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No closure for mother of decapitation victim

24 hours

It was one of the most gruesome and shocking crimes in recent memory in Canada.

Six years ago, Tim McLean was listening to music on a Greyhound bus travelling through the prairies under the night sky when the passenger next to him suddenly set upon him with a knife.

McLean was stabbed more than 100 times, then decapitated and partially eaten by Vince Li, a schizophrenic, as horrified passengers fled the bus and waited for police.

McLean’s mother Carol de Delley talked about her struggle to cope with her son’s death as part of a new video series called Aftermath of Murder: Survivor Stories, coinciding with National Victims of Crime Awareness Week. The series can be viewed by scanning the QR code on this page.

Li was never convicted of murder due to his mental health issues and now is up for day release into the public, and de Delley said no one has ever been held responsible for her son’s death.

“The court determined Vince Li is not responsible, but neither is the psychiatric community that allowed him to walk away from treatment that resulted in this — they’re not responsible either,” de Delley said. “And yet my son is no less dead.”

She said authorities are “hell bent” on introducing Li back into society.

In February, Li was granted day leave from a facility in Manitoba where he is said to be a non-violent and model patient.

“You need to understand this man suffers from paranoid schizophrenia, it is incurable and it is a life-long illness, it is medication dependent,” she said. “In Canada we have no legal mechanism that would require him to continue treatment after release with no criminal record.”

The grieving process, said de Delley, hasn’t even started for her because she’s spent so much time dealing with review boards and other legal procedures.

She has had counselling since the death of her son and said spiritual counselling has been the most helpful for her.

If you or someone you know has been affected by homicide go to the B.C. Victims of Homicide website at for resources and information on support groups.

Aftermath of Murder Survivor Stories is produced by Brent Stafford, Shaky Egg Communications Inc. and 24hrs Vancouver columnist.




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