Maine State Trooper Diane Perkins-Vance on Monday, Dec. 23 in Augusta.
Courtesy photo by Maine State Trooper Diane Perkins-Vance.
After 30 years, the case of the North Pond Hermit is finally closed
"Everyone refers to him as a hermit.
actually a human being.
His name is Christopher Knight," says Maine State Police Trooper Diane Perkins-Vance.
Maine State Police Trooper Diane Perkins-Vance knows the next question.
It always comes.
believe it's true?
That conviction took root in April when Knight led Perkins-Vance
"There was a lot of personal information to get to know Chris Knight and why he did this," Perkins-Vance
warned Knight that the information about his arrest was public and that his story would likely attract significant attention.
But even Perkins-Vance
was unprepared for the media frenzy that erupted after Knight's arrest was first reported on April 10 by the Kennebec Journal
was pursued by media outlets across the world, each hoping for a new nugget of information to pass along about the mysterious Maine man who became known as the North Pond Hermit.
says it has become the most high profile case she
has ever worked.
"I expected it to get national attention," she
"I didn't expect it would get worldwide attention.
I can't begin to tell you how many interviews I did."
Burglaries at camps around North Pond and other lakes in the Rome, Smithfield and North Belgrade area had become so routine over the years, and the perpetrator so elusive, that Knight's legend grew even before people knew who he
The break-ins had an unsettling effect on camp owners, Perkins-Vance
said, and it was exciting to solve the mystery.
That excitement was replaced by the daunting realization that she
had to single-handedly investigate nearly 30 years' worth of burglaries.
"This took a lot of investigating, a lot of interviews with him, to put the whole story together," Perkins-Vance
Video: riding with Maine State Police Trooper Diane Perkins-Vance
"I think he
will follow what is expected of him, based on what I know of him," Perkins-Vance
Perkins-Vance's life, much to her
relief, has since returned to normal.
Looking back, she
is glad she
had the opportunity to see the investigation through from the time of Knight's arrest to his
"I've had no further involvement with Knight since his
case was resolved in court," she
However, Knight's lifestyle made him a once-in-a-lifetime study, Perkins-Vance
will to withdraw from society not only made him intensely interesting to the general public, but it also proved compelling to the officer assigned to investigate his
"To live in the Maine woods for 27 years, in the elements, is unique and interesting," she