Carol deDelley remembers her initial reaction when she heard that a man had been savagely stabbed and beheaded on a Greyhound bus bound for Winnipeg.
Nearly 24 hours after the incident began on July 30, deDelley's former husband, Tim 'Bim' McLean reached her at home with the news. "Don't say that. Don't say that," deDelley kept repeating.
The news media camped outside McLean's Winnipeg home, and it was reporters - not the RCMP - that had broken the news to Tim's father.
Of course, shock sets in. "But then, at a point, you get angry and you start questioning. Well, why did this take so long? Why did it take so long to be notified?"
Later the RCMP would tell her that while Tim had ID, they needed to be sure it was him before contacting the family. They did that by matching him to his tattoos, which took time.
Now that she and her husband, Tim deDelley, have returned home from spreading some of her son's ashes in the peace and wild beauty of the Canadian Rockies, deDelley has questions about the way the RCMP handled the standoff with Tim's accused killer, Vince Li, on July 30.
Li is accused of the stabbing death, decapitation and - as deDelley later learned - the cannibalization of her son. The later indignity having happened as passengers, and apparently Mounties, looked on as if they were watching a horror movie instead of a crime in progress.
Her question to the Mounties from rural Manitoba who rushed to the scene just west of Portage la Prairie - and the emergency response team that helped surrounded the Greyhound bus - is "what took them so long?"
Why did they wait so long with the man trapped on the bus? Especially because the cannibalizing was a crime in progress.
deDelley said an RCMP officer told her that the estimated time between the escape of the Greyhound passengers and driver, and trapping the killer on the bus - with the man finally exiting through a window - was about three hours.
"Why didn't they do something in that three hours, rather than having my son locked in with this maniac who, there was no question, had done this? And (they) allowed him to defile my son's body in the way that he did? What was their game plan? Why did they wait for him to throw himself out a window or fall out of it?"
I am so glad to see the mother asking this question and I hope to god, she gets some answers.
I myself have asked this question, and others who have left responses here have asked this question. The media didn't see fit to ask that question, instead I recall the most irritating article from the National Post, about their being no "let's roll" moment on the bus! This editorial annoyed me to no end, along with numerous comments posted on line about the "cowardly passengers". I am of another mindset.
One interesting item from the article Tim McLeans mother believes the RCMP has, as quoted:
"They have a preservation of life policy, I believe."
Given the rcmp's past actions that is doubtful.
She has issues with the time line, well so do I.
First I have to gather my thoughts and blog with a cooler head.