Lawrence, whose real name is Caleb McGillvary, became an instant celebrity in 2013, after an interview with him, after he defended a woman from being attacked, went viral. The Hatchet Wielding Hitchhiker charts his overnight fame, where he appeared on The Jimmy Kimmel Show and was approached about making a reality series. Three months later Lawrence was arrested for murder, with the documentary ending with the revelation that Kai is currently serving 57 years in prison.
Following the release of The Hatchet Wielding Hitchhiker, in a statement given to The Tab, Lawrence claims he was not paid for his story and believes he has been ruthlessly exploited.
"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," he said. "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?"
The Hatchet Wielding Hitchhiker was released earlier this week (10th January) and became incredibly popular with Netflix viewers, going into the number one spot in the Top 10. The documentary covers Kai's instant fame after he saved a woman's life.
In February 2013, Lawrence hitched a ride with a man named Jett Simmons McBride. During the journey McBride drove into a pedestrian, Lawrence got out of the car to assist the pedestrian and was helped by a woman who was passing by. McBride got out of the car and began to the attack the woman. Lawrence then attacked McBride with a hatchet he had in his bag. Lawrence was hailed a "hero" for defending the woman and interviewed by local news station KMPH.
KMPH later released their full interview with Lawrence, which went viral overnight, causing Kai to become one of the most sought after internet celebrities. He appeared on The Jimmy Kimmel Show, was approached by Justin Bieber's team about a music collab and a Keeping Up With The Kardashians producer wanted to create a reality show about him.
His fame soon became short-lived, as only three months after his viral interview Lawrence was arrested for the murder of 73-year-old lawyer Joseph Galfy.
Lawrence claims Galfy drugged and sexually assaulted him, whilst Lawrence stayed at Glafy's home for the night. He maintains he attacked Galfy in "self defence".
However, in 2019 Lawrence was sentenced to 57 years in prison and currently remains at the New Jersey State Prison, in Trenton.
Cosmopolitan has reached out to Netflix for comment.
The Hatchet Wielding Hitchhiker is available on Netflix now.
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