By CBC News
Vince Li, who beheaded a fellow passenger aboard a Greyhound bus in Manitoba nearly four years ago, believed he was chosen by God to save people from an alien attack.
In an interview granted to Chris Summerville, CEO of the Schizophrenia Society of Canada, Li talks about his struggle with the voices that led to the fatal encounter with fellow bus passenger Tim McLean near Portage la Prairie, Man., on July 30, 2008.
Li, who only later understood the voice as schizophrenia, was convinced he was leading the third story of the Bible and “that I was like the second coming of Jesus.”
In the interview with Summerville on Saturday, Li said he feels sorry for what he did and doubts he will ever know happiness again.
Li was committed to Selkirk Mental Health Centre after being found not criminally responsible of McLean’s death.
His story was highlighted last week when a review board ruled he can leave the mental hospital for supervised excursions.
CBC News has obtained a transcript of a portion of the interview by Summerville, who said he conducted it in hopes of giving the public a more complete picture of Li and his current mental state.
The unjustified public fears about Li will probably keep him in a mental-health hospital longer than necessary, Summerville said.
The horrific nature of Li’s act has demonized him in the public’s mind, said Summerville.
“I don’t think [he will be released] anytime soon because of public sentiment,” he said, adding the perception of Li is “rooted in fear and in some people, in hate and in vengeance. [People] hold a characterization of him that is just not true of him.”
While he is not advocating Li’s immediate release, Summerville said there is little public understanding of the nature of schizophrenia and its treatment with medication.
Here is the release of the transcript with a preamble from Summerville:
Interview with a killer: Vince Li speaks
On May 19, 2012, I Chris Summerville, CEO of the Schizophrenia Society of Canada, held my regular meeting with Vince Li, the person living with schizophrenia who beheaded Tim McLean.