ROME — Christopher Knight went into the central Maine wilderness 27 years ago. Maine Warden Service Sgt. Terry Hughes discusses encountering Christopher Knight, the alleged North Pond Hermit, at the Pine Tree Camp on Thursday. 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. 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.
Terry Hughes of the Maine Warden Service heard about the case when he joined the Maine Warden Service 18 years ago and has been involved in investigating the burglaries in recent years. “He made one fatal mistake,” Hughes said. “He hit this year on my birthday.” That mid-March birthday break-in, combined with Hughes’ interest in the case, spiked his determination to catch the burglar. Working with U.S. Border Patrol in Rangeley, Hughes set up surveillance equipment that would trigger an alarm at Hughes’ nearby home if someone entered the camp’s dining hall after hours. “I was extremely confident he would be apprehended,” Hughes said. “I knew sooner or later he was going to trip that camera.”
This story has been emailed to us about 100 times. I saw it this morning and didn’t even think it was blog worthy. Isn’t everybody from Maine ugly and lives in the woods? Once you cross the Mass border I just kind of assumed this is commonplace. Weirdos who live in the woods, reading and meditating. Occasionally Maine natives put down their books and go steal shit so they can barter for pelts and seeds along the Canadian border. Sounds about right. Most surprising part of this story is that Maine has the internet to get this story out there and we didn’t learn about it from cave drawings in 1000 years.
PS – North Pond Hermit is such a Maine name for what must be their most famous criminal of all time. No zip. No pizzazz. Just the bare minimums. Where is he? North Pond. What is he? A hermit. Ok, let’s call him the North Pond Hermit.
Double PS – Did Maine really have to arrest this Hermit? The guy steals food so he can live. Not exactly Lex Luther. I mean how big of a hardo is this Maine Warden Service guy? Setting up hidden cameras and shit. The guy is a hermit. Let him do his thing.