This is a side by side comparison of two of the most mysterious men of the American backwoods who both evaded capture way too long by living off the land (with the help of a few hundred burglaries here and there).
First we have the more famous of the two, Troy James Knapp a.k.a. The Utah Mountain Man
Bio: Troy James Knapp has been evading capture for nearly seven years. Funny thing is, police didn't even know who they were tracking until early 2012. The legend of the mysterious "Utah Mountain Man" began in 2006 with a series of break-ins of high resort style cabins. He stole from the rich, and kept all his loot for himself. Over the seven years he stole from an area the size of Delaware. Authorities attempting to track him would think they were close one day, only to find out there was another cabin break-in fifteen miles away later that day. This guy would get by making shelters from anything and everything: tarps, caves, earth mounds, but most notoriously in seasonal cabins.
So how did police catch a guy who they couldn't identify? Well in 2012 he finally started to slip. Not only was he starting to leave clues, but he was caught on a hidden game camera. This image is from early in the year when officials were finally able to pin the criminal as Troy Knapp.
Knapp's antics have been in the headlines more consistently in the past two years. His capture was pretty big news in the recent weeks. This next character, on the other hand, is much less known yet equally mysterious.
Christopher Knight has been living in the backwoods of Maine for nearly three decades. That's right, 27 years of living alone in the woods. Knight is reported to have said that the last person he talked to was in the 1990's. That alone is more than enough to explain this guy's history.
Bio: Christopher Knight moved to the woods of Maine 27 years ago to spend a life quietly reading and meditating. He built a hut and camped out for a while, only to find out that humans tend to get hungry after going a few days without food. So what was his next move? Steal some food and supplies to get by.
Knight had a little lower profile with his burglaries than Mr. Knapp, but he managed to exceed Knapp in one aspect. One burglary is not nearly enough to get by for 27 years, so Knight committed over 1,000 burglaries. Christopher Knight admitted to committing at least 40 thefts a year over a time period of 27 years in order to survive. The only thing Knight had on him at the time of his arrest that weren't stolen were his sunglasses (the same pair of sunglasses he wore when he left civilization in 1986).
So how'd he get caught? He ended up hitting the same campground more than once. Every step was calculated by this guy. Eventually this was enough to capture the attention of a Maine State Trooper named Diane Perkins-Vance. Nothing like North Woods Law to take you down. If only this was an episode on the TV show. Anyway, Knight had a historic run of hermitting and thievery which finally caught up to him.
That is quality Canadian Television
If you would like to learn more about either of these gentlemen follow the links below:
Father Nature Outdoors
Because Mother Nature can be a pain