Canada to block U.S. beheading protesters

Aug. 8, 2008 at 7:57 AM
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OTTAWA, Aug. 8 (UPI) -- A U.S. Christian sect planning to protest the Canadian funeral of a man beheaded on a Greyhound bus will be turned back at the border, officials said.

The Winnipeg Free Press reported Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day ordered border guards to deny access to members of the fundamentalist Westboro Baptist Church, based in Topeka, Kan. The group announced plans to picket the funeral of 22-year-old Tim Mclean on Saturday in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Under the leadership of Fred Phelps, the group gained notoriety by picketing funerals of U.S. soldiers killed in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Phelps' daughter, Shirley Phelps-Roper, told CTV News in a telephone interview while she had never met McLean, the carnival worker led a "filthy way of life" and was emblematic of Canada's moral decay.

Winnipeg area Member of Parliament Pat Martin told the Free Press he was disgusted when he heard about the protest plans.

"These people are almost as crazy as the murderer," he said.

Vincent Li, 40, is charged with second-degree murder in the case and is undergoing psychiatric evaluation.

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