The Hatchet Wielding Hitchhiker: Where is Caleb “Kai” Lawrence McGillvary now?

The Hatchet Wielding Hitchhiker
The Hatchet Wielding Hitchhiker /

If Netflix is good at one thing, it’s producing shocking documentaries and docuseries. The latest is no exception, with The Hatchet Wielding Hitchhiker premiering on the platform today, Jan. 10. The film tells the true story of Caleb “Kai” Lawrence McGillvary, a young man without a home who became a nationwide hero after stopping an attack in Fresno, California. In case you’re unfamiliar with the story, Kai went viral in 2013 when he saved two lives by hitting an assailant over the head repeatedly with a hatchet.

The story is so bizarre and wildly entertaining, but unfortunately, it does not have a happy ending. Though Kai was in high demand after his interview at the scene hit the internet, he ended up behind bars on a homicide charge just months later.

In The Hatchet Wielding Hitchhiker, we learn about the fateful incident where Kai went viral, and what he did with all the attention. After the famous interview circulated on social media, TV executives wanted him to be the next big star. He appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live! and was even eyed for his own reality show, but Kai was very reckless. He did not behave professionally and he was extremely erratic, making it hard for anyone to rely on him.

In May 2013, Kai was arrested on murder charges after a man named Joseph Galfy was found dead in his New Jersey home. Was Kai found guilty? Where is he now? Here’s what we know.

What happened to Kai, the hatchet-wielding hitchhiker?

Kai stood trial for the case and was found guilty of first-degree murder in 2019, which earned him a 57-year sentence. In 2021, he attempted to appeal the conviction but was denied. Today, he’s serving time at the Union County Jail in Elizabeth, New Jersey, and to our knowledge is expected to carry out his sentence there. In a press release, according to My Central Jersey, it was reported that Kai must serve 85% of his term before being considered for parole.

It’s extremely unfortunate how Kai’s life turned out, and our thoughts are with the family of Joseph Galfy.

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