the fifth estate
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Watch Full Documentary  Originally broadcast on November 6, 2009
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On a peaceful summer’s night in July 2008, along a stretch of the Trans Canada Highway in Manitoba, the unthinkable happened. What started as just another Prairie bus ride became a nightmare when the lives of two passengers intersected tragically and resulted in the murder of Tim McLean. In Bus 1170, Bob McKeown takes us inside what happened on Greyhound 1170 through the eyes of the surviving passengers and other witnesses.

A seemingly random decision, to take the Greyhound from B.C. to Winnipeg rather than a friend’s offer of a plane ticket, would cost twenty-two-year-old Tim McLean his life, would profoundly change the lives of dozens of others who saw his murder and shock anyone who has heard about it since. On Greyhound 1170, Vincent Li, a diagnosed schizophrenic on his own randomly chosen bus journey, sat beside McLean and then, obeying voices inside his head, repeatedly stabbed and then cannibalized McLean’s body.

In Bus 1170, the fifth estate recounts the story from the perspective of two of the surviving passengers. Stephen Allison vividly recounts his sense of foreboding as Li walked down the aisle and took the seat across from him, beside Tim McLean. And Kayli Shaw remembers the chilling moment when Allison ran by her yelling at the driver to pull over, that someone was being stabbed. She says she is still haunted by the sound of Tim McLean’s screams.

Bob McKeown also introduces us to truck driver Chris Alguire, who stopped his truck when he saw the Greyhound at the side of the road. Alguire tried to confront Li. What he saw has left him unable to resume his former job or life since then. We’ll also meet the man who probably knows Vincent Li best, forensic psychiatrist Dr. Stanley Yaren. He spent hours with Li and transcripts of their conversations are re-created to understand why Li felt he had no choice but to kill McLean.

And the fifth estate talks to Tim McLean’s family – his father, stepmother and mother – who today still struggle to understand why the RCMP stood outside Bus 1170 for five hours, as Li cut up their son’s body, before intervening.

Bob McKeown
Biography: Bob McKeown has a record few Canadian journalists can match – two Emmys, three Geminis and a Grey Cup... Read more
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