Mom.s magazine tribute to Tim McLean and his family

MOM Magazine Tribute to Tim McLean and his family

in the May/June 09 Issue

Dear Readers,
The death of Tim McLean in August 2008 horrified people around the world. Vince Li, the person responsible for Tim’s death, was found Not Criminally Responsible.

From what I have seen of Tim McLean’s mom, Carol de Delley, she is amazing. She has kind, dark brown eyes and a maternal warmth that makes her the type of woman you want to hug when you see her. She was composed, strong and articulate during an interview with the Winnipeg Free Press . Her strength amazes me. Seeing her speak about Tim and the events of his death made me want to reach out to this mom even more.
Carol sent me this speech that she gave during a vigil for Tim. These are her thoughts in her words.
She is currently trying to change the Not Criminally Responsible law. Let’s help make it happen.
By Carol deDelley

In the beginning whenever I saw a greyhound bus I felt physically ill. Now every time I see a Greyhound bus, I wave and say, “Hi Tim,” because I have had to train my mind to think of it as a way of Timothy letting me know that he is okay now.

Whenever we have a moment of happiness or joy, whether it’s a funny joke or TV program, we smile laugh or giggle then feelings of guilt immediately follow because what is there to smile about? We know that life has to go on but it is very difficult.

Treatment or Punishment ?

Why not both? In a violent crime such as this one, the question here in Canada becomes: Treatment or Punishment?

I believe that treatment and punishment should go hand in hand. I do not believe that treatment will “heal” Vincent Li, and I do not believe that Vincent Li should ever, and I repeat ever, be permitted to walk amongst us as a free man, ever again. It could be your child, your loved one or you yourself that he loses it on next time. What possible assurance could we ever have that he wouldn’t repeat this unbelievably violent behavior.

Is it possible that this is a result of cutbacks to funding for mental health issues? I don’t know. Let’s not forget, however, that Vincent Li DID commit this horrific murder, beheading and cannibalization UNPROVOKED. And yes I believe he needs to be held RESPONSIBLE for that.

Fit to stand trial. Fit for punishment.

Treatment in a locked facility for the rest of his life, period. No parole, no good behavior, nothing. He took an innocent life, was completely unprovoked and we need to send a message that this is not OK and will NOT be tolerated.

My son Timothy lost his life and our lives will never be the same without him being a part of it. The horror that took place on that bus has created so much fear…the randomness of it…The fear of all the other passengers who actually witnessed it, the visions that are forever burned in their memories and will haunt them always.

The children that were there that night, I can’t even imagine the nightmares they all must be having, they are forever damaged, their innocence gone. They are all Vincent Li’s living victims and he must be held accountable for that as well. I want it to be very clear that under our current laws it is possible that Vincent Li could be released some day.

Most people believe that he will be locked up and the key thrown away. NOT TRUE!!! In fact if he is found not criminally responsible, my family will have to attend a yearly review of Mr Li’s mental condition.

How is that justice?

That is unbelievable and unacceptable! Would you want this person medically treated or not who has demonstrated this level of violence towards another human being, settling down in your neighborhood, ever, at any time in the future? I know I don’t.

Under our current Judicial system Vincent Li will likely continue to receive medical treatment and he will be studied. I believe that if he is able to remain aware of exactly what he did to another human being ( My son) than so be it.

He needs to be in a locked facility where he can think about it everyday for the rest of his life. THAT IS HIS PUNISHMENT!!! He still has a life and his victim does not. I believe this is a “NO BRAINER!”

Locked up for Life

Timothy’s 23rd birthday would have been Oct 3, 2008. We had his favorite foods for dinner and a cake with good friends, but Timothy wasn’t there and he never will be again. Myself and my family are seeking JUSTICE for Timothy. MERCY for ourselves. We should not have to go through Vincent Li’s review process each year instead of a birthday party. And SAFETY for all of us.

Most of all we are gathering here tonight to raise awareness that this is what this family now faces and what other parents could be facing in the future if these laws are not changed. Please help me to be the voice that says “NOT GOOD ENOUGH, NOT ACCEPTABLE and definitely NOT JUSTICE!!!!!”

A change needs to come from this tragedy, a change for improvements to many of our current systems because they failed Timothy and they are failing
all of us. I believe we are all fed up with violent criminals continuing to get away with or getting lenient sentences for outrageous and violent crimes against others. There have been too many cases of violent criminals being incarcerated, treated and released, only to re-offend.

Enough is Enough

I am inspired and strengthened by all the support and prayers from everyone here, across the country and across the world. My sons horrific murder happened so that everyone would be paying attention. Could this be the start of the greater good that’s supposed to come from something this devastating?

Vincent Li A Decent Man ? According to Dr. Stanley Yaren

Winnipeg beheading killer a ‘decent man’: Doctor
Vincent Li has very strong chance to recover from major mental illness
By Mike McIntyre, Winnipeg Free Press
WINNIPEG — He claims voices in his head from God caused him to single out a perfect stranger, stab him multiple times and then decapitate, defile and cannibalize the body in front of dozens of horrified witnesses.
But despite committing one of the most gruesome crimes in Canadian history, Vincent Li could be rehabilitated enough to return to the streets one day, according to his doctor.
It’s an assessment that’s frustrating members of Tim McLean’s family, who were in court Tuesday to see the man accused of brutally killing their 22-year-old son.

Psychiatrist Stanley Yaren told Li’s second-degree murder trial the admitted killer has a very strong chance to recover from the major mental illness and extreme psychosis that triggered last summer’s slaying of McLean on board a Greyhound bus.

He said he could make a significant recovery in the next few years under rigorous treatment and medication.

The brutal incident took place on a bus travelling near Portage la Prairie, Man., about 80 kilometres west of Winnipeg, on July 30, 2008.

Li boarded the Greyhound in Edmonton, with a ticket that would take him to Thunder Bay, Ont. But his trip ended two days later when he attacked McLean.

RCMP arrived on scene and watched from outside the bus, alongside dozens of passengers, for several hours as Li continued to stab and defile McLean’s body.

Li was seen eating some of McLean’s remains. Police later discovered McLean’s eyes, part of his heart and other pieces of his flesh were missing.

Yaren said Tuesday that Li is slowly beginning to realize what he’s done but still doesn’t accept the fact he consumed some of McLean’s body parts.

“It may be he’s blocked it from his consciousness . . . that it’s just too awful for him to contemplate,” he said.

Li admits he killed McLean but began his case Tuesday by pleading not guilty by reason of a mental disorder.

Yaren, a witness on behalf of the Crown who is the director of forensic psychiatry for both Manitoba and the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority, has concluded Li should be found not criminally responsible for his actions based on his mental state at the time.

Such a ruling would send him to a hospital, instead of a prison, for an indefinite period.

Yaren described Li as an otherwise “decent person” who was suffering from untreated schizophrenia and clearly out of his mind when he believed he was acting on God’s commands to eliminate “the force of evil” by attacking the sleeping McLean.

“He was being tormented by auditory hallucinations,” said Yaren, who has worked closely with Li at the Health Sciences Centre psychiatric ward in Winnipeg since he arrived last August.

“He believed Mr. McLean was a force of evil and was about to execute him. He had to act fast, urgently, to save himself. This wasn’t an innocent bystander or stranger he chose to kill, but rather an evil force he was commanded to kill.”

Wearing handcuffs and leg shackles, Li shuffled into the courtroom Tuesday led by several sheriff’s officers. He sat motionless in the prisoner’s box, wearing a dark suit jacket, slacks and a light-coloured dress shirt without a tie.

Yaren said Li has been co-operative and made significant strides since being hospitalized and medicated and could function again in the community — something Yaren admits doesn’t sit well with most people, including the victim’s family.

“I completely understand the need for a sense of justice, of retribution,” said Yaren.

“It would be in some sense easier if Mr. Li was an anti-social psychopath with a history of malicious behaviour, but he isn’t that. He is, as I’ve come to know him, a decent person.”

Li still suffers delusions, including a belief he will one day be executed, Yaren said.

“He is not 100 per cent out of his psychotic phase yet,” he said. “But over time, as he recovers, he will have to come to terms with the awful things that have occurred.”

Yaren said Li began experiencing psychotic episodes around 2003, including a 2005 incident where he was picked up by police walking down Highway 401 in Ontario, believing he was “following the sun” after shedding most of his possessions.

He was briefly hospitalized in Etobicoke, Ont., but received no further followup after refusing to accept he had an illness or take any treatment, court was told.

Tim McLean’s mother, Carol deDelley, said she found it offensive a city psychiatrist described her son’s killer as a decent man.

“I hate the illness, but that doesn’t mean I forgive the man,” she said Monday.

She also said she found it difficult being in court hearing the details of her son’s death being made public for the world to hear.

But she added she was compelled to be in court so her son’s death would not be in vain.
“I’ve got to say what I think needs to be said. If I just stay at home. I’m just accepting this for the way that it is.”
She was joined by about a dozen family and close friends, many wearing white T-shirts and buttons emblazoned with McLean’s picture.

DeDelley has said she wants the law changed so anyone found not criminally responsible for a crime still serves time behind bars.
© Copyright (c) Winnipeg Free Press

Witness that the crown never called to the stand.WHY?

Stephen Allison was sitting across the aisle from Vincent Weiguang Li when he allegedly beheaded and defiled McLean’s body near Portage la Prairie on July 30. He hailed McLean as a hero.

“If it wasn’t for what he did, there would have been more that didn’t get off that bus,” said the 19-year-old Northwest Territories native.

He said McLean tried to get away from the suspect, attempting to fight off his killer after receiving at least two devastating stab wounds.


“When Tim fought back, he gave us all time to get off the bus,” Allison said in Winnipeg last night. “He was asleep initially, but then he jumped over (the suspect) and tried to fight … it was a last attempt (to save his own life).”

He said that last ditch move landed McLean in the aisleway, where the suspect allegedly continued his brutal attack.

“He was quickly and repeatedly stabbing him … he was arching his back, using his whole body. He was coming crashing down with each blow,” said Allison, noting the suspect used a double-edged hunting knife about 15 centimetres in length.

Allison ran to the front of the bus to tell the driver to pull over, then returned to the rear of the bus to reach his wife Isabelle, who was still near the horrifying scene.

“By the time I got back, (McLean) wasn’t moving,” he said, noting only seconds had passed.

Allison said he believed he and others were also in danger.

Allison and his wife were travelling from Fort Smith, N.W.T., to Kenora to visit family at the time of the murder, before moving onto Winnipeg to attend school. He said witnessing the grisly murder so closely has had a terrible impact on their lives, even prompting him to steer away from an education in criminal justice this fall for one in environmental sciences.

“We can’t even sleep through the night any more,” he said.

Li, 40, has been charged with second-degree murder in connection with the homicide. His next court appearance is set for Sept. 8.