Vince Weiguang Li, 43, after being diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, was found not guilty of murdering 22-year-old Tim McLean on a Canadian Greyhound bus on July 30, 2008.
He has been holed up since his trial at a Winnipeg, Manitoba area mental health centre, where he has received treatment and is now eligible for escorted day trips into the community, a major newspaper reported.
In an interview with Chris Summerville, head of the Schizophrenia Society of Canada, Li said he started hearing in 2004 what he believed was “the voice of God”.
“The voice told me that I was the third story of the Bible, that I was like the second coming of Jesus (and that) I was to save people from a space alien attack,” he said, according to a transcript published by Canadian media.
Li said that he had purchased the knife used in the attack for protection “from the aliens” and claimed that he was unaware at that time that he suffered from schizophrenia.
“I was really scared. I remember cutting off his head. I believed he was an alien. The voices told me to kill him, that he would kill me or others. I do not believe this now,” Li said.
Li repeatedly stabbed McLean, who had been asleep on the seat next to him, cut off his head, removed his internal organs, pocketed his nose, tongue and an ear, and taunted police and bystanders with the severed head.
Li was subdued by police after a three-hour standoff.
McLean, according to his family, was on his way home to Winnipeg from a job as a carnival worker in western Canada, when he was attacked.
Li, a devout Christian and a computer engineer, immigrated to Canada with his wife from China’s province of Liaoning in 2001.