Everything Netflix’s ‘The Hatchet Wielding Hitchhiker’ Documentary Leaves Out

By Kirsty 1 year ago

1. It All Began With A Viral Video

Image Source / WikipediaThe story of 'Kai the Hatchet-Wielding Hitchhiker' began with an internet viral video, once again highlighting the power of instant internet fame. The video was released by a news station back in 2013, and it quickly went viral and the press soon jumped all over it.

2. So What Happened In The Video?

Image Source / Rolling Stone
The video revealed an eyewitness account by Kai who explained how he was hitchhiking when he was picked up by Jett Simmons McBride. McBride soon revealed his disturbing true colors by telling Kai that he'd once raped a 14-year-old girl, then proceeded to run down a pedestrian.

3. Kai Then Came To The Aid Of A Bystander

Image Source / Netflix Life
In response, Kai was quick to get out of the truck he was hitchhiking in and try and help the pedestrian who had been pinned by McBride - but another bystander soon came into danger when they stopped to try and help and were attacked by McBride. This led Kai to use a hatchet from his backpack to hit McBride in the back of the head.

4. The Video Soon Drew Attention Enough For Kai To Be Offered Famous Interviews

Image Source / Esquire
After the video was uploaded to YouTube, and several years later had racked up over 7 million views by that point. It was so popular that the interview was even sampled and turned into a music track. Soon, the song - and the original interview - made Kai so in-demand that many news and entertainment figures wanted to interview him.

5. And He Even Appeared On Jimmy Kimmel Live!

Image Source / YouTube
The attention Kai had gained was so much so that even Jimmy Kimmel wanted to interview him. Kai actually went on the show in February, 2013, to speak with the talk show legend. Which just shows the power that a simple YouTube video of an everyday person has when it's gone viral.

6. The Documentary Delves Deep Into How The Hitchhiker Was Handed Fame So Easily

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The documentary - which is only a short 90 minutes, as long as a film - explores how Kai was pretty much given fame on a silver platter because of the amount of social media enthusiasts and news reporter who made him into a hero for smashing the head of someone with a hatchet to save the life of an innocent bystander.

7. He Quickly Became Hot Property

Image Source / Stuff.co.nz
Kai was even the source of memes and fan pages from members of the public. It wasn't just everyday members of the public, either, as big executives and professionals - including a producer who worked on Keeping Up with the Kardashians - wanted to track him down to speak with him.

8. But People Who Came Into Contact With Him Claimed He Made Them 'Uneasy'

Image Source / 6ABC
Despite his internet popularity and having a boat load of fans, that didn't mean that he was popular with everybody. Apparently many people who came into contact with him during the months after his viral fame reported that he made them feel uneasy with his behaviour.

9. And Then It Was Announced That Kai Was Wanted By Police In Connection With Murder

Image Source / The US Sun
The police announced that the hitchhiker who had garnered fame and a fanbase was now wanted in connection with a murder. The victim in question was a man named Joseph Galfy, an attorney, who was found dead in his New Jersey home. Galfy was in his 70s.

10. Why Were The Police Hunting Kai?

Image Source / The Cinemaholic
The reason that Kai had become a suspect for the murder was because of a piece of paper found at Galfy's home. The paper had Kai's name and number on it, and was found with a train ticket whose CCTV footage revealed the victim, Galfy, and the hitchhiker, Kai, together at the station.

11. Kai Pleaded Sexual Assault And Self Defence

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When police eventually found Kai and arrested him, he claimed that he had murdered Joseph Galfy in self-defence. This was in response - according to the hitchhiker - to Galfy drugging Kai after letting him stay at his home. After he had been drugged, Kai explained that Galfy had sexually assaulted him.

12. Kai Explained He'd Returned To Galfy's House A Second Time

Image Source / NJ.com
According to the hitchhiker's story, he had left Galfy's house after the first sexual assault. He'd tried to find somewhere to stay by contacting one of his many fans, but after it didn't go to plan, he had to return to Galfy's house for somewhere to sleep. Galfy apparently tried to sexually assault him a second time, and this is what caused Kai to fight back - with deadly consequences.

13. Why Would Kai Go Back?

Image Source / TAPinto
We can't fully understand what was going through Kai's mind at this time, or why he chose to go back to Galfy's house, but you would think that you wouldn't go back to the house of someone who had sexually assaulted you. Even if you had nowhere else to stay for the night - Kai must truly have been desperate for shelter to go back there.

14. The Self Defence Plea Didn't Add Up

Image Source / NJ.com
Both the police and prosecution stated that there were no clear signs of a struggle to suggest self-defence, including no signs on Kai's body that Galfy had tried to fight back. There was also the case that Galfy's wounds were severe and extensive, far more than you might think they would be in a case of self defence.

15. But Kai's Story Might Have Explained Why Galfy's Wounds Were So Severe

Image Source / Know Your Meme
You can't exactly tell someone how to defend themselves, and there's always the chance that Kai went more aggressive than someone else would. He said that he was under the influence of unknown substances and, after finding "a naked man" on top of him, he "fought tooth and nail". It could be he went to the extreme in his fight for his life, which would explain the wounds.

16. Fans Of Kai's Eventually Went Silent

Image Source / Know Your Meme
While at first his huge fan base rallied in support of Kai's arrest and tried to help him, they eventually went silent. This was after the prosecution had remained adamant Kai was a dangerous suspect - and only a reminder how fickle fans of social media viral trends can be (though of course you can't blame anybody for dropping support of a potential murderer).

17. Kai Never Admitted That He'd Murdered Galfy

Image Source / Daily Mail
The hitchhiker maintained that he hadn't killed the man in his 70s who he'd said had sexually assaulted him. He spent his arrest, time in prison and trial maintaining his innocence, and from the beginning never accepted that he was responsible for cold-blooded murder of Galfy.

18. So What Did The Netflix Documentary Leave Out? It Didn't Focus On The Trial

Image Source / AP News
One of the main things the Netflix doc left out was the trial itself - it only focused on the details of what lead up to the trial, and Kai's conviction. The show finishes by telling us that a 57-year sentence was given to Kai, to serve in a New Jersey prison. But it doesn't really tell us much about the trial that came to that.

19. Fans Began Raising Money For Kai's Legal Funds

Image Source / MyCentralJersey.com
It seemed that Kai had gathered quite a fan base, because they had even begun trying to raise money to cover his legal funds before he was arrested and sent to trial. He'd made an impression on the public enough for people to not only publicly defend him, but go out of their way to try and raise money for him, at first.

20. But The Prosecutor Believed He Was Too Dangerous

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Despite his fans jumping to his aid to raise funds for him, it wasn't enough -and it wasn't going to work. The prosecutor believed that Kai was far too dangerous a suspect to be let out on bail - and so much so that the bail amount was set at a whopping $3 million before Kai first appeared in court.

21. Kai Pleaded 'Not-Guilty' To Murder

Image Source / YouTube
Despite Kai being found guilty for murder and sentenced to 57 years in prison, he actually pleaded not-guilty to the charge of murder. He had admitted to attacking Joseph Galfy but had claimed he'd done it in self-defence, and on the basis of being a murderer, he pleaded innocence.

22. He Stayed In Jail Until His Trial

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Kai was kept in jail with his very high bail amount never being met, up until his trial in 2019. That meant many years since his initial arrest as being the murder suspect of Joseph Galfy, and all that time spent thinking about what he had - or hadn't - done, and what lay in his future.

23. And He Tried To Kill Himself While Waiting For His Trial

Image Source / News 12 Bronx
During the years spent in jail, Kai actually tried to commit suicide before he could officially go to trial and be sentenced. Could this have been a guilty conscience or an innocent man's fear at being wrongly convicted? Maybe it was a deeply troubled man's response at being sexual assaulted, as he claimed.

24. He Studied Law Whilst In Jail

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During his time in jail and as well as his suicide attempt, Kai also buckled down and began studying law. This was because he believed his rights had been violated and he wanted to file state and federal lawsuits against the authorities and how they had treated him - specifically, violating his right to due process.

25. It Was Argued That The Police Had Failed To Find Certain Evidence

Image Source / Cosmopolitan
During the official trial. Kai's defence lawyer, John Cito, made an argument about what the police failed to do; namely, that they hadn't bothered to chase after evidence that could have proven whether the sexual assault (which Kai had claimed) had actually happened or not.

26. As Far As We Know, Nobody Had Checked Kai's Body For Signs Of Sexual Assault

Image Source / CBS News
This would have been a great failing on the police's part if nobody had followed up the claim of sexual assault - which, although attempted and failed the second time, had apparently being successful the first time according to Kai. It's not clear why the police wouldn't have followed this up.

27. Joseph Galfy's Brother Read A Statement In Court

Image Source / NJ.com
The younger brother of Joseph Galfy, the man killed by Kai either in murder or self-defence, actually read a statement in court. James Galfy read out a victim impact statement which spoke about the "deep loss" his family was going through following Joseph Galfy's death.

28. Kai Was Found Guilty Of First-Degree Murder

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The Netflix documentary revealed that Kai had been sentenced to 57 years in prison after being found guilty, but the true details of his sentencing was that he was found guilty of first-degree murder specifically, despite him claiming his innocence and claiming self-defence.

29. He Still Claims His Innocence To This Day

Image Source / Sportskeeda
After being sentenced to his long term in prison, Kai isn't ready to admit that he's guilty of murder, and still professes his innocence while serving his jail time. He is currently serving his sentence in the New Jersey State Prison in Trenton, one of the oldest prisons in New Jersey.

30. And He Lost An Appeal In 2021

Image Source / Distractify

In being in prison still claiming his innocence, Kai has also been working hard on appealing his conviction and trying to get out of prison. The latest appeal that he launched was in 2021, but he lost the case and remains in prison, believed to be guilty. Will he try to appeal again?

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