While the love story of Bobby and Cherry is certainly wonderful, it is not your typical romantic fairy tale. These two have been married for 40 years already. While on the outside everything looked great, behind the scenes Bobby was keeping a secret from his wife. However, this secret was ultimately revealed and transformed everything Cheryl once knew.
Not Your Typical Morning
It was January 2015 when Cheryl began her normal morning ritual. Her husband was asleep when there was a knock on the door. She opened the front door to see authorities standing before her. She assumed they were there to check up on her crazy neighbor. Cherry did not worry for a second because she assumed it was a mistake. However, before she could even ask what they wanted, 12 officers pushed past her.
For a few years, a “crazy lady” had lived next door to the couple. They knew that the police often came to check in on her, so Cheryl assumed they must have simply knocked at the wrong door this time.
“At first I wasn’t worried, but the moment I opened the door, twelve officers came barging past me,” Cheryl said. At that moment, she had no idea that this would be the moment that her world would be turned upside down.
Asking For His Name
Some of the officers who walked past Cheryl had been wearing jackets with the familiar “FBI” letters across the back. Since she didn’t know what was going on, she followed them inside her home. She was completely confused.
Shaken up, Cheryl recalled, “They went straight back to the bedroom, and walked up to Bobby.” she heard one of the officers ask her husband one question: What’s your name?” He replied without hesitation, “Bobby Love”.
Asking For His Name
The officials went right for Bobby and asked him a series of questions starting with ” What’s your name?” But then they said, “No, what’s your real name?” Moments later Bobby was put into handcuffs and taken away. Bobby had a past.
Cheryl couldn’t understand what was going on. She didn’t know how to react. She pleaded and asked what was happening. As he pushed him out the door in handcuffs, Bobby said, “This goes way back, Cheryl. Back before I met you.”
Born and raised in North Carolina, Walter Miller had a pretty decent childhood in the 1960s. He comes from a poor family of eight, which explains why he started to lose his way. Walter had his first arrest as a Sam Cooke concert when he humorously yelled a curse word at the stage.
An 80’s Concert
It all started when Walter attended a Sam Cooke concert. He 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.”
“And after only two songs, he walked off the stage.” Jokingly, Walter yelled a profanity directed at the stage. Almost immediately, he was arrested for disorderly conduct. Later, he spoke about the incident, “Things went downhill pretty quickly after that.”
Years Of Petty Crimes
After the concert, he was involved in lots of trouble. He started stealing, and with each crime started to be more willing to take risks. These were just petty crimes, juvenile detention, and so on. However, within the time he started to receive more severe punishments.
Trouble Was Calling
He said, “I lifted purses from unlocked cars, I was stealing government checks out of mailboxes, I got bolder and bolder.” He frequently committed small crimes in order to get some cash quickly. This went on for a little while.
Juvenile Detention Center
That was, until one day he stole from his school’s band room. He got caught and was sent to a juvenile detention center nearby. After years of petty crimes, he finally had to face the consequences. What happened exactly?
“I still have scars from all the times I got beat up,” he said, even though it had been many years since he had stayed at the center. All those memories and experiences would stay with him forever. Not to mention, they won’t leave his skin.
His Life Quickly Changed
Walter went from doing anything he wanted to follow the rules of the juvenile detention system. Years later he complained about how horrible the food and violence were. The entire time Walter was there he imagined getting out.
Calculating A Plan
In the night, Walter would fall asleep listening to all the trains passing by. The sounds made him wish he was a free man and wasn’t confined to the walls of the center. He knew he had to get out, but he had to figure out how.
His chance arrived when one night, the guard manning the doors of the detention center turned his back to check the time. This was exactly the moment Walter had been waiting for. He quickly bolted to the exit doors.
He said, “I ran out the back door — toward the sound of that whistle. And that was the first place I ever escaped from,” but it wouldn’t be the last. Walter was able to pull off a huge crime – a makeshift prison escape.
A Daring Escape
This was his only chance to break free. He had just the right amount of time to exit and that’s whether he did. He ran out and never looked back. This marked the first time he escaped from somewhere.
Making His Way To The Tracks
Walter ran for the train tracks and carried out what he wanted to do for quite some time. He went and checked where they were going. Turns to he went Nort, to Washington D.C. where his brother lived. His life was changing for the better.
At first, it seemed like things were really turning around for Walter. One of his brothers was living in Washington D.C. at the time, so Walter stayed with him in his city apartment and enrolled himself in high school. In fact, he began actually going to his classes and playing basketball with friends.
Spoken To Soon
Once again, Walter became part of “the wrong group of kids” and his life took a turn for the worse yet again. He couldn’t seem to stay on the right path. It was almost as if he attracted trouble. However, this was the start of something bigger.
Much Worse Crimes
While his friends were not involved in petty theft they were involved in more dangerous incidents. He and his friends started out robbing banks and happened to be successful because there was relaxed security. Walter recalls that after each robber they would “hang out at the strip at 14th and T [Streets], and act like big timers. We felt like gangsters.” Walter was on a high.
Initially, Walter and his friends kept on getting away with bank robbing. He recalled, “After every score, we’d hand out on the strip at 14th and T [Streets], and act like big timers. We felt like gangsters.” In a moment of honesty, Walter admitted: “I have nobody to blame but myself. I just enjoyed the feeling of having money.”
Getting Caught Again
Unfortunately, his lucky streak soon came to a need. August 1971 marked the day that everything came crashing down. He robbed a bank with a silent alarm. By the time he exited the bank, the authorities were all waiting for him. He did everything to escape but then he was shot. It was over. Or you may think…
Back In Cuffs
When Walter walked out of the bank, the police were already in the parking lot, waiting for him. “I tried to get away, ducking and weaving, running through cars,” he said. However, an officer didn’t give him the chance. Yet again, he was caught. What could he do next?
Sentenced For His Crimes
Walter was caught and sentenced for 25-30 years for bank robbery. In the process, he also was told that his mother passed away. With this news, Walter decided he needed to change his life. Walter requested to be moved to a prison with minimum security, this is when his plan started to form.
There had been a few appeals done for Walter, but they all failed. While he had gotten used to prison by that point, he decided that the only way his life would be even slightly improved was if he’d be transferred from a maximum-security center to a minimum-security one down the hill. And so, he came up with a plan.
His Work Paid Off
Walter was devoted to improve his life and change things around. He had a clean record in prison and hoped to be moved to minimum security. When he finally was, this felt like camp. He had more freedom. In the beginning, escape wasn’t on his mind but that quickly changed.
His new situation was a lot easier. In fact, he said it was “more like a camp” compared to the last prison he was in. While this facility also had high fences and tall gun towers, it had a larger sense of freedom.
Things Were Changing
Inmates were allowed to walk outside and even call their families. Walter was allowed to have his own radio show. At first, he didn’t have any plans for escaping. However, that soon changed when things got worse.
Everything Went Downhill
Things were looking okay for Walter in the prisons. He had a radio host job and he enjoyed it. Unfortunately, one day one of the inmates yelled at the captain of the prisoner, and Walter was accused of this. The captain already disliked Walter and was frequently writing him up. With just a few more, Walter would be sent back to maximum capacity. Walter had no intention of going backward in his life but he needed to get out of there.
Too Many Negative Reports
Since that point, the captain had it out for Walter and he started picking on him. According to Walter, the captain would write him up for infractions on a regular basis. These were often unfair in Walter’s recollection.
An Eye On Him
“The negative reports kept piling up until I was one mark away from being sent back up the hill,” Walter said. Since he didn’t want to return to the previous prison, he decided it was time for him to figure out an escape.
A New Opportunity
After receiving many negative reports, Walter was given one of the lowest tasks in the prison. He was instructed to clean the roads, which required him to wake up extra early and pick up trash from Raleigh. This process was dreadful, especially since he had food and drinks thrown at him all their. Even worse, it was winter and the weather was freezing.
The Plotting Begins
He recalled, “It was awful. People would be throwing hamburgers and milkshakes at you. And it was almost winter, so it was starting to get cold.” Despite the bad conditions, he saw this as an opportunity. “That’s when I started planning and plotting”.
Collecting The Necessary Information
In fact, Walter also started noticing the intersection that the bus would always stop at – it just so happened to be right near a wooded area. He spent months on end collecting all the information he could. Then, he came up with a plan.
“That was going to be my last night in prison,” Walter said. He went through the entire plan in his head once again and decided then was as good a time as any. He was ready. Would he be able to pull off another escape?
His Big Escape Plan
While he was working on his big exit, Walter started thinking strategically. He paid attention to detail and realized that the guard on Tuesday mornings was lazier than the rest. Instead of patting down the inmates before entering the bus, this one neglected to do so. Walter also started paying attention to the fact that the bus stopped at an area surrounded by wood. For months he paid close attention to how he would create his plan. Finally, he decided he was ready.
Everything Was Set
Tuesday morning came along and Walter was prepared. Just like he thought, the lazy guard did not check him before he entered the bus. Walter got ready that day and removed all his items from his locker. He stashed them under his uniform and went to the back of the bus, next to the emergency exit. As the bus came to a stop, this was his chance. He pushed the door open and ran into the woods. The prison sirens were in full motion.
Wailing Of The Sirens
The escape plan was still on. He decided that the best idea would be to sit at the back of the bus right next to the second exit door. By then, the driver had already refilled the gas tank and was on the way to where it was supposed to arrive. One quick stop, that’s all Walter needed to leave the bus as fast as possible. He changed his clothes in a hidden place and ran away.
Usually, Captains do not take very bad when someone insults them. But Walter definitely had upset this one. He wasn’t lucky at all and the Captain rather than ignore his comments and do as if nothing happened, he showed no empathy for Walter.
The Death Of Walter Miller
Walter said that he heard the sound of the alarm, but did not look behind even for a second. When he realized he made it to safety, he asked people around him for the Greyhound station. Finally, he made it and he got on a bus to NYC. A woman next to him asked him his name and he responded, ‘Bobby Love.’ There was no more Walter Miler and he was ready to begin his life.
The Birth Of Bobby Love
The birth of his new identity and has new name had happened at the bus that led him to freedom. The reason why he decided to change his name is because there was a woman sitting right next to him that started a conversation and asked him his name. At that moment he thought that it would be wise to change his name and so he did: meet Bobby Love
Bobby Love began his life in New York in November 1977. He had a very little amount of money when he first got to New York and he used it to book a motel room. Soon the money was gone and he was moved to the streets. Although he was living on the streets, Bobby managed to create himself including a birth certificate, a social security number, and, later, a driver’s license. Once he had all of this it was time to get a job. Finally, his life was turning around.
As it is normal in his situation, money was starting to run low, and the worst part is that he had no job. So he deicede to start looking for one and happened to end up working in more than one. With the income from all the different jobs, he managed to save enough money to buy food and have a cheap hotel room.
Bobby And Cheryl
He wanted a better quality life, and so he decided to look for a different job. After looking for a while, He was given the opportunity to work in the cafeteria of the Baptist Medical Center. Little he knew that thanks to this job he would meet who would become the love of his life Cheryl.
A Heart Of Gold
The beginning of a love story dates back to a cinema date! Bobby and Cheryl went to the movies to watch Purple Rain, a Prince’s story. Once the movie ended, they went to a concert that had as special guests Gladys Knight & the Pips. Bobby knew at that moment that Cherly was the love of his life, for she was everything that hee was not. She was kind, innocent and sweet.
Building A Life Together
After all those years things finally started to be very good for Bobby. His dream came true and he got married to Cherly on March 30, 1985. Only a few months after they would announce that they were expecting their first child. It was a girl, a girl that would be named Jasmine. A few years after, their second daughter, Jessica, would be born. 11 years after pure joy, the family was about to grow and they had no idea that it would happen. Cheryl was pregnant with twins! She named them Justin and Jordan.
Devoted Family Man
Bobby Love was the example of what a family men is. He made sure to have two jobs so that he could provide everything for his family, while being an active member of the church. Despite having so many things to do (work two different jobs, run errands and more), he’s goal was to always put his family happiness above everything.
No matter how many years had passed, Bobby thought about the fact that he escaped prison decades ago every single day. Of course he didn’t like keeping that secret and he wanted to tell to her wife everything about his past. But he loved her so much that he was scared that if he told her the truth she would never forgive him and their beautuifl family would be broken
Bobby’s secret was not only his. His family knew everything, from escaping prison to changing his mae to Bobby Love. But they decided to keep their mouth shut and did not say anything. He had a good relationship with his family. As a matter of fact, when one of his siblings died, he immediately went to his family in North Carolina. Naturally he was very scared that someone would recognize him and his life would be over, but the love he had for his family was more important than the fear of getting caught.
His New Slate
Do you remember how he managed to escape? Once the bus had stopped, he didn’t hesitate or looked twice and he got down as fast as possible. After that the went to a safe spot to change his prison uniform so no one would see him. Then he made his way deep in the forest.
One of the times that Cherly was interviewed, she said that it had been a while that she noticed an odd behavior on his husband. She said that every time that they would leave the house, Bobby was acting scared and paranoid about all the people out there. He reacted not in a normal way when asked about directions. But the thing that had stuck more on Cheryl, was the fact that Bobby was always against pictures and he always tried to escape them.
After running to the forest and making sure that he was not being followed and that his escape plan had worked, he decided to ask people more money so that he could have enough to ride a bus. Luckily,he got just the right amount to take a bus and head towards New York City.
Praying To The Lord
Whenever Bobby and Cheryl would fight, Bobby would act in a weird way and shut himself off from the rest of the family. There were many occasions in which Cheryl wanted to give up and lost hope. But her faith was so big that whenever the situation was bad, she would pray and communicate with God to ease her pain.
Everything Came Crashing Down
Once she saw her husband get arrested by the police officers that were sent nonetheless than by the FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) killed her. She did not know how to react, if to be upset, if to hate Bobby for hiding the truth all those years. The only thing she knew if that she was destroyed after what happened.
Let’s go back to Bobby’s and Cheryl’s love story: Their first date was at the cinema, where they watched Purple Rain. After that they went to a concert. Once the night was over, Bobby knew that she was the love of his life. A few years later they would get married and soon enough start their family with their first born child, Jasmine.
A few years later they had another baby girl named Jessica. Now there were 4. But what they didn’t know is that soon enought, they would give birth to twin boys! The family was complete and they could not have been happier. The twins were named Justin and Jordan.
Facing Grim Circumstances
Once he was arrested by the authorities, he was taken and impriosned in Rikers Island, which is the main jail complex in New York City. The punishment that he would face for spacing prison all those years ago was not yet decided. Bobby’s guess was that they would make him finish his 10 years of sentence that he had skipped by escaping. Cheryl and the lawyer she hired were discussing all the different case-scenarios.
For Better Or Worse
The moment she saw for the first time her husband behind bars was shocking for her. She said that the only thing that came out of his mouth were only tears. It is true that she was very upset at her husband for hiding the truth for so many years. But she could not deny her feelings, her love for him was bigger than anything, so she decided to stand by Bobby and support him for what was coming.
To Leave Or Not To Leave
In another interview that Cheryl had, she mentioned how there were some things about her husband that didn’t add up. Like for example when he would act in an odd way whenever there were people on the street or someone approached him to ask him for directions. In addition, he always escaped the camera and didn’t want to be in any pictures afraid that someone might recognize him.
Doing Everything She Could
Cheryl decided to stand by her husband and be strong for him, the same way she decided to be a great mother and be next to their children while she was doing everything in her power to get Bobby out of prison or reduce the sentence. She also wrote many letters about the good man that Bobby was since they met for the first time, and she sent them to the governor and president Obama even!
The way she described what she felt when she saw her husband get arrested was like this “My world came crashing down, Bobby had deceived me for all those years. There was no truth in our house” In another occasion she she was “like I was in a movie — a Lifetime movie.” The love she felt for her husband was so great that the pain she felt overcome any embarrassment. She felt like her whole marriage had been a lie.
Addressing The Parole Board
The best news ever came a year after Bobby had been an inmate in New York City’s main jail complex. The parole board had taken the ultimate decision of setting Bobby free! Was it because of everything that her wife did? or the exceptional behavior he had while staying there? Whatever the reason, we will never know… The only thing that they both knew, was that that day God had answered the Love’s family prayers.
Better Than Ever
Once the truth came to light, Bobby told Cheryl about his past as Walter Miller, and in turn she decided to trust him, forgive him, and give him a second chance. The best thing was for them to move on and forget about what had happened. None of his children thought less of him ot looked down on him. Quite the contrary, their bond became stronger than ever and their love as well. All of the members has moved on and are focused on being a happy family.
Even if she was super upset, or felt like her whole life had been a big lie, she still loved her husband deeply. There was not a chance she was going to stay quiet and not do anything about him being in prison. She had to be stong for her children and she had to be there for her husband. Once she wrote those letters to the governor and the president of the United States (Obama back then) she said ” “I didn’t know a thing about Walter Miller, but I told them all about Bobby Love.”
Cheryl of course could not believe that Bobby was in another time Walter Miller, she saw the man she was, she saw the way he changed and how he did everything in his hands to create a family and provide for all of them. When Walter Miller changed his identity to Bobby Love, so did the person. Walter Miller did not exist anymore, he was a character of the past.
Yes at the time their hopes weren’t to high and they everybody thought that it would be impossible for the parole board to set Bobby free. That day a miracle happened, that day the Lord answered to all the prayers of the family. And that day Cheryl decided to forgive her husband and forget about all that had happened do that they could go on with their happy lives. Cheryl said: “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.”
Stronger On The Other Side
This whole year that the family spent apart, brought them closer than ever. Cheryl was strong for all of her children and she brought her husband home. Now that there were no lies anymore, Bobby and Cheryl felt like they had just met but their love had been there for as long as they could remember.