perhaps his most benign nickname is the most telling. Long before stealing boats and planes made him a marvel of elusiveness, an Internet antihero, Mr. Harris-Moore, 19, was suspected of stealing cookies and frozen pizza from the Kostelyk family, a few gravel roads from the squalor that was his home, a trailer on a dead end here, barely an hour from Seattle. The Kostelyks had waterfront property and a freezer full of food. He lived inland and had nothing.
“We called him ‘Island Boy,’ ” recalled Linda Johnson, whose mother, Maxine Kostelyk, was among Mr. Harris-Moore’s first suspected victims. “He came back over and over again — frozen pizza, cookies, ice cream. He was a tall boy, and he was growing.” […]
An examination of his early life and troubles suggests a picture far less cinematic. According to court and public documents and dozens of interviews, Mr. Harris-Moore was nobody’s hero, not even his own. On the contrary, whether he was hiding in the Kostelyks’ tree house, watching for delivery of the high-powered flashlight the police believe he ordered with a stolen credit card, or flying solo to the Bahamas in a stolen Cessna this month, isolated in the tiny cockpit for more than a thousand miles — Colton Harris-Moore, for much of his life, was alone and hungry.
That was true even as he was being celebrated by thousands of fans on Facebook.
“He says he’s not into any of that,” said Monique Gomez, a lawyer who briefly represented Mr. Harris-Moore in the Bahamas. “He just wants to get this behind him.”