Who Is Kai The Hatchet Wielding Hitchhiker? New Details On The Viral Star Found Guilty Of Murder

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Who Is Kai The Hatchet Wielding Hitchhiker? New Details On The Viral Star Found Guilty Of Murder

One of the best things the internet has done for us, in my ever so humble opinion, is giving us a platform to acknowledge and celebrate everyday individuals who perform incredible good deeds. From little kids raising money for a good cause to the pizza delivery person who helped an elderly person slip and fall, you don't have to look very far to find stories of people just like you transforming into heroes to save their fellow man. When Kai helped rescue someone from an attacker, he was thrust into the headlines and the public just couldn't get enough of this unique character. But now, Kai The Hatchet Carrying Hitchhiker has been convicted of first-degree murder and it's casting a much darker light over his brief time in the viral spotlight. 

1. His Viral Fame

The name Caleb McGillvary might not mean much to you, but if you spent any time on the internet in 2013, then the name Kai The Hatchet Carrying Hitchhiker definitely does. Caleb, known to friends and those who followed his brief moment in the viral spotlight as Kai, made headlines when he saved a person from a vicious assault while he was hitchhiking.  Interviewed by a reporter in California on the news after the fact, his completely spacey demeanor and peace and love attitude caught the attention of not just people tuned into the local news. People from all over the world hit up YouTube to check out what this viral sensation had to say. He's back in the news today, but it's not for anything nearly as charming. 

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2. His Crime 

This week, Kai was found guilty of the murder of a 73-year-old man named Joseph Galfy Jr. He will appear in court on June 13th and could be sentenced to life in prison. According to various outlets, the two met somewhere in Times Square just days before the heinous crime took place. Galfy, a lawyer, invited Kai back to stay at his home in New Jersey, and Kai happily took him up on his offer. Tragically, Galfy's body was discovered in his home just two days after the duo set out together from Time Square. When he was finally found, he was reported to be lying facedown on the floor of his own bedroom wearing only his underwear and a pair of socks. Police arrested McGillvary shortly thereafter. They located him in Philadelphia. He claimed to have no idea that the man died from the injuries inflicted upon him. 

3. What Really Happened?

So what really happened? If Kai is as peace loving as he seemed in his viral clip, surely he wouldn't just wake up one day and decide to kill a person who gave him a roof over his head and a safe place to rest. Kai's lawyer, John Cito, says that the crime occurred when Galfy crept into the room where Kai was sleeping and tried to sexually assault him. The police said they couldn't find evidence to support that claim. In fact, it was relatively easy for the lawyers in charge of prosecuting the case to strike down this self-defense theory that Kai's team turned to. All they had to do was put the medical examiner who had performed the autopsy of Galfry on the stand and he was able to confirm that the injuries (including three skull fractures, broken ribs, and many contusions) went well beyond merely defensive wounds. 

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4. The Prosecutor Speaks 

Now that Kai has been convicted, the state prosecutor is finally speaking out about the awful crime. “This was a brutal, vicious, senseless crime, and we are pleased that the interests of justice have been served,” said prosecutor Michael Monahan. “We sincerely thank the jury for their service and hope that today’s verdict brings some measure of solace to Mr. Galfy’s family, friends, and loved ones," he added. It can't be easy for the families of anyone involved, but at least now both sides can move on and hopefully find some sense of closure if not total peace. 

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5. Kai's Future

Kai's situation isn't an easy one. Though he may have been a viral sensation, there was a darkness beneath the surface of his hitchhiker persona. He was previously homeless and had often struggled to make ends meet. How tragic that his life could have become so frightening and desperate that it would lead him to something like this. Kai still has his supporters. In fact, there is a Facebook page dedicated to his cause called the Kai the Hitchhiker Legal Support. According to that Facebook page, Kai and his lawyers plan on filing an appeal to his conviction in this case, although neither Kai nor his legal team has said that themselves. 

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Rebecca Jane Stokes is a writer living in Brooklyn, New York with her cats, Batman and Margot. She's an experienced generalist with a passion for lifestyle, geek news, pop culture, and true crime. For more of her work, check out her Tumblr