published Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

Maine man who lived as hermit adjusting to society

AUGUSTA, Maine — A man who lived nearly three decades in the Maine woods now has a job and is adjusting to life back in society.

Christopher Knight, who survived brutal winters in the woods by stealing food from homes and camps, could graduate from a special court program as early as this fall, Kennebec County District Attorney Maeghan Maloney said.

After serving about seven months in jail, Knight, known as the North Pond Hermit, was admitted last fall into the program, where participants receive treatment and counseling.

While in jail, Knight told GQ magazine that he didn't like the society he was being forced to re-enter.

"I don't think I'm going to fit in," he said in the story that will appear in the magazine's September issue. "It's too loud. Too colorful. The lack of aesthetics. The crudeness. The inanities. The trivia."

Knight never fully explained why he disappeared into the woods, telling GQ that he didn't have a reason and that it was a mystery to him too. He committed more than 1,000 robberies while he lived as a recluse, he told the magazine.

Maloney declined to say what job Knight had taken and where he was living. Members of his family couldn't be reached for comment on Wednesday.

Maloney said Knight has done everything that he has been required to do in the court program and has done a "remarkable job."

"He has been working hard to understand what it takes to become part of society again," she said.

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