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Famed 'hatchet hitchhiker' arrested in NJ homicide

Published on NewsOK Modified: May 16, 2013 at 10:03 pm •  Published: May 16, 2013
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ELIZABETH, N.J. (AP) — A homeless, hatchet-wielding hitchhiker who became an Internet hero earlier this year was arrested Thursday for allegedly beating a New Jersey lawyer to death inside his home.

Caleb "Kai" McGillvary, whose star turn as "Kai the Hatchet Wielding Hitchhiker" came after he intervened in an attack on a California utility worker, was arrested at a Philadelphia bus station, Union County Prosecutor Theodore Romankow said.

"I believe that everyone is a little safer with this person off the streets," the prosecutor said. Philadelphia police could not immediately be reached for comment.

McGillvary was charged with killing Joseph Galfy, Jr., a Clark, N.J., attorney found dead Monday. Romankow said he will be processed and sent to back to New Jersey, where his bail is set at $3 million.

Galfy's body was found two days after authorities said he met McGillvary in New York City. Galfy, 73, was found wearing only his underwear and socks by police who went to his home to check on his well-being.

Statements posted on McGillvary's Facebook page following the homicide indicated the encounter was sexual in nature, Romankow said, though he declined to go into specific detail.

On his Facebook page, McGillvary's last post, dated Tuesday, asks "what would you do?" if you awoke in a stranger's house and found you'd been drugged and sexually assaulted. One commenter suggests hitting him with a hatchet — and McGillvary's final comment on the post says, "I like your idea."

A hatchet helped give McGillvary a brief taste of fame in February when he gave a rambling, profanity-laced 5-minute interview to a Fresno, Calif. television station about thwarting an attack on a Pacific Gas & Electric employee. The interview went viral, with one version viewed more than 3.9 million times on YouTube. He later appeared on ABC's "Jimmy Kimmel Live!"

Kimmel asked him what people were saying to him since the Feb. 1 incident. "Hey, you're Kai, that dude with the hatchet," he responded.

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