SHARE THIS! Despite Solitude, Hermit Had Taste For Fine Things - FOX 10 News | myfoxphoenix.com

Share This!

SHARE THIS! Despite Solitude, Hermit Had Taste For Fine Things

Posted: Updated:
Rome, ME -

(FOX 11 / AP) He would meditate on an overturned bucket while staring up at the sky and knew all the eagles that nested nearby.

But despite his 27 years of seclusion in the woods, Christopher Knight also had a taste for the finer things in life, authorities said Thursday after dismantling the so-called North Pond hermit's lair.

In the 47-year-old's camp, they recovered goods that included high-end L.L. Bean sleeping bags and a new tent.

He was wearing brand-new shoes and gloves, all believed stolen, when authorities arrested him after he tripped a surveillance sensor at a camp last week. They believe Knight may be responsible for more than 1,000 burglaries of food and other staples during the nearly three decades he hunkered down in the woods.

Game Warden Sgt. Terry Hughes said Thursday that authorities believe Knight broke into cottages and stole quality products because they would last longer and help perpetuate his life of solitude.

And the hermit apparently didn't steal fridge leftovers either.

"He was a fussy eater," said Dave Proulx, a nearby cottage owner who tried to capture the hermit six or seven years ago after falling victim to more than a dozen break-ins.

Proulx, who said he came face to face with Knight while staking out his own cottage, said the hermit never made off with meat that wasn't in its original packaging.

On the rainy, cloudy night of their encounter, the hermit escaped by canoe after Proulx threw on a floodlight and chased him to a dock, Proulx said.

Authorities filled two pickup trucks on Thursday as they took apart Knight's camp, later displaying what they were calling evidence for local folks to sort through to try to recover their stolen goods.

There were several Nintendo Game Boys and a wristwatch, along with shovels, rakes, coolers, cooking gear, a coffee pot and even toilet paper.

Authorities said Knight used logs on the ground as a makeshift commode, and at one point, attached an antenna to a treetop so he could get reception on his battery-powered TV in his tarp-covered camp.

Many locals said they were relieved by Knight's arrest after enduring years of break-ins. Before the camp's dismantling, some curious folks hiked about a mile into the woods with police to try to get a look at the hermit's camp.

Among them was Frank Ten Broeck, a retired New Jersey police official who has a cottage nearby.

"To me, this is mind-boggling. I just can't believe this guy was here 27 years," Ten Broeck said. "This is some of the most severe weather you can go through."

But the land's owner disappointed them, deciding to let only authorities into the camp on Thursday.

A corrections officer at Kennebec County Jail in Augusta said Knight was refusing requests for interviews.

He has applied for a court-appointed lawyer and hasn't entered a plea to the burglary and theft charges stemming from the break-in at Pine Tree Camp, a facility for special needs people.

Authorities said they caught Knight with $283 in goods in his backpack after he fell into a trap set by Hughes, who's been trying to capture the elusive woodsman for years.

In his police mug shot, Knight is clean-shaven, has short-cropped hair and is sporting a style of eyeglasses from the 1980s.

It's a different look than in his photo from the 1984 yearbook from Lawrence High School in Fairfield, Maine. In it, Knight is wearing horn-rimmed glasses and has long, thick dark hair as he leans against a tree.

The blurb accompanying the picture says Knight's plans were to become a computer technician.

But authorities said by the time he was about 19, he'd disappeared into the woods.

Authorities say Knight doesn't show signs of mental illness and they've uncovered no other motive for his seclusion except that he wanted to be alone.

Knight's arrest came a little more than a week after the capture of a self-styled mountain man in Utah who shared some of the same traits. For six years, Troy James Knapp ransacked cabins on national forest land for guns, food and high-end camping gear, authorities said.

Knapp, a 45-year-old California parolee who went on the run in 2004, faces 29 burglary-related felony and misdemeanor charges in Utah that could keep him in jail for life.

 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

  • Share ThisMore>>

  • NYPD Twitter hashtag #myNYPD backfires

    NYPD Twitter hashtag #myNYPD backfires

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 5:50 PM EDT2014-04-23 21:50:32 GMT
    An NYPD plan intended to better connect with the community on Twitter using the hashtag "myNYPD" seems to have backfired.
    An NYPD plan intended to better connect with the community on Twitter using the hashtag "myNYPD" seems to have backfired.
  • Teen Okay after Hiding In Wheel Well Of Jet Bound For Hawaii

    Teen Okay after Hiding In Wheel Well Of Jet Bound For Hawaii

    Teen Okay after Hiding In Wheel Well Of Jet Bound For Hawaii

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 10:21 PM EDT2014-04-23 02:21:57 GMT
    Officials say a 16-year-old boy is "lucky to be alive" and unharmed after flying from California to Hawaii stowed away in a plane's wheel well, surviving cold temperatures at 38,000 feet and a lack of oxygen. "Doesn't even remember the flight," FBI spokesman Tom Simon in Honolulu told The Associated Press on Sunday night. "It's amazing he survived that." The boy was questioned by the FBI after being discovered on the tarmac at the Maui airport Sunday morning with no identification, Simon said...
    Officials say a 16-year-old boy is "lucky to be alive" and unharmed after flying from California to Hawaii stowed away in a plane's wheel well, surviving cold temperatures at 38,000 feet and a lack of oxygen. "Doesn't even remember the flight," FBI spokesman Tom Simon in Honolulu told The Associated Press on Sunday night. "It's amazing he survived that." The boy was questioned by the FBI after being discovered on the tarmac at the Maui airport Sunday morning with no identification, Simon said...
  • Anaheim's Wonderful WonderCon

    Anaheim's Wonderful WonderCon

    Monday, April 21 2014 10:58 AM EDT2014-04-21 14:58:42 GMT
    It was Easter weekend and while some Angelenos spent their time at Mass, there was a group of passionate people who showed up in mass to celebrate their favorite superheroes at the Anaheim WonderCon.
    It was Easter weekend and while some Angelenos spent their time at Mass, there was a group of passionate people who showed up in mass to celebrate their favorite superheroes at the Anaheim WonderCon.
Powered by WorldNow

KSAZ-TV & KUTP
511 W. Adams St.
Phoenix, AZ 85003

Phone: (602) 257-1234
Fax: (602) 262-0177

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices