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Who Is Kai the Hatchet-Wielding Hitchhiker? Where Is He Now?

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You may remember Kai the Hatchet-Wielding Hitchhiker from a viral 2013 interview that turned a homeless surfer into an overnight Internet sensation. He was regarded as a hero, per Esquire, after memorably explaining how he “suh-mashed” a man while hitchhiking to stop the driver from attacking a woman. The clip has garnered over 3 million views since it debuted almost 10 years ago.


Courtesy of KPMH via YouTube

Kai appeared on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” posing himself as a good samaritan at the time and even grabbed the attention of producers for a show of his own, but it never came to fruition, per Decider. However, his 15 minutes of fame came to a hard stop when he was arrested for killing a man just two months after going viral.

A documentary exploring the tale, “The Hatchet Wielding Hitchhiker,” was released on Netflix this week and unpacks the issues surrounding the glorification of internet stars.

Here’s everything you need to know about the new documentary.

Who Is Kai AKA Caleb Lawrence McGillvary?

Caleb Lawrence McGillvary, known as Kai, was introduced to the world via viral video in February 2013. He was 24 years old at the time and living a nomadic life in the States after growing up in Canada.

When he recorded his viral interview, Kai was hitching a ride to Fresno, Calif.

At the time, Kai told news station KMPH that Jett Simmons McBride picked him up while hitchhiking, and while they were en route, McBride allegedly told the nomad that he raped a 14-year-old girl. Kai then said that McBride hit a pedestrian with the car on purpose.

Once the ride came to a halt after hitting a pedestrian, bystander Tanya Baker ran to help but McBride attacked her. At that point, Kai said he stepped in and stopped the attack by hitting McBride with a hatchet.

“A guy that big can snap a woman’s neck like a pencil stick. So I f–king ran up behind him with a hatchet. Smash, smash, SUH-MASH!” Kai recalled in the viral interview.

Kai also shared a positive message to the camera, stating, “No matter what you’ve done, you deserve respect. Even if you make mistakes, you’re loveable.”

His remarks garnered viral attention, including an auto-tuned song that garnered 11 million views.

Days later, a KMPH released a follow-up interview with Kai and revealed he may have been more troubled than the world first thought.

According to the report, his past “is darker and more gut-wrenching than you can imagine.”

What Happened to the ‘Hatchet-Wielding Hitchhiker?’

Just months after Kai’s interview went viral, the nomad was wanted by the police.

A 73-year-old man was found beaten to death in his New Jersey home, according to People, when investigators found evidence in the house connecting Kai to the crime.

Kai was arrested for killing the man, Joseph Galfy, whom he met in Time Square, per Esquire, after migrating from the West Coast to New York City, in May 2013.

Once Kai was found by police at a Philadelphia bus station, he confessed to the murder but claimed it was self-defense after Galfy allegedly sexually assaulted him. He pleaded not guilty to the crime and was held on a $3 million bond after being deemed dangerous, CNN reported at the time.

After spending six year in jail awaiting trial, he was convicted of first degree murder and was sentence to 57 years in prison in 2019.

Where Is Kai Now?

Kai is currently serving his sentence at New Jersey State Prison and isn’t eligible for parole until October 27, 2061, according to Decider. He filed to appeal his sentence in 2021 but was denied.

He still claims he’s innocent.

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10 Things Every Working Woman Should Do This Year

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Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Self-care has become an all-encompassing term that has strayed from the importance of everyday commodities that keep us in good health and spirits. Though pampering and “treat yourself” moments still have value, here are ten ways to invest in yourself to produce long-lasting, positive results.

Related: 8 Self-Care Tips From Wildly Successful Entrepreneurs

1. Put money into a 401(k)

It’s never too early (or too late!) to start saving for the future. Depending on your employment status, there are different retirement savings accounts. 401(k)s are the most common since these are employer-sponsored and often come with an employer match. However, freelancers also have options, such as a SEP-IRA or a high-yield savings account, to put away extra, tax-free dollars for retirement.

2. Schedule a health checkup

Self-care first includes taking care of your physical health. It’s easy to discredit regular checkups when you’re feeling healthy, but make this the year to get your blood work done. It creates a baseline for your health to identify areas needing improvement or extra attention.

Also, choose areas in your life where you can make small changes. Improving your health doesn’t always mean a drastic overhaul; it may be as simple as drinking more water or adding an extra 30 minutes of exercise to your day.

Related: 3 Key Tips for Optimizing Your Physical Health as an Entrepreneur

3. Review health insurance benefits

Many people with health insurance aren’t sure exactly what it does and doesn’t cover. If you’re unsure, talk with your HR representative or your health insurance provider to get an overview of deductibles, co-payments and other supplemental benefits you may not be aware of. Then, decide if the health care plan makes sense for your current lifestyle.

Are you paying for benefits you don’t use, or do you need additional benefits that aren’t covered? Selecting the right plan will help ensure you have what you need without paying the extra expense for anything you don’t.

4. Ignite your curiosity

Maintaining healthy cognitive functions through new pursuits gives a boost to the brain. Get curious and find what speaks to you. This can be anything from exploring local museums, embarking on different hiking trails, learning a new language or reading more books.

There’s no limit to what you can do, and these activities can ignite more creativity and motivation in your work. While it may be helpful to look to others for inspiration, make them enjoyable so you’ll want to make them a regular occurrence.

5. Prioritize mental health

Mental health has been at the forefront of people’s lives over the past few years, as many have experienced burnout. We often equate productivity with a value that drives us to go beyond our means and leads to anxiety, stress and depression. Take note of your everyday stressors and see how to reduce or eliminate them. Then, replace them with relaxing outlets that allow you to recharge.

There are various ways to prioritize mental health, from practicing positive self-talk to meditation to scheduling an electronics-free day. You may have to try different solutions before you find one that fits.

Related: 5 Ways to Protect Your Mental Health as an Entrepreneur

6. Implement good sleep habits

Consistent sleep is one of the essential factors of good health but one that is often overlooked. For many, it can be challenging to wind down from the workday. Therefore, you must “train” your body to prepare for sleep by getting into a nighttime routine.

Create a sanctuary for yourself to improve your sleep habits. Enjoy a soothing cup of herbal tea, perform a skincare routine, and snuggle in with a good book rather than scrolling through your phone. Additionally, ensure your bedroom is dark and cool for ideal sleep comfort and turn on soothing sounds if it helps lull you to sleep.

7. Try something new

What have you wanted to try but have always held back? Maybe it’s public speaking or contributing to a blog. Whatever “new” has been on your to-do, make a plan, schedule it on your calendar and go for it. It’s common to hold back from these activities due to fear of the unknown or failure, but trying new things helps create confidence and can be the catalyst you need to push you to the next level.

8. Learn to set boundaries

Boundary setting is crucial to relationships yet can be difficult to master. It doesn’t always involve simply saying no to people’s requests. Instead, it requires protecting your own values when people violate them. Setting boundaries may mean spending less time with certain people, removing yourself from toxic situations, or declining invites to events that don’t improve your life. Explore areas where boundaries will help you grow, and keep in mind growth itself is a work in progress.

Related: How to Set Boundaries to Build Thriving Relationships

9. Spend quality time alone

Learning how to enjoy time spent alone is a valuable gift. We are inundated by a false sense of connection through the internet, which often makes us feel lonelier than ever. Then, we overschedule our calendars to make up for human connections, only to feel drained afterward. Slow it down and plan a few solo dates a month to see how it feels to be truly present with yourself.

For those who aren’t used to spending quality time alone, it can feel awkward and uncomfortable initially, but these stem from your own perceptions. Take in a matinee, sit in a coffee shop and read, or enjoy a concert or event you’ve wanted to attend. Alone time has been linked to improved stress management and greater life satisfaction, so it’s worth trying to give yourself more time.

Related: Turns Out, Those Who Like Being Alone Can Be More Creative

10. Get active

Getting active can take on several directions. It can be physical, emotional or spiritual. The point is to engage with people and pursuits that feed your soul. Whether volunteering within your community, setting yourself an exercise goal, or learning more about personal development, there are endless ways to get active and invest in yourself this year.

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Are You a Winner? How to Truly Define Winning in Your Business

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Businesses gauge their performance typically with dozens of goals and metrics. But you can’t do everything at once. The challenge is to get people focused on the one thing that’s most important right now. If it moved in the right direction, it would eliminate a weakness (or capitalize on an opportunity) and improve financial outcomes. You improve that, and you win.

However, not every company clearly defines winning. A catalog of goals can pull the organization in multiple directions and stretch finite resources. Numerous goals can inherently be at odds, working against each other and for conflicting purposes. For example, a cost reduction goal might undermine an innovation goal requiring a significant investment.

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Gen Z Is Making Ugg Boots Fashionable Again: Report

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Ugg boots, the furry, sheepskin boots that defined the 2000s are back, apparently, with spiking interest and Gen Z cachet, according to data from shopping website, Lyst.

The site’s annual quarterly report that highlights the “hottest” 20 fashion brands was released on Thursday, and, as Insider noted, Ugg is on it for the first time since the index began in 2017.

“Gen Z shoppers are breathing new life into once dormant brands … with over 1.2 billion mentions on TikTok — Ugg’s influence is undeniable,” the report notes.

The boots were also sold out of stores during the holidays, it added.

Generation Z, or people born between 1997 and 2012, has demonstrated a penchant for bringing back old technology and trends, from flip phones to “vintage” headphones with cords.

But Ugg boots go back much further — the word “ugg” is actually a general term in Australia that means boots made from sheepskin and fleece, according to the BBC.

The company that created the “UGG” boot, Deckers Outdoor Corporation, is based in the U.S. and has tried and failed to trademark the word in Australia (where a court decided it was a generic word and thus could not be trademarked), the outlet added.

The company says the boots began to gain popularity in California in the 1980s. They were first featured on Oprah’s Favorite Things in 2000 (a huge brand-maker back then) and became “cherished commodities” early in the decade, according to Vogue.

The boots later gained prominence again with a fashion movement that prioritized “ugly” clothes, and have since become an unironic Gen Z favorite, per Insider. Kylie Jenner was also spotted wearing them in November.

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