Man repeatedly stabs passenger, decapitates him in front of others
Aug 01, 2008 04:30 AM WESTERN CANADA BUREAU CHIEF
RCMP investigators say they have no idea why a passenger on a Greyhound bus suddenly attacked a sleeping man beside him, and then stabbed and beheaded the victim in front of horrified witnesses.
The suspect allegedly attacked the passenger while the two men sat in the back of the Greyhound around 8:30 p.m. Wednesday as the bus headed to Winnipeg.
Garnet Caton, who was sitting in front of the victim and the suspect, said he was reading when he suddenly heard a blood-curdling scream.
"It was like something between a dog howling and a baby crying," said Caton. "I don't think it will leave me for a while."
Caton, travelling to Montreal from Peace River, Alta., said he rushed to get the driver to stop after he saw the attacker repeatedly stab the victim, who appeared to be about 19, with what he described as a "Rambo" type knife.
CTV Winnipeg reported late last night that the victim's name was Tim MacLean. He had reportedly boarded the bus in Edmonton.
No words had been exchanged between the victim, who was wearing headphones, and his attacker before the stabbing while the bus was travelling on the Trans-Canada Highway shortly after leaving Portage la Prairie, Man.
The Greyhound bus carrying 37 passengers had left Edmonton earlier that day.
The suspect boarded in Brandon, Man., and sat near the front but shortly moved to the back as the bus headed toward Portage la Prairie. Most of the other passengers were engrossed in the video being played on screens.
Caton, 26, said the attacker was about 6 feet tall, weighed approximately 200 pounds. He had a shaved head, wore a black T-shirt and kept his sunglasses on in the dark bus during the entire time of the attack.
The driver pulled over to the side of the highway and passengers rushed off the bus as the bloody attack continued.
Caton said the suspect was standing up and repeatedly stabbed the victim in the chest and neck area.
"There was no rage or, or anything. He was just like a robot stabbing the guy," said Caton.
A passing truck driver saw passengers rushing off the bus and stopped to help.
Caton said the truck driver, the bus driver and he boarded the bus to see if they could rescue the man being attacked.
Once on board, they saw the attacker decapitating the victim and carving up his body. The suspect then rushed them from the back of the bus but the trio were able to escape.
They tried to close the door behind them but the man's arm became trapped in it. The suspect, still wielding his knife, attempted to slash at the three men before he finally pulled his arm back in.
Then, as the shocked passengers watched, the attacker went to the back of the bus and returned holding the victim's head in one hand.
"He went back and brought the head to the front and pretty much, you know, displayed it to us like that and then dropped it on the ground in front of us," said Caton.
"Very calmly, all very calmly, he was wearing sunglasses and like, you know, it was no big deal to him."
A police source told the Winnipeg Free Press the man was seen to consume some of the victim's flesh.
Police arrived within 10 minutes and surrounded the bus.
RCMP Staff Sgt. Steve Colwell said a standoff between officers and the suspect ended five hours after the stabbing when the suspect tried to jump through a broken window.
The 40-year-old man, who police would only say was from out of province, was arrested. Medical examiners remained at the crime scene yesterday.
Yesterday, the passengers gave statements to the RCMP and were taken by another Greyhound bus to Winnipeg, where senior managers from the bus company helped them with their travel arrangements.
Some of the passengers appeared teary-eyed, while others looked as if they were still in shock as they boarded the bus. One young boy clutched a new-looking teddy bear to his chest as he climbed the stairs.
Eric Wesley, a spokesperson for Greyhound Bus at the company's head office in Dallas, said there are security checks in the United States.
"We do random wanding at our terminals in the U.S. but we don't have that procedure in Canada," he said.
Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day said it would be hard to introduce the same screening at bus stations that airline passengers face, but he didn't rule out an examination of bus security.
With files from Bruce Campion-Smith and The Canadian Press