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The Hatchet Wielding Hitchhiker Review

I remember and reminisce about the days of internet memes back when the internet was still this place where people just posted whatever and they didn’t expect a pay check from it, where anyone could become an overnight celebrity because of what they showed of themselves online. Yet I never knew the story beyond what we saw on YouTube and so to find out everything that happened with this singular man who became so famous so quickly is absolutely shocking.

The Hatchet Wielding Hitchhiker looks at the story of Kai Lawrence, a nomad who was at the right place at the right time. His internet stardom began when he gave a very spectacular interview after he saved a woman from an attacker by attacking said attacker with a hatchet. Really at the time that should have been the first red flag but because he was so animated and funny we overlooked that because of his personality and the way he came across, and of course news stations uploaded this interview on to YouTube, a fairly new site at the time, and all of a sudden Kai was everywhere.

Everyone wanted a piece of the Kai pie. From other news rooms to big celebrity shows, they all wanted to be able to showcase this man and what he did and how crazy he was. Hunting him down became quite a task however seeing as Kai was a nomad, and only once was he on these other shows did people start to realise what he was really all about and how his personality was definitely more of a negative then a positive.

Kai was a loaded gun, he was a man that didn’t care what people thought because the usual world necessities that we see as so important didn’t apply to him. He had no fixed address, he had no care in the world about what he did, he just wanted to live and be free and so people who tried to encapsulate this man into this one thing that he did seemed to cause a lot of turmoil within him. He enjoyed the fame as any of us would but soon his nomadic lifestyle had to take a back seat because he could no longer travel as he was being recognised wherever he went, and it seemed in the end it became all too much.

Shockingly Kai went on to commit a murder which I never expected of this man, yes he was a loose cannon and didn’t seem to have any rhyme or reason for what he did or who he was, but I never expected him to be a killer. If you look back to that first interview of course he says he hit this attacker over the head with a machete he had and you have to wonder was it just for self-defence or were there darker intentions to be done with it? Especially with all we know now. And to see this man go from someone so free and energetic to so bogged down by the world he now lives in, being recognised everywhere, and then to become a murderer and commit the most heinous of crimes is such a whirlwind story that you think it has to be fake but it’s not.

This documentary was so insightful because as I said, I knew nothing but the YouTube viral sensation that he had become, once his 15 minutes of fame were up I never heard about him again because I didn’t seek him out. I didn’t care about this random guy that suddenly went viral and so to be presented with all this information with open eyes in a completely blind way that I did not expect was absolutely crazy, and it really goes to show how what we see online isn’t always the full story and who people present themselves in an encapsulated space isn’t always who they are deep down. I would love to see more documentaries like this where we explore other viral hits and where they are now, especially if they go on to be completely different people to what we expected them to be, and I would love for this to become the new trend of true crime.

When I first saw this documentary on Netflix I got it confused with the Stephen McDaniel case, and while I absolutely loved learning about this hitchhiker and who he became I would love to see a documentary on that man too, because the fact he was interviewed about the disappearance on TV giving the performance of his life when he knew exactly where she was because he was the one that murdered her would be such a fantastic case to deep dive into and fit into the genre of true crime on the internet. Honestly Netflix if anyone is listening, I’d love to see it.

What do you think of The Hatchet Wielding Hitchhiker?

Until next time.

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