An extreme case has been keeping mental illness front and centre in the minds of Manitobans.
Chris Summerville, CEO of the Schizophrenia Society of Canada has been meeting with Vince Li regularly while he has been a patient at the Selkirk mental health Centre. On May 19, 2012, Summerville interviewed Li, the Winnipeg man infamous for beheading 22 year old Tim McLean while they were both passengers on a Grey Hound bus traveling through Manitoba.
At the time of the incident in 2008, Li was hearing voices. He believed he was like the second coming of Christ and that it was his duty to protect himself and others from alien invaders. Unfortunately for McLean, Li, in his delusional state mistook McLean for an alien, brutally murdering him on a public bus.
Vince Li has been living in a mental-health hospital in Selkirk, Manitoba since being found not criminally responsible for beheading Tim McLean in March 2009. (John Woods/Canadian Press)
In an interview published today Li indicates that he knows he was sick, knows what he did was very wrong. He is very apologetic to the family of Tim McLean. When asked if he is happy he answered no. When asked if he will ever be happy, he again answered no.
Summerville summarizes by stating:
“Of the 300,000 people in Canada who live with some form of schizophrenia, the vast majority lead quiet, law abiding lives hoping for some quality of life. People living with schizophrenia are more likely to be victims of violence rather than being perpetrators of violence.
“Schizophrenia is treatable. Recovery is possible.”
Read the complete interview at:
Last week a review board ruled Li can leave the mental hospital for supervised excursions. This ruling stirred the simmering pot of controversy that has surrounded this case from the beginning. People have been polarized with some believing that he was ill and that with effective mental health treatment he should be able to be released from the facility and allowed to live a normal life. Others believe that murder is murder and that the streets will never be safe if he is released, that he deserves to be punished as a murderer.