AUGUSTA – Christopher T. Knight is no longer alone, no longer out of sight, and no longer resembles the person who was arrested nearly two months ago.

The man known as the North Pond Hermit — who police say admitted to committing more than 1,000 burglaries to survive more than two decades alone in the woods — now spends his days in the Kennebec County jail with at least 100 other inmates.

On Tuesday, he was brought to Kennebec County Superior Court, handcuffed to some of those inmates, and learned that it could be months before the State Forensic Service completes his mental health evaluation, a key step before his case can proceed.

“The evaluation is not going to be done right away; they’re really backed up over there,” Justice Michaela Murphy told Knight and James Billings, the attorney representing him Tuesday.

Knight, 47, formerly of Albion, appeared to have lost weight since his arrest on April 4 and had new, wire-rimmed glasses instead of the thick, black-framed glasses he wore at the time of his arrest. He has told authorities that the glasses were all that he owned and he had worn them since the late 1980s.

In court Tuesday, he wore a white crew-neck T-shirt under a short-sleeved green jail uniform. His beard was trimmed and his head was almost bald. He walked into court in leg shackles and handcuffs with a half-dozen or so other inmates and walked a half-block back to the jail, handcuffed to one of them.


Knight was scheduled for a status conference in connection with a burglary and theft April 4 at the Pine Tree Camp in Rome. He has told authorities that he was responsible for more than 1,000 burglaries in the area of North Pond, Little North Pond and East Pond during the 27 years he spent alone in the woods.

Knight has been in custody since his arrest at the camp, where a game warden and state police trooper stopped him as he left the dining hall with a backpack and duffel bag laden with food and tools.

During Tuesday’s court hearing, Knight spoke only with Billings, leaning over to converse as they sat in an area reserved for those in police custody.

Along with the burglary and theft on April 4, Knight is charged with a burglary and theft that occurred last fall at the Pine Tree Camp and a break-in at a nearby home. He has not been charged, and probably won’t be, in connection with hundreds more burglaries because of the statute of limitations.

Knight’s story of surviving alone so long in the Maine woods and burglarizing camps for supplies has attracted worldwide media attention and some sympathy, but some victims of the burglaries have said they will feel more secure this summer knowing that a suspect is behind bars.

For decades, sheriff’s deputies, state police and wardens sought an elusive burglar who seemed to know when camp owners had stocked up on food and other supplies.


Knight reportedly told investigators that he had spoken to only one person in his years in the woods — a passing hiker in the 1990s.

Knight offered no explanation for leaving his home and his family around 1986. He said he had not been in contact with them since then, although some family members have been in contact with him at the jail.

He remains there in lieu of $25,000 cash bail.

Betty Adams can be contacted at 621-5631 or at:

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