******** UPDATE AUGUST 06/08**********
In a bizarre twist to the story discussed below on August 5th , it was confirmed by police today, August 6th, that there is no truth to the claims that Vince Li had ridden with and chatted to a co-worker of Tim McLean, prior to the attack. In fact, the local woman at the centre of those reports, Stacy Morgan, has publically come forward to deny them,and is angry at those who made the claims to the press back east. Police state that in an attempt to make sense of the incident, several of the victims friends made false claims to the Globe and Mail, and the Winnipeg Free Press. They have now recanted and no charges are expected. The full story can be read here:
40-year-old Vincent Li said ” Please Kill Me “, at his court appearance today, before being ordered to undergo a psychiatric assessment. Reports indicate that he is under suicide watch, and was confined in a special suicide suit while being held. There have been reports that indicate people who knew him believed he was paranoid schizophrenic, however I will not say anything more about the disturbing revelations regarding the mutilation and comsumption of the victim in todays proceedings, because they are more than I can stomach. You may read them here -WARNING- THIS LINK CONTAINS GRAPHIC AND VIOLENT DETAILS RELEASED IN COURT TESTIMONY :
As details slowly surface, one story that is attracting attention is that the accused, Vince Li, had been sitting beside a woman named ‘Stacy’ – a co-worker of Tim McLeans. There are unconfirmed reports and stories by some internet media sites that claim Stacy and Vince Li had chatted for nearly an hour, first while seatmates, then again outside during a smoke break before the trip resumed. After that break, Li boarded the bus and abruptly changed seats. He moved to the seat beside Tim Mclean.
We know what happened then.
Further statements from a friend that Tim Maclean had been texting prior to his death, claim that Tim said some of the passengers had taken ecstasy, although it is not known if the accused was one of them.
What led to this horrible, horrible murder?
As investigators fit together the pieces of this horrific puzzle, we can only wait and watch and listen.
I thought I was somewhat proof of the belief that we have become immune to horror and violence, inundated as we are with the daily (bad) news. Or so I thought….Don’t get me wrong- those of you who are regular readers know I have a soft spot, but there are so many atrocities being committed all over the world, every day, that one could go insane if you gave them anything more than a passing thought.
So why does the murder of Tim McLean bother me so much? As some of you have pointed out in the comments, its human nature. People will always kill other people. There are numerous horrific, mind boggling murders everyday, what makes this one so different ? After thinking about it for some length, it is nothing more than the emotion I have attached to it. I can picture my son in the same position, and it makes me livid. The ultimate disgrace of the human element, cannibalism. Consumption of another humans flesh.
It truly makes me want to commit heinous crimes against the perpetrator.
Many of you have taken the time to post comments on my last post, and I thank you all. This is very much an interactive media form, and I appreciate all the thought provoking submissions most of you make. Spammers, you know where to go…. When I started this blog last year, the purpose was to keep my friends and colleagues up to date with the ongoing CKNW Talk Show Idol contest I had entered. Somewhere along the way, it became so much more, and if anything, I am proud when I have written my thoughts and they make you think about how you feel about difficult issues.
The concept of justice is one of those issues, and is as diverse as we are as a civilization.I do not envy the roles of lawmakers, the men and women whose decisions define how our society distributes penalties to those who choose to pursue the criminal life. But how we define justice depends on where and how we live, and who is to judge that the way one society operates is barbaric, while one is considered a bleeding heart? This is truly at the heart of our discussions, our own personal considerations as to what justice entails.
Here, I expressed my inclination that this murderer should face a death penalty, which does not exist in Canada. Others have expressed that punishment of death for any crime should not be permitted, and others feel that it should be used only in certain instances. Once again, our personal prejudices colour our interpretation of ‘justice’.
In Canada, we often see penalties that are non-sequitur with the crime, and as a result, so many of us feel the ‘system’ has become ineffectual. There is no deterrent to the commission of a crime in certain instances, when the only punishment is a weekly trip to the P.O’s office. There is no deterrent when records are wiped clean, or kids are released due to their juvenile status, or the law is written that all is well when the minimum is served. So many criminals “find God” during their time in jail that I’m starting to think that’s the only place He resides. Give me a break.
Punishment should be part punishment, part deterrent, and part restitution, IMHO. In cases where the crime is so heinous, so dark and unthinkable, or so cold and calculated that there is no opportunity to enact any of the above, death is the only option.
In this case, the case of Vince Li, it scares me to think that should he be found incompetent to stand trial, that he may one day walk free as a result of some forensic psychiatrist deeming him “cured”. His common-law wife states he was in the psych ward for 4 days recently, and if this is true, apparently someone found him well enough to release.
There are no easy answers today. We have to put our faith, however tattered, in the imperfect system we have. We must expect the most from our judges and from Crown, and when they fail us, we must call them on it, and enact change. Will the death penalty ever come to Canada? I doubt it, it would ‘ruin’ our alleged reputation of being a peaceful, gentile nation. Our only hope is to let men like this into the general population for justice served by others, in another manner….