The reporter who first interviewed Kai Lawrence has now claimed that his story is ‘not over’.
Jessob Resibeck first interviewed Kai back in 2013, at the scene of a California car crash where hitchhiker Kai had rescued a woman under attack by the person he’d hitched a lift with.
The video interview soon went viral, as Kai detailed how he took a hatchet out of his backpack and repeatedly hit the driver, demonstrating: ‘smash, smash, smash’.
At the time, Kai spiralled into a hero, later starring on the Jimmy Kimmel show and being sent opportunities for appearances and interviews, as he gained an impressive fandom.
But, only months later, Kai, whose real name is Caleb McGillvary, Kai was accused of killing 73-year-old New Jersey lawyer Joseph Galfy by beating him to death.
Now, a true crime Netflix documentary is exploring the rise and fall of the hitchhiker, with Reisbeck saying in the trailer: ‘In a matter of three months he went from being this amazing, heroic, beautiful person to being wanted by the authorities for murder. So it’s a f***ed up story.’
The hitchhiker went viral after a 2013 interview (Picture: KMPH Fox 26 News)
Kai is said to be ‘fighting for his freedom’ (Picture: Netflix)
Kai told police he had acted in self-defence after the lawyer drugged and raped him, but investigators said the crime scene suggested the pensioner was stomped on and beaten to death.
In 2019, six years after his arrest, Kai, then 30, was found guilty of the murder and sentenced to 57 years in a maximum-security jail for murder by Judge Robert Kirsch, who called him ‘a powder keg of explosive rage’.
However, according to Reisbeck, Kai’s story is ‘not over’.
A Netflix documentary is exploring the rise and fall of the hitchhiker (Picture: Facebook)
Appearing on This Morning on Thursday via video call, Reisbeck told hosts Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield: ‘Unfortunately, as of right now, he’s sitting in prison in New Jersey after murdering Mr Galfy.
‘There’s differing opinions on what happened, he claims self-defence, obviously prosecution says otherwise.
‘But Kai’s story is not over, he’s still fighting for his freedom.
‘He has appeals in the process, we’ll see what happens, it’s a tough story for sure’.
Reisbeck is keen to interview Kai again soon (Picture: CBS)
Reisbeck continued by saying he hopes to do another interview with Kai again soon.
‘He didn’t want to do the documentary because he didn’t want to jeopardise any of his appeals, but now this documentary is out, I’m sure people from all around the world are reaching out to him.
‘He wants to talk and tell his side of the story. I’m a trusted friend and journalist of his, so he has reached out to me and wants to talk.
‘We’ve been in contact this whole time, he knew everything going on with this documentary from day one until it came out, I kept him up to speed one everything going on, and now that it’s out and everyone is talking about it, I think he wants to tell his side of the story.’
In the trailer, Reisbeck says: ‘I tried to do everything for him and have him be successful and happy and… I don’t know… expose the good in him and hide the bad and I just couldn’t, I guess. No-one could, I guess.’
The Hatchet Wielding Hitchhiker is available to watch on Netflix now.
This Morning airs weekdays from 10am on ITV.
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‘But Kai’s story is not over, he’s still fighting for his freedom.’