Brother of Hatchet-Wielding Hitchhiker calls out Netflix for not telling the important parts of Kai's story

Ali Condon

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Brother of Hatchet-Wielding Hitchhiker calls out Netflix for not telling the important parts of Kai's story

Featured Image Credit: Netflix/Joshua George Stromberg/Facebook

The brother of Kai Lawrence, aka the Hatchet Wielding Hitchhiker, has called out Netflix for cutting out important parts of his story in their new documentary.

You may or may not remember Kai, real name Caleb McGillvary, from his bizarre news interview that went viral back in 2013. Look familiar?:


Kai, a homeless hitchhiker, had been picked up by Jett Simmons McBride, only for the driver to eventually crash into a pedestrian and go on to attack an innocent bystander.

Reporters fled to the scene to get a statement from Kai, which is when he gave his rather unique statement to Fox affiliate KMPH in Fresno, California.

As Kai explained how he supposedly used a hatchet to save a woman from being attacked by McBride, people instantly fell for him, and the video of his interview got millions upon millions of views.

The new Netflix documentary documents Kai's rags to riches story - which took off after everyone in the entertainment business decided they wanted a piece of him following his viral moment - as well as his eventual downfall.

Things went downhill for Kai later in the year, when he was arrested for the murder of 73-year-old lawyer Joseph Galfy Jr, a man he had met before travelling with him to his home in New Jersey.

Although Kai claimed he had been a victim of sexual assault and was acting in self-defence, he was ultimately found guilty and sentenced to 57 years in prison.

The Netflix documentary tells of Kai's rise to fame. Credit: FOX 26 News
The Netflix documentary tells of Kai's rise to fame. Credit: FOX 26 News

Since the documentary dropped on Netflix, there has been a pretty mixed response. Some viewers - including both Kai and his brother - aren't too happy about how the story is being told.

Taking to social media, Joshua George Stromberg, who claims to be Kai's the 'full blood sibling', lashed out at the streaming service for missing out some 'important things'.

"When we were approached by the production company, they told my family that they wanted bring to light what happened, and help his story," he wrote.

Despite Netflix's guarantee, Joshua said that all the documentary did was leave him 'with a lot of questions.'

He goes on to list out the parts of Kai's story that he believes were left out of the documentary, alleging that his brother was subject to 'cruel and unusual punishment' while in Union County Jail, that there were 'conflicts of interest' involved in his court case, and that he believes the police missed out important details in their investigation.

"There's still more questions yet," he wrote, "but I have hunch... they made the documentary to sell and be sensational, rather than face the brutal truth of miscarriage of justice."

Kai went viral in 2013. Credit: Netflix
Kai went viral in 2013. Credit: Netflix

Joshua continued: "Even though we had a falling out before he went down the States, and though we don't talk anymore, I still care for him, I still have love for him, and I hate how he didn't get a fair trial, and fair fight in this."

"I'm disappointed this documentary didn't highlight any of the important things in this case."

Joshua also shared a link to a fundraiser for Kai's legal fees, which had raised $5,200 at the time of writing.

Kai himself has also spoken out against Netflix, claiming that he has been 'ruthlessly exploited'.

Speaking from prison, he told The Tab via email: "So, Netflix is making a movie about my life story before I was arrested.

"But they refuse to pay me anything for it... if someone made a movie about OJ Simpson’s football career, you’d better believe he’d be making bank off it.

"Guys who kill and rape women get money for their pre-arrest fame – but I saved women from being killed and allegedly killed a rapist, so Netflix is ruthlessly exploiting me. What the f**k?"

UNILAD has contacted Netflix for comment.

Topics: Film & TV, True crime, US News, Netflix, Film and TV

Ali Condon
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