By the end of March, a Facebook page that had been formed in his honour and hosting concerts and events with him in Fresno was shutting down, a terse message announcing “WE CANNOT VOUCH FOR KAI’S INTEGRITY TOWARDS PEOPLE ANYMORE.”, “Kai has worn out his welcome in Fresno to people's kind hearts and good graces,” one of the page’s administrators wrote. "This has been nothing but a sham trial, and you have railroaded an innocent man,” he said. 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. The interview went online that night, and Reisbeck awoke the next morning to a flood of emails and texts. A mentally ill man had driven his car into a group of people while screaming racial slurs. He’d hitchhiked through provinces and states, walked over mountains and across borders. Someone definitely needs that more than me.”. 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. It was a sensational afterward to the original story. Follow. According to Kai, Galfy attempted to rape him after offering Kai a place to stay for the night. Joseph Galfy had been found facedown on the floor of his bedroom dressed only in his underwear and socks. But Ellenport was speechless when he learned his friend had been murdered. 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. “It is obvious that he plays to the media. In May of that year, things took a turn for the worse. Three or four days after the viral video, Reisbeck and McGillivary met at a fast-food restaurant in San Jose. Jump in the car. Our Morning Update and Evening Update newsletters are written by Globe editors, giving you a concise summary of the day’s most important headlines. ‘Kai the Hitchhiker’ Caleb McGillivary is returned to Union County in 2013 to face charges that he killed Clark attorney Joseph Galfy. As his younger sister would say, “One of the things with loving a free spirit is understanding that you’ve got to let them be a free spirit.”. But he struggled throughout his life, and had been hospitalized more than once for mental health treatment. 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. It suddenly felt like everyone in the world was trying to get to Kai. Caleb McGillivary, 24, is accused of killing 73-year-old lawyer Joseph Galfy, whose body was found May 13 in his Clark home. Hitchhiker, hero, celebrity, killer: The strange journey of the man called Kai. Then, oral arguments are scheduled. McGillivary sometimes talked about being a vigilante and going after pedophiles. A man who gained Internet fame as "Kai, the hatchet-wielding hitchhiker" says he's not guilty of a murder charge. ‘if I die in Raleigh at least I will die free,’ he sings. “Do you think Kai is a victim of poor timing or a crazy killer?” the narrator asked at the end. He’s obsessed with it,” the judge said in court. This page was created at Kai's request so that his supporters have a space to support him. Soon there were invitations to 13 different countries, and just about every news program and talk show imaginable. Even after everything that happened in the minutes that followed, McBride would still say Kai was the coolest son-of-a-bitch he ever met. McGillivary listened, then threw a pencil in the air. “And then he became old before his time!”. The interview video which gave McGillvary the internet fame was viewed millions of times on YouTube and he also appeared on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!" 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. One reporter noted that, McGillivary’s “eccentric facial expressions and constant eyebrow raising were reminiscent of the YouTube video that made him Internet famous.”. 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.. McGillivary talks to the media as he is taken by Union County sheriff's officers to jail in Elizabeth, N.J., on May 30, 2013. Not homeless, he would tell people. 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. Kirsch also denied McGillivary’s request to fire his lawyer and represent himself. “Let us know in the comments!”. “You don’t understand what it’s like to hang out with this guy,” Reisbeck would tell people then. You’re that dude with the hatchet.”. He would be further shocked to discover the suspect was a man he recognized from a bizarre news story earlier a few months earlier. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests. Still, something about it connected with people. Weeks later, as he drifted from place to place on a wave of viral celebrity, McGillivary got a large tattoo on the right side of his face and neck. Watch: McGillivary joins TV host Jimmy Kimmel for a sketch showing the two of them behind the dashboard of a car. K-A-I” – but offered little else. "Due to not being able to fully present his case, Kai has been found guilty of murder. At one point in the interview, he said, “I don’t have any family. 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. A man who gained internet fame as "Kai the Hatchet-wielding hitchhiker" was sentenced to 57 years in prison Thursday in the beating death of a New … McGillivary responded, “i like your idea.”. The idea of vigilante justice has always had some appeal to me. After police interrogated Kai, whose real name is Caleb McGillvary, they set him free. Trial began in New Jersey man or just seeking attention was Reisbeck, who had his e-mail.... Was long, nearly six minutes, and others encountered floods of harassment from online trolls hitchhiker who lawyer... 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