come up with a new type of facility for people not serving a jail sentence, but clearly not safe to be let loose. All child molesters would go there. Forever.

lutefisk said...

Hopefully another insane prisoner will do him in. Isn't that what happened to Jeffrey Dahmer?

Bodie said...

Yes, Canadian law and the penal system is flawed....shocker

but i don't think anyone in the U.S. can really judge in the grand scheme of history

i could go on and on but in the wise words of Forrest Gump, that's all i have to say about that.

David D. said...

(Born and raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba, now living in Toronto.)

I highly highly doubt that any board in any hospital would ever find this man to be neither a danger to himself nor to the public. Ever. The details in the case are so shocking, it just won't happen. He'll never be eased back into the community.

However, that also means he won't go to prison and get a life sentence only to end up back out on the street in 20 years. (Like, say, Karla Homolka.)

I will say that the law could stand to be changed. Violent crimes should result in a criminal record whether you're incarcerated in a prison or a mental hospital.

Bodie said...

well said David D.

the Karla Homolka thing still makes me sick. she's clearly a sociopath

remember the birthday party she had while incarcerated and the pictures that were all over the media shortly after?


Jungle007 said...

umm jax..

"Does an insane person pack a knapsack full of weapons and board a bus with intentions to kill?
He had Intent, crazy people don't."

Would you pack a bag full of weapons? There's more than one type of crazy, and to me carrying weapons is pretty damned crazy!

Either way, as a Canadian I found this to be disgusting, but not shocking. The laws here have always made me sick. Child molesters in this country get conditional sentences (a.k.a House arrest) more often than jail time. and when nut-jobs like Li do get jail time, they are placed in protective custody, locked away from the other inmates who may cause them harm.

Tsk, tsk.

Harriet -- I am surprised you can't get into our country!! I honestly would have thought anyone could get in...

Sylvia said...

If I ever take a bus I will make sure I don't say hi to anyone. Don't want to tick anyone off.

A Pimp Named DaveR said...

Enty is wrong -- this is how it works in the States, too.

I think Enty is confusing incompetence to stand trial / "insanity" (i.e. mental defect) as a mitigating factor to the mens rea of the crime with pure commmon law insanity.

If a person is TRULY insane, i.e. they do not have the mental ability to understand their actions or know right from wrong, then they CANNOT commit a crime. Period. It is a perfect defense to the crime, because it absolutely negates the required mental state. If you cannot understand what you are doing, you cannot be held criminally responsible for your actions. If a person in any US jurisdiction is adjudicated to be legally insane in this way -- which would be a determination made at trial by the trier of fact, with opportunities from both sides to demonstrate the insanity (or lack thereof) of the defendant -- then the defendant is found not guilty. Not "guilty but insane" -- NOT GUILTY. The person can then be committed to a mental institution by the court, but if the insanity is determined to be cured, they go free.

The next level of "insanity" is actually incompetence to stand trial. You may be sane enough to understand right and wrong and the consequences of your actions, but not sufficiently competent to understand the charges against you or your legal rights. If you do not, you are deemed not competent to stand trial, because of the inherent unfairness in subjecting someone to potential loss of freedom in a proceeding that they are mentally incapable of understanding. In this case, you CAN be convicted of a crime -- but ONLY when the court determines that you are competent to stand trial. The defendant can be committed for treatment, and when the treatment is completed, can be re-analyzed to determine competency. If the person is competent, the trial proceeds like a normal trial.

That can trigger the next level of "insanity", though -- situations in which the defendant is not common-law insane and is not incompetent to stand trial, but is nonetheless mentally ill such that they pose an imminent threat to themselves or others. (You know -- Brittany.) THIS is the situation that Enty referenced -- in this case, the person could be tried and convicted, but then sent to a mental institution in lieu of prison until such time as the mental illness was cured, at which time they would be returned to a normal prison. The kicker here is what happens if the person is sent to a mental institution, but is still mentally ill when the original sentence is over. Can the state keep the person imprisoned in the mental institution? This is an issue that has gone to the Supreme Court, if you're interested...

Finally, there's "insanity" in the sense of the "heat of passion" defense, i.e. "I'm a normal person, but I went nuts when I saw my wife sleeping with the postman." This is often called (wrongly) "temporary insanity". Originally, it was meant to be a perfect defense -- i.e. I'm not generally insane by the terms of the common law test, but for that ONE moment, I was, so I should be freed because I didn't have the mental capacity to control myself. Once this started to be used, all of the states clamped down on it. Now, in virtually all jurisdictions, it is only used as a factor to reduce, but not eliminate, the mental state at the time of the crime. In other words, the "temporary insanity" defense will negate intent in a murder prosecution -- but you would still be subject to conviction on a lesser-mental-state charge such as manslaughter.

So that's "insanity" in criminal defense. Now with respect to bus guy, if this were the US it would have been the same outcome. I believe that some jurisdictions allow a court to commit people like this to "minimum" stays in the mental institution, which is effectively a proxy for a criminal sentence. But the truly insane cannot be kept locked up if they are cured, no matter what they did, because their (true) insanity absolves them of guilt.

Please have a 5 page paper done by Monday on this issue, class. Enjoy the rest of your day!

Mooshki said...

"umm jax.."

Molly, is that you? ;)

figgy said...

Mooshki, I agree completely. A long list of studies suggest (strongly) that child molesters cannot be rehabilitated. It's a mystery, but true.

So yeah, they should get their own childfree place to stay. Forever.

nancer said...

yeah, this DOES happen here. remember dena schlosser in texas whose baby died after dena chopped off her arms?
she was released last year after 2 years in a mental institution.

so it happens here too.

Mooshki said...

"Harriet -- I am surprised you can't get into our country!! I honestly would have thought anyone could get in..."

The restrictions on Canadian immigration have gotten much stricter over the last few years. Trust me, I looked into it when a certain recent president was re-elected.

Kara said...

I agree with Dave. I've plead people out to GBI charges (Guilty But Insane). They don't deserve to be in prison. They didn't have the requisite mental state. For instance, my burglar who is schizophrenic and thought it was his house he was prancing around in naked and his food that he was eating.

When Guilty But Insane in Oregon, you are under the care of the psychatric review board. They can put you on the street immediately and have done so on my cases.

DNfromMN said...

I took care of a couple Mentally Ill and Dangerous guys (and gals) when working in a group home. It was not a locked place, and they could come and go freely, but they were under tighter rein by their social workers. Technically that is being "released" to the community. At least in MN, that's the best they can hope for unles the designation is overturned (which rarely is).

jax said...

Jungle- hey anyone who does what he did is not all there, yes but when you pack your fuckin bags full of weapons and get on a bus with intent to kill someone,anyone that is premeditated and should be treated the same.

What about Columbine? had those kids lived would they have been tried the same way? i doubt it, it was planned.

d said...

DaveR: Thank you! I'm glad someone here has a basic understanding of Law. I'm really surprised Ent completely missed this concept.

Jungle007 said...

@ Mooshki- LOL yea I know it.

It's just funny to think of Canada as a difficult place to get into when a majority of the Greater Toronto Area is occupied by newly/recently-landed immigrants.

And PLEASE no one get me wrong- I have no problem with living in a multi-cultural society. I myself am multi-racial (caucasian/ african-american/panamanian), born and raised in Canada, and in no way pass judgement on any other race.

There are details to the story Ent left out as well re: some pretty disgusting acts of brutal cannibalism. I won't go into it, but I strongly believe that this man suffers from some pretty severe mental problems.

Jungle007 said...

yea Jax, I know what you're saying. He committed the act, and had obviously intended to kill/maim someone.

But the way the law interprets the things he has said since the act and the things that ensued during the act, he is not someone who just decided to kill a young man on a bus. He is someone who, because of a mental disorder, decided to carry out a fucked up ritual for a purpose that probably made some sort of fucked up sense to him in his fucked up brain.

I'm not here defending him. I myself am trying to get my head around how this sort of thing is interpreted in a court of law.

Jungle007 said...

And why are you comparing this to Columbine??

Teenage rejects planning and then shooting up their school vs. one man with a mental illness killing a passenger on a bus.

I believe the Columbine killers even targeted specific people that the hated (teachers, popular students, jocks, christians..)

This man killed the person sitting next to him and.... fuck, i can't even go on with this right now. It's not the same thing. Cannot be compared.

Majik said...

I just remembered this--a good example of the Canadian justice system at work:

There was a guy that killed his son in the city I live in...he was from another city, but purposely drove to the one I live in, took his son to a motel, strangled and killed him for no discernable reason other than he was "depressed" (left the wife and other child alone). This happened 3-4 years ago.

A couple of weeks ago, I read an article about how he was trying to buy a house...he's been released (he was found "insane") and is now living a normal life.

The man killed his friggin' CHILD and he gets to buy a house while I wallow in poverty, and I haven't committed any crime.

Oh, Canada.

Dr.Jerkberg said...

demands that the local news stations show everything that was happening or he'd butcher the kid to pieces,which he did.

hmmm, I don't remember any demands that TV stations show up, althouh cameras were there.

Here is a very informative, yet graphic, article:

jax said...

Dr. Jerk it was everywere.

Jungle- i'm not comparing the acts of Columbine, i'm comparing how they would be tried in court if they lived because both acts were planned AND he planned to go on a killing spree but was barricaded before he could continue. I know a lot about this case from relatives on the force in Winnipeg.

those are two very seperate things.

Private said...

He was very obviously mentally ill and in the days leading up to the murder had tried to seek help.

Private said...

Jax, if he had demanded tv stations, this would have been reported by the other passengers. They gave very detailed accounts of what happened.

muccimooch333 said...

Truly Horrifying

slappywhyte said...


Dr.Jerkberg said...

How many weapons did he have in his bag?

Just have to say how bad I feel for Tim Maclean. What a horrifying way to die. I feel for his family, knowing the way he was mutilated as well. We were at the carnival in Edmonton a day or two beore this happened -- we could have walked right past him.

When Vince Li made his first court appearance his only statement was "please kill me". I don't think this was premeditated in the way that other murders are. Completely fucking batshit crazy comes to mind.

That said, our justice system does, indeed, suck.

Jungle007 said...

Jax- But Columbine can be proven to have been planned for quite some time by more than one person.

Li was going through a schizophrenic episode of auditory hallucinations. He thought that he was "eliminating the forces of evil".

I don't know who told you he meant to go on a killing spree, but that's never ever been even somewhat apparent. He was focused on Tim McLean and only Tim McLean. He didn't even try to attack any other passengers; they were evacuated from the bus without him doing anything to them. He seemed quite occupied doing the terrible things he was doing to his victim's face, which I'm sure you already know of from your source. (not being sarcastic, i just don't wanna be the one to post the disgusting details and traumatize people)

selenakyle said...

I'm NOT getting racial here by any means, but wondering about a strange similarity/coincidence...

A male Va Tech Chinese grad student decapitated a new fellow female student in the middle of a Panera restaurant recently.

Just wondering--is there something about Asian decapitation murders? Something in the overall cultural history that makes decapitation an issue?

I am not trying to be ignorant here...

I'm sure others here in the southeastern US thought the same thing upon hearing about the VA Tech killing.

You just don't hear about decapitations all that often, then there were two in about a year's span and both by Asian perpetrators.