Greyhound Pulls "Bus Rage" Ad After Passenger Beheaded, Cannibalized

Here’s some unfortunate news from our neighbor to the north. In case you haven’t heard, there was a violent and unprovoked attack on a Greyhound bus in Canada recently in which on passenger stabbed, beheaded, and cannibalized another passenger. In the wake of this horrific incident, Greyhound is pulling their latest ad campaign.

From the AP:

The ad’s tag line was “There’s a reason you’ve never heard of ‘bus rage.”‘

Greyhound spokeswoman Abby Wambaugh said Wednesday a billboard and some tunnel posters near a bus terminal in Toronto are still up and would be removed later in the day.

“Greyhound knows how important it is to get these removed and we are doing everything possible,” Wambaugh said. “This is something that we immediately asked to be done last week, realizing that these could be offensive.”

As horrified passengers fled the bus, Li severed McLean’s head, displaying it to some of the passengers outside the bus, witnesses said.

A police officer at the scene reported seeing the attacker hacking off pieces of the victim’s body and eating them, according to a police report.

Wambaugh said the ads only appeared in Canada and that some in Ontario and western Canada have already been removed.

“Bus Rage” Ads Scrapped After Beheading [CBS News](Thanks, Nayeli!)
(Photo: AP)

Comments

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  1. TracyHamandEggs says:

    Thats staying ahead of the bad press…

  2. diablodevil2 says:

    Hm…bad timing for that. Maybe they need metal detectors on the doors >.>;

  3. AlexPDL says:

    The timing is so bad…it makes me feel bad for them. Who would’ve thunk that some random guy would’ve snapped, beheaded a random person next to them and then mutilated the body repeatedly. It is very random. Very unfortunate for everyone involved.

  4. drjayphd says:

    (awkward turtle)

    Good for them being proactive, and I’m assuming Li’s going to either plead insanity or just be declared unfit for trial. Imagine the counseling the other passengers are going to need…

  5. 3drage says:

    It was probably the sign that did it.

  6. badgeman46 says:

    Thats why we avoid public transportation.

  7. 11hawkinst says:

    Wow, I didn’t hear about the “eating” part. That just makes that story even more horrid.

  8. TracyHamandEggs says:

    post to see comments?

  9. timmus says:

    Bus cannibalism: Very unfortunate for everyone involved.

  10. Breach says:

    Wow, how ironic…

  11. Is this what Don Draper would do?

  12. Wormfather is Wormfather says:

    He did it for the lulz

    too soon?

    OK am I the only one laughing…ie without a soul?

  13. Expanding Buttocks says:

    And this is why I don’t ride public transportation. Sooo sooo sad.

  14. j12 says:

    Lulz at the timing. But +1 to greyhound for their quick action before people were saying “omg that bus rage ad offends me. I’m gonna sue now.”

  15. Katxyz says:

    That’s horrifying. That’s just a jaw dropping level of crazy horribleness.

    I wonder how this will effect their sales beyond the ad campaign. Of course this could happen anywhere, but it’s probably going to make some people leery of the bus despite it being no ones fault. Are buses doing better or worse in relation to airlines now that fuel prices are up?

  16. thelushie says:

    I applaud Greyhound on their sensitivity towards this matter. From what I understand, any help the passengers need will be paid for by Greyhound. This is just beyond…tragic isn’t even the word. I can’t even imagine…

    @Wormfather is Wormfather: yeah. funny. >:-(

  17. Katxyz says:

    @Wormfather is Wormfather:

    I can see this being a “heh” situation, but not a “hahahahaha” type, so depending where you are on the laugh meter, you might not be that evil.
    The majority of the comments on the news link seem to think it’s really, really funny. That makes me even more leery of riding the bus.

  18. Benny Gesserit says:

    @11hawkinst: It’s even sicker – when seized by the RCMP had a plastic bag containing a few small body parts including “part of a chin.”

    This sort of completely random evil is kind of rare up here.

  19. @defeatism: Yes. Then Duck would ask the victim’s family to shill for Greyhound’s competitor.

  20. Trai_Dep says:

    If it happened on an airline, they would have charged passengers $5.00 for the hors d’oeuvres.

  21. jimconsumer says:

    Pics or it didn’t happen. ;)

  22. nequam says:

    @badgeman46: @Expanding Buttocks: Exactly! Wait … since when is a Greyhound bus “public transportation”?

  23. @badgeman46:
    @Expanding Buttocks:
    Did either of you notice this was on a Greyhound bus? If this is what you consider “public” transportation, then you must not ride planes or trains either.

    Besides that, you are probably just as or more likely to be the victim of a crime alone in your car than you would be surrounded by dozens of witnesses on a bus.

  24. @nequam: dang, beat me to it.

  25. @j12: On the whole, Canada is a much less litigious country than the US (and yes, I am a personal injury lawyer & keep track of these things :).

    So, I don’t think the question of whether Greyhound Canada was going to be sued factored into the decision to pull the ads so much as whether it was the right thing to do, which it was.

    This Li story makes me ill every time I read about it.

  26. Meathamper says:

    Too soon?

  27. RabbitDinner says:

    @Trai_Dep: Ballsy, but props to you

  28. jamesdenver says:

    @Expanding Buttocks:

    ehh – been said.

  29. humperdinck says:

    Whoever wrote that ad copy in the first place has clearly never ridden a bus over a long distance.

  30. TracyHamandEggs says:

    @President Beeblebrox: Thats not true at all. Canada has a horrible track record with stupid lawsuits, especially for slander/liber claims.

    I guess people missed my joke up top…

  31. North of 49 says:

    [www.canada.com]
    [cnews.canoe.ca]
    and even more eerily…
    [cnews.canoe.ca] <= teen bought suspect’s laptop.

  32. katylostherart says:

    is it me or is canada getting more violent? first five feet are found on the coast of BC and now this.

    canada what’s up?

  33. Ladies and Gentlemen, we have confirmation that this was a horrific tragedy: PETA has chimed in with a callous and opportunistic ad campaign.

  34. firefruze says:

    I don’t think he was cannibalized… you may want to check on that before you overblow an already huge story.

  35. Japheaux says:

    A damage-control nightmare for some poor manager. Too bad this didn’t happen in Texas. Every other passenger would have been packed and there would be no need to a trial.

    I suppose the killer also enjoyed his liver with some fava beans and a nice Chianti….I mean Molson.

  36. evslin says:

    @Michael Belisle: /facepalm

  37. The_IT_Crone says:

    @Michael Belisle: Oh. My God. I cannot even comprehend how PETA can think that kind of behavior is okay. Even for THEM this is bad.

  38. katylostherart says:

    wow. nice job peta…

  39. Expanding Buttocks says:

    @jamesdenver:
    You’re absolutely right. How dare I accidentally do such a thing?

  40. nursetim says:

    Clearly the person who made the call to pull the ads immediately is way overqualified for upper management, since it shows someone with a still functional sense of compassion.

    @Michael Belisle:
    Are you sure that isn’t from The Onion? Whoever came up with that has obviously never seen a single minute of Animal Planet.

  41. mizike says:

    @Katxyz:
    I doubt this will impact their business very much. People don’t take the greyhound because they want to spend 36 hours getting somewhere by bus instead of 3 on a plane, they take it because it’s the cheapest possible option. The majority of people who take the greyhound have the finances to either go by bus, or not at all. As such, their business will likely take a small dip, then return to normal relatively quickly when people realize that, although this terrible thing happened on a greyhound, they still need to get around and can’t afford to spend over twice as much on a plane ticket.

  42. Consumerist-Moderator-Roz says:

    A few comments are okay, folks, but let’s not turn this thread into PETA-bashing (as deserved as it might be).

  43. P_Smith says:

    Obviously Greyhound had planned that campaign many months beforehand, so the unfortunate appearance of bad taste was not their fault, and they are partly a victim of the circumstances. Buses often get a knock for their status (and their passengers’ status) in the travel industry, but they deserve some sympathy here.

    @nursetim: Clearly the person who made the call to pull the ads immediately is way overqualified for upper management, since it shows someone with a still functional sense of compassion.

    A similar incident happened while I was in Canada: for more than a month, the Canadian “Bravo!” channel had been advertising the movie “Things To Do In Denver When You’re Dead”. Five days before showing it, Columbine happened. They withdrew the movie and substituted another, mentioning that Columbine was the reason.

    And to @katylostherart: is it me or is canada getting more violent? first five feet are found on the coast of BC and now this. canada what’s up?

    Canada has always had violent criminals, they just don’t have a gun mentality, like this trigger-happy type:

    @Japheaux: Too bad this didn’t happen in Texas. Every other passenger would have been packed and there would be no need to a trial.

    Wow, shooting guns in an enclosed area, toward other people and toward an engine and a gas tank at the back of a bus. The only brilliance in your mind is the muzzle flash.

  44. sparklingpink says:

    @firefruze:

    He WAS cannibalized…it’s a really gross story, but if you live in BC, pick up the Province – they did a story on it.

    Apparently Li said in the courts “please kill me” so he’s on suicide watch to make sure “justice is properly served”.

  45. TheSpatulaOfLove says:

    Ever ridden a Greyhound bus? Ever dealt with the ‘you bought a ticket, not a seat’ line of shit?

    Bus rage. I’ve had it. It isn’t pretty.

  46. katyggls says:

    @Jim (The Canuck One): “This sort of completely random evil is kind of rare up here.”

    Despite what you may have read about us Jim, completely random evil is pretty rare “down here” as well. We’re all pretty shocked and horrified about the whole thing. ;-)

  47. Ryan H says:

    @katyggls:
    Actually, I’m think this kind of random evil is pretty rare everywhere.

  48. ageshin says:

    This singular act of madness had nothing to do with either the add or something called ‘bus rage’. It is not the fault of the bus company or of its add. I don’t know just what caused the event. Lacking such knowledge I can only express my deepest sympathies for those affected by it.

  49. Benny Gesserit says:

    @katyggls: @Ryan H: I agree. Sorry, didn’t mean to imply Americans are beheaded and eaten on a daily basis. (This is where I’d normally put a 180deg zing in but I just don’t have it today. I keep seeing pictures of that poor kid.)

  50. Asvetic says:

    @North of 49: Not to admonish the seriousness of the incident, but the teenage that bought the laptop has some serious negotiating abilities. From $600 to $60 is a major bargain.

  51. SigmundTheSeaMonster says:

    @P_Smith: Um, no, shooting on a Greyhound (from a former law officer) would not ignite the bus. It’s diesel, the fuel tank is not in the back and I am sure texans wouldn’t miss.

    And speaking about missing the target, Canada doesn’t have the death penalty, so this killer (oh sorry, presumed killer) will likely get sponsored mental health living. Insanity and Canadian tax dollars keeping him alive till old age. Perhaps the suspect is a former Chinese military-agent gone nuts from conditioning and now is loose in the land of the goose…

    (Horrible tragedy, eh. I feel sorry for the passengers and family of the victim)

  52. MorrisseyTheCat says:

    Argh…I read this before bed last night, then some articles about the incident. Nightmares. And yet it’s real. So awful. Sounds like we might find out that the victim’s co-worker (who the psycho was hanging out with up front before moving back next to the victim) MIGHT have given the nutcase an ecstacy in addition to his already deranged mindset. Looks like the victim Tim McClean had been texting his ex-girlfriend (who he remained best friends with) up until shortly before the incident, and talked about some people on the bus were doing ecstasy. His co-worker from a carnival, Stacey, had been chatting and smoking with the perp at a rest stop just prior to the incident.

  53. MorrisseyTheCat says:

    …and there may be more not being released…but the ex-girlfriend (who was texted) seems to be convinced that this Stacey had something to do with whatever set this guy off (not that he isn’t responsible for his own actions, but that something happened with her).

  54. theblackdog says:

    @Wormfather is Wormfather: But according to The Simpsons, you can’t laugh if you have no soul.

  55. zibby says:

    Still annoying to me that 37 (?) people stood around, fled, or soiled themselves while this was going on. I’ll be charitable and assume that people studied the situation and came to the conclusion that the victim was very dead and there was no point in hanging around.

    About the ads, I dunno – I took a Peter Pan from Portland to Boston one time and I was pretty raged.

  56. Mistrez_Mish says:

    @zibby: Not all of the people. A few tried to pull Li off / tackle him, but as they got closer Li turned around and threatened them with the knife. I’m pretty damn positive that this monster would have been capable of adding more people to his body count. As sad as it is, after one attempt… they did the right thing. No one else was murdered…

  57. zibby says:

    @Mistrez_Mish: Hadn’t heard that, but good to know that notion of doing something occurred to a few people. Helps one’s faith in the human spirit and all that.

  58. HogwartsAlum says:

    I read this online in Santa Cruz’s paper yesterday. (Our paper is blocked.) The headline was right under one about animal activists firebombing the home of a UCSC researcher to save the lives of some mice. It didn’t say they were PETA but I wouldn’t be surprised.

    Having ridden the bus from CA to MO, I must say that with Greyhound, I was more freaked by the DRIVERS than the passengers. One lady I met in the LA terminal told me that their driver stopped the bus in the middle of the desert, got off, walked away and didn’t come back for THREE HOURS. The passengers were freaking out before he came back without a word, got back in the seat and pulled back out on the road. A asked her if they reported it and she said yes, but it was the scariest thing. She said no one knew how to drive the bus, or what was going on.

    Also, one of the drivers on my route got on our bus to take over for the first driver and yelled at us that we would not misbehave on his bus or else. I decided that no matter how broke I was, I would never take Greyhound again.

  59. Froggmann says:

    I wonder if they are going to have a half off sale now… Comes with 2 free sandwiches, one for you one for the armed psychopath next to you.

  60. Happy13178 says:

    @SigmundTheSeaMonster: Its true, and its a shame, since I can imagine few instances where the DP was called for more. You’re right though, he’s not going to jail…at a hearing yesterday or the day before, he told a courtroom to “kill me, please”. He’s going to an institution.

    As to others talking about Greyhound’s liability for getting sued vs. compassion, I think it was a mix of both. A greyhound employee probably saw the ad and pulled it right away for compassionate reasons, but with or without the ad, Greyhound is going to be liable in civil court for this, if they let it get that far.

  61. Gann says:

    @P_Smith: Japheaux does have a good point, one that gun advocates rightly make.

    The infamous Charles Whitman was suppressed by civilian gunfire, keeping casualties way below what they could have been before the law finally got there. When they stormed the tower, it was a combination of law and civilians also. Oh, and don’t forget the passengers in the plane that didn’t make it’s target on 9/11, who heroically died preventing further disaster.

    I guess it’s understandable that noone reacted in this case to try to save the poor victim, but had they been armed it would have been a very different story and that poor man might still be alive instead of that lunatic.

  62. campredeye says:

    @P_Smith: Buy a gun and shoot it at a tank filled with diesel. Give me a call and let me know when it blows up. See you never!

  63. chenry says:

    cannibalized? I hadn’t heard that bit.

  64. Yurei says:

    Well, I just looked and the rates have been jacked waaaay up on Greyhound since last year- not surprising, really. It’s still now at the point that to fly the same route (nashua to buffalo and back) is only $20-40 more than taking the bus, for a whole lot less time involved in traveling. And with even how crappy the airlines have been treating people, i’ll take 3 hours of travel over 13 any day.

  65. TomCruisesTesticles says:

    @TheSpatulaOfLove: Yeah, it isn’t pretty. I’ve bought tickets for buses, then got in line and watched it fill before my eyes. The bus drivers don’t care. A bus driver told a friend of mine to “validate” his ticket (whatever that means) in the office. The woman selling the tickets told him his ticket was fine, go back to the line. He got back and there was space on the bus-tried to get to the front of the line but the driver wouldn’t let him. Waited 3 hours for the next bus, but not for yelling at the bus driver that it was his mistake, and he should be able to get on the bus. He shrugged. The drivers are truly apathetic.

  66. angryhippo says:

    Wow PETA, stay classy.

  67. kc2idf says:

    BTW, bus rage exists. I’ve had it, and I’ve witnessed others have it. It stems from dealing with a company that (a) is the only game in town, (b) knows this, and (c) takes that as their cue to walk all over their customers.

  68. taylorich says:

    PETA just hit a new low. I lost the inkling of respect I had for them with this one. I don’t know how anyone could respect them or give them an inkling of credibility after this horrible, horrible attention-grabbing stunt.

    Pitiful. Shameful. Disgusting.

  69. RandomHookup says:

    @badgeman46: Yep, one death in a billion passengers gives a good reason to avoid riding the bus. Now, if you had suggested it was because of the creepy passengers…you might have a better case.

  70. klc says:

    The victim of this tragic incident happens to actually be my second cousin, so I actually know the family involved – and seeing as I live near the incident, I actually know one of the crisis councilors involved. So a few points I would like to clarify are:

    1. There was no cannibalism. Period. Horrific and insane as it was, nobody involved saw the attacker eating the victim.

    2. Nobody is blaming greyhound, or calling for metal detectors, or called for the ad to be pulled.

    3. Greyhound, however, did not pay for the crisis counseling of the passengers… the province did. Brandon Regional Health Authority dispatched its crisis response team; made up of psychiatric nurses, chaplains, and councilors; which did a stellar job as always. BRHA is funded by the government, like all other health care in the province.

    Just wanted to clear a couple things up.

  71. vrn3b says:

    @mizike who said:

    “The majority of people who take the greyhound have the finances to either go by bus, or not at all.”

    This is largely true, but don’t forget that Canada has a lot of remote places that are, for all practical purposes, almost exclusively serviced by Greyhound. (ie no train, no plane)

    We happen to live somewhere relatively remote by choice, but travel out of country for business often. Our only other choice is a commuter plane running twice a day, Mon – Fri only (so, totally impractical to get somewhere on a Sat. or Sunday to be ready for work on Monday and similarly, for coming home after the end of a work week) or a train that runs a couple of times per week, in the middle of the night.

    The Greyhound is often the only reasonable choice that doesn’t extend our trip by 2 – 4 days. And when the client is reimbursing expenses, those extra hotel nights/meals *are* noticed.

    As frequent travelers who choose not to drive, Greyhound is often the only option.

    @klc: I’m very sorry for your loss and hope your family is coping as well as can be expected.