On July 20 — just 10 days before the killing — Li delivered copies of the Sun that contained an extensive interview with Carlson about his research into the Windigo, a terrifying creature in native mythology that has a ravenous appetite for human flesh. It could take possession of people and turn them into cannibalistic monsters.
The two-page feature talked about how, in the late 1800s and into the 20th century, Windigo “encounters” haunted communities across northern Alberta and resulted in dozens of gruesome deaths.
In one case, a Cree trapper named Swift Runner was hanged after admitting to killing and eating his wife, children, brother and mother in the woods northeast of Edmonton in the winter of 1878-79.
Prior to being charged with murder, he had suffered screaming fits and nightmares, which he attributed to being possessed by a Windigo.
In several other cases, people banded together and killed individuals they feared were possessed by a Windigo. Often, they would decapitate the corpse and bury the head separate from the body in order to keep it from rising from the dead.
Carlson documented several cases in northern Alberta communities where people believing they were “turning Windigo” would go into convulsions, make terrifying animal sounds and beg their captors to kill them before they started eating people.
In last month’s bus case, Li allegedly butchered McLean’s body, brandishing the victim’s severed head at the men who trapped him on the bus until police could arrive.
He was later accused of eating McLean’s flesh.
When he appeared in a Portage La Prairie courthouse on charges of second-degree murder, the only words Li reportedly uttered were pleas for someone to kill him.- cnews
Superstition can kill. Perhaps he read the story and just believed he was possessed.
Or possibly there is some local brain parasite which has caused this to happen from time to time in this area for many years. Li may have eaten something strange like a local beetle which carries the parasite a few days before the incident. Pure speculation on my part.
“Windigo Psychosis is a culture-bound disorder which involves an intense craving for human flesh and the fear that one will turn into a cannibal. This once occurred frequently among Algonquian Indian cultures, though has declined with the Native American urbanization.