What Does a Hermit Do While Living in the Woods for 27 Years? Steal Pokemon Games

Christopher Knight lived without human contact in the woods of Maine for almost three decades.

It's hard to imagine a single person living undetected in the United States while having no contact with another human being for years, yet that's precisely what happened over the last three decades. GQ has published a lengthy new story about Christopher Knight, a hermit who has lived in the woods of Maine, surviving by stealing food, clothing, and entertainment from nearby houses. Among the things he stole? A child's Halloween candy and various handheld video games, including Pokemon.

Knight, now 48 years old, was finally discovered and arrested last year after years of his thefts had turned him into something of a myth. After being arrested, he eventually opened up to police (and later a GQ reporter) about his time in the wilderness. Unable to say how long he had been living by himself, he could confirm it began in the same year as the Chernobyl disaster, meaning he had been doing this since 1986.

Pokemon Red

He explains that he broke into houses about 40 times a year, an estimate that would total more than 1,000 total robberies. Owners of these houses became aware that someone was breaking in, but found themselves unable to stop them. He went undetected by only moving at night and never lighting any fires--an amazing feat, considering he was living in the woods of Maine during winter.

To keep himself occupied--27 years or so is a long time to go without human contact--he stole things like books and games, including handheld Pokemon, Dig Dug, and Tetris games. There's no word on what system these games were for or if he ever managed to catch them all. (The story also makes no mention of what he thinks of sub-1080p games. He thinks they're totally lame, I bet.)

Asked why he disappeared in '86, when he was 20 years old, Knight never had a real answer, saying things like, "I can't explain why," and "It's a mystery to me, too."

GQ's full story is fascinating and well worth a look if you're curious about how Knight committed the robberies and spent his time.

Chris Pereira is a freelance writer for GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @TheSmokingManX
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Discussion

445 comments
Karchy
Karchy

cute.. the fat officer is wearing his survival skittles belt around his belly

Faye_Tallity
Faye_Tallity

They NEED to make a movie about this! What a different type of movie this would be! A simpleton's life, that becomes a hermit, of myth-like proportions. Even to call him a legend, for living a way that no one realized, could be done. I wonder what the survival experts think about this guy. Lol, everyone thinks they write the best survival guide, and are THE authority on the subject, then this guy shows up, & is like..I've been living in the forest for 30 years, & never lit a single fire. And here, I am. Still alive..Lol Now HE'S the real survival expert. Who's also a legend. Yet, he never wrote a single book, of any kind. None of the other survival authors, will achieve that status. No matter how many survival books they write. If i had a house next to his cabin, I'd buy the area up & he could live there rent free. I'd check on him, to make sure he's ok, use walkie-talkies, or visit. The bugs would creep me out though lol With boy-like charm..."I'd lay my back on the water, floating around looking at the stars" He's harmless! This is story totally nuts lol They should use Tom Hanks, or Dustin Hoffman...someone that looks like they could easily be a mountain man, any day of the week. 

Mantan911
Mantan911

The question is how in the world are his clothes so clean??

gamer6130
gamer6130

i find it pretty amazing he was able to survive out so many winters with what little he had.

SingletreeAve
SingletreeAve

"The story also makes no mention of what he thinks of sub-1080p games. He thinks they're totally lame, I bet." - Impressive journalism dude.

nomailx
nomailx

This guy will have a Movie deal... Then a game will be made from that movie... Wonder if it will be a Playstation or Xbox exclusive...

Megavideogamer
Megavideogamer

What is worse living in winter without a fire or playing pokemon games.

vadagar1
vadagar1

he steals from the same place for 30 years and never get caught ?!


those people DESERVED TO BE ROBBED

vadagar1
vadagar1

wow yah he sounds real dangerous....

300 years in JAIL will teach him how to like humanity again .... 

/SARCASM COMBO 


from the pic above you would think the guy was a serial killer or a bank robber : /


also why did that guy that stole like 10 billion dollars when the economy went to heck is free?

blackothh
blackothh

House owners found that they could not stop him?????

 

xxmavr1kxx
xxmavr1kxx

I don't understated why they would add in "there's no word on what system these games were for "


Why dafuq does that even matter??? Gamespot is trying to hard to make jokes about the console wars, and it makes it even more pathetic that they flame the fire with all the click bait articles that get posted.


Community- HA HA, nice click bait article. News must be slow


Gamespot- NO, NO, No we don't encourage the console war. Look we even made jokes about the console war in the homeless Massachusetts Guys articles. We are hip and cool.

samanoskay
samanoskay

So new drinking game at gs? Every time someone gets 1080p into there post everyone takes a shot?

thehollowones
thehollowones

Judging by the size of those cops. It's clear to see how he was able to escape capture so many times.


Guy reminds me of that story about Christopher McCandless, except, ya know, he wasn't a pretentious, self-indulgent pr.ick who abandoned his loving family and attempted to prove he could just take on one of the world's most brutal challenges because he was an arrogant kid who thought himself nigh-invincible. And yet, here's a man who could survive 30 years in the wilderness. Although, no doubt he likely crashed in abandoned buildings in the winter time, regardless, being homeless that long is an awful thing.

squall_83
squall_83

These comments are amongst the dumbest things I have read in my entire life. You should all try harder to educate yourselves and you should be ashamed.

Tuckpoint
Tuckpoint

@bigimpact21 I didn't realize freedom was defined as "Sleep where you want, steal what you need from people that worked to acquire it".  It's not freedom if you are relying on people to provide for you is it?  I think the article paints the poor man up as more of a prisoner.  Sure he lived in the woods, but he still had to come back to society to pilfer necessities did he not?  The only freedom this man experienced was the freedom from having to contribute to society to reap it's rewards.

PaperthinTV
PaperthinTV

@blackothh All I think of is George Bluth Sr. from Arrested Development hiding in the attic of his sons house when I read this article. hahah

northArrow
northArrow

@blackothh This is Maine, we don't do that crap.


Actually, most of these weren't really home break-ins, the buildings were mostly vacation cottages that are abandoned for most of the year. 

Darksimm
Darksimm

@nomailx Gameboy color exclusive to go with catching Pokemon as an ingame minigame. Either that or Nintendo needs to make a Pokemon of him so you can try to catch him in the woods.

Tuckpoint
Tuckpoint

@vadagar1 How did you post something like this that alludes to you being a thoughtful person and in the time it took to hit "Post Comment" you spew forth that "YOU DESERVE TO BE ROBBED" comment just above it?  You confuse me.

unikat
unikat

@xxmavr1kxx Comment may have been inappropriate, but hey, it's site where they joke all the time, and it's gaming site, not a serious one (tho yeah they did cover serious story, but w/e).

However... you do realize that console wars don't happen between things from same company, like GBC, GBA, GC, N64, Wii, Wii U, NDS, 3DS, which all belong to Nintendo and on which Pokemon games were released ONLY (yeah he didn't play them on GC, N64 and Wii's obviously since they're not handhelds).

Dig Dug also went to Nintendo handhelds (GBC probably) and it's own separate handheld as well as PC port (back in 90s) and mobile (few years ago) ... so no console war there either.

thehollowones
thehollowones

@squall_83 sooo, instead of pointing out who's comments offended you, you blanketed everyone? So who's stupid again? Or no, I suppose that's just blatant high-horse arrogance spewed from some self-righteous dingbat who doesn't know how to not take things seriously. I suggest bending over so you might better reach the giant stick up your ass.

markvons
markvons

@squall_83 You're right so many idiotic comments. I'm amazed at the amount of stupid people here.

hitomo
hitomo

@Tuckpoint @bigimpact21  what u said is true for so many people ... celebratys, politicians, free to play game designers, stock traders, Strip Club Manager and visitors ... Facebook


this Wood guy is a saint compareed to all of those 'worthy' members of ur society

blackothh
blackothh

@northArrow @blackothh Yea after reading the other article about it, I got a better understanding of the situation and it made a lot more sense how he got away with it.

hystavito
hystavito

@Darksimm @nomailx Nah, this story has survival game written all over it :).


Kidding aside, that would make an interesting twist on the usual survival game.  You are not really isolated, in the middle of nowhere, in a primitive time, etc.  You are a person that lives only a short distance from society, who chooses to live that way.  You have all your usual survival/crafting stuff like other games, but then you also have the option, with varying risks and rewards, to travel to nearby towns, cottages, etc. and utilize or steal modern items, food, whatever.


It could be a cool mix of modern and primitive.

zerohournow
zerohournow

@Tuckpoint @vadagar1 yes, just like people who dont wear seatbelts don't deserve to be injured. Or people that don't wear helmets, or eat poorly. Can't possibly "blame the victim" or question their stupidity in today's nutcase pansy ass world.

Tuckpoint
Tuckpoint

@unikat @xxmavr1kxx Tired of people using the "Hey guy, its a video game site" excuse.  These people label themselves journalists and yet act like children.  That may have been acceptable 20 years ago when only children played video games for the most part.  NEWSFLASH, those people have grown up and are adults now, children don't get to lay claim to video games forever.  It's my generation that started playing games as a hobby.  It's people of my age group that create the things and *gasp* we actually still play games as a hobby.  I don't believe it's unreasonable for an adult gamer to call out these so-called journalists for shoddy work.

Tuckpoint
Tuckpoint

@JKnaperek @xxmavr1kxx You came to this decision how?  Because the person is apparently disgusted with a console wars comment being used in appropriately?  Do you have any emotions at all?  You don't get angry or sad or DISGUSTED?


Wow- you lack the ability to think critically.

Tuckpoint
Tuckpoint

@thehollowones @squall_83 The "stick up your ass" rebuttal has more weight when used to comment on a light-hearted article, where laughing is appropriate.  All I see from the article, aside from tacky console wars references is that a man decided society wasn't all that.  While living on his own in the woods, he still had to come back to society to prolong his existence, despite sticking it out through very harsh conditions.  I'm not sure what I think of the man, one side of me thinks he's an ass because he practiced thievery for three decades and the other side thinks, well this guy wasn't stealing bling, he's not really a criminal as a somewhat confused individual.  At no point did I think "HAHAHAH, LOOK AT THE BALD FKR, HAHAHA 1080P POKEBAWLZ".  And aside from 3 other comments I've seen, everyone has been treading down that path of disgusting apathy.  So while I don't agree with making blanket statements either, it really does sorta fit here.

rinker03
rinker03

@hitomo @Tuckpoint @bigimpact21  I like the idea that our justice system is blind...Why should he get off easy for so many robberies? If he was a thug in the projects opinions would be differ.  Stealing is stealing.

Ayato_Kamina_1
Ayato_Kamina_1

@zerohournow @Tuckpoint @vadagar1 If someone is intent on robbing you enough they will rob you. But if you get robbed and don't do anything to try and hamper / prevent future robberies... then yeah I've got limited sympathy for you. 

I mean it's not like this guy was Solid Snake or anything... It's like those Canadian people who refuse to lock their doors despite having been robbed like 10 times. 

Tuckpoint
Tuckpoint

@zerohournow @Tuckpoint @vadagar1 This is your second example of lack of comprehension.  My point was he was thinking about the situation in a proper fashion and then manages to still spill out "YOU DESERVE TO BE ROBBED".  They almost seem to come from two different opinions on the situation.


From what I've read of your comments thus far though I get the impression you're just here to be an irritating smart ass.

unikat
unikat

@Tuckpoint as I already said comment may have been inappropriate, but I don't expect every comment to be appropriate, Jess makes jokes on GSNews all the time, Feedbackula was all about inappropriate jokes, Danny and his comments while playing games are mostly on level of 12-y.o....

Do you go around also crying how they shouldn't state their dislike for Wii? EA? Microsoft making 1080 (at first it was 360, then when they couldn't achieve 1080p, then it went to 1080) on all their policies with Xbox One? And so on... 'cause that's as inappropriate as sports commentator giving his support to a team, hence giving biased commentaries.


Did you by any chance watch them making Sims and getting them to fight?

Most of content on this site is immature, and lighthearted and they try to squeeze jokes in every review and article if they can find a proper place for it. And I don't mind it (I doubt you're much older than me (if at all)), it's gaming site, if I wanted something adult and serious I would read news on wikipedia or some serious site, like CNN (or those that cover news in my area).


On other note... It's not like it's some tragic story and that there's no place for joke to be fitted in. And... it's not like you don't have a choice, you don't like it, go to other gaming site, where you'll find "serious journalists"... except you can't because they're not supposed to be serious.


But to each his own I guess. If it was tragic story, yeah I'd mind a joke, but like this... I obviously don't, even tho I'm an adult.

hitomo
hitomo

@rinker03 @hitomo @Tuckpoint @bigimpact21  and if hes the Manager of a globay acting u.s.l bank causing world Depression ... he should not get shoot, by ur rules ?! ... and if this guy would have been a black, those two cops on the photo would only show a dead Body of a wood guy

Tuckpoint
Tuckpoint

@unikat I frequent the site regularly and enjoy a good deal of the content on here.  It's diminished by contributions from Eddie ThaCooch and others that follow his legacy of click-bait headlines and sensationalizing everything from titles, content to even the quotes.  Making immature jests is just fine, I enjoy Family guy and that 'the more awful the funnier' jokes that they make.  See those are comedies, not everything in life is a comedy but there certainly is room on a gaming site for it.


Making Sims fight each other:  Funny


Danny acting immature on a video:  Funny


Derping around in Goat-Simulator:  Funny


Laughing at an entire community being burglarized for 30 years:  Not Funny


Laughing at a man that is intelligent yet confused as to why he does what he does:  Not Funny.


Do you get my point yet or are you still trying to point out the obvious that you can't take everything in life too seriously?  No kidding?  Really?  If I don't like it, go elsewhere?  No, I will continue to shake my finger at inappropriate behavior because it's needed.  Antagonizing people for no reason other than to give yourself a chuckle is what causes unstable people to lash out in violence.


You must not watch any actual news, calling CNN a "serious" place to become informed.  It's CNN somehow being successful enough to keep going that fans the flames for these aholes to pull speculation and assumption out of their ass, spread on a thick layer of sensationalism for the icing and present it as journalism.


You're right, to each his own.  I find people that insist on only positive comments to be just as infuriating as the people must find me to be with my negative comments.  To pretend everything is sunshine and laughter and stick your head in the sand when you hear anything negative is self inflicted ignorance as far as I'm concerned.

Tuckpoint
Tuckpoint

@Pyromk1 @Tuckpoint @unikat @xxmavr1kxx I'm stuck with Hacks pretending to be journalists, to call these people actual journalists is to imply integrity, which is just the opposite of click-bait headlines and petty internet argument inciting wording of their articles.  I continue to complain about the quality here because I am a gamer and to be represented by such people is appalling at best.


It's not the WHOLE staff either, there are a few here that give me the impression they do understand it's not their job to be cool for the kids.  I love Danny's videos and while I don't agree with everything the man says I can respect it because he doesn't mix his opinions in with his facts.  I do love the humor, when appropriate.

Sefrix
Sefrix moderator moderator

Lol :P

Tuckpoint
Tuckpoint

@Sefrix HILARIOUS,  not the string of comments that actually look down upon people utilizing empathy, but your status as moderator laughing right along side the apathetic children.  HAHAHAH :P :P : P : PPTONGUES.  Terrible.

zedneptune
zedneptune

@squall_83 Your first mistake is expecting enlightened conversation on a gaming site. Your second mistake is the first mistake again. WOLOLO!

Sefrix
Sefrix moderator moderator

I laughed at the Squall comment. This is a goofy story and therefore a goofy article and I laughed at a goofy comment. What is there to have empathy for?

Tuckpoint
Tuckpoint

@zedneptune @squall_83 Yea, total mistake to think he'd find even a shred of human decency on a site that humans frequent.  YOLOLOWOWOLOLOl,  f yourself.

Tuckpoint
Tuckpoint

@Sefrix A goofy article about a man living in the wild for 3 decades, burglarizing the closest community the entire time while toughing through winter conditions?  Umm, the man that lived in the woods and the people he burglarized would be what you might have a little empathy for.  You know, something along the lines of "that poor man, he must need help" or "those people had to put up with a stranger ransacking their homes for 30 years?"  something to that effect?  I mean this is just stuff I'm coming up with on the fly without any thought put into it at all, practically verbatim from the article.  I don't care if you want to think of the man as a terrible person or a person in need of help, just that you truly realize that it is a human being or a group of people, having their lives interrupted.  SOMETHING THAT ACKNOWLEDGES THE FACT YOU'RE LAUGHING AT ANOTHER PERSONS MISERY, EmPaThY.


All that aside, sorry I misconstrued your post as a laugh at the tacky stuff and not the squall reference.