Greyhound Traveler Turns Wendigo

So you’re on a Greyhound bus, motoring through the Canadian wilderness at night. Many of the other passengers are asleep. The Legend of Zorro is playing. And suddenly you hear a bloodcurdling scream.

Not your typical reaction to bus travel. Or, for that matter, Antonio Banderas. You turn to see a Chinese man, wearing sunglasses (yes at night), standing over another passenger with a large Rambo-style hunting knife.

Vincent Weiguang Li

Vincent Weiguang Li

The man, one Vincent Weiguang Li, plunged the blade into the unsuspecting Tim McLean a total of 40 times. As the attack continued the bus driver, Mr. Caton, and the other 34 passengers fled the vehicle. They waited for police along a deserted stretch of the Trans-Canada Highway (near Portage la Prairie, Manitoba).

A truck driver stopped at the scene. Together with the Mr. Caton, they boarded the bus only to find Mr. Li slicing off the head. He continued to gut up the body, storing the victim’s nose, ear, and part of the mouth in a plastic bag. Perhaps to munch on later.

The attacker ran at them, but they held the door shut to prevent his exit. Mr. Caton said: “He calmly walks up to the front with the head in his hand and the knife and just calmly stares at us and drops the head right in front of us. There was no rage in him…it was just like he was a robot or something.”

Before this incident, Greyhound had run an ad stating, “There’s a reason you’ve never heard of ‘BUS RAGE’”. The ad was withdrawn after the incident, yet perhaps it is correct. By all accounts, Mr. Li was not filled with rage. Only homicidal mania.

Greyhound advertisement before incident

Greyhound advertisement before incident

Police laid siege to the bus for several hours. One officer reported seeing Mr. Li hacking off bits of the body and eating them. The attacker shouted, “I have to stay on this bus forever,” but later tried to escape through a window and was apprehended.

Mr. Li was a 40-year-old Wal-Mart employee (won’t be seeing any endorsement from him), and a paperboy. This last occupation might have lead to his nocturnal lunacy. Only 10 days before the attack, he delivered copies of the Edmonton Sun with an article about Nathan Carlson and his research on the Wendigo.

Robert Carlyle in Ravenous

Robert Carlyle in Ravenous

The Wendigo is a horrific creature with a ravenous appetite for human flesh. It could possess people and turn them into cannibals. Take at look at the movie Ravenous with Robert Carlyle as the crazy flesh eater.

Algernon Blackwood’s 1910 story, “The Wendigo,” introduced the myth to horror fiction. It is part of the traditional belief systems of various Algonquian-speaking tribes in the northern United States and Canada.

The article by Carlson gave several examples, including a Cree trapper named Swift River. He killed and ate his wife, six kids, mother and brother in the woods northeast of Edmonton in the winter of 1878-79. Prior to the event, he suffered from screaming fits and nightmares.

This is called “turning Wendigo”. People would go into convulsions, make terrifying animal noises, and beg to be killed. In the court trial of Mr. Li on August 5th, he remained silent, issuing only one statement when asked if he wanted a lawyer: “Please kill me. This was a completely random attack.”

Chris Kalidor

2 Responses to “Greyhound Traveler Turns Wendigo”

  1. Seems ridiculous. And yet…

  2. Dave Hurwitz Says:

    One aspect of the Windigo legend is that one first becomes a Windigo by eating human flesh, though I believe this is a more modern addition to the myth.

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