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.
Collecting The Necessary Information
He also became acquainted with the intersections at which the bus would normally stop, next to a forested forest. So, Walter spent months collecting all the necessary details, and then he made his decision on a normal Monday while watching football. “That was going to be my last night in prison,” he said.
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
Walter moved to the back of the bus and stood at the emergency exit next to himself. Walter said, “As we slowed down for a stop, I swung open the back door — and I was gone,” The sound of the sirens vanished in the distance as he quickly stripped off his prison uniform before sliding deeper into the forest.
Walter fled into the forest and, when he got deeper into the woods, took off his prison uniform. As he proceeded without looking back, the sirens were getting further and further away. He was brimming with life as he was about to start anew.
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
As a woman turned to him and began a conversation, Walter remembers being slumped in his seat, “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 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.
After that, for the sake of making as much money as possible, he began looking for some employment opportunities and worked some strange jobs. Walter lived in hotels for eight dollars a night, but out of the blue, his luck turned and changed his life.
Bobby And Cheryl
By the 1980s, Bobby was employed at the Baptist Medical Center where he got acquainted with Cheryl, who went on to be his wife. During their first date, they went to the movies and saw Prince’s movie Purple Rain and also a Gladys Knight and the Pips concert. When Bobby first met Cheryl he was immediately smitten by the fact that he had never seen someone like her. She was nothing like him, which is why he was so intrigued. He was ready to start a life with her.
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 and Cheryl were married on March 30, 1985, when he was 34 and she was 21. Soon after the couple brought a baby to the world named Jasmine. Then they had Jessica and years later twins, Jordan and Justin. Bobby worked two jobs to keep up and only slept two hours a night. He was a dedicated father and very active in the church community as well as volunteer work. Everything about his life was going well, but in reality, he was hiding something.
Devoted Family Man
Bobby worked two jobs, and he was a diligent father, even though he only had two hours of sleep each night. Regardless of his job, Bobby was a devout churchgoer, he volunteered and was prominent in community meetings. The life of Bobby was relatively perfect. His monumental secret was, however, continuously hovering 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.”
Although Bobby wanted to share his past with his wife, he was afraid of what damage it would cause. He was sure that his wife, a very moral woman, who encourage him to turn himself in. He was still in communication with his family in North Carolina and asked his sister to inform his wife of his past after he would pass. Although she insisted that he tell his wife, he refused to say it was his past. Too bad things changed…
Bobby maintained contact with a handful of family members from North Carolina and constantly begged his sister to tell Cheryl the truth once he died. But his sister had thought otherwise, and he kept telling her that she must be the one to speak of 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
In North Carolina, Bobby had left his past behind him and had no intention of coming back. Secrets never tend to remain a secret, unfortunately, and he would soon learn this the hard way. Regardless, this was always what he felt in the back of his mind.
Cheryl admitted that there was something different about Bobby. His friends also said he was strange. H never wanted to be in the photo and he always stayed away from strangers. He was a quiet man who kept to himself. Just a few weeks before the cops arrived, Cheryl was in church saying how she could not handle it anymore.
Cheryl understood that Bobby was always nervous and felt like there was something wrong. He was uncomfortable around strangers, and it seemed that he was thinking that someone was after him. He had a general fear of humans, especially interacting with them.
Praying To The Lord
Bobby would frequently build a wall when between the two of them whenever he was arguing with Cheryl. Cheryl recalled to herself, “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
A significant amount of time passed and Bobby ready to return to North Carolina to his sibling’s funeral. Someone must have recognized him and alerted officials. Soon after the FBI was at his door taking him away in handcuffs. This was so difficult for Cheryl, as her life completely changed. She learned that their whole life has been in a lie.
Cheryl said, “My world came crashing down,” and she also admitted that her pain had overcome her embarrassment. She felt like her mind was filled with a lot of uncertainty about her relationship as if she had been living a lie.
Cheryl clarified that the trust between her and Bobby was no longer there. She had been living a lie for so long, and she felt like she was living straight out of a novel. She had such mixed feelings, but there was something she wanted to do.
Facing Grim Circumstances
Bobby was in quite the predicament. He was waiting on the Rikers Island in New York, to be sent to NC where he would probably serve the remaining 10 years of his sentence plus the extra time for his escape. Cheryl went to visit him and said he immediately started crying. She told him she would not leave him for this.
For Better Or Worse
When she visited him, Cheryl witnessed his appalling circumstances. Cheryl went on to say, “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 began working on a plan to get her husband released. He sent letters to the governor as well as President Obama and had her children and friends write testimonials. While she didn’t know who Walter Miller was, she did know Bobby Love. She did everything she could to prepare for her husband’s parole board. Eventually, they agreed and allowed him to return to his life after a year behind bars. Things were looking up, but would they be the same?
Addressing The Parole Board
She was able to prepare almost any form of character defense on which she could get her hands, and she took it to the parole board of her husband with that. The mission seemed to be somewhat futile, but Bobby was liberated by the parole board and returned his life and freedom to him. Only one year out of jail, he started creating a new life again, except that things still seemed to be different.
Better Than Ever
Cherryl was able to forgive Bobby and they returned to life better than before. Bobby was no longer nervous, he was friendlier to people and more focused on his wife. They got even closer after this. He was no longer living fear from being caught. On the day he was released Cherryl asked him a question, “Are we the Loves? Or are we the Millers?’ And he said: ‘We Love. We Love.’”