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What Netflix's The Hatchet Wielding Hitchhiker leaves out about Kai

Content warning: contains mentions of murder and suicide

Earlier this week, Netflix dropped their first true crime documentary of the year, The Hatchet Wielding Hitchhiker. The documentary films tells the story of Kai Lawrence who became an overnight sensation after a clip of him went viral in 2013, however, just a few months later he was being arrested for murder.

The Hatchet Wielding Hitchhiker went straight into the number one spot on Netflix upon its release, with many viewers intrigued by the story.

Whilst the documentary gives a detailed explanation of how Kai became an instant internet celebrity, and how he ended up becoming arrested for murder, there were still a number of details that were left out of the documentary.

true story of the hatchet wielding hitchhiker

This is everything that was left out about Kai Lawrence in The Hatchet Wielding Hitchhiker including more details from him arrest.

Who is Kai Lawrence?

Kai Lawrence, whose real name is Caleb McGillvary, became an overnight celebrity after attacking a man with hatchet.

In early 2013, Kai caught a ride with Jett Simmons McBride who drove into a pedestrian on the pavement. Kai got out of the car to help the pedestrian and was quickly helped by a woman. McBride got out of the car and began attacking the woman who was trying to help. Kai then attacked McBride with a hatchet he had in his bag.

what the hatchet wielding hitchhiker leaves out

Shortly after the police showed up, Kai was interviewed by a local news station, KMPH, in which he gave an eccentric retelling of the story. KMPH then released the full six and a half minute video on YouTube and overnight Kai became an instant meme.

He appeared on The Jimmy Kimmel Show, Justin Bieber's team reached out to him about creating music and a producer from Keeping Up With The Kardashians wanted to create a reality show about him.

However, in May that same year he was arrested for the murder of 73-year-old Jospeh Galfy.

Why was Kai arrested?

As covered in The Hatchet Wielding Hitchhiker Kai was arrested for the murder of lawyer Joseph Galfy.

Galfy was found dead in his home in New Jersey, wearing only his socks and underwear, with his head bashed in.

The police found a note in Galfy's home with Kai's name and number on it, as well as a train ticket receipt. They then studied surveillance footage from a local train station which showed Galfy buying Kai a train ticket and the pair hugging goodbye.

what the hatchet wielding hitchhiker leaves out

Thanks to Kai's level of celebrity, the police were then tipped off and found Kai in a bus station in Philadelphia.

Kai claimed to have murdered Galfy in self-defence, saying he was staying at Galfy's house and believed Galfy had drugged and sexually assaulted him. Kai said he left the house the next day to stay with a fan, but when the fan didn't answer her phone, Kai returned to Galfy's house.

That night, he claimed to have woken up to have found Galfy sexually assaulting him and Kai attacked him.

Despite claiming self-defence, the police doubted this as there were no sign of a struggle in Galfy's property and there were no defensive marks on Kai's body.

What was left out about Kai's trial?

The Hatchet Wielding Hitchhiker, ends shortly after Kai's arrest and concludes by telling the audience Kai was serving a 57-year sentence in a New Jersey prison.

However, there were a few details about the trial the documentary left out. Shortly after his arrest, fans began raising money for Kai's legal fund. However, the prosecutor believed Kai to be a "dangerous suspect" and he was held on a $3million bond before his first appearance in court.

what the hatchet wielding hitchhiker leaves out

Though he admitted to attacking Galfy as a form of self-defence, Kai pleaded not-guilty to the murder charge.

His trial was not until 2019, and he stayed in jail until his trial came up. According to Kai tried to commit suicide whilst awaiting trial. He also spent his time studying law and filed state and federal lawsuits claiming the authorities violated his right to due process.

During his trial, Kai's lawyer John Cito argued the police hadn't pursued evidence which would prove whether or not the sexual assault Kai claimed had happened was true.

Kai was eventually found guilty of first-degree murder and sentenced to 57 years in prison.

Since his sentencing, Kai has been in the New Jersey State Prison, in Trenton and maintains his innocence. In 2021 he launched an appeal but lost his case.

The Hatchet Wielding Hitchhiker is available on Netflix now.

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