Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Maine hermit arrested on suspicion of more than 1,000 burglaries

He escaped civilization in 1986 but had to steal from it to survive: packaged food, clothes. Officials said locals in Maine put supplies out on their porches for him so at least the North Pond hermit wouldn't enter their homes.

He always traveled at night so no one would see him. He seemed to fear attention more than the unforgiving Maine winters: He piled on sleeping bags instead of starting fires.

"The only words that he'd spoken to another person in 27 years," said Doug Rafferty, spokesman for the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, "was when he said 'Hi, how are you' to a guy on another trail that he was walking." That was in the 1990s.

That changed last week.

Christopher Knight, 47, was snatched from solitude in the woods near Rome, Maine, and arrested on suspicion of more than 1,000 burglaries.

He was caught raiding a local camp's pantry in the middle of the night, after a game warden set up sensors.

The warden, Terry Hughes, recalled Knight's reaction to being shown a picture of himself snapped four or five years ago by a game camera.

"He turned his head and he looked at the photo, and he stared at it for a while," Hughes told the Morning Sentinel. "And I was watching him, and watching his eyes, and I knew right off that there was more to this. So I asked him, I said, 'When was the last time you have seen a picture of yourself or looked in a mirror?' And he looked at me, and he didn't know what to say.

"And I waited, and then he finally said, 'I've seen my reflection in the water a few times.' "

Hughes said Knight appeared to have taken the exact same steps on the same trails for decades.

"He was adamant that he wouldn't leave his campsite in the winter because he didn't want to be tracked back to his location," Hughes said. Knight said he spent the winter days reading books and meditating.

Maine hermit arrested on suspicion of more than 1,000 burglaries 04/11/13 [Last modified: Thursday, April 11, 2013 8:16pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Tribune News Service.

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. 'Empire' star Grace Byers keynotes USF Women in Leadership & Philanthropy luncheon

    Human Interest


    TAMPA — The first University of South Florida graduate to address the USF's Women in Leadership & Philanthropy supporters, Grace Gealey Byers, class of 2006, centered her speech on her first name, turning it into a verb to share life lessons.

    Grace Byers, University of South Florida Class of 2006, stars on the Fox television show Empire. She delivered the keynote at the USF Women in Leadership and Philanthropy luncheon Friday. Photo by Amy Scherzer
  2. Southeast Seminole Heights holds candlelight vigil for victims' families and each other


    TAMPA — They came together in solidarity in Southeast Seminole Heights, to sustain three families in their grief and to confront fear, at a candlelight vigil held Sunday night in the central Tampa neighborhood.

    A peaceful march that began on east New Orleans Avenue was held during the candlelight vigil for the three victims who were killed in the recent shootings in the Seminole Heights neighborhood in Tampa on Sunday, October 22, 2017.
  3. It's not just Puerto Rico: FEMA bogs down in Florida, Texas too

    HOUSTON — Outside Rachel Roberts' house, a skeleton sits on a chair next to the driveway, a skeleton child on its lap, an empty cup in its hand and a sign at its feet that reads "Waiting on FEMA."

    Ernestino Leon sits among the debris removed from his family’s flood-damaged Bonita Springs home on Oct. 11. He has waited five weeks for FEMA to provide $10,000 to repair the home.
  4. McConnell says he's awaiting Trump guidance on health care

    STERLING, Va. — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Sunday he's willing to bring bipartisan health care legislation to the floor if President Donald Trump makes clear he supports it.

    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says he’s “not certain yet” on what Trump wants.
  5. Tampa's Lance McCullers shows killer instinct in pitching Astros to World Series


    HOUSTON — It felt like the beginning on Saturday night at Minute Maid Park, the arrival of a new force on the World Series stage. The Astros are back, for the first time in a dozen years, and they want to stay a while.

    Houston Astros starting pitcher Lance McCullers (43) throwing in the fifth inning of the game between the Houston Astros and the Tampa Bay Rays in Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, July 12, 2015.