Rural NY Hermit Was Secret Millionaire

Recluse's only overhead was taxes

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Jul 2, 2014 3:27 AM CDT | Updated Jul 6, 2014 6:50 AM CDT

(Newser) – An elderly man found dead near his ramshackle rural home in New York state had millions of dollars in the bank but appears to have valued his solitude more than luxuries like plumbing or heating. George Konnight, 79, had lived in the same home with his sisters since childhood and had recently banked $3 million from the sale of 31.5 acres of property, the Journal News reports. Both sisters died of heart attacks in the last two years. "He lived a very simple life, hermit-like," a police spokesman says. "He had his attorney and another man looking in on him now and again. He was alone."

Konnight's home near the town of Ramapo appeared abandoned, but he was sometimes seen wandering in the woods and appears to have cut his own firewood, the police spokesman says. An attorney who has worked with the family says Konnight and his sisters lived simply on what was their old family farm, but had to sell off their land over the years to pay taxes. "They wanted to stay where they were because they enjoyed their bucolic lifestyle, being isolated and surrounded by trees with deer running through the yard," he says. "Their only overhead was taxes. They didn't have a lawyer helping them out. They didn't want to get involved with the government. They just couldn't keep up with the taxes." Konnight's skeletal remains were found in the woods on his property after a neighbor told police he hadn't seen him in a few weeks.

Konnight's body was found on his overgrown property.
Konnight's body was found on his overgrown property.   (Shutterstock)
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