He’s changed his name. He’s on his medication. He is, according to one of his doctors, a model patient.
I know this means nothing to most of us who know Vince Li as the Greyhound bus killer who snatched the life of Tim McLean in 2008 and changed the lives of everyone on that bus forever.
And we cannot forget Ken Barker, the RCMP corporal who died by suicide after struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder. Barker was one of the first police officers on scene that night near Portage la Prairie, Manitoba.
Li, who changed his name to Will Baker, believed he was the “Chinese Jesus” who had a mission on Earth that was gradually communicated to him by God. One of psychiatrists that treated Li is Dr. Jeffrey Waldman. He is the medical director of adult forensic services at the University of Manitoba. Waldman writes about Li in Shrunk: Crime and Disorders of the Mind. It’s a collection of insights by some of the world’s leading forensic psychologists and psychiatrists who write about their infamous patients. It includes details on the former pornographic actor and model Luka Magnotta, who killed and dismembered Lin Jun, an international Chinese student. It also covers serial killer Clifford Olson and Vince Li.
Waldman told 680 CJOB Li is deeply ashamed of what he did and lives it every day. He writes about the slow decent into psychosis:
To someone who is psychotic, their experiences are their reality. They are responding in a way that makes sense based on what they believe is going on around them, no matter how bizarre or unrealistic it may seem to others — and the potential for that violent episode exists depending on the content of the psychotic person’s experiences and beliefs. For Mr. Li, his symptoms had persisted for three years before they reached the intensity where he resorted to violence.
Here is my interview with Dr. Waldman.