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Retired Mountie Kills Himself 6 Years After Responding to Bus Beheading

July 17, 2014  | 

One of the first police officers on the scene of the beheading of a young man aboard a Greyhound bus on a Manitoba highway six years ago has taken his own life.

Ken Barker, a recently retired RCMP corporal who was a dog handler, killed himself last weekend after struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder for years, Winnipeg Free Press reports.

Family and former colleagues say the 51-year-old had already seen almost two decades of horrific crimes when he witnessed the grisly scene on the Trans-Canada Highway west of Winnipeg in 2008.

Tim McLean was stabbed, mutilated and beheaded by Vince Li, who was later found not criminally responsible because of mental illness.

Barker’s family say they’re speaking out about the suicide in the hope more Mounties will seek help.

Tags: PTSD, officer suicide, Royal Canadian Mounted Police


Comments (3)

Displaying 1 - 3 of 3

KevCopAz @ 7/17/2014 4:06 PM

God rest your soul my friend. My father, Uncle, 2 brothers and several cousins have a combined number of well over 150 yrs of Law Enforcement under on belts, two of us investigated Homicides in Chicago and Phx, we have seen things that nobody should ever see close up and personal. We soldier on as do most of us, but some can not take the pain bottled up. I completely understand the pain, but we most all fight it, talk about it and support our brother and sister officers to prevent this ever happening,. Stop the macho BS, open up, talk and be there for one another. Our brothers and sisters lives are worth the effort! I know several retired RCMP Officers and you will never find more professional Law Enfacement folks. It does break my heart that Canadian Law is so very dense in that someone who does such a crime is found NOT guilty due to mental illness, in AZ he would be guilty by reason of insanity and at the very least in a State Hospital until he is "sane" , then placed on trial.

Marshal Fine @ 7/18/2014 5:36 AM

Very well said KevCopsAz. I am facing retirement soon and wonder about my future. One day you are a figure people look to in horrible times, the next you are a Walmart greeter. One day you are in charge of horrible events, the next day not... Even when we see unbelievable things, it is our mission. Some of us can take it ... some not. The constant wearing of our senses can beyond what we can tolerate. God Bless and God's Speed to Ken and his family . May he rest, finally, in peace. I pray of us all...

Ima Leprechaun @ 7/19/2014 8:04 AM

I completely understand how Officer Barker felt. I struggle with those same demons every day. We need to help our brothers and sisters whenever possible to get through these kinds of events and the accumulation of a lifetime of horror. Sometimes its not just one thing but a whole load of years of terror. Rest now in peace my friend.

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