For many years, a shady figure lurked in the dark surroundings of a rural town who was stealing from homes and fleeing from people. Nobody couldn’t ever saw the person and even less knew who was behind of that. The only thing that people knew is that they were afraid and the police were unable to stop him. This is the incredible story of one most mystery man that ever existed.
Someone is Watching
For 30 years, residents of North Pond town, Maine had heard strange sounds in the night. People would awake by the disturbing rustlings but always when they turned the lights, nothing was there. Someone managed to just see a lurking figure.
They could feel like something is constantly creeping in the darkness and knew that things will go missing each time that sounds occurred.
An Unusual Thief
This thief was incredibly odd. He or she focused on steal regular items like magazines, books, junk food, jeans, boots, winter jackets, small radios, and batteries. This elusive criminal never stole an expensive item that he/she could sell it for a good amount of money. Therefore, locals labeled him/her with curious nicknames such as the “the Hungry Man,” “the Mountain Man,” “North Pond Hermit,” “Maine’s Loch Ness Monster,” or even the “the Stealthy Yeti.”
The Hunt Starts
But things will change in the Spring of 2013 when the elusive criminal decided to target the Pine Tree Summer Camp. It seemed a perfect place to steal things. A big place where he/she could sneak into to find food and supplies without anyone noticing something missing.
However, the thief did notice a small detail: the police begun a hunt for him. Besides, the Summer Camp’s manager is the Sergeant Terry Hughes who developed an excellent plan to catch the culprit.
On April 4, 2013, Sergeant Terry Hughes received an alarm triggered meaning that someone was in the kitchen of the camp. Hughes immediately went to the scene expecting to find a violent criminal carrying a weapon, or maybe a ragged homeless person searching desperately for food.
When Hughes looked into the kitchen through the window, he saw something totally unexpected. A clean and well-dressed middle-aged man with a smooth face. And the sergeant asked himself who is this apparently regular man?
Caught In The Act
As the unknown man went to the dining hall, carrying a backpack full with food, Sergeant Hughes threw a flashlight to blind him, and while he was holding a gun in his other hand, he yelled to the man: “get on the ground.” Unexpectedly, the intruder followed the Sergeant’s orders without any kind of resistance.
While the man kneeled down, Officer Diane Perkins-Vance and other two cops handcuffed the suspect to a chair. He never put up a fight or resistance. The officials noticed that the man was pale skin with dated glasses and without an ID. At first, he refused to answer officials’ questions but later he revealed his unbelievable story.
Living Alone In The Woods For Decades
It took two hours until the culprit finally answered Officer Perkins-Vance’s questions. He said he wouldn’t the questions because he was “ashamed”. Then he revealed his name: Christopher Thomas Knight. Jobs? None. Address? The woods.
But the big surprise came when the officer asked him how long time he had been living in the woods and he admitted he lost the sense of time but remembered that the Chernobyl disaster occurred before he decided to go into the woods. So that meant he began his life of solitude and theft in the woods in 1986 (27 years)
The Early Life of The Hermit
Christopher Thomas Knight was born on December 7, 1965. He was always a loner person since he was born. His family was not different, though. “I had good parents” he remembered. “But we were not emotional persons. We were not touchy-feely. We always tend to stoicism.” So, he always had difficult to relate to others beyond a basic level.
When he was younger, Christopher was a shut-in person who stayed busy with the things that really mattered to him. However, nobody could expect he might cut off completely from the world.
A Man With A Promising Future
Curiously, Christopher was a talented student during his school years. His grades were excellent and even graduated fast but without having friends. After high school, he went to Sylvania Technical School in Massachusetts where he studied electronics.
Moving to that city meant a change of pace from his accustomed life in Maine. But still, he did not make any friends. After finishing the 9-month course, Christopher was able found a job installing alarms for cars and homes.
He bought a car through a loan which his brother agreed to help him with it. However, his brother never could never know about Christopher’s plans to vanish from civilization.
A Loner With A Good Family
Christopher Knight always tried to make himself appear modest and unnoticed as possible. He was the middle child of brothers and one younger sister. During his childhood, he went on several hunting trips with his father and they get accustomed to sleeping in the back of family’s pickup without using a tent.
His family was not violent or unhappy. They were just very reserved to express their emotions and share their private issues with the world. Although his parents were not particularly rich, they admired art and knowledge and also believed in the wonders of science.
A Simple Life
Even his family couldn’t ever imagine that Christopher would leave to separate himself from the rest of the world. Without a major incident that may be the reason for such sudden move, maybe he felt that too many good things happened to him so he might felt that was too much for him.
When he decided to leave it all, he didn’t even say goodbye to his family or anybody else that he knew. Until one day, he just vanished. He recalled, “I had no plans when I decided to leave, I was not thinking about nothing. I just did it.”
The Necessity To Flee
Like anyone, Christopher imagined a simple life surrounded by silence and solitude. However, he had a very little training of how to survive in the wilderness so it would be easier to somehow get hurt, suffer from starving or just die alone in the woods.
During the first 2 weeks, he walked through the Maine forests only guided by his instincts. But Christopher discovered that could not appease one natural desire which eventually obliged him to adopt a life of crime.
Christopher’s main desire was to just get lost and be completely alone. He hadn’t any desire to have any kind contact with people. He said, “Very soon, I lost track of where I was. But I didn’t care; honestly, I was happy with the choice I’d made.”
However, he didn’t take any kind of hunting equipment or weapons with him when he started this one-way excursion. During his first weeks, he was searching for food that existed in the surrounds, like berries. But that method will not help him to survive for long…
The Need For Food
Christopher realized very soon that the provisions he brought were not enough. This realization came when he was suffering from starving. Despite Maine woods’ vastness, there are not many options for eating. Some comestible pants only last for a weekend. Perhaps it would be a different story if Christopher had planned to hunt or fish.
Moved by his unceasing starvation, Christopher began stealing small vegetables from gardens, like a tomato or an ear of corn. He never felt the need to ask help in order to keep his solitude undisturbed.
Looking For Shelter
Yes, he brought a tent, but how well it could resist when it rained and the ground became very muddy and malleable. One night, he made the risky decision of sleeping in an empty cabin.
The Woods, His New Home
Christopher rapidly embraced the woods as his new home. He had to adapt to live among rocks, the damp earth, and also take advantage of what nature could provide him. However, there were some other necessary goods nature just could not provide.
He used old magazines to coat his floor and absorb the water, so he’d never go thirsty. But to obtain the magazines it required a lot cunning and stealth.
Perfecting His Stealth Skills
Christopher never acted in a rash way. Before making any move, he first observed the inhabitants so he can know when they came and went and for how long they were absent. Then, when he was sure no one could catch him, he entered the cabin.
He considered these raids very easy because people tend to always leave doors unlocked or windows open due to a peaceful place like Maine who could imagine that there is a danger beyond its tranquility.
Without A Trace
Christopher focused to raid cabins during the week because it’s the moment when most vacationers were away. Many of the cabins were vacation homes, so if something was missing, how could they remember after being a whole week away?
And he always was aware of leave the fewer traces of his presence as possible. So if he could find any spare keys, he kept them hidden someplace safe so he could access the cabin later without any trouble.
His Questionable Legacy
It’s estimated that Christopher made a total of 1,000 burglaries during 27 years. Some labeled him as the culprit of one of the “biggest burglary cases in the history of Maine.” However, his victims could not deny the care that the hermit did his raids. Unlike common burglars, he never smashed a window or broke a lock. He always took care of leaving everything more or less in its original state.
The Consequences Of His Actions
Six months after his arrest, Christopher Knight took the stand at Kennebec County Superior on October 28, 2013. He was found guilty to 13 charges of burglary and robbery, so he was sentenced to 7 months in jail. But to avoid a 7-year sentence, he had to meet with a judge on every Monday.
Additionally, he had to pay his victims a total of $1,500 in restitution and he has to attend a program for people with mental health problems and fulfill 3 years of probation.
His Return To Civilization
After being released, Christopher agreed to meet with the judge on every Monday as he promised in the court hearing and swore to abstain from alcohol. Contrary to everybody’s expectations, he showed an incredible discipline following these statements.
And what was the reward of this? He got his life back and reconnected with his family again when he was in jail. The relationship with his family started to heal and even his brother offered him a job which he took later.
Christopher has stated that definitely, he is not proud of what he had done. In fact, he is very sorry to those he had harmed. But he has had some reflections to say about his life as a hermit.
For him, even silence itself deafens. “Solitude bestows an increase in something valuable. I can’t just discard that idea. Solitude improved my perception but when I decided to increase my perception of myself, I lost my identity. There was no one to perform for. There was no need to define myself, so I became irrelevant.”
Then he remarked, “I was never lonely. If you enjoy solitude, you’re never alone.” And he ended, “all my desires were dropped away. I didn’t long for anything. I didn’t even have a name. I was completely free.”
That’s how he was able to survive for 27 years without going crazy or being a victim of depression or desperation.