The Stranger in the Woods

The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit

Photo Gallery

  • ABOUT THE BOOK
    High School Senior, 1984

    “It’s better to be tough than strong, better to be clever than intelligent,” Knight said. “I was tough and clever.” (The Stranger in the Woods, Chapter 12)

    Photo Credit: Lawrence Public Library

  • Chris Knight
    ABOUT THE BOOK
    Mug Shot, 2013

    His lips were pulled into a downturned scowl. His eyes did not rise to meet mine. Rarely in my life have I witnessed someone less pleased to see me. (The Stranger in the Woods, Chapter 9)

    Photo Credit: Maine State Police

  • ABOUT THE BOOK
    Caught on Camera

    One family named him the Mountain Man, but that frightened their children, so they changed it to the Hungry Man. Most people, including the police, referred to the intruder simply as the hermit. (The Stranger in the Woods, Chapter 5)

    Photo Credit: Debbie Baker

  • The Chris Knight Woods
    ABOUT THE BOOK
    The Knight Woods

    The mash of trees and shrubs was so dense the forest held its own humidity, enough to promptly fog a pair of eyeglasses. (Chapter 10)

  • ABOUT THE BOOK
    Break-In Kit

    He could defeat all but the most fortified bolts with the perfect little jiggle of just the right tool, less about muscle and more like Houdini. (Chapter 15)

    Photo Credit: Jennifer Smith-Mayo

  • ABOUT THE BOOK
    Little North Pond

    “I lost grasp of time,” Knight said. “Years were meaningless. I measured time by the season and moon. The moon was the minute hand, the seasons the hour hand.” (Chapter 22)

  • ABOUT THE BOOK
    Knight In His Tent

    “My desires dropped away,” said Knight. “I didn’t long for anything. I didn’t even have a name. To put it romantically, I was completely free.” (Chapter 22)

    Photo Credit: Maine State Police

  • ABOUT THE BOOK
    The Tarp Structure

    The walls of his home were constructed of tarps and garbage bags, intricately overlaid like roof tiles. It was an aesthetically pleasing creation, almost churchlike in appearance. (Chapter 11)

    Photo Credit: Maine State Police

  • ABOUT THE BOOK
    Secret Camp

    Knight had created from the chaos a bedroom-sized clearing completely invisible a few steps away. (Chapter 11)

  • ABOUT THE BOOK
    Sergeant Terry Hughes

    “Everything in my gut wanted to hate this guy,” said Hughes. “But I can’t. You could work in law enforcement a hundred years and never come across anyone like this.” (Chapter 24)

    Photo Credit: Jennifer Smith-Mayo

  • ABOUT THE BOOK
    Flashlights

    He had dozens of wristwatches, flashlights, and portable radios. “I like back-up systems, redundancies, and options,” Knight explained. (Chapter 11)

    Photo Credit: Maine State Police

  • ABOUT THE BOOK
    Wilderness Storage Unit

    “I couldn’t bring myself to throw anything away,” said Knight. “I’m a saver and repurposer.” (Chapter 11)

  • ABOUT THE BOOK
    Jail

    The officer unlocked the maroon visiting room door and I stepped inside and the door closed behind me, and I was shaken with nerves. (Chapter 9)

  • ABOUT THE BOOK
    Entertainment

    Nothing in all the world received higher praise from Knight than Lynyrd Skynyrd. “They will be playing Skynyrd songs in a thousand years,” Knight proclaimed. (Chapter 16)

  • ABOUT THE BOOK
    One Chair

    Knight’s chair had seemed ideally and harmoniously placed to maximize the site’s sense of tranquility. Knight scoffed at this notion: “Do you think I was engaging in feng shui?”  (Chapter 11)

  • ABOUT THE BOOK
    A Quiet Friend

    Knight’s closest companion may have been a mushroom. One of the few concerns Knight had after his arrest was that the police officers who tromped through his camp had knocked it down. (Chapter 17)

  • ABOUT THE BOOK
    North Pond Cabin

    A few of the cabins still don’t have electricity or running water. Neighbors tend to know each other. Some families have owned the same plot for a century. (Chapter 5)

  • ABOUT THE BOOK
    Pine Tree Kitchen

    He’s in the large camp kitchen, his penlight flashing over stainless steel, a ceiling rack of sleeping ladles. He grabs two tubs of coffee and drops them in his pack. (Chapter 1)

  • ABOUT THE BOOK
    Nessie

    The Loch Ness monster hasn’t emerged from the lake; the Yeti wasn’t caught strolling into town. But the North Pond hermit, it turns out, was real. (Chapter 5)