Photo’s above/below show Tim McLean, a young man brutally murdered while resting on a Greyhound bus on his way home from work
EDMONTON, CANADA — Tim McLean, Jr, born October 3, 1985 was a 22-year-old Canadian carnival worker who lived in Winnipeg, Manitoba located in Canada. Due to his job, the young man had to travel and take the Greyhound bus to transport back home.
Those who knew Tim had nothing but great things to say about him, according to a friend, he was a laid-back person with a great personality that could make even the saddest person smile. The type of guy who was respectful to everyone and never got into trouble.
On July 30, 2008 Tim boarded a greyhound bus and was on his way to Winnipeg after working all day at the carnival in Edmonton. He had sent his father a quick text-message asking him if he could come home for the night. His father messaged him back telling him of course he could.
That was the last contact the two would ever have.
The bus was pretty packed and loud so the young man decided to take out his headphones and listen to some music and relax, probably tired from a long day of work. After putting his head-phones on he laid his head back on the seat and closed his eyes, minding his own business and eventually nodding off.
Unfortunately, he was in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Vince Weiguang Li, 40, of Edmondton was also on the Greyhound that same night.
Vince Weiguang Li, 40, in a photo taken after the greyhound incident. He is being led by officers
Tim McLean was attacked randomly with a butcher knife
Li was initially sitting by himself but for some reason he suddenly moved from his seat and sat in the empty one next to Tim, who was still sleeping with his head leaned back. As the bus was driving on the Trans Canada Highway, about 18 miles west of Portage la Prairie, Manitoba.
Tim minding his business, still resting when all of a sudden, with no rhyme or reason, Li took out a butcher’s knife (shown above) an within seconds, he stabbed him in his throat. Garnet Caton, a witness on the bus that night, said he heard a “blood curling scream” and turned around to see Li repeatedly stabbing Tim.
Passengers on the bus were shocked, screaming in horror as Li, 40, continued to stab the young man who at this point awoke to his violent death. Li continued to stab him between 40 to 60 times. The passengers were scrambling to get out of the bus which was stopped on the TC-Highway. It all happened within moments and amid all the chaos, some of the bus-goers still didn’t understand what was going on, but it soon sank in and the horror-stricken passengers by this point, were outside of the bus. Some kept running, others puked, all were shocked at the brutality of the crime.
The bus driver, a passenger and a driver of a truck who had pulled over moments earlier, trapped Li inside the bus until the police came.
During this time, Li had already decapitated Tim. He then slowly walked up to the front of the bus, holding up the young man’s head in an attempt to show everyone outside the bus what he had done. He then waved the head at the shocked audience. At this point he was already in the front of the bus and stared coldly at the three men blocking the doorway, even slashing the butcher knife at them, but thankfully missing. But that didn’t stop the brave men from keeping him locked in the bus.
Police arrived after what felt like hours. A stand-off ensued for several hours but eventually, officer’s were able to contain and put the handcuffs on him.
Officers and their vehicles surround the Greyhound bus during the stand-off
Authorities at the crime scene after the horrific murder
Tim McLean and Vince Li did not know each other. The random attack appeared to be unprovoked. Police later found the ears belonging to the victim in the pockets of Li who is also believed to have consumed parts of his victim.
The Greyhound bus had made its last stop in Brandon, Manitoba on a long journey that originated in Edmonton, Alberta and headed for Winnipeg. The attack occurred approximately 12 miles west of Portage La Prairie, on a desolate plains stretch of the Trans Canada Highway. Men, women and children who witnessed the attack were in shock, crying, some becoming physically ill as they waited by the roadside for several hours while police tried to get Li to exit the bus. He was finally apprehended at 1:28 am after Li tried to break out of a bus window.
“He didn’t do anything to provoke the guy. The guy just took a knife out and stabbed him, started stabbing him like crazy and cut his head off,” said Garnet Caton, 26, a passenger on the Edmonton to Winnipeg bus on the night of 07/30/08
“He calmly walks up to the front [of the bus] with the head in his hand and the knife and just calmly stares at us and drops the head right in front of us,” Mr Caton said.
“There was no rage in him… It was just like he was a robot or something,” he added.
The attack appeared to be unprovoked and it is thought the killer did not know his victim.
The passengers, many of whom were badly shaken by what they witnessed, were taken to a hotel in Brandon, Manitoba, and were given crisis counselling.
Canton also indicated that right before the attack, Li had just changed seats to sit next to his victim. Tim McLean, who had boarded the bus in Edmonton, was a summer carnival worker for the past three years at Vancouver’s Pacific National Exhibition.
On Friday, a bruised and bandaged Li appeared in court in Portage La Prairie, where he was charged with second degree murder. Li said few words and nodded his head when Judge Rocky Pollack asked him if he was exercising his right not to speak. Pollack ordered a psychological evaluation of Li pending Li having the opportunity to speak to an attorney. Li worked for a MacDonald’s in Edmonton as well as delivering newspapers for a distribution firm. His delivery employer, Vincent Augert said,
“I believe he was having some marital problems.” When he met with Li to hire him back as a newspaper distributor, he said, “you could almost read between the lines” from the way Li was talking “that there was something not right there.”
Just as the bus was leaving Brandon, McLean sent a text message to his father, asking if he could come home for a night, Tim McLean, Sr., told CBS news. That was his last communication with his son.
Friends of McLean bonded together to grieve for a man described as a “sweet man,” a “ladies man,” a “bright and bubbly guy who was always out for fun.” One friend, who traveled with him had nicknamed McLean “Tiny Tim.”
I can’t imagine the terror that these passengers went through, having to witness this horrific event. Please leave a condolence message for the family of Tim McLean, here, whose bright life ended so tragically.