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‘Kai The Hatchet-Wielding Hitchhiker’ Heading To New Jersey In Murder Case

Suspect Caleb Lawrence McGillivary. (Credit: Union County Prosecutor's Office)

Suspect Caleb Lawrence McGillivary. (Credit: Union County Prosecutor’s Office)

John McDevitt John McDevitt
John McDevitt has been a reporter and editor at KYW Newsradio 1060...
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By John McDevitt

PHILADELPHIA (CBS/AP) — A man who gained Internet fame as “Kai, the hatchet-wielding hitchhiker” will be returning to New Jersey to face a murder charge in the death of a lawyer.

Appearing on a live video link in a Philadelphia courtroom, 24-year -old Caleb Lawrence McGillivary, better known as “Kai,” agreed to the extradition.

McGillivary is charged with killing 73-year-old Joseph Galfy Jr. after the pair met in New York City.  Authorities say Galfy was found beaten to death in his bedroom in Clark, N.J.

He was fugitive until he was picked up by Philadelphia police at a center city bus terminal on May 17th.

When an assistant district attorney asked McGillivary, according to procedure, if he was promised anything in exchange for waiving the rights of an extradition hearing, McGillivary answered, “Somebody offered me a cigarette.”   But then he said no one offered him anything.

McGillvary, formerly of Eureka, Calif., was once a hailed a hero.  In February he was credit for using a hatchet to thwart an attacker from nearly killing a Northern California utility worker.  His interview with a Fresno TV station went viral.  The clip has been viewed millions of times on YouTube and led to an appearance on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” for McGillivary.

Authorities allege that McGillivary and Galfy met in Times Square the weekend of May 11th, driving to Galfy’s home where McGillivary spent at least one night.  That’s where McGillivary beat Galfy to death, according to authorities.

Galfy, 73, was a well-respected land-use attorney in Union County, NJ.  A friend said he was a sports enthusiast who loved to travel. He lived alone.

McGillivary has described himself as “home-free” rather than homeless, and said he is from Sophia, W. Va.  He claimed that he is “already dead” to anyone he grew up with.

But in an interview with the Associated Press, McGillivary’s father, Gil McGillivary, said his son was born and raised in Edmonton, Alberta and has a family that is concerned about his wellbeing.

Gil McGillivary lives in Hawkesbury, Ontario and said he had only sporadic contact with his son.  He lost custody of Caleb shortly after he and his wife divorced. The boy was eight at the time.

Gil McGillivary said he last saw his son in December 2010. He said he emailed Caleb in February after learning his son went by Kai, but Caleb wrote back and accused his father of getting in touch to capitalize on his son’s fame.

Gil McGillivary said he stands by his son.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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