Exclusive: The Hatchet Wielding Hitchhiker says Netflix ‘ruthlessly exploited’ him
‘They’re making a film about my life story, and they refuse to pay me anything for it’
TW: Brief mentions of rape.
Yesterday (11th January), Netflix released its latest true crime film; The Hatchet Wielding Hitchhiker. Kai Lawrence, real name Caleb McGillvary, found an unprecedented level of internet fame after an interview with a Californian news channel blew up on YouTube.
Having hitched a ride from a man who called himself “Jesus Christ,” Kai was soon physically forced to stop him from assaulting a woman, after he also hit a man with his car in a racist attack. Branded a “hero” by the victims, Kai told the news outlet about using a hatchet to stop the rider from causing any more damage. “He’s dead – good!” he said.
Just three months after the clip landed him more interviews, a fan club – even a stint on the Jimmy Kimmel Show – Kai was arrested and charged for the murder of 73-year-old Joseph Galfy. To this day, the hitchhiker maintains Joseph “drugged and raped” him, after allegedly offering to put Kai up for the night. Nevertheless, he received 52 years in prison before parole.
Days before the release of Netflix’s new documentary about him, Kai reached out to The Tab, alleging he wasn’t paid for his story, and accused Netflix of “ruthlessly exploiting” him.
In an email sent to us on 3rd January, Kai revealed he’d been recording phone conversations with two producers from the film. While we can’t repeat what was said in the recordings, Kai addressed his allegations directly to clarify his feelings on the matter.
“So, Netflix is making a movie about my life story before I was arrested,” he said. “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.” (OJ Simpson was found not guilty of double-murder in 1995).
He continued: “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 fuck?”
Since the documentary was made available to stream, donations to his legal fund have shot up. As of writing this, he’s raised over £2,400 in order to try and overturn his murder conviction.
The Tab has reached out to Netflix for comment. In the UK, Ofcom regulations reflect the following: No payment, promise of payment, or payment in kind, may be made to convicted or confessed criminals whether directly or indirectly for a programme contribution by the criminal (or any other person) relating to his/her crime/s.
The Hatchet Wielding Hitchhiker is available on Netflix now. For all the latest Netflix news, drops, quizzes and memes like The Holy Church of Netflix on Facebook.
Related stories recommended by this writer:
- So where is Kai the Hatchet Wielding Hitchhiker now, 10 years since his arrest?
- This is the full story behind Netflix’s new true crime, The Hatchet Wielding Hitchhiker
- Netflix’s next true crime is all about the Hatchet Wielding Hitchhiker, and it sounds wild
Featured image via Inside Edition/Netflix.