The love story of Bobby and Cheryl Love would be considered beautiful, but it was not really on the romantic side. The couple had lived with each other for forty straight years. Because of this, most people might seek their advice about the secret of a good and happy marriage. It did seem that the two had everything figured out. But that was just what we saw on the surface. There was one thing about Bobby’s past that Cheryl had zero ideas about. And once she found out the truth from the most unlikely source, everything had started to change.
Not Your Typical Morning
On one of the mornings of January 2015, Cheryl rose up from bed while she let her husband sleep some more. She began with her typical and usual morning routine. She did not expect to hear a knock from her door. During one of her interviews with the Humans of New York, Cheryl said, “I opened it slowly and saw the police standing there.”
Bobby and Cheryl Love had a “crazy lady” who lived just next to them for a few years now. The police frequently checked on their neighbor. Because of this, Cheryl thought that the people standing outside her house got the wrong address.
Cheryl could not help but worry. She even said, “At first I wasn’t worried, but the moment I opened the door, twelve officers came barging past me.” At that moment, she really had no clue what was happening and why the police came to their doorstep. Back then, she had no idea that her world would be shaken to the core.
Asking For His Name
The men who rushed into her residence wore vests with the recognizable letters F, B, and I (FBI). She only grew more confused with what was happening and had entirely no idea what these men were doing in her house.
Cheryl was already shaken up. In an interview, she said, “They went straight back to the bedroom, and walked up to Bobby.” She heard the FBI agents ask her husband, “What’s your name?” And his husband softly muttered, “Bobby Love.”
Asking For His Name
The agents made a follow-up question. They asked him, “No, what’s your real name?” For a moment, Cheryl’s husband was silent, and finally, he replied to them in a soft voice. After they heard his response, they said, “You’ve had a long run.” The agents did not think twice and handcuffed Bobby Love.
Cheryl was frozen in place. She was clearly confused and had no idea how to react to the situation. Eventually, she faced her husband and asked for an explanation of what was happening. And as the agents took him outside of the house, Bobby responded, “This goes way back, Cheryl. Back before I met you.”
It was revealed that Bobby Love’s real name was Walter Miller. His hometown was in North Carolina where he grew up during the ‘60s. Walter described his childhood as “pretty normal.” He belonged to a poor family and his mother struggled in raising eight kids. Because of their family situation, Walter eventually slipped through the cracks.
An 80’s Concert
Everything began when Walter Miller decided to watch a Sam Cooke concert. In an interview, Walter recalled, “The crowd was really moving because it was dance music. And Sam Cooke didn’t like that. He kept telling people to sit down.”
Walter yelled cursed words directed at the stage because “…and after only two songs, he walked off the stage.” With this minor incident, he was arrested because what he did was considered disorderly conduct. He mentioned that this was the start of everything. He said, “Things went downhill pretty quickly after that.”
Years Of Petty Crimes
And ever since the incident at the Sam Cooke concert happened last 1964, Walter Miller started to have a few records despite being young. In one of his interviews, Walter acknowledged the records and said, “I got into all sorts of trouble.”
Trouble Was Calling
He also gave a list of the other crimes he had done. He said, “I lifted purses from unlocked cars, I was stealing government checks out of mailboxes, I got bolder and bolder.” He often did small crimes in order to quickly acquire some cash.
Juvenile Detention Center
Until one day, Walter Miller decided to steal from his school’s band room. He got caught for this crime and was later sent to the nearest juvenile detention center. He was now facing the consequences for all his small crimes for the past few years.
His Life Quickly Changed
In just one day, Walter Miller’s life changed. Just the other day, he was free to do as he wanted but now, he had to follow the strict rules inside the juvenile detention center. Walter admitted, “I hated everything about that place.” He did not think twice about complaining about matters0 like the food and the violence.
Walter Miller confessed, “I still have scars from all the times I got beat up.” Those scars were both physical and emotional. Even though his memories and experiences in the juvenile detention center happened years ago, these would forever be in his mind.
Calculating A Plan
Each night Walter Miller slept in the juvenile detention center he would listen to the sounds of the trains as they passed by on the tracks. The sounds irritated him and made him hope to get out of the walls of the center. He was determined to escape but he first had to find out how.
A Daring Escape
Walter Miller yearned for freedom every time he heard the whistles that came from the local train track. He badly wanted to experience being free. In an interview, Walter had said, “I always wanted to know where that train was going.” He considered all the things that took place in the juvenile detention center as a trial that he needed to pass as he looked for his opportunity.
Finally, Walter Miller saw a chance to escape. One night, the guard who was guarding the doors of the juvenile detention center turned around just to check the clock. Walter had been waiting for such an opportunity and when he saw this, he made a quick run and dashed towards the exit doors.
And it was then that Walter Miller pulled off a major crime. We all know that a prison escape was difficult to pull off. He said, “I ran out the back door — toward the sound of that whistle. And that was the first place I ever escaped from.” This was the first time he escaped but it was not his last.
Making His Way To The Tracks
Walter Miller went straight to the train tracks. He was reminded of his wish of finding out where it ended. Since he wanted to do it for a long time now, he followed the tracks just to see where it would lead him. He journeyed along the north of the tracks and from North Carolina, he arrived at Washington, D.C.
Once Walter Miller reached Washington D.C, he planned to turn over a new leaf. One of his brothers was living in Washington so he decided to live with him in his city apartment. He decided to enroll in high school. He even attended all his classes and played basketball with his friends.
Spoken To Soon
Unfortunately, once more, Walter Miller became a part of the wrong circle of friends and his life turned a 180-degree turn once again. He seemed to always attract trouble and he just could not stay on the straight path. And yet, this was just the start of something more sinister.
Much Worse Crimes
The new friends of Walter Miller committed far worse crimes compared to just mere petty theft. Walter soon realized that his close friends robbed banks and managed to not get caught because they always ran to North Carolina where the security was more relaxed.
Walter Miller, together with his friends, managed to get away with their bank-robbing schemes. With all honesty, Walter said, “After every score, we’d hand out on the strip at 14th and T [Streets], and act like big timers. We felt like gangsters. I have nobody to blame but myself. I just enjoyed the feeling of having money.”
Getting Caught Again
However, his luck soon ran out. Walter Miller and his friends might have gotten away with a few bank robberies but there was one time where everything came crashing down. It was in August 1971 and the bank they had targeted installed a silent alarm. The bank teller used this to alert the officials about the burglary that was taking place.
Back In Cuffs
So, when Walter walked outside of the bank, the police were already waiting for them in the parking lot. He still remembered what happened that day and said, “I tried to get away, ducking and weaving, running through cars.” Too bad, an officer had shot him and that was the end of it. He was back in cuffs, but he used this as an opportunity to turn over a new leaf one more time.
Sentenced For His Crimes
Walter Miller was sentenced for his most recent bank robbery and he was also found guilty of another one. His total sentence amounted to almost three decades. During this part of his life, he received the most devastating news. He found out that his mother had died. Because of this, he promised to turn his life for the better.
There were a few appeals that were done for Walter Miller’s behalf, yet, all of them failed. He was already used to life in prison, but he could not help but wish for his life to get even just slightly better. He did all he could so that he would be moved from his current maximum-security center to the one with minimum security just down the hill.
His Work Paid Off
Walter Miller was incredibly dedicated to finally change his life for the better. And he proved this when he was transferred to the minimum-security center. Walter said, “I became the perfect inmate. I never had a mark on my record.”
The new center felt more like a camp in comparison to the previous maximum security he had been used to. And even though there were still high fences and gun towers that loomed, there was a better grasp of freedom.
Things Were Changing
And the inmates inside this new facility could walk outside so that they could call their families. Walter Miller was even permitted to have his very own radio show. This was why he had no plans to try to escape at first. However, there was one incident which changed everything.
Everything Went Downhill
Walter Miller enjoyed his role as a radio host and being a host made him feel calm. He had not felt relaxed for years. Unluckily for him, things started to go downhill quickly. There was one inmate who cursed at the captain of the prison. The prison’s captain thought that it was Walter who yelled profane words at him. Things did not end there.
Too Many Negative Reports
The captain had it out for Walter since then and started “picking on” him. According to Walter, the captain would write him up for infractions regularly. These infractions were often unfair in Walter’s recollection. And ever since then, the prison’s captain had his eye out on Walter Miller. He even started to pick on him. Walter said that the captain would regularly write him up for infractions and these written violations were frequently unfair as far as he remembered.
An Eye On Him
Walter was getting worried. He said, “The negative reports kept piling up until I was one mark away from being sent back up the hill.” He was determined not to go back to the previous facility. He decided that he should hatch an escape plan.
A New Opportunity
And because of all the negative feedback about Walter, he was given the worst job for an inmate. He was assigned to clean up the roads and for this specific task, he had to wake up earlier than the rest of the inmates. After that, he would get inside the bus that would travel to Raleigh where they would pick up trash.
The Plotting Begins
Walter Miller recalled how bad the experience was for him. He said, “It was awful. People would be throwing hamburgers and milkshakes at you. And it was almost winter, so it was starting to get cold. That’s when I started planning and plotting.” Despite all the bad conditions, Walter decided to make an opportunity out of this.
His Big Escape Plan
Walter saved up money and keenly noticed things around him while he planned his escape. He even noticed that the guard assigned for the Tuesday morning shift was lazier compared to the other guards. The inmates had to be patted down before they went inside the bus, however, this one guard just let them walk by.
Collecting The Necessary Information
Walter Miller started to observe the common route of the bus and noted that there was one intersection where the bus would always make a stop. This specific stop was just right next to a wooded area. He spent a few months just collecting all the information he might need for his escape and he finally made his decision on Monday night as he watched a football game.
Walter was determined. He said, “That was going to be my last night in prison.” He carefully walked through his plan and decided that this was the best time to pull it off. He was worried whether he would be able to escape the second time around.
Everything Was Set
As he had expected, the guard on the Tuesday shift just lazily stood by in front of the entrance of the bus. Walter Miller had been prepared and he took everything in his locker with him. He wore the civilian clothes that he was provided with for the radio broadcast under his prison uniform.
Wailing Of The Sirens
Walter went to the end of the bus just right next to the emergency exit. He recalled what happened on the day he made his escape. He said, “As we slowed down for a stop, I swung open the back door — and I was gone.” He had finally done it again.
Walter hurriedly removed his prison uniform before he ran deeper into the forest. He could hear the wailing of the sirens get farther and farther away. He did not stop running and moving while his adrenaline rush had still kicked in. He knew this was his best bet.
The Death Of Walter Miller
Walter told everyone what happened next. He said, “I could hear the alarm blaring behind me, but I didn’t look back.” When he felt safer and that the coast was clear, he regained his composure and asked the people he passed by for directions to the Greyhound station. They would just tell him to “Keep going.” He was somehow able to get into the station and boarded a bus to New York City after he borrowed enough money from a stranger.
The Birth Of Bobby Love
He was slumped in his seat and a woman talked to him and started a conversation. As he was recalling what happened next, he said, “She asked me my name. I thought for a moment and said: ‘Bobby Love.’ And that was the death of Walter Miller.” He was excited to start his new life.
And in November 1977, Walter Miller (now known as Bobby Love) finally arrived in New York City. He began his new life and used the few dollars he had to pay for a motel room. Sadly, his funds were starting to run out. He even came to the point where he had to live on the streets. Bobby was resourceful and had somehow built his new life from the streets. And with a few lies and some lucky breaks, he was able to have his new birth certificate, a social security number, and even a driver’s license.
Once he was done building his new identity, he started to look for jobs. He was not picky and even worked odd jobs so he could stay at the $8-a-night hotels. And then, one day, luck found its way into his life.
Bobby And Cheryl
In the ‘80s, Bobby was employed in the Baptist Medical Center cafeteria in Brooklyn. This is where he met Cheryl, who would soon become his wife. For their first date, they decided to watch Prince’s movie titled Purple Rain. After that, they also watched a Gladys Knight and the Pips concert. It was the first time Bobby met someone like Cheryl. He explained, “Cheryl was innocent. The opposite of me. And that’s why I was so attracted to her. Cheryl was soft. Almost in a naïve way.” He was determined to start a life with her even though he knew that everything he built might crumble any time.
A Heart Of Gold
And it was the first time Bobby met someone like Cheryl. In an interview, he explained why he fell In love with her. She was the opposite of Bobby. And to him, maybe opposites do attract. Cheryl had a heart of gold. She was soft-hearted. This made him want to care for Cheryl and to live his whole life with her despite his past.
Building A Life Together
Bobby and Cheryl got married on March 30, 1985. He was 34 at that time and his wife was only 21 years old. Shortly after the marriage, their first child was born and welcomed into their family. They named the child Jasmine. After two years, their second child was born and named Jessica. Lastly, after 11 years had passed, They had newly born twins named Jordan and Justin.
Devoted Family Man
Bobby worked two jobs. Even with two hours of sleep every day, he was still a loving and attentive father to his family. He was also active in the church. He was always participating, volunteered, and attended community meetings. He thought that his life was perfect. However, when his secret was revealed, it was the start of his nightmare. Walter said to the New York Daily News to tell his wife that “I’m not going anywhere unless somebody takes me.”
Even with the circumstance, Bobby wanted to tell his wife about everything that had happened in his past life. He said that he “just couldn’t risk it.” He knew that his life was so tragic that if she told Cheryl everything, she might encourage him to surrender to the authorities. He knew that her wife was a “righteous woman” after all.
Bobby kept his communications with a few members of his family in North Carolina. However, he made a favor to her sister that she must keep his secret to his wife Cheryl until the day that he would die. His sister tried to convince her brother to be honest with Cheryl.
His New Slate
Bobby once said, “That part of my life was buried back in North Carolina. And it wasn’t coming back,” however, when he finally realized that he was wrong about what he was thinking, His conscience was never cleared, but he thought that his life was safer with his new life.
Cheryl stated that “There was a piece missing,” She also added, “something was different.” She thought this way because she realized something was not right. There was a time that he did not like to join in a picture, He was cautious when he was talking to strangers, and most of the time he preferred to be alone.
Cheryl sometimes saw her husband Bobby that he was worried about something or sometimes he was on edge with his emotions. There were instances that he was asked for some question or even for the right direction, but he had always “seemed spooked.”
Praying To The Lord
During arguments with Cheryl, he would close himself off. “I remember during Christmas of 2014, I was on my knees in church, saying ‘Lord, please, I can’t do this anymore,’” Cheryl recalled. “That was a few weeks before everything went down.” When Bobby had a little fight with Cheryl, that was the time he closed himself to other people. Cheryl stated, “I remember during Christmas of 2014, I was on my knees in church, saying ‘Lord, please, I can’t do this anymore,” she also added, “that was a few weeks before everything went down.”
Everything Came Crashing Down
Years had passed and Bobby had felt comfortable with his new life. He went back to North Carolina in order to attend the funeral of his sibling. He thought that it was at that time someone who recognized him in that place and informed the authorities about his whereabouts. After that event, he was caught immediately by the FBI who handcuffed him in his bedroom.
Cheryl mentioned, “My world came crashing down,” She also expressed that she was embarrassed, but she was overwhelmed by pain that she felt because she realized that she was living in a lie. Her mind was clouded, she was full of regret when it was about their relationship.
Cheryl said, “Bobby had deceived me for all those years. There was no truth in our house,” When she was on another interview, she stated that “Like I was in a movie —- a Lifetime movie.” Even when she felt confused because of the incident, she knew that she had to make a move.
Facing Grim Circumstances
The circumstances Bobby was facing were serious. He was placed in Rikers Island in New York where the people who were put there were despicable. There he was waiting to be transferred to North Carolina. In that place, he may serve there until 10 years of his sentence and extra time for his other crime like escaping.
For Better Or Worse
When Cheryl visited her husband in prison, she saw how difficult the circumstances in that place were. She recalled, “When I first visited him in prison, he broke down crying,” and added, “His head was in his hands, and he told me ‘I know, you’re going to leave me.”
To Leave Or Not To Leave
Cheryl told her husband Bobby, “Bobby Love, I married you for better or for worse and now this is the worst.” She was dedicated to that promise, she started making plans for her next move in order to get her husband freedom. She could not bear to see her husband suffer inside the prison.
Doing Everything She Could
Cheryl tried everything in her own effort to release her husband in prison. She even wrote a letter to President Obama by herself hoping that it would work. She even asked her children and the other people to write a testimonial for her husband.
She said, “I didn’t know a thing about Walter Miller, but I told them all about Bobby Love.” She believed in her husband’s change and saw him as the new person he had become. Cheryl expressed that, “I didn’t know a thing about Walter Miller, but I told them all about Bobby Love.” She knew that her husband was changed in a good way. She understood how he was a loving husband.
Addressing The Parole Board
Cheryl tried to gather every piece for the character defense. This was to help her husband Bobby on his parole board. This may be impossible for her, but the parole board decided to let her husband get his freedom. This was the start of a new life that was waiting for him after he was punished for one year and had been thrown out of jail. His life would not be the same when he would be released.
Better Than Ever
Cheryl ultimately forgave Bobby, and their marriage miraculously became even better than ever. In addition, Bobby’s persona shifted, and he was not jumpy anymore, engaged more with other people, and more attentive and open to his wife. This was not all for Love’s. Cheryl forgave Bobby from what he had done in his previous life. The couple became closer than ever and Bobby’s attitude changed. He was not the same person as before because he usually engaged with other people and became more attentive to her wife. He even did not become jumpy anymore. This might be the result when you love someone, you would do everything for that person.
The couple began to love each other more after the incident happened that the secret was discovered. After all that happened, Cheryl was now in the marriage that she desired. Today, their life was free from and he stated that. “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.’”