In interviews and messages, he says he spends his days in his cell reading, doing yoga and meditating for hours on end, looking out to the universe from within steel bars and concrete, sharp curls of razor wire. McGillivary responded, “i like your idea.”. Someone definitely needs that more than me.”. Closing arguments at Kai the Hitchhiker’s murder trial are starting now. 2 years ago. Watch: McGillivary gives Fox affiliate KMPH a strange account of the events on the Fresno highway. It was hard to know what to make of the post. The reporter ran over to catch him. The car was overheating, so they smoked a joint while McGillivary poured water into the radiator until it was ready to go again. The video spread quickly across the state and across the country and across the world, until it reached northern Alberta, where it was shared between McGillivary’s siblings and parents initially as just another dispatch from his travels, with notes that said: “If you’re curious what Caleb is up to …”. A mentally ill man had driven his car into a group of people while screaming racial slurs. (His last name has appeared in news coverage and on court documents with the spelling “McGillvary,” but his mother, Shirley Stromberg, says McGillivary is the correct spelling and that is the spelling his birth father uses.). They talked about God and Walmart and numerology, and when they got to the city, McBride gave McGillivary $40 to buy pot. An appeal brief was filed in April. “Do you think Kai is a victim of poor timing or a crazy killer?” the narrator asked at the end. I mean, people are recognizing you? As he spoke, his expression slid between amusement, anger and sorrow, and back again. Among the issues sited were “constantly cussing in front of children with no remorse,” “blatant DISRESPECT towards women,” and offending musicians “by lack of respect for time.”, “We hope Kai will help himself and best wishes to him. Kai was arrested on murder charges in May 2013 for the death of New Jersey attorney Joseph Galfy. Jump in the car. 8:44. 'Kai the Hitchhiker' Arrested for Murder. At some point Ratliff says he, too, stepped back, realizing that “there was obviously more to the story than we knew.” He could no longer say for certain whether Joseph Galfy had been killed in self-defence. The American dream glimmering there before him, conjured by six minutes of viral video. Hitchhiker, hero, celebrity, killer: The strange journey of the man called Kai. “what would you do if you woke up with a groggy head, metallic taste in your mouth, in a strangers house...,” it read. I thought I was helping do some right,” he says. Then he turned back to the reporter, and continued the story. The reporter Jessob Reisbeck was among those who saw the post about waking up in a stranger’s house, and he, too, wondered what to make of it. A post on the Kai the Hitchhiker Legal Support Facebook page indicates an appeal … U serious?” – says he thought it was some kind of symbolism. A post on the Kai the Hitchhiker Legal Support Facebook page indicates an appeal will be filed. Reisbeck was still talking to a witness when he spotted the young man walking nonchalantly across the street. McGillivary scarfed down a pile of burgers and fries while Reisbeck laid out the offers. This translation has been automatically generated and has not been verified for accuracy. The day’s New York Times sat uncollected outside. As his mother watched people’s reactions – and saw the reach of the video continue to spread and grow – she grew increasingly disturbed. Witnesses said McBride then grabbed the woman in a bear hug, and was kissing and hitting her when a young man ran toward them with something that looked like a hammer. The only known contact was Reisbeck, who had his e-mail address. A post on the Kai the Hitchhiker Legal Support Facebook page indicates an appeal … Given Galfy’s age and health, Ellenport expected the worst when a police officer who responded to the scene emerged from the house looking grim. Kai the Hatchet Hitchhiker ARRESTED FOR KILLING 73 YEAR OLD MAN!!! That hero, known then only as “Kai the Hitchhiker,” became famous for his bizarre, profanity-laced interview with a KMPH reporter when he discussed the details of the incident. ... Kai believes critical evidence was ignored or destroyed in his case and he’s filing an appeal. Still, something about it connected with people. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. What if you realized you had been drugged and sexually assaulted? There is McGillivary shirtless on a beach, singing a song about living on the road and dying free. As a criminal defense attorney, ... but was prompted to write this blog entry by the case of Kai the Hitchhiker, Caleb McGillvary. If things had gone differently, he said he could have imagined adopting him like a son. Robert Ellenport, the former mayor of Clark and a long-time friend of Galfy’s, arrived to find the bungalow at 46 Starlite Drive dark and quiet. It was Feb. 11, 2013, 10 days into McGillivary’s viral fame, and he was on one of the most popular talk shows in the world. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. She said she and her son are not currently in contact, and that she didn’t attend the trial based on his wishes. He may be disingenuous. McGillivary is now 31. After police interrogated Kai, whose real name is Caleb McGillvary, they set him free. 5 years ago | 6 views 'Kai the Hitchhiker' Arrested for Murder. Headlines and chyrons blared ‘Hatchet Hitchhiker Arrested For Murder’ and ‘Kai a Killer?’, One video, entitled “Kai the hatchet wielding hitchhiker hero may actually be a murderer,” reenacted the events in a gleefully gory animation. The interview was long, nearly six minutes, and though McGillivary could be charming and funny, the story itself was not. Caleb McGillivary, also known as “Kai the Hatchet-wielding Hitchhiker,” was found guilty of first-degree murder Wednesday for the killing of a 73-year-old New Jersey lawyer. In that time, they came back with one question, about manslaughter. Courtesy of Damen Tesch and Second Sight Tattoo/Handout. Full Disclaimer, Illustration by Klawe Rzeczy. Kai is back in the restricted part of the jail, 23hours locked and he has no access to the outside and gym area. “Are you the hero?” he asked, reaching out his KMPH News microphone. On the way, Galfy picked up food and a pack of Newports. In their interview for the follow-up story Getting to Know Kai: The Truth Behind The Hero, McGillivary recounted experiences Reisbeck described in the segment as “darker and more gut-wrenching than you can imagine.”. He described seeing McBride grab the woman. On the Kai the Hitchhiker Legal Support Page, people still share words of support, sending him love, light and prayers, and sometimes, money for his commissary and his legal fund. But Reisbeck says the producers pushed hard for at least an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, sweetening the deal by promising to put McGillivary in a limo filled with weed and let him drive him around LA doing whatever he wanted. He’d always been remarkably smart and creative, full of energy and fire. He says his friend’s death did not get the attention it deserved, because of the broader spectacle. “And then he became old before his time!”. He said McBride admitted to once raping a girl in the Virgin Islands, and he showed deep scars on his knuckles he said were from another time he’d beaten someone while trying to protect a woman. He spent the last night of March sleeping alongside Route 99 in California, the road heading north toward Fresno. A psychological report filed with the court described McGillivary displaying “serious anti-social behavior” from the time he was a toddler, and said he admitted to killing hamsters and trying to set the family home on fire as a child. One website held a contest to identify the images, describing it as “a swirling miasma of mystical symbolism perfectly befitting a man of Kai’s guru-like qualities.”, But public attention and interest was already starting to turn. McGillivary had recently written about wanting to be in a porno film where the profits would go to “a civil rights group that aims to arm single mothers in poverty stricken areas with shotguns.” Another post described wanting to “smash smash smash” the leader of North Korea “DEAD,” and, more explicitly “beat him to death with a hammer.”. “That’s something I wish I could scream at the world sometimes.”. We hope to have this fixed soon. It suddenly felt like everyone in the world was trying to get to Kai. Caleb McGillvary, the man who gained Internet fame in 2013 as "Kai the Hatchet-Wielding Hitchhiker," was sentenced to 57 years in prison for the 2013 beating death of a lawyer in New Jersey. Days earlier, McGillivary had written a long and detailed post saying he was sexually and physically abused and locked in a cage as a child, and that his family were members of a cult who believed there was a demon in him. Duration: 03:18 1/3/2020. Kai stated that the police claimed the sexual encounter was consensual and the murder premeditated; however, Kai said that after the viral video in California, he had no need to have sex with men like Galfy, who Kai described as unattractive, stating "Do you know how m… They left New York together in Galfy’s car, and headed to his tidy suburban home. During his trial, McGillvary said he acted in self-defense and argued he was drugged and sexually assaulted by the New Jersey lawyer. Fame, money, celebrity. McGillivary spent his early life in Red Deer, and his family later moved to St. Paul, about two hours’ drive northeast of Edmonton. 52 Once-viral homeless hero 'Kai the Hitchhiker' convicted Homeless drifter Caleb “Kai” McGillvary, 30, who had a brush with Internet fame in 2013 after he saved a person from a would-be attacker while hitchhiking, was convicted Wednesday of first-degree murder in the beating death of a 73-year-old man. According to Kai, Galfy attempted to rape him after offering Kai a place to stay for the night. The jurors deliberated for two days. We break it all down for you! Expect to see an … Prosecutors in Union Country, New Jersey said McGillvary, 30, first met Joseph Galfy, 73, in New York City's Times Square, less than two days before Galfy was found dead in his home. “You created this public image of a surfing free spirit, unshackled by the constraints of materialism and consumption. The interview video which gave McGillvary the internet fame was viewed millions of times on YouTube and he also appeared on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!" May 31, 2019, 1:49 PM ET ‘Kai The Hatchet-Wielding Hitchhiker’ Hit With 57-Year Sentence For Lawyer’s Murder, Plans Appeal In an exclusive prison interview with Oxygen.com, Caleb McGillivary insisted he was innocent — and said he intends to seek the counsel of Kathleen Zellner, Steven Avery’s attorney. The call that came through the scanners that Friday afternoon was his first breaking news assignment. Star Ledger, Patti Sapone/The Associated Press/The Associated Press. “You don’t want to have a home, correct?” Kimmel asked. A post on the Kai the Hitchhiker Legal Support Facebook page indicates an appeal will be filed. ‘if I die in Raleigh at least I will die free,’ he sings. One reporter noted that, McGillivary’s “eccentric facial expressions and constant eyebrow raising were reminiscent of the YouTube video that made him Internet famous.”. But McGillivary was not always who people wanted him to be. Terry Ratliff, who launched the first efforts to raise money after his arrest, says he felt sorry for McGillivary, especially if things happened the way McGillivary said they did. On Wednesday, McGillivary, 30, a Canadian citizen, was convicted of first degree murder in the killing of New Jersey lawyer Joseph Galfy, who was beaten to death in 2013. 2 years ago. But then, online exchanges with his supporters began to take a darker turn. The internet sensation who sprang to fame as Kai the Hatchet-Wielding Hitchhiker has been found guilty of beating a New Jersey attorney to death. You're not going to come into OUR city and THINK you can RUN OVER us with your so-called FAME!””, People responded with emojis that showed tears of sadness and tears of laughter, and gifs of McGillivary smash-smash-smashing. He’d gone back at times, back to his family, back to school or work, but that kind of routine never suited him for long, and by the early months of 2013, he was drifting once again. Online, pieces of the story remain frozen in time, moments preserved and ready to be played and replayed. Joseph Galfy Jr. is shown in 2011, two years before he met McGillivary. If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. This page was created at Kai's request so that his supporters have a space to support him. KIMMEL: You’ve become very famous now from YouTube, haven’t you? In some ways, Reisbeck was worried about McGillivary. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to, To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Ratliff – who also asked, “Dude … Wtf? Jessob Reisbeck was an experienced reporter at KMPH, the local Fox-affiliate TV station in Fresno, but he typically covered sports, and had only recently started filling in on other stories. McGillivary had been held in jail for six years by then, much of it in solitary confinement or segregation. McGillivary was arrested three days later in a Greyhound station in Philadelphia. He hadn’t spoken with any other reporters at the scene, and he had no phone, no address, and hadn’t given out his real name or where he was from. Prosecutors in Union Country, New Jersey said McGillvary, 30, first met Joseph Galfy, 73, in New York City's Times Square, less than two days before Galfy was found dead in his home. Whenever McGillivary got close to mentioning the viral video or obliquely referenced his Internet fame during the trial, Kirsch immediately shut it down. But the community supporting McGillivary was knotted with infighting. “Thanks for not killing me with a hatchet,” Kimmel said. And it doesn’t matter your looks, skills or age, your size, or anything, you’re worthwhile. The man known as Kai the Hatchet Wielding Hitchhiker was arrested for murder, following allegations that he beat a man to death in New Jersey, according to Philadelphia's WPVI-TV.. He sat beside Kimmel in the passenger seat of a set car, the studio audience roaring with laughter as McGillivary answered questions about his life and philosophies, and described his plans to build a house of willow hoops and moss. By the time the two met to film a follow-up story, Reisbeck had become the de facto contact between McGillivary and the throngs of people trying to get in touch. Hank Sims / Wednesday, April 24, 2019 @ 2:39 p.m. / Courts ‘Kai the Homefree Hitchhiker,’ Former Humboldter and Hatchet-Wielding Viral Sensation, Convicted of First-Degree Murder "Im carefree and brave ill be fine,” McGillivary assured her. He may be obstructive. In 2013, Caleb McGillivary became an unlikely hero and an even unlikelier star. It was like nothing he’d ever experienced. When Joseph Galfy didn’t show up for work on Monday and missed an appointment, his paralegal called some of his friends and neighbours, and asked them to check on him. Kai the Hatchet-Wielding Hitchhiker had been born. The man who was once called Kai the Hatchet-Wielding Hitchhiker is now inmate #1222665 at New Jersey State Prison, a maximum-security prison for dangerous and violent offenders. Maybe it was his colourful language or his wild and carefree vibe, or the idea of such an unlikely hero in such a troubled time. Maybe it was how, when he said that everyone deserves love and respect, it felt like he was speaking right to you. While some commenters defended the tattoo, others concluded McGillivary was stupid or high or mentally ill or just seeking attention. We break it all down for you! A video posted by the cameraman was viewed 400,000 times overnight, and versions by the station and Reisbeck – and by others who appropriated it for profit on their own YouTube and social media channels – were racking up thousands, and then millions, of views within hours. At one point in the interview, he said, “I don’t have any family. A man who gained Internet fame as "Kai the Hatchet-Wielding Hitchhiker" has been convicted of first-degree murder in the beating death of a New Jersey man almost six years ago. The original video was repeatedly transformed and remixed, including by The Gregory Brothers, best known for their wildly popular "Bed Intruder Song" which set to music an interview with a man describing a home invasion and the attempted rape of his sister. ‘Kai The Hatchet-Wielding Hitchhiker’ Hit With 57-Year Sentence For Lawyer’s Murder, Plans Appeal In an exclusive prison interview with Oxygen.com , Caleb McGillivary insisted he was innocent — and said he intends to seek the counsel of Kathleen Zellner, Steven Avery’s attorney. “If it landed one way, he was going to go and potentially make millions of dollars … He was going to be a reality TV show star,” Reisbeck says. Kai’s appeal brief is due on April 10, 2020. Sources: Patti Sapone/NJ Advance Media via AP, Pool; Jessob Reisbeck/YouTube; court documents from the State of New Jersey; television transcript from The Colbert Report. Kai maintained he fought against Galfy in self-defense. One of his ears had been torn almost off. He offered McGillivary beer and a place to stay. “Or, he was going to go smoke weed in San Francisco.”, When the pencil fell to the table, McGillivary said, “Well, I’m going to go smoke weed.’”. I very well could have been wrong, but I did cleanse my hands of it.”. Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language. UPDATE: ‘Kai the Hitchhiker’ reaches out online for a 'real lawyer’ to handle appeal of his murder conviction. We will be filing an appeal as soon as possible and will keep you updated," a post on Kai the Hitchhiker Legal Support Page on Facebook read. The song was Wagon Wheel, a story of wandering across America, originally co-written by Bob Dylan and Ketch Secor of the band Old Crow Medicine Show. There were donations for bail and a lawyer, pledges of support, hashtags like #FREEKAI and #INNOCENT. Watch: In the summer of 2012, before his viral fame, McGillivary stopped to play the ukulele on this beach in Vernon, B.C. This time, when Reisbeck passed along the offer, McGillivary said yes. He’d hitchhiked through provinces and states, walked over mountains and across borders. “Bro, you’re blowing up,” his brother told him. Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. ELIZABETH, N.J. (AP) — A man who gained Internet fame as "Kai, the hatchet-wielding hitchhiker" says he's not guilty of a murder charge. McGillvary was in jail since the attack and was awaiting trial since he was arrested in New Jersey in 2013, according to NJ.com. Caleb “Kai” McGillvary, 24, is taken by Union County sheriff’s officers to jail in Elizabeth, N.J., Thursday, May 30, 2013. McGillivary left Galfy’s house the next morning, then returned again that night. He was committed to a state mental hospital for a maximum of nine years. The self-proclaimed "home-free" (as opposed to "homeless") hitchhiker was praised as a hero in February when he foiled an attack in California by hitting an assailant over the head with a hatchet. A man had steered his car into a group of Pacific Gas & Electric workers, throwing one several feet and pinning another against a truck. 351 King Street East, Suite 1600, Toronto, ON Canada, M5A 0N1, Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks, var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o? “You are a powder keg of explosive rage, a cold-blooded, calculated, callous killer.”, He noted McGillivary will be eligible for parole around 2061, when he is about 72 or 73 years old. McGillvary became a viral star in February 2013 when a reporter in Fresno, California, interviewed him after he saved a person from a would-be attacker while hitchhiking. ELIZABETH, N.J. – A Canadian man who initially gained Internet fame as “Kai, the hatchet-wielding hitchhiker ” has been convicted of the 2013 beating death of a prominent Clark attorney in his home. 'Kai the Hatchet-Wielding Hitchhiker' whose crazed TV interview about fending off an attacker went viral is found guilty of murdering a New Jersey attorney after barista who recognized him called cops They had seen him at a wedding in Red Deer a few months earlier, and it just seemed so Caleb for him to suddenly reappear like this. He held a cigarette, with another tucked up by his right ear. The public’s attention waned as time stretched on in the years before trial, and others drifted away as the evidence started to come out. "This has been nothing but a sham trial, and you have railroaded an innocent man,” he said. Hank Sims / Wednesday, April 24, 2019 @ 2:39 p.m. / Courts ‘Kai the Homefree Hitchhiker,’ Former Humboldter and Hatchet-Wielding Viral Sensation, Convicted of First-Degree Murder Prosecutors said McGillvary provided inconsistent accounts to authorities after he was arrested in Philadelphia. He said his name was Kai – “Straight outta Dogtown. admin April 24, 2019. So when Kai found out that the appeal brief he worked so hard on had been sealed so the public couldn’t read it, he was very concerned. When the officer tapped him on the shoulder, McGillivary initially thought it was a fan, seeking an autograph. As far as anybody I grew up with is concerned, I’m already dead,” and it hurt to hear that. Matt Yurus reports. He said in the viral interview that he used a hatchet he was carrying at the time to repeatedly hit a man who pinned the utility worker with his car in the unprovoked attack. Many of the other fan pages and fundraisers are gone, withering into a collection of dead links and old stories, replaced by new celebrities and new causes, new heroes and villains, new stories that may or may not quite fit the narratives we want them to. Viral video star ‘Kai the Hatchet Wielding Hitchhiker’ arrested in N.J. slaying Police would later find Galfy dead in his home on May 13, 2013, NJ.com reported. He had attempted suicide at least once. McGillivary’s teenaged sister saw her friends post and repost the video, having no idea Kai was her brother. He was 54, well over six feet tall and almost 300 pounds, with a thin bow of a mouth and pillowy bags under his eyes. He noted that the prosecutor repeatedly referred to the victim casually as “Joe,” as though they were friends. Caleb McGillivary, 24, is accused of killing 73-year-old lawyer Joseph Galfy, whose body was found May 13 in his Clark home. “Smash, smash, suh-mash.”. “We weren’t there,” he says. If the jury believed McGillivary killed Galfy while defending himself, they could find him not-guilty. McGillvary’s supporters who followed the case and posted updates on the Kai the Hitchhiker Legal Support Page on Facebook, claimed the judge in the case was biased and that an appeal is expected. “It is obvious that he plays to the media. He wore a red sweatshirt and carried a hikers’ backpack, and a bandana printed with peace-signs constrained a tangle of sun-bleached hair. Kai the hatchet-wielding hitchhiker who 'beat lawyer to death' is rushed to hospital after suicide attempt in jail. Judge Kirsch agreed McGillivary’s fitness to stand trial was not an issue, saying: “He may be difficult. You may already know that the judge banned cameras from the courtroom so they could use all sorts of body language and vocal tones to influence the jury to falsely convict Kai. McBride had thrown away his cellphone and left his dog, Zoe, on the side of the road so neither could be used to trace him. “Shame on you.”. TWEET. 0 10 2 minutes read. He completely lives by the beat of his own drum.”. Instead, three months later, the Alberta man was facing life in prison for a murder he says was self-defence. Throughout the trial, McGillivary sometimes interrupted with his own legal arguments and comments, at times so disruptively that the judge threatened to remove him from the courtroom. The most notable interest, Reisbeck says, came from the producers of Keeping Up With the Kardashians, who wanted to do a reality show. Soon there were invitations to 13 different countries, and just about every news program and talk show imaginable. Driving back to the station, Reisbeck replayed the interview in his mind, trying to make sense of the scene, and of the man he’d just met. "Due to not being able to fully present his case, Kai has been found guilty of murder. This petition is a request to the above named media outlets to report the list of evidentiary facts listed below, which are corroborated by forensic reports and transcripts on Kai the Hitchhiker Legal Support Page on Facebook. He spent the past year working to overturn both his conviction and sentence, with the help of a paralegal who has been volunteering her services after coming across his viral video online. “Which, by complete coincidence is still younger than Mr. Galfy was when you murdered him.”, Given a chance to speak, McGillivary said he had been wrongfully convicted by a system both corrupt and stacked against him. Up, ” his sister says years before he met McGillivary best to ignore the white he! After suicide attempt in jail say, “ I found a good person who put up! He spent the last night of March sleeping alongside Route 99 in,... Left Galfy ’ s house the next morning, then 24-years-old, was arrested it is obvious he. 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Picked up food and a place to stay for the night. `` of Dogtown, he. Joe, ” the judge said in court that he ’ d been helping people be... His brother told him history of sexual abuse and trauma because somebody doesn ’ t surprise them all. The media agreed McGillivary ’ s Fox interview gets a musical auto-tune treatment surfboard and a bandana with. Sexual abuse and trauma a group of people wanting to help on May 30, 2019, Kirsch immediately kai the hitchhiker appeal... Back with one question, about manslaughter at a fast-food restaurant in San.! Shirtless on a beach, singing a song about living on the Kai the hatchet hitchhiker, hero,,. Kai smiled and said, during his sentencing ’ to handle appeal his!

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