Kai the Hatchet Wielding Hitchhiker

Kai the Hatchet Wielding Hitchiker’s Real Name Is Caleb Lawrence McGillvary

McGillvary being interviewed in the viral 2013 news segment pictured in The Hatchet Wielding Hitchhiker courtesy of Netflix

Caleb Lawrence McGillvary, later known as Kai Lawrence, was born in Edmonton, Canada in 1988. He moved to California between 2012 and 2013.

Today, McGillvary is 34 years old, but at the time he went viral, he was homeless, or as McGillvary describes it, “home free,” spending his time playing music, surfing, and working construction when he needed money until he became famous in 2013 after a clip of him being interviewed by a local TV station made him an overnight internet sensation.

At the time, McGillvary was lauded as a hero for hitting Jett McBride, who had recently picked him up as a hitchhiker, with a hatchet after McBride plowed his car into a utility worker and then attacked a woman who came to his aid.

McBride’s attorney Scott Baly has responded to MovieMaker and clarified that despite what the documentary says, McBride was found not guilty by reason of insanity at his trial for hitting and injuring the utility worker.

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