They met, an unlikely pair, in Times Square last Saturday night.
One, a 73-year-old partner in a Rahway law firm and member of his hometown’s Chamber of Commerce, the other a 24-year-old itinerant with long hair and a penchant for upturning convention that had landed him a minor internet presence.
Their rendezvous, most of it later spent in and around Joseph Galfy Jr.’s ranch-style house on Starlite Drive in Clark, would last about 24 hours, until sometime Sunday evening when, authorities said, their encounter turned violent after a sexual tryst.
On Monday afternoon, Galfy, a partner at Kochanski, Baron and Galfy, was found dead in his bed, severely beaten, clothed only in underwear and socks, Union County Prosecutor Theodore Romankow said yesterday.
Detectives later determined Caleb Lawrence McGillvary, better known by his online persona, "Kai the Hatchet Wielding Hitchhiker," had killed the man who was more than three times his age.
At around 6:30 Thursday, McGillvary was arrested at the Greyhound Bus Terminal in Philadelphia by members of the Philadelphia Police Department, and has been charged in Galfy’s death, Romankow said in a statement.
McGillvary will be processed in Philadelphia and returned to New Jersey in the coming days, Romankow said. Bail was previously set at $3 million and he will be lodged in the Union County Jail in Elizabeth, he said.
During the earlier news conference in Elizabeth, Romankow did not indicate how authorities came to suspect McGillvary, who he said should be considered "armed and dangerous." Romankow also said authorities don’t yet know how the two came to meet in Times Square.
They returned to Galfy’s home, detectives determined, where McGillvary spent the night. Romankow said Galfy, the attorney for the Green Brook land use board, drove McGillvary to the Rahway Train station Sunday morning, from where the younger man left for Asbury Park.
McGillvary returned to Rahway later in the day. After exchanging text messages, Galfy picked him up and brought him back to his house.
Romankow said the killing happened sometime that evening.
In a Facebook entry Tuesday, McGillvary, posting under the name Caleb Kai Lawrence Yodhehwawheh, intimates he was drugged and sexually assaulted, but does not say where or when the incident took place.
"what would you do if you woke up with a groggy head, metallic taste in your mouth, in a strangers house ... and started wretching, realizing that someone had drugged (and) raped ... you? what would you do?" the post reads.
Romankow called the post "pretty much self-serving."
An autopsy completed Tuesday determined Galfy died of blunt force trauma, the prosecutor said. He declined to comment on what was used to beat Galfy or say if anything was take from the house.
He did say the killing, "was thought out."
"He’s been known to use the back of a hatchet," Romankow said, a reference to McGillvary’s stopping a deadly attack earlier this year in California by pummeling a man with his hatchet, an event that gained McGillvary internet notoriety.
After killing Galfy, the prosecutor said, McGillvary called a woman, whom Romankow identified only identify as "Fan 1," asking her to pick him up. She couldn’t.
McGillvary later returned to the train station and again traveled to Asbury Park, where he and the woman met for lunch on Monday.
The woman, whom authorities have interviewed, told detectives McGillvary had cut his hair.
At about the same time, Clark police discovered Galfy’s body. Officers had gone to his home after he failed to show up for work or answer his phone.
McGillvary and the woman spent the rest of the day in Philadelphia, before making their way her hometown of Glassboro, Romankow said. Although she wanted McGillvary to stay at her house, her family resisted and she called another woman, identified by the prosecutor as "Fan 2," who let McGillvary stay at her house, also in Glassboro.
The other woman has also been interviewed, Romankow said. Neither is facing charges, he said.
On Tuesday, McGillvary left for Philadelphia, indicating he could be going to see friends in Georgia, the prosecutor said.
McGillvary, who is also known as Kai Lawrence, Caleb Kai Lawrence and Kai Nicodemus, lists Eureka, Calif., as his hometown on his Facebook page. But he is by all accounts without a known address, the prosecutor said. His freewheeling disposition earned him some fame and several television appearances in February after he was picked up while hitchhiking by a man who then nearly killed a utility worker. McGillvary used the hachet to thwart the attacker.
McGillvary later gave a rambling, profanity-laced interview to a Fresno, Calif., television station about the incident. The interview went viral, with one version viewed more than 3.9 million times on YouTube. He later appeared on ABC’s "Jimmy Kimmel Live!"
Kimmel asked him what people were saying to him since the Feb. 1 incident.
"Hey, you’re Kai, that dude with the hatchet," he responded.
Romankow said McGillvary, who said in his TV appearance he prefers to be called "home-free" instead of homeless, traded on his newfound celebrity to meet fans across the country. It is not known whether Galfy was aware of McGillvary’s fame.
News that Galfy’s suspected killer had been arrested brought little comfort for his longtime friend and neighbor, former Clark Mayor Robert Ellenport.
"There’s no closure in this type of grisly murder. You are never going to have closure (but) this is a step in the right direction," Ellenport said last night, hours after attending Galfy’s wake in Watchung.
"Knowing the kind of person Joe was and his generosity, it’s unfathomable," said Ellenport, who had known Galfy for more than 25 years, the last decade or so as next-door neighbors. "It’s just tragic."