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

7 thoughts on “Vincent Li A Decent Man ? According to Dr. Stanley Yaren”

  1. there is no sense to this…the main question to which I have not been able to get an answer is this: was Li prescribed anti-psychotics or SSRI’s after his 2003-4 OPP incident?

  2. Li’s verdict is not justice. Justice would say provide Li mental help while serving in prison. Once Li receives mental help he should either serve a life sentence or be put to death. Simple. God bless Tim’s family. God give you grace and courage and strength as you face a system that pansies around the real issues. Any action or word is a reflection of what is in the heart of the individual-regardless of mental disorder. There are many mentally disturbed people who never injure or hurt anyone else.

  3. God has a funny way of settling scores. Justice Scurfield is now dead of cancer, just months after his ridiculous ruling that will probably let Li walk free once he’s “cured.” As far as Yaren and Rootenberg, heaven forbid they find out years from now that their only child or loved one has been hacked to death and cannibalized by a newly free Li. But instead of anguish, I’m sure they’ll take pride that this murderer — the “true victim” of his own illness — has had his opportunity to enjoy his freedom to kill again thanks to his mental sickness and the diagnoses they have been scammed into providing.

  4. What does this have to do with “religion”? Just because he said he heard the “voice of god” doesn’t mean god actually spoke to him. Do you hear a voice in your head that claims to be “god” karol? Maybe you should seek medical help before you go schizo…

  5. I do not need to be told what drug Dr Stanley yaren is prescribing for his own use,because it makes every one look like angels, if i had my way ,the so called Dr Yaren would no longer be a Dr, but a floor moper on Greyhound Buses moping the bloody floor and picking up Body Parts, case closed!!!!!!!

  6. Two faggot shrinks Dr. Sanley Yaren and Dr. Jonathan Rootenberg used Vincent Li, Grayhound Beheader to launch an unprecedented attack on religion and religious people in Canada by claiming that Vincent Li heard voice of God and that voice told him to kill 22 years old Tim McLean. Now, Canadian Faggots plan to keep whereabouts of Vincent Li, Greyhound Beheader, as a secret in order to terrorise all religious people in Canada.

    Public may not hear fate of Greyhound bus killer

    Tim McLean, 22, was on his way home to Winnipeg when he was slain on a Greyhound bus last July 30. (Family photo)
    The fate of a man who decapitated a fellow passenger on a Greyhound bus last July may not be made public.

    Vince Li was found not criminally responsible for killing Tim McLean on a bus heading to Winnipeg. It is now up to Manitoba’s Criminal Code review board to decide his fate.

    The board is to meet next Monday to assess whether Li should be institutionalized or given a conditional release.

    The board’s chairman, John Stefaniuk, said making the decision public could violate Li’s rights as a patient.

    Stefaniuk said government lawyers have previously advised against releasing any details on board rulings but that hasn’t been tested until now.

    Vince Li was found not criminally responsible in March for the unprovoked killing and beheading in 2008 of Timothy McLean on a Greyhound bus. (John Woods/Canadian Press)

    “The board has received advice through its counsel, Manitoba Justice, that there are certain restrictions that apply to the release of information by virtue of the health records information act,” he said, referring to the Personal Health Information Act.

    As such, the board is bound in all cases by patient privacy rights and Stefaniuk cannot comment on Li’s case specifically.

    The board, which falls within the definition of a provincial agency, is also bound by Manitoba’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, he said.

    Other provinces don’t have such strict guidelines. British Columbia and Ontario publish the decisions made by similar boards in those provinces.

    McLean’s mother, Carol de Delley, said Li should be treated as a criminal and not as a patient.

    “Timothy had the right to expect some level of safety in the mode that he travelled on — a very public transporation sysytem. And then very publicly, an individual took his life. Now the system’s going to cover [Li] up and hide him away,” she said.

    Last Updated: Wednesday, May 27, 2009

  7. I am sick of hearing that Liwas a decent man. That is not the issue at all. The issue is that he murdered an innocent man, a son, brother, cousin, uncle and friend.
    A murder that defies descption in terms of horrificness and senselessness.

    This is the issue.

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