A Bizarre Story

Canadian News

Cana­dian News

A very bizarre and tragic event took place in Canada last week. A Grey­hound pas­sen­ger, trav­el­ing from Edmon­ton to Win­nipeg, was bru­tally mur­dered and beheaded by another pas­sen­ger. This ran­dom mur­der left the coun­try in shock.

Tim McLean, the vic­tim, boarded a Grey­hound bus in Edmon­ton to his home­town, Win­nipeg. He was a 22 years old kid described as quiet and easy-going. Vince Weiguang Li, the killer, is 40 years old. He had no crim­i­nal record and was a McDonald’s employee in Edmonton.

Accord­ing to the wit­nesses (there were 37 pas­sen­gers in the bus), Li boarded the bus in Bran­don (Man­i­toba) at 6:55 p.m. He orig­i­nally sat near the front of the bus, but moved to sit next to McLean fol­low­ing a rest stop. The trip was long and McLean, like many pas­sen­gers, had fallen asleep lis­ten­ing to his MP3. Sud­denly, M. Caton, a pas­sen­ger who sat one row ahead of McLean, described hear­ing “a blood-curdling scream” say­ing, “I turned around and the guy sit­ting right [behind]me was stand­ing up and stab­bing another guy with a big Rambo knife … Right in the throat. Repeat­edly.

The police arrived to find the attacker still in the bus and the pas­sen­gers hud­dled at the road­side, in shock. They had all left the bus sec­onds after the attack and had pre­vented Li from escap­ing from the bus with a crow­bar and a ham­mer. The dri­ver had engaged the emer­gency immo­bi­lizer sys­tem so the attacker couldn’t drive away, as he attempted to do so earlier.

McLean was stabbed over fifty times before being decap­i­tated by his attacker. Other grue­some details were revealed by the pas­sen­gers in shock and a police tape that leaked on the inter­net, but weren’t con­firmed by the police.

The sus­pect taunted the tac­ti­cal unit that had gath­ered around the bus. At 1:30 am Li broke through a win­dow and attempted to escape. He was appre­hended by the police. So far, Li hasn’t spo­ken but remains in police cus­tody and is under sui­cide watch. He appeared at the court and didn’t speak. He only nod­ded when the judge asked him if he was exer­cis­ing his right to remain silent. He was charged with second-degree murder.

The news was every­where in Canada. Of course, the grue­some nature of the mur­der is shock­ing but what may be even more dis­turb­ing is the ran­dom­ness of the attack. The two guys didn’t know each other. There must have been a trig­ger but I doubt we will ever know.

I read and heard sev­eral com­ments that left me speech­less, though. “Why didn’t any­one fight back?” “Over thirty pas­sen­gers could have over­pow­ered a lone man with a knife, right?” This is usu­ally fol­lowed by a “Cana­di­ans have no balls” and “too bad you guys don’t have guns”.

I love these Mr. Real Man. Unleash your inner Super­man, grab your gun and shoot. Pose for the pic­ture. Save the world and be a hero.

Truth is, in this kind of sit­u­a­tion, I doubt any­one has a chance to real­ize what’s hap­pen­ing before it hap­pens… and before it’s too late. Most of us are not pre­pared for this kind of sit­u­a­tion and we can only do the best we can. That doesn’t mean we should be judged after­wards. The poor pas­sen­gers escaped and that the best they could do. Period. And this reminds me of a story…

A few years ago, I had just arrived from Paris and was walk­ing from the train sta­tion to my parent’s place. It was about 8 p.m. and the streets were almost empty.

I was arriv­ing to my parent’s place when I saw a man stag­ger­ing in the street. He was prob­a­bly 60 meters away from me. I assumed he was a drunk or a weirdo and changed side­walk with­out think­ing much of it, but he seemed to be mov­ing towards me. A few sec­onds later, my eyes reg­is­tered that he was a young man and that he was cov­ered in blood. And he had a knife stuck into his belly.

My eyes got the details but for a few sec­onds, my brain froze. The pic­ture I was mak­ing seemed to unre­al­is­tic and out of place for me to process it.

I got stabbed”, he said, “I think I’m gonna faint”.

I came towards him and helped him lay against a con­crete pole. He didn’t faint but he did look very pale. Well, I guess hav­ing a knife stuck into you could be a good rea­son to be pale.

You’re gonna be okay”, I said. “I’m just gonna call an ambu­lance”. As I was say­ing that, I real­ized I didn’t have a cell phone or a phone card to make the call. But I could see my parent’s apart­ment a few meters away, so I fig­ured I could run home and call. But I felt bad leav­ing the kid here.

For­tu­nately, an heavily-tattooed guy stopped near us. “Need help here?” “Yes, I just found him a minute ago, looks like he got stabbed”. I’m very good at stat­ing the obvi­ous. The passerby sensed my dis­tress and winked at me. “I have a cell phone, let me call”.

I turned back to the kid who was start­ing to freak out pretty bad. He did have a lot of blood on him, his tee-shirt was soaked but the wound didn’t seem to bleed as much now that he was sit­ting. I didn’t think remov­ing the knife would help so I tried to talk to him to dis­tract him from the object in his abdomen. “So, what hap­pened?” I asked. “I was just walk­ing here”, he pointed a small park nearby the river, “and a guy stabbed me. Well, I knew the guy but how could I have known he had a knife, fuck, fuck, fuck, I don’t wanna die man!

The Hell’s Angel guy fin­ished the call and turned to us. “S’right kid, they gonna be here in a minute”. “I just don’t wanna die! I didn’t know it, but I don’t wanna die!” he cried plain­tively. “Hey man, I took a lot of knives in my life, you don’t die of a knife wound, pussy!

Great”, I thought, “this guy is a Hell’s Angel”. He started to take off his shirt to show the kid his heroic life. He did have a lot of scars on his abdomen. “See, got stabbed here, there and I think here again. And I’m still here!” he con­cluded, putting his shirt back on.

We some­how man­aged to keep the kid from faint­ing before the ambu­lance arrived. He was taken in and I’m sure he ended up fine. The tat­too guy and I left the scene.

The whole thing lasted maybe thirty min­utes but I will always remem­ber it. How it took me sev­eral sec­onds to real­ize what was going on. How I couldn’t do much but call an ambu­lance. How some­times, life is just a ques­tion of being at the right place at the right time, or maybe the oppo­site, the wrong place at the wrong time.


About Author

French woman in English Canada. World citizen, new mom, traveler, translator, writer and photographer. Looking for comrades to start a new revolution.


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