Christopher Knight, 47, says he stole to survive solitary life in the woods of western Maine.
Christopher Knight went into the central Maine wilderness 27 years ago.
He built a hut on a slope in the woods, where he spent his days reading books and meditating.
There he lived, re-entering civilization only to steal supplies from camps under the cover of darkness.
During those nearly three decades, he spoke just once to another person – until he was arrested during a burglary last week.
In between, Knight told police, he committed more than 1,000 burglaries, always taking only what he needed to survive. He became so familiar for his thievery and elusiveness that he spawned the local legend of the North Pond Hermit, who for years confounded both locals and police investigating the break-ins.
In June 2005, the Morning Sentinel published a story about the "hermit of North Pond," who, it said, "for the last 15 years has been picking his way through dozens of the 300 or so camps around North Pond."
"It's been a myth, or legend, that a hermit was responsible," Maine State Trooper Diane Perkins-Vance told the Kennebec Journal on Tuesday. "That happens to be the case."
The 47-year-old hermit now awaits his future at the Kennebec County Jail, where he is being held in lieu of $5,000 cash bail on charges of burglary and theft.
Even as law enforcement continues to piece together a story that sounds too incredible to be true, every new layer of evidence uncovered since Knight's arrest has buttressed the legend of the hermit burglar in the area of the pond, which is surrounded by Smithfield, Mercer and Rome.
On Tuesday, police uncovered the ultimate evidence of Knight's odyssey: the makeshift campsite in the woods of Rome that was Knight's home for 27 years.
"He said he just came into the woods one day in 1986," Perkins-Vance said. "He claims he hadn't had a conversation with another human being since the mid-1990s, when he encountered someone on a trail. I was the first person he talked to since the 1990s. People are like, 'No way!' But yeah, it's true."
More @ Morning Sentinelfrom Troy R. Bennett on Vimeo.
The North Pond Hermit
The North Pond Hermit
Not bad at all!