So there’s a wonderful love story- which goes like this! Bobby and Cheryl lived together for more than 40 years and while many would think the couple has everything going for them with the secret to a successful marriage, others may say its not exactly your typical romance. However much the former is true Bobby had indeed been keeping a secret from Cheryl. But Cheryl did not find this information out first hand, yet still, everything changed.
Not Your Typical Morning
One beautiful morning in January of 2015, Cheryl awoke as usual and started her routine as Bobby continued sleeping in their bedroom. Unexpectedly, she heard a bang at the door. “I opened it slowly and saw the police standing there,” Cheryl told Humans of New York in an interview.
The couple had a neighbor who they often referred to as the “crazy lady”, and the police occasionally checked in on her. So naturally, Cheryl thought that they accidentally had mistaken the houses or address. There’s no doubt they would be looking for her, right?
“At first I wasn’t worried, but the moment I opened the door, twelve officers came barging past me,” Cheryl explained. Cheryl had no clue that at that very moment her life would be totally torn apart.
Asking For His Name
The officers dashed passed Cheryl, she suddenly noticed their jackets had a big, bold print with “FBI” written on which no one could have missed. She really had no idea as to what was happening, so she followed them as they bombarded her home. Cheryl explained, “They went straight back to the bedroom, and walked up to Bobby.” She heard the officers ask, “What’s your name?” to which he replied, “Bobby Love.”
Cheryl was frantic when she explained what happened. She said that she returned their room and went straight to Bobby to see what was going on. She heard the officers ask her husband what his name was, and he said, Bobby Love.
Asking For His Name
They then yelled, “No, what’s your real name?” and her husband responded something in a whisper. The officers replied, “You’ve had a long run,” and before she knew could comprehend the situation, the officers had her darling Bobby in cuffs. Cheryl was clearly confused and begged them to explain what was going on. As the cops shoved Bobby through the door, he briefly told her “This goes way back, Cheryl. Back before I met you.”
Cheryl was totally confused, she had no idea how to react. Cheryl pleaded and asked what was happening. He said as they pushed him out the door, “This goes way back, Cheryl. Back before I met you.”
Miller grew up in North Carolina during the 1960s and he described his childhood as being pretty ordinary. His family did not have a lot of money and his mother managed to raise eight children all on her own. It was clear that he never received much attention.
An 80’s Concert
It all started at a Sam Cooke concert Walter had joined. Walter remembers, “The crowd was really moving because it was dance music. And Sam Cooke didn’t like that. He kept telling people to sit down.
And just two songs later, he strolled off the stage.” After yelling in a joking manner at the stage, Walter was soon arrested for disorderly conduct, and he later recollects the moment, “Things went downhill pretty fast after that.”
Years Of Petty Crimes
Following the Sam Cooke concert in 1964, Walter who was at a young age already had a criminal record. From this moment on, so many things started to get out of hand. Walter later came clean in an interview, “I got into all sorts of trouble, I lifted purses from unlocked cars, I was stealing government checks out of mailboxes, I got bolder and bolder.”
Trouble Was Calling
From the beginning Miller would steal from pauses, break into cars, mailboxes, and more. Small crimes were a daily activity for him because he was able to access some cash immediately, which is what he wanted.
Juvenile Detention Center
There was a point in time that Walter had also robbed his school’s band room, got caught, and then was later transferred to a juvenile detention center. After many years of minor crimes, Walter had to face the consequences. You may be wondering what they really were…
His Life Quickly Changed
As his freedom was taken away from him, Walter’s life abruptly changed as he was compelled to abide by the juvenile detention’s strict code. Walter said years later, “I hated everything about that place,” as he was opposed to the standards regarding food and violence in the center. Walter spoke about his experience regardless of being released many years before, “I still have scars from all the times I got beat up.”
Calculating A Plan
During the later hours of the evenings, Walter would listen to the trains as they noisily passed by on the tracks alongside his cell. This allowed him to escape the realities of the center. Walter was so desperate to get out, he knew he had to but how would he do it?
In prison Miller has beaten up quite alot. He said that even till today he has the scars from back then. He will never forget his experience in prison. As much as he wishes to forget it, he simply cannot.
Calculating A Plan
At night, Walter would fall asleep as he listened to the trains pass by on the tracks and the sounds made him wish he was free beyond the walls of the center. He knew he had to get out, but he first needed to figure out how.
A Daring Escape
The blowing of the horns and whistles of the communal train station enabled Walter to think back to the times where he once had freedom – this is what he really looked forward to. Juvenile detention started to test his patience, as Walter waited for any sign or opportunity he had, “I always wanted to know where that train was going,” he said.
It was one very late night where Walter was served the perfect opportunity, as the guard watching the doors of the juvenile center turned away to check the time. Walter had been waiting, so as soon as he could he quickly grabbed the chance and literally ran for it. Walter said, “I ran out the back door — toward the sound of that whistle. That was the first place I ever escaped from,” although it would certainly not be the last.
Miller accounted for his experience like it was yesterday. He remembered sprinting for the back door. This was the first time Walter ever escaped, but it only helped him for the future. Walter would be back, and next time he would be even smarter.
Making His Way To The Tracks
Walter headed directly for the train station and did exactly what he had intended to do for a real long time -he followed the trains to see where they would take him to. Finally, Walter would head west on the tracks, towards Washington, D.C from North Carolina.
From then on, it appeared as though things were looking up for Walter. Back then he had a brother who was living in Washington, D.C. Walter was able to live with him in his city apartment, and chose to attend the local high school- he was present in all his classes, and enjoyed basketball with his mates. However this did not last too long, Walter soon found himself mixing with the “the wrong group of kids,” and his life began to dwindle back to old times.
Spoken To Soon
Although Walter was doing well for himself, soon enough he joined the troubled youth. Then, the drama story came back. He was going on the wrong path and things were just going downhill from there.
Much Worse Crimes
Walter’s new pals did not engage themselves with trivial crimes but instead, committed crimes on a much higher level. Walter soon understood that his friends were robbing banks and managed to escape the police as they traveled to North Carolina. The security was not as tight over there.
Walter along with his buddies pursue their escapes from the police while they continued to rob banks. Walter thought back, “After every score, we’d hand out on the strip at 14th and T [Streets], and act like big timers. We felt like gangsters.” He admitted honestly, “I have nobody to blame but myself. I just enjoyed the feeling of having money.”
Getting Caught Again
Walter’s fortune soon ended as he and his sidekicks had their string of robberies and operations come crashing down. In August 1971, it was just an average day when one of the banks they had been robbed, had a silent alarm. The bank teller had pressed the alarm which alerted the police about the ongoing robbery.
Back In Cuffs
As Walter rushed out of the bank, the police were there waiting for his departure in the parking lot. Walter remembered, “I tried to get away, ducking and weaving, running through cars,” but an officer fired a shot. That was the end of it, he had been trapped. Surely he would find a way to change his destiny…
Sentenced For His Crimes
Walter was convicted for this bank robbery along with all the additional robberies. He was sentenced to 25 to 30 years in prison. Later on, Walter was given the sad news of his mother’s passing while he was in prison. He was shattered and from that moment he promised to make a change for the better.
Numerous petitions were in play for Walter, but they all were unsuccessful. So by this point, Walter was acclimatized to life in prison but decided that the only way he could better his quality of living would if he was granted the opportunity to be relocated from a maximum-security center to a minimum-security facility. And so he began to devise a plan.
His Work Paid Off
Walter really aimed to improve and change his life. “I became the perfect inmate. I never had a mark on my record,” he explained. His dedication finally paid off, and so his good behavior brought him the transfer. Walter’s situation was now “more like a camp” in relation to the maximum-security center. Even though the facility was still barricaded and equipped with gun towers he strangely felt as though he had more freedom.
This change was basically like camp compared to his conditions before. Even though he was still closed in with tall fences, he also felt like he had a bigger sense of freedom and it was a great change.
Things Were Changing
The inmates in this facility had privileges that permitted them to go outside as well as call their loved ones. Walter was doing well, as a matter of fact, he ran his own radio show. He really planned on completing his entire sentence. However, that didn’t last too long
Everything Went Downhill
Walter had a good time hosting the radio show and even affirmed that the role helped him feel “relaxed”, a sensation he hadn’t encountered in many years. Despite this, things began to come apart when another prisoner screeched rudely at the prison’s captain. He then mistook Walter as the one who had expressed the vulgar words. Needless to say, this was just the beginning…
Too Many Negative Reports
The warden had bad blood with Walter since then and began “harassing” Walter. Walter argues that the warden would unreasonably write him up for violations. Due to this, the negative reports kept accumulating until he was one mark away from being sent “back up the hill,” he described. Walter explained that since he had no intentions to go back, the only way out was to escape.
An Eye On Him
Someone had it out for him and Walter kept receiving negative complaints. Miller was not interested in going backward. He knew that he knew his only solution would be to get out of there. That sparked the plan for his second escape.
A New Opportunity
On account of all the negative reports that Walter was receiving, he has delegated the worst job in the prison. Walter along with some of the other prisoners was responsible for cleaning up the roads- meaning that they had earlier wake up times compared to all the other prisoners, get on a bus to Raleigh in order to pick up trash.
The Plotting Begins
He recalled, “It was dreadful. People would be throwing hamburgers and milkshakes at you. And it was almost winter, so it was starting to get cold.” Regardless of the bad weather, Walter identified his opportunity. He said, “That’s when I started planning and plotting.”
His Big Escape Plan
Walter plotted his big break, he started saving up his money and carefully noted the routine. In particular that on Tuesday mornings the guard was slightly chilled-out than the others. Every inmate was patted down before boarding the bus, but this certain guard simply allowed them to walk straight on.
Collecting The Necessary Information
He also became familiar with the intersections that the bus would usually stop at, it was adjacent to a wooded forest. So, Walter spent months gathering all of the necessary information, and then one regular Monday while watching football, he made his decision. “That was going to be my last night in prison,” he said.
Walter had everything planned out. He knew that it was his last night in prison and he went over his exit strategy carefully. He was scared but he knew he could do it. What do you think? Did he make it?
Everything Was Set
Just as anticipated, the guard positioned himself by the bus and let them get on. Walter was prepared and had removed all his goods from his locker. He took along his civilian clothes that he was authorized to wear during his radio show, he was wearing them under his prison uniform.
Wailing Of The Sirens
Walter moved to the back of the bus and placed himself next to the emergency exit. Walter said, “As we slowed down for a stop, I swung open the back door — and I was gone,” as he swiftly took off the prison uniform before dashing further into the forest, the sound of sirens was disappearing in the distance.
Walter rushed into the forest and throw off his prison uniform as he got further into the woods. The sirens were getting further and further away as he continued without looking back. He was full of energy.
The Death Of Walter Miller
“I could hear the alarm blaring behind me, but I didn’t look back,” Walter recalled. As soon as Walter felt safe, he soon asked people for directions to Greyhound station and they would simply say, “Keep going.” At last, he arrived at the station and boarded a bus to New York City, he was able to borrow just enough money from someone passing by.
The Birth Of Bobby Love
Walter recalls being slumped in his seat as a woman turned to him and started striking up a conversation, “She asked me my name. I thought for a moment, and said: ‘Bobby Love.’ And that was the death of Walter Miller. His new life as Bobby was about to begin
Bobby Love arrived in New York City in November 1977. He started a completely new life and made use of the little money he had to rent a room in a motel. In no time the money ran out, so he was forced to take to the streets. Nonetheless, Bobby started a new life even from the streets, he was able to attain a birth certificate with the help of a few lies and a lucky break. IIn addition, he qualified for a social security number, and, later, a driver’s license as well.
Following that he started searching for any employment opportunities and worked several odd jobs for the sake of earning as much money as possible. Walter stayed in $8-a-night hotels, but out of the blue, his luck took a turn and transformed his life.
Bobby And Cheryl
During the 1980s’, Bobby was able to get a job at the Baptist Medical Center cafeteria in Brooklyn. Here, he met his coworker Cheryl, a few years later the pair married. But before that, for their first date, the couple had gone to the movies where Prince’s Purple Rain was showing. They then went to a Gladys Knight and the Pips concert. Bobby was dazzled by Cheryl. He explained, “Cheryl was innocent. The complete opposite of me. And that’s why I was so attracted to her.” Bobby planned to begin a life with her despite the fact that he knew it could end at any possible moment.
A Heart Of Gold
He had never come across a person like Cheryl, “Cheryl was pure – contrary to me. That is the reason why I was so attracted to her.” He continued, “Cheryl was soft. Almost in a naïve way.” He was ready to start afresh and have a life partner.
Building A Life Together
Bobby married Cheryl on the 30th of March 1985, Bobby was 34 years old and Cheryl was a young 21 years old. Not too long after, the newlyweds had their first child, she was named Jasmine. Two years later, the couple welcomed another baby girl named Jessica. But that was not all, 11 years after the birth of their second daughter, they welcomed twin boys- Jordan and Justin.
Devoted Family Man
Bobby worked two jobs, he was a diligent dad despite him getting just two hours of sleep every night. Regardless of his job, Bobby was a devout churchgoer, he volunteered and was prominent in community meetings. Bobby’s life was fairly perfect. However, his monumental secret continuously hovered over him. Walter chatted about it with the New York Daily News that he would send a message to his wife: “I’m not going anywhere unless somebody takes me.”
Bobby obviously wanted to reveal his past to his wife, but he explained that he “just couldn’t risk it.” Bobby felt his life before was history and that Cheryl was a “righteous woman”, she would probably persuade him to turn himself in.
Bobby maintained contact with a handful of family members in North Carolina, and he often begged his sister to tell Cheryl the truth only once he dies. But his sister thought otherwise and persisted he tell her the truth. Bobby said, “That part of my life was buried back in North Carolina. And it wasn’t coming back,” sadly he was very oblivious as to what was coming his way…
His New Slate
Bobby left his past behind him in North Carolina and had no intentions of it coming back. Unfortunately, secrets never tend to stay secret and he would learn that soon. Regardless, he always felt this on his conscious.
“There was a piece missing,” Cheryl commented, “something was different,” both her and Bobby’s friends said he did not like taking pictures, was cautious of talking to strangers and merely kept to himself. As simple as people asking for directions he would also “seem frightened”.
Cheryl recognized that Bobby was always nervous and felt like something was wrong. He got uncomfortable around strangers and it seemed like he thought someone was after him. He had an overall fear of people.
Praying To The Lord
Frequently when he argued with Cheryl, Bobby would build a wall. Cheryl recalled, “I remember during Christmas of 2014, I was on my knees in church, saying ‘Lord, please, I can’t do this anymore. That was a few weeks before everything went down.”
Everything Came Crashing Down
As the years passed by, Bobby eventually began to feel a lot more comfortable. He even went back to North Carolina to attend the funeral of his one sibling. He often thinks back and believes that this is when someone may have spotted him and alerted authorities. It was not too long after when the FBI was at his home, handcuffing him. Cheryl explained, “My world came crashing down,” and she went on to say that her pain overtook all possible embarrassment. She went on, “Bobby had misled me for all those years. There was no truth in our house,” further saying in another interview that it was “like I was in a movie — a Lifetime movie.” Despite all of her complex feelings, she felt strongly about acting up.
Cheryl said, “My world came crashing down,” and she also admitted that her hurt overtook her embarrassment. She felt as though she had been living a lie, her mind was filled with much doubt regarding her relationship.
Cheryl explained that there was no longer trust between her and Bobby. For so long she was living a lie and she felt like she was living straight out of a movie. She had such mixed emotions but she had to do something.
Facing Grim Circumstances
Bobby’s chances were not looking so good. He was being held in the infamous Rikers Island in New York, as he waited to be extradited to North Carolina. From there he could possibly serve his last 10 years of his sentence with added time for escaping.
For Better Or Worse
Cheryl was witness to his appalling circumstances as she visited him. Cheryl described, “When I first visited him in prison, he broke down crying,” and she added, “His head was in his hands, and he told me: ‘I know, you’re going to leave me.’ I told him: ‘No, Bobby Love, I married you for better or for worse. And now this is the worst.” With that in mind, Cheryl started to come up with a plan.
Doing Everything She Could
Cheryl tried and exhausted any possibility she thought she had to give her husband independence. From writing letters to the governor as well as President Obama. Cheryl begged her children and any so many others in his life to write testimonials. She said, “I didn’t know a thing about Walter Miller, but I told them all about Bobby Love.”
Addressing The Parole Board
She was able to prepare almost every type of character defense she could get her hands on, and with that, she took it to her husband’s parole board. The mission appeared to be somewhat hopeless, but the parole board liberated Bobby and gave him his life and freedom back. Just one year out of prison, he began to build a new life again except things still seemed to not be the same.
Better Than Ever
Naturally, Cheryl forgave Bobby and their marriage continued to go from strength to strength. Additionally, Bobby’s temper completely changed, he was no longer jittery or anxious, he was more engaged with people and more considerate towards his beloved wife. After this entire experience and hardship, Cheryl and Bobby felt more connected than ever. Cheryl has the marriage she wanted and they are free. “The day he was set free, I sat him down and I asked ‘What is it? Are we the Loves? Or are we the Millers?’ And he said: ‘We Love. We Love.’”