The unlikely pair -- an itinerant hitchhiker turned Internet celebrity and a lawyer three times his age -- met amid the neon lights of Times Square and headed back to a squat brick home on a quiet New Jersey cul-de-sac, authorities say.
Days later, the lawyer was found beaten to death in his bedroom, wearing only his socks and underwear. The hitchhiker was arrested Thursday and charged with his murder.
Caleb "Kai" McGillvary took a star turn in February when he became known to millions as "Kai the Hatchet Wielding Hitchhiker" after intervening in an attack on a California utility worker. McGillvary described using a hatchet he was carrying to repeatedly hit a man who had struck a worker with his car, fending off a further attack.
Once lauded as a hero, McGillvary, 24, was arrested at a Philadelphia bus station Thursday evening and charged with the murder of Joseph Galfy Jr., a 73-year-old attorney.
"I believe that everyone is a little safer with this person off the streets," said Union County Prosecutor Theodore J. Romankow.
McGillvary will be processed in Philadelphia and sent to back to New Jersey in the coming days, Romankow said. His bail is set at $3 million.
Galfy was found dead in his Clark, N.J., home Monday, two days after authorities said he met McGillvary in New York City. Galfy, who lived alone, was found by police who went to his home to check on his well-being, Romankow said.
Statements posted on McGillvary's Facebook page following the homicide were "sexual in nature," Romankow said.
McGillvary's last post, dated Tuesday, asks "what would you do?" if you awoke in a stranger's house and found you'd been drugged and sexually assaulted. One commenter suggests hitting him with a hatchet -- and McGillvary's final comment on the post says, "I like your idea."
It was a hatchet that helped give McGillvary a brief taste of fame in February when he gave a rambling, profanity-laced interview to a Fresno, Calif., television station about thwarting an unprovoked attack on a Pacific Gas & Electric employee. The interview went viral, with one version viewed more than 3.9 million times on YouTube. McGillvary later traveled to Los Angeles to appear on ABC's "Jimmy Kimmel Live!"
Kimmel asked him what people were saying to him since the Feb. 1 encounter. "Hey, you're Kai, that dude with the hatchet," he responded.
Romankow declined to say what object was used in Galfy's beating.
Romankow said McGillvary, who said in his TV appearance he prefers to be called "home-free" instead of homeless, traded on his fledgling celebrity to meet fans across the country.
Authorities know he was in Times Square based on witness accounts, the prosecutor said.
"He was well-known," Romankow said.
McGillvary spent at least two nights in Galfy's home in Clark, 20 miles west of New York, Romankow said. The dark brick home is neatly landscaped, with carefully-pruned bushes lining a path to the entrance. Red tape labeled "evidence" now is affixed to the front door.
Authorities believe McGillvary took two trips to meet a fan in Asbury Park; Galfy picked him up after the first trip, Romankow said.
On Tuesday, McGillvary boarded a train in New Jersey bound for Philadelphia, Romankow said.
In the popular February interview, McGillvary told the Fox affiliate in Fresno that he was traveling with a man who veered into the utility worker.
After the driver got out of the car, he walked up to the utility worker and allegedly said, "I am Jesus and I am here to take you home." McGillvary pulled a hatchet from his backpack and struck the driver in the head several times to subdue him, The Fresno Bee reported.
"That woman was in danger," McGillvary told KMPH. "He just finished, what looked like at the time, killing somebody, and if he hadn't done that he would have killed more people."
The driver is now facing charges including attempted murder. Last month, he entered a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity, the newspaper reported.
McGillvary also told the television station that he once came upon a man "beating on this woman he calls his" in an orchard and intervened.
"I started smashing him in the head and the teeth," McGillvary said.
In a Facebook post from May 10, written from a mobile phone, McGillvary thanked the people who "invited me in, partied hardy with me," and kept him grounded even though he realized how "crazy fame can be in flippin ones life upside down."
"ive met some of the greatest people in my life in these last three months," he wrote, "and i wouldnt trade these experiences with you for all the money in hollywood."
A teenager who pointed Ohio authorities to the bodies of two dead brothers who had been reported missing has now been charged in their deaths.
A prosecutor in northwest Ohio says the 17-year-old is charged with delinquency in connection with aggravated murder.
The Associated Press previously identified the teen but now is withholding his name because he has been charged as a juvenile.
The brothers' bodies were found hours after they were reported missing May 9.
All three teenagers had been named in an Amber Alert last week after the mother of the two brothers returned to a Putnam County trailer home and found a gun and blood.
The 17-year-old was later found with a missing car in Columbus, about 120 miles southeast of his hometown of Ottawa.
A knife carried by a Navy SEAL during the raid that killed Usama bin Laden sold for more than $35,000 at an auction to raise money for a friend's company that's seeking to help the Afghan economy.
Matt Bissonnette, whose pseudonym is Mark Owen, was given the knife by Emerson Knives prior to the bin Laden mission in Pakistan on May 2, 2011, and carried it on a variety of combat missions. He recently donated it for sale at an auction for Combat Flip Flops, a Washington state-based online store that sells high-end flip-flops it hopes to soon manufacture in Kabul. A winning bid of $35,400 by an unidentified buyer secured the knife, according to 24Fundraiser.com.
"I'm donating the knife because the owner of Combat Flip Flops is a friend and when he told me about this auction and all the good that the money raised was going to go towards, I wanted to help in any way that I could," Bissonnette said.
More than $76,000 was raised during the auction and will now go to Combat Flip Flops, which was started in 2010 by two Army Rangers and a musician from Montana. The company's website says it makes the footwear in Issaquah, Wash., and hopes to expand production to Afghanistan to help fill the economic void left as American troops pull out.
Bissonette, whose true identity was revealed in August, has also written a book about the historic raid, entitled "No Easy Day: The Firsthand Account of the Mission That Killed Osama Bin Laden."
Ernest Emerson of Emerson Knives will also give the winner bidder a letter of authenticity from Bissonnette.
"That is the real deal — Owen is the real guy and this is the real knife," Emerson said.
O.J. Simpson's former lawyer is in Las Vegas to defend his work before, during and after the 2008 trial that put the former football hero in a Nevada prison for nine to 33 years.
In an email to The Associated Press, Yale Galanter says he arrived Thursday, ahead of his scheduled Friday' testimony as a state's witness in Simpson's bid for a new trial.
He didn't say anything more.
Key among Simpson's claims of ineffective assistance of counsel is the allegation that Galanter knew beforehand about Simpson's plan to recover stolen property and should have stepped away from handling the trial so he could testify on Simpson's behalf.
Simpson testified Wednesday that the two talked about the plan over dinner the night before the ill-fated confrontation in September 2007.
Officials say one U.S. Navy sailor was killed and several others were hurt in a training exercise at Fort Knox in Kentucky.
Fort Knox spokesman Ryan Brus said Friday morning that the accident happened Wednesday night and involved members of a Naval branch at the post in central Kentucky.
Brus had no other details and referred calls to U.S. Navy Lt. David Lloyd. Lloyd did not immediately return a call to The Associated Press.
Fort Knox is about 50 miles southwest of Louisville and is home to about 14,000 military personnel, including active duty members and reserves.
The U.S. Navy has used Fort Knox as a training ground since World War II. Naval architects tested mock-ups of ships at the inland post before the actual vessels were used in combat.