The place Is Kai the Hitchhiker Now? Caleb McGillvary In Jail After Homicide

Charismatic nomad Caleb McGillvary, a “home-free” traveler who known as himself Kai, turned an web sensation in 2013 when an area information crew interviewed him as an eyewitness to a automotive crash. Months later, he was arrested for homicide. So the place is Kai the Hitchhiker now?

His wild story and fall from grace as a viral star to a violent felony is the premise for the Netflix documentary The Hatchet Wielding Hitchhiker, which dropped on the streaming service on January 10, 2023. On February 2, 2013, a video of Kai was broadcast on Fox affiliate KMPH in Fresno, California. Based on his eyewitness account, he had been hitchhiking and was picked up by Jett McBride. The driving force crashed right into a pedestrian, pinning him between McBride’s automotive and a parked truck.

Kai jumped out to assist; McBride attacked a bystander and, sensing she is likely to be at risk, Kai took a hatchet from his backpack and repeatedly hits McBride with it behind the top. He was a hero. However simply months later, Kai was arrested for the homicide of another person. Right here’s the story of a “happy-go-lucky nomad’s ascent to viral stardom and the steep downward spiral that resulted in his imprisonment,” per Netflix.

The place is Kai the Hitchhiker now?

For the homicide of New Jersey legal professional Joseph Galfy, Kai the Hitchhiker is imprisoned at Union County Jail in Elizabeth, New Jersey, listed as inmate quantity 210329. It’s fairly a fall from grace from as soon as being a darling of the web, regardless that his fame solely lasted 5 minutes. Kai, whose actual title is Caleb McGillvary, went viral after recounting an incident to an area TV information crew.

Courtesy of Netflix

A person he’d caught a journey with out of the blue went berserk, deliberately driving right into a utility employee and pinning him between two vehicles. McBride was mentioned to have instructed Kai that “he was Jesus Christ” and “might do no matter” he needed. Kai acquired out of the automotive to assist the pedestrian, however McBride then attacked another person providing to assist. “A man that large can snap a girl’s neck like a pencil stick,” Kai instructed an area Fox Information affiliate. “So I f–king ran up behind him with a hatchet. Smash, smash, SUH-MASH!”

“I used to be blown away, completely blown away,” cameraman Terry Woods instructed the Netflix documentary. “Since you checked out him, little tough across the edges and you then see the treasure he really was.” Jessob Reisbeck, the FOX reporter, recalled that “the very first thing he needed to do was ship a loving message to whoever sees this interview. And it’s highly effective, it provides me goosebumps.” Certainly, Kai instructed the information crew: “It doesn’t matter what you accomplished you deserve respect. Even when you’ve made errors, you’re lovable. And it doesn’t matter your appears to be like, talent, age or measurement, you’re worthwhile. Nobody can ever take that away from you.”

Hailed a hero nationwide, Kai’s dynamic retelling of the incident even landed an look on Jimmy Kimmel Dwell and interviews with VICE. Merely months later although, Kai was arrested for beating a 73-year-old lawyer to dying in New Jersey. Kai had apparently met Galfy in New York’s Instances Sq. after spending the evening prior sleeping within the Port Authority bus terminal.

The legal professional allegedly provided Kai a journey and a spot to remain at his residence in Clark, New Jersey. Kai was given a couple of beers and hamburgers, which he instructed New Jersey police after his arrest that he believed that they had been drugged, saying: “He had made some burgers, then I don’t bear in mind a lot after that. I wakened on his ground, he was attempting to take my pants down and I began hitting him. I simply blacked out.”

Kai maintained it was an act of self-defense. “I used to be underneath the affect of god is aware of what and there may be, for all intents and functions, a unadorned man excessive of me sexually assaulting me,” he mentioned in an interview with Vocativ from 2016. “I fought tooth and nail. On the road, like, don’t get me unsuitable, I’m a pleasant man and stuff. However when you’re sleeping beneath a practice bridge and also you get up in a state of affairs like that, you gotta combat in your life. It’s only a truth for survival on the streets.”

Kai the Hitchhiker

Courtesy of Netflix

A good friend requested the police to verify in on Galfy after his newspapers began to construct up in his driveway, which was out of character for the lawyer as he all the time collected his paper at first of every day. That is how his physique was found. Investigators used surveillance footage and cellphone knowledge, amongst others items of proof, to determine Kai as a suspect and he was arrested in Philadelphia a couple of days later.

Prosecutors didn’t purchase his declare of self-defense, saying Kai’s statements have been inconsistent and cited the sufferer’s intensive accidents—together with “quite a few critical blunt-force accidents to his face, head, neck, chest, and arms, together with three cranium fractures, 4 damaged ribs, and extreme contusions, abrasions, and bleeding,” as reported by CBS New York on the time. Additionally they mentioned the reducing of his lengthy hair indicated his guilt and that he was attempting to vary his look to keep away from seize. Prosecutors additionally instructed the jury {that a} checklist of intercourse offenders was present in Kai’s bag and advised that he was in search of “vigilante justice”—some extent rehashed within the Netflix documentary.

It took the case six years to get to trial however solely 4 weeks to convict Kai after he appeared in courtroom. He was discovered responsible and sentenced to 57 years behind bars. Union County Superior Court docket Decide Robert Kirsch mentioned to him on the time of sentencing: “You’re artful, you might be crafty, you might be disingenuous, and you might be manipulative,” Kirsch instructed Kai, describing quite a few methods during which the convicted tried to cowl his tracks. “And while you grow to be eligible for parole, you’ll nonetheless be youthful than Mr. Galfy was while you murdered him.”

Kai the Hitchhiker

Courtesy of Netflix

Kai should serve not less than 85 % of the time period earlier than the potential for parole, underneath the phrases of his sentence. “Do I really feel unhealthy that he’s lifeless? It’s a human life, [so] I imply yeah,” Kai mentioned in the course of the piece with Vocativ. “Do I really feel unhealthy that he raped me? I really feel embarrassed like I feel it’s disgusting. I really feel all kinds of feelings and stuff that I wouldn’t want on anybody else.”

In August 2021, Kai bid to have his homicide conviction overturned, citing the jury was justified by the proof and that prosecutors “dedicated misconduct by mischaracterizing the proof” and Kai’s protection, per the Related Press. He additionally accused the trial decide of improperly permitting extremely prejudicial professional testimony.

The appeals courtroom famous that the medical expert’s testimony confirmed Galfy’s accidents have been so extreme that they have been the results of “excess of simply an effort to thwart a sexual advance,” within the opinion of the trial decide. “The file doesn’t recommend a miscarriage of justice occurred,” the two-judge panel wrote.

The Hatchet Wielding Hitchhiker is offered to stream on Netflix.

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