Chinese Greyhound cannibal released in 5 years
Psychiatrist says Greyhound bus killer could be released inside of 5 years
By Gordon Sinclair Jr., Winnipeg Free Press March 16, 2010 Comments (318)
Photos ( 1 )
Vince Li, left, was found not criminally responsible for killing Tim McLean last July.
Photograph by: Fred Greenslade/Reuters,
WINNIPEG — The man behind one of the most shocking violent crimes in recent memory is responding well to psychiatric treatment and could be released from custody in just a few years.
Vince Li stabbed, decapitated and dismembered 22-year-old Tim McLean in front of nearly three dozen horror-stricken witnesses on board a Greyhound bus outside Portage la Prairie, Man., in July 2008.
Li was suffering from untreated schizophrenia and psychotic delusions at the time.
Li was found not criminally responsible during his trial in March 2009. A provincial panel ruled ten months ago that the Chinese immigrant must be confined indefinitely under heavy security at the Selkirk Mental Health Centre.
Dr. Stanley Yaren, Li’s original psychiatrist, said Monday that his former patient is making good progress in treatment — and could be released into the community in a matter of years.
“It’s really a guess,” Yaren said. “But I’m going to say a time frame within five years is not unrealistic.
“Relatively speaking, his response to treatment . . . has been better than average, somewhat faster than usual.”
Chris Summerville, CEO of the Manitoba Schizophrenia Society, said he’s visited with Li several times and has tracked his progress.
“And (Li) gave me permission to say this . . . he is getting better,” he said. “I mean, people wouldn’t believe it.”
At the time of the attack, Li claimed he’d been hearing commands from God, ordering him to kill McLean — a perfect stranger Li apparently believed was a demon.
Yaren reported that since last autumn, Li was no longer hearing voices.
After his arrest, Li reportedly claimed he wanted to die. Yaren said Li thought at the time that he had failed to obey everything “God” had told him to do.
Later, Yaren said, Li wondered whether it was an evil God who told him to kill the young bus passenger seated sleeping beside him.
Within a month of the murder, as his medication took effect, Li began to accept he was ill and that the voices that drove him to kill were illusions. Yaren said it was then that his patient made a remarkable decision.
“He wanted to meet the family and apologize to them,” Yaren said. That meeting apparently never took place.
McLean’s family was angry with the verdict in Li’s case. Shortly before Li’s trial, McLean’s mother vowed to fight to make sure her son’s killer was never released into the community.
“I am absolutely terrified of him and his capabilities. I think he’d do it again,” said Carol deDelley.
“I’m going to fight to keep everyone safe from him. If it means going (to court) every year, I’ll go every year. Instead of birthday parties, it’ll be (not criminally responsible) hearings.”
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