Where is Kai the Hitchhiker now?

By Louie Fecou
Published: January 9, 2023 (Last updated: December 17, 2023)

Where is Kai the Hitchhiker now? We discuss the controversial figure in anticipation of the Netflix True Crime Documentary. 

There is an expression that truth is often stranger than fiction, and if you read a lot of reviews on this kind of subject, you will probably be weary of seeing it, but honestly, it feels as if that expression has never been more relevant when looking into the story of Kai the Hitchhiker. The story becomes part of internet culture when a viral video is released, but as the story of what happens to Kai next progresses, it gets wilder and wilder, and I am sure that most of you reading this probably already know more about it than I do, so with all that in mind it is probably time to wonder where is Kai the Hitchhiker now?

Is Kai the Hitchhiker real?

Yes, he certainly is. Kai went viral when a reporter from a Californian news station posted a video featuring Kai, real name Caleb Lawrence McGillvary from Alberta, Canada, in an interview in 2013, following a bizarre and disturbing incident that he was involved in.

The initial incident would see Kai involved in a horrific attack after being picked up by Jett Simmons McBride. McBride would crash his car into a pedestrian, and Kai would race from the vehicle to help the victim of the crash. A passing woman would try to help in the situation, but McBride would then leave the driver’s seat and attack her. This would lead to Kai then saving her by taking a hatchet from his backpack and striking the man, with the blunt side, on the head. In the viral video, Kai would be very animated in his explanation of hitting the attacker on the head, leading to the clip being used in numerous memes

The interview, with Kai explaining the confrontation he had, became so popular that he would appear on The Jimmy Kimmel Show in an interview staged in a car. However, it would be only three months after this TV appearance that Kai would make headlines again. A Netflix documentary that covers the story so far will be released on January 10th, 2023, and if you are intrigued to see the facts about the story, you should check it out. In the meantime, there is a trailer available to watch right now.

What happened to Kai the Hitchhiker?

After the incident, Kai would become an internet celebrity. The Gregory Brothers would sample clips from the interview and make them into a song. The music video that accompanied the song has over 10 million views on YouTube.

Kai would become a well-known and charismatic figure, and his natural charm and enthusiasm would make him a hero to people who would watch the story. Kai would resume his hitchhiking ways and found himself in New York, where he retells an encounter he had with a 73-year-old man called Joseph Galfy. Kai recounts that he would be picked up by the New Jersey attorney and would go to the man’s home.

However, Galfy would later be found murdered, Kai would be arrested for the crime, and then claim that he had been sexually assaulted by Galfy, leading to him attacking him and leaving. When arrested, Kai would explain what he alleges happened and would say that he did not know that Galfy was dead.

Where is Kai the Hitchhiker now?

Kai is in jail. He would defend himself in court, but a jury found that he was guilty of first-degree murder, and a judge would sentence him to fifty-seven years in prison. During the cross-examination, Kai would become aggressive, and at one point, he was nearly removed from the court altogether.

Is Kai the Hitchhiker still in jail?

Yes, Kai is currently serving the sentence that he was given in the court case. He would launch an appeal, but the conviction was upheld in August 2021. Kai has always maintained that there were major miscarriages of justice in the way that the case was reported.

In an interview with Inside Edition, he would explain that critical evidence that would prove he was drugged had been lost and destroyed. He would try and plead self-defense but his appeal would be unsuccessful. The judge, at the conclusion of the trial, would call Kai  “a powder keg of explosive rage” and would go on to summarise, “underneath that free spirit, the jury saw another side of you: a cold-blooded, calculated, callous killer.”

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