Cannibal Bus Ride: The Murder of Tim McLean

A horrified group of passengers are trapped on a Greyhound bus forced to watch a madman beheading and eating an innocent young tourist!

In late July of 2008, 22 year old Tim McLean was a carnival worker ready to quit the road. He had been working in the scene for a couple of years enjoying the opportunity to travel and make new friends.


The young Canadian was ready for a more stable life that included marriage and a regular job. He planned to go home to Winnipeg which was a good 24 hour bus ride from the current station of the carnival.

The folks in the carnival had become his second family. They offered to pitch in to get him a planet ticket home, but McLean declined. He had no problem taking the Greyhound. He bought his ticket excited to see his parents.

On July 29th, McLean boarded the bus. He chose a seat close to the back and prepared himself for the long journey ahead.

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It was 17 hours into the ride when the bus had stopped at a station for the passengers to get dinner. A strange man sat alone on one of the benches. McLean was the only person who offered him a greeting and a smile.

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As the bus began boarding again, the man joined them for the last leg of the ride. He chose to sit next to McLean although there were plenty of other vacant seats. McLean didn’t seem bothered, putting on his headphones and eventually falling asleep.


The new passenger was a tall Asian man in his forties. He attracted some curious stares from the other passengers due to his strange behavior. At 7 pm he was still wearing sunglasses and he was holding on to a toilet roll, almost gripping it like his life depended upon it.

It wasn’t long into the evening before the man calmly reached into his backpack pulling out a large hunting knife. As the bus flew down the highway, he started to viciously stab McLean in the chest and neck.


McLean, of course had woken up and was letting out a series of blood curdling screams. One traveler said it was the most horrific sound they had ever heard in their lives. The man continued to stab him in a frenzy and the bus being on the highway had nowhere to pull over.

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One of the male passengers had yelled at the man to stop. The man had turned around and looked at him and then without a word returned to knifing McLean.

The bus driver was able to find a safe place to stop. By this point McLean had already been stabbed 50 or 60 times. Nobody else made an effort to stop the attack and the passengers were in a mad rush to get off the bus.

Trapped directly behind the horror fest, was a young man with his wife and her mother. Terrified they squeezed past the man without harm. The bus was now empty leaving the poor young victim alone with his killer.

The stunned passengers stood outside the bus in shock. People were throwing up and crying, children were screaming and teenagers were trying to capture the video on their phones. Everyone could still clearly see McLean being stabbed through the windows.

A truck driver seeing the commotion around the bus pulled over to offer help.

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When he learned that McLean was still inside he demanded that the door be opened so that he could try and get him out. He was accompanied by the bus driver and another passenger.

They stepped into a bus covered with blood. The killer still wearing his sunglasses didn’t seem disturbed by their presence. He was now busy with a new project and had started sawing off McLean’s head. The men stared for a moment frozen in horror. Realizing McClean was beyond rescue they ran back off the bus locking the door behind them.

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Actual passenger and witness to McLean’s murder.

After the killer had finished removing McLean’s head, he paraded it down the aisle like a trophy. He took it to the front door and held it up, his face completely expressionless causing the passengers to scream.

He then returned to the rest of the body where he cut that up into bits and pieces. The traumatized onlookers were then forced to witness an even more gruesome act of depravity.

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The police had just arrived by this time but they were unable to yet safely remove the man from the bus. They weren’t prepared either to view the killer cannibalize McLean. It was reported that the man was consuming every part of his body including each of his eyeballs.

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It took law enforcement over four hours before they were able to capture the killer. All of that time the man was able to eat McLean in full view of everyone. The unfortunate passengers were barred from leaving the scene as they were witnesses to a crime.

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The cannibal had also tried to escape twice through broken windows before finally surrendering. He was identified as Vincent Li.


The story instantly made national headlines. McLean’s family heard it on the news and realized that their son was on that same bus ride. They were not aware that he was the victim.

His mother later had expressed her anger that nobody had stepped forward to try and save her son.

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Vince Li was a paranoid schizophrenic. He claimed that God had told him to kill McLean. And after that, God had instructed him to get rid of the body as quickly as possible. Li had eaten McLean in the attempt to hide the evidence in his stomach.

He was transferred to a mental hospital and deemed not responsible for his actions. After only a few short years of treatment, Li was released back into society with a clean record and a new identity.

This action clearly upset many people. Despite the fact that Li had been ‘treated’, the public would have absolutely no warning of his potential danger.

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The post traumatic stress that affected the passengers destroyed many of their lives. Lawsuits were filed against the Greyhound Bus company. They did little more then reimburse the passengers for the cost of the clothing they were wearing and a couple of hours of paid therapy.

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To add further insult to the tragic loss of Tim McLean’s life, Bus 1170 is still in service. Greyhound had it cleaned it, changed the identifying number and assigned it to a different route.

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If you liked the story you just read…

Read the true story of Katherine Knight who decapitated her boyfriend and attempted to serve him for dinner to his own children. Yikes, hell hath no fury … This is a page turner not for the faint of heart.

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