Caleb Lawrence McGillvary

Birth Day September 3rd, 1988
Birth Place Edmonton, Alberta
Age 35 Years Old

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About Caleb Lawrence McGillvary

Caleb Lawrence McGillvary is a Canadian man who became an internet sensation after a video of him describing how he saved a woman from a man who was attacking her with a hatchet went viral in 2013. The video, titled "Kai the Hatchet-Wielding Hitchhiker," gained widespread attention, and McGillvary was praised as a hero. The video received over 7 million views on YouTube and was covered by several media outlets, including Jimmy Kimmel Live and The Today Show. However, in May 2013, McGillvary was arrested and charged with the murder of Joseph Galfy, a New Jersey attorney. McGillvary claimed that Galfy had drugged and raped him and that he killed Galfy in self-defense. He was imprisoned for over five years while awaiting trial and was ultimately found guilty of first-degree murder and sentenced to 57 years in prison. He is presently imprisoned at Trenton’s New Jersey State Prison. In 2023, Netflix released a documentary about McGillvary's story, which includes interviews with various people involved in his case, and explores his rise to fame and subsequent murder trial. He lived as a nomad backpacking around the US and Canada before becoming an internet sensation in 2013.

Caleb Lawrence McGillvary Early Life & Family

Caleb Lawrence McGillvary, commonly known as Kai, was born on September 3, 1988, in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. He is Canadian when it comes to his nationality while his ethnicity is Canadian-White. He grew up in a fundamentalist Christian cult and claimed that he was molested during his childhood. His parents are Shirley Stromberg and Gil McGillvary who were divorced when McGillvary was just four years old, and they told that their son struggled with behavioral issues, spending years in hospitals and treatment facilities. He moved with his family to St. Paul, Alberta. He told the local news reporter in his viral interview that he didn’t have a family. “As far as anyone I grew up with is concerned, I’m already dead,” he shared. His father, Gil, was living in Ontario when he last spoke to the press while his mum, Shirley, appears in the documentary, and talks about her relationship with her son. He celebrated his 34th birthday in 2022. As per his birthdate, Virgo is his zodiac sign. 

McGillvary attended St. Paul Regional High School. Later, he adopted the name "Kai" after taking part in a "spirit walk" while living on an Indigenous reservation.

Caleb Lawrence McGillvary Rise of Fame and Downfall

  • In February 2013, Kai McGillvary gained national attention after a video of him describing his involvement in a violent incident in Fresno, California went viral. McGillvary was hitchhiking when he was picked up by Jett Simmons McBride, who claimed to be Jesus Christ. McBride went on to confess to raping a fourteen-year-old girl and later crashed into a pedestrian, pinning her against a parked truck. McGillvary jumped out to help the woman, but McBride attacked another bystander who arrived on the scene. McGillvary, fearing for the woman's life, struck McBride in the back of the head with a hatchet multiple times. McGillvary recounts he was interrogated by police and set free.
  • On 2nd February 2013, the video was uploaded to YouTube by Jessob Reisbeck, who had conducted the interview for KMPH. As of January 14, 2023, the video had over 8 million views. The Gregory Brothers sampled the interview and turned it into a song, furthering the video's reach. In January 2020, he was interviewed on Inside Edition, where scenes from the viral video were replayed. As a result of the viral nature of the original video, he received extensive offers from various news and entertainment sources seeking interviews and appearances. This resulted in him appearing on Jimmy Kimmel Live! on February 11, 2013. 
  • McGillvary was arrested on 16th May 2013 for the murder of New Jersey attorney Joseph Galfy. McGillvary claimed that he killed Galfy in self-defense after being drugged and raped by him. However, the police claimed that the sexual encounter was consensual and that the murder was premeditated. McGillvary argued that he had no motive to have sex with someone like Galfy, as he had received numerous offers from attractive men and women after his viral video in California. In July of the same year, McGillvary was hospitalized after inflicting wounds on himself while awaiting trial at Union County Jail in New Jersey.
  • Following the murder charges, his viral video gained even more views, with fans raising a legal fund for his defense. He spent over five years in prison awaiting trial, during which he was combative and had an outburst during his defense lawyer's closing arguments. In April 2019, he was found guilty of first-degree murder and sentenced to 57 years in prison, with the judge telling him he would still be younger than the victim at the time of parole eligibility. McGillvary appealed the conviction, but it was upheld by the New Jersey Appellate Court in August 2021. He has been housed at the New Jersey State Prison in Trenton since his sentencing.
  • In the documentary, "The Hatchet Wielding Hitchhiker", McGillvary's story is recounted and his case is revisited, with interviews from various individuals including Reisbeck, members of Jimmy Kimmel's staff, McGillvary's family, and law enforcement officials involved in the case. The documentary was released on Netflix on January 10, 2023, and resulted in increased media attention for McGillvary's case. However, McGillvary himself criticized the documentary, claiming that he was exploited by Netflix for profit. McGillvary has been serving his sentence at the New Jersey State Prison in Trenton since his sentencing. Despite his conviction, he still has supporters who view him as a hero for his actions in the California incident. 

Caleb Lawrence McGillvary Personal Life

As a public figure, Caleb Lawrence McGillvary's dating life has been a topic of interest to some, particularly following the release of the documentary about his life. However, there is no public information available about his dating history or current relationship status. It is possible that McGillvary prefers to keep his personal life private, given the intense media scrutiny he has faced in the past. He is assumed to be single right now and he does not have a girlfriend as of now.

It is important to note that a person's relationship status or sexual orientation does not define their identity or worth. His actions and behavior, particularly in relation to the criminal charges he has faced, are the focus of public scrutiny and discussion. It is important to approach discussions about public figures with sensitivity and respect for their privacy, particularly when it comes to their personal lives.

Before the Fresno incident in 2013, Kai had been living as a transient, which he referred to as "homefree." He claimed that he did not have any official form of identification, including health insurance, a social security card, a driver's license, or a passport. Despite his lack of identification, he became a viral sensation after he intervened in a violent attack on a woman and was interviewed by a news reporter.

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