April 10, 2013

After 27 years of burglaries, 'North Pond Hermit' is arrested

Christopher Knight, 47, says he stole to survive solitary life in the woods of western Maine.

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By Craig Crosby Kennebec Journal

(Continued from page 3)

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Game Warden Sgt. Terry Hughes, right, Maine State Police Trooper Diane Perkins-Vance, center, and Somerset County Deputy Sheriff Jeremy Leal on Tuesday inspect Christopher Knight's camp in a remote, wooded section of Rome.

Staff photo by Andy Molloy

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Christopher Knight

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Maine Warden Service Sgt. Terry Hughes discusses encountering Christopher Knight, the alleged North Pond Hermit, at the Pine Tree Camp on Thursday.

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Maine Warden Service Sgt. Terry Hughes and Maine State Police Trooper Diane Perkins-Vance discuss Christopher Knight's habits and life in the woods of Rome.

Knight expressed shame and remorse over the burglaries, Hughes said. He referred to a pair of boots he was wearing not just as boots, but "stolen boots."

"He owned up to it and understood it was wrong," Hughes said. "He immediately identifies things as being stolen. He connected the dots of his actions being wrong. I was very surprised by that."

Knight said he never got sick in those 27 years because he never had contact with any people, Hughes said. Knight managed to avoid significant injuries, such as broken bones, despite traipsing through the woods at night.

But Knight is concerned now that he has diabetes.

"He had a sore on his hands he was looking at," Hughes said. "He said, 'My wounds don't heal like they used to.'"

Knight admitted to Hughes that there were times when the effort was too great and he considered suicide. Knight told Perkins-Vance and Hughes that he was glad his solitude had ended, but he offered no better explanation for that relief than he did his decision to enter the woods in the first place.

"I think he's been alone for so many years that a part of him wanted to give up," Hughes said. "But the other part that wanted to stay was stronger."

Craig Crosby — 621-5642
ccrosby@centralmaine.com

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Additional Photos

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Somerset County Sheriff's Department Cpl. Gene Cole, left, helps Maine State Police Trooper Diane Perkins-Vance inventory money recovered from Christopher Knight on Tuesday at the Pine Tree Camp in Rome. Knight, a hermit who lived in the woods since April 1986, was apprehended when he broke into the camp, police claim. He was captured carrying a knapsack and bag of tools. Many of bills date from the 1980s and 1990s, Perkins-Vance said, and were never circulated by Knight.

Staff photo by Andy Molloy

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Pine Tree Camp facility manager Harvey Chesley inspects a door that Christopher Knight alleged broke open in the dining lodge at the Rome camp, on Tuesday. Knight, a hermit who lived in the woods since April 1986, was arrested in after allegedly breaking into the lodge on Thursday, according to Warden Service Sgt. Terry Hughes.

Staff photo by Andy Molloy

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Tools recovered in a bag that Christopher Knight was carrying when he was apprehended at Pine Tree Camp in Rome Tuesday.

Staff photo by Andy Molloy

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Christopher Knight was arrested at Pine Tree Camp in Rome carrying candy, potato chips, a ball cap, poncho and a wristwatch that were all allegedly stolen from the camp.

Staff photo by Andy Molloy

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Game wardens and state police retrieve global positioning coordinates before hiking to Christopher Knight's camp in Rome Tuesday.

Staff photo by Andy Molloy

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Game wardens, state police and Somerset County sheriff's deputies hike to Christopher Knight's campsite in Rome Tuesday.

Staff photo by Andy Molloy

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Christopher Knight's campsite, located in a remote stand of woods in Rome, moments before game wardens, state police and Somerset County sheriff's deputies inspected the camp Tuesday.

Staff photo by Andy Molloy

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Game Warden Aaron Cross photographs Christopher Knight's camp Tuesday.

Staff photo by Andy Molloy

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A surveillance photo taken in 2011 allegedly shows Christopher Knight, a hermit police believe engaged in more than 1,000 burglaries to support his lifestyle.

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Game Warden Sgt. Terry Hughes, right, and District Warden Dave Ross inspect Christopher Knight's camp Tuesday.

Staff photo by Andy Molloy

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Christopher Knight's camp on Tuesday in a remote, wooded section of Rome.

Staff photo by Andy Molloy

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A television found at Christopher Knight's camp on Tuesday.

Staff photo by Andy Molloy

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District Game Warden Aaron Cross inspects Christopher Knight's camp Tuesday.

Staff photo by Andy Molloy

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Christopher Knight's camp Tuesday in a remote, wooded section of Rome.

Staff photo by Andy Molloy

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District Game Warden Aaron Cross exits Christopher Knight's camp Tuesday.

Staff photo by Andy Molloy

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Coffee cups, lights and a clock hang under a tarp in Christopher Knight's camp Tuesday.

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Christopher Knight's 1984 Lawrence High School senior photo, taken from the yearbook.

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