Kai the Famous Hitchhiker Arrested on Murder Charges

Caleb Lawrence McGillvary went viral after gas station heroics

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted May 16, 2013 6:21 PM CDT | Updated May 17, 2013 7:18 AM CDT

(Newser) – "Kai the hitchhiker" became an Internet celebrity in February when he intervened in a gas station attack in Fresno, California, hitting a man on the back of the head with a hatchet to stop him from assaulting a woman, then giving a very entertaining (and profanity-laced) interview to a local news station. The 24-year-old has since been viewed millions of times on YouTube and even appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live—but his life took a very dark turn this week, Mashable reports. Kai, real name Caleb Lawrence McGillvary, was charged with murder; he had been on the run, but police arrested him last night at a Philadelphia Greyhound station, ABC 30 reports.

He's charged with killing 73-year-old lawyer Joseph Galfy Jr., who was found dead of blunt force trauma in his New Jersey home Monday, wearing only his socks and underwear, the AP reports. Police haven't said anything about McGillvary's alleged motive, but he posted a graphic message on Facebook Tuesday suggesting that he had been drugged and raped. He met Galfy in Times Square two days before the lawyer was found dead, returning to Galfy's home and spending at least two nights there, authorities say. Investigators have also tracked McGillvary's travels across the nation and discovered other unsolved murders at points along the way; they are looking into whether the hitchhiker could have been involved.

Kai.
Kai.   (YouTube)
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The interview that made Kai famous.   (Jessob Reisbeck)

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