MAINE, USA — It’s been more than six years since the "North Pond Hermit "walked out of the woods in handcuffs, but his story is still a topic of discussion.
For 27 winters, Christopher Knight lived alone in the woods in Rome. Over the decades, people around North Pond noticed that food and supplies were going missing. No one could pin down what was going on or who was to blame.
But in 2013, Knight, known as the “North Pond Hermit,” was located by police and taken into custody.
Knight was charged with stealing from camps and sentenced to one year in prison. He was also ordered to meet with people he stole from. Despite his crimes, Knight became somewhat of a local hero.
The podcast True Crime Chronicles will look back at the "North Pond Hermit" case in an episode Monday. It will dig into what we know about Knight and his quest to live alone.
The player below also will automatically update on Monday with the episode about Knight.
“There was this really fifty-fifty split of some people who were really angry and wanted him punished to the max and others who felt sorry for him,” former NEWS CENTER Maine reporter Chris Rose said.
Ted Varipatis was on the assignment desk at NEWS CENTER Maine in Portland when Knight was captured.
“I do remember when the police finally caught him, they really protected him from the media. They didn’t want to expose him. Even though he was a criminal, he had this endearing quality to him,” he said.
People were astonished and even in disbelief to learn that anyone could live outside and endure the cold Maine winters for that long. His story spread throughout New England and then reached across the country. He was ultimately known less for the nature of his crimes and more for his status as a survivalist and hermit.
“He became a cult hero. He had his own Facebook page that was created. Somebody wrote a book about him. There was a song written about him. He was like a Maine thing. It’s hard to explain,” Varipatis said.
After living with his mother for awhile, Knight reportedly has his own place today in a small Maine town and works in an auto shop.