Wife’s story of discovering church preacher husband is secret felon turned into TV drama

Pensioner says she’ll ‘go to jail’ over BBC TV licence payment

A dozen FBI brokers and law enforcement officials burst in, shoving Cheryl apart and handcuffing Bobby. When she protested, an FBI agent held her again, saying: “You don’t know who this man is!” As she appeared on in disbelief, Bobby hung his head and in a low voice instructed her: “This goes method again, Cheryl. Again earlier than I met you.” It was solely then that she realized that her church preacher husband, the daddy of her 4 kids, was a convicted armed financial institution robber and an escaped prisoner on the run for 40 years, dwelling a lie in New York below a pretend identify.

Bobby was hauled off to jail in handcuffs to serve his remaining time on a 25-to-30 12 months armed theft sentence. However Cheryl by no means turned her again on him, or hated him for his crimes and deceit.

As an alternative, her love for her husband, willingness to forgive and impassioned marketing campaign to win his freedom from jail grew to become an inspiring story that captivated America.

Their extraordinary story sparked an acclaimed on-line weblog, which is being made right into a TV collection by Scandal star Kerry Washington, and is now totally revealed of their new guide, The Redemption of Bobby Love, which has simply been revealed.

“It’s true that love conquers all,” says Bobby, now 70. “Cheryl stood by me when some other girl might need run. She fought for my launch from jail and she or he made me a greater man.”

Cheryl, 58, doesn’t argue. “The facility of affection heals all wounds,” she says. “We’re stronger now than we ever have been.”

Bobby Love began out as Walter Miller, a troubled youth who had robbed a collection of banks at gunpoint in North Carolina.

“I fancied myself a gangster as a younger man,” admits Bobby, who with seven siblings endured a tricky childhood because the son of a wife-beating alcoholic metal mill employee. When his father deserted the household altogether, Bobby was simply six years previous.

“I began younger, breaking into vehicles and stealing issues,” he remembers.

Love is a Brooklyn man who escaped from jail and was finally caught (Picture: Getty)

He was first sentenced to juvenile detention at 13. “With associates we began robbing credit score unions. I used to be 18 when a cop shot me within the buttocks after a financial institution theft. I used to be despatched to jail, and fortunate to not be paralysed or killed.

“I used to be only a silly child on the time. You’d suppose being shot would have straightened me out, however no.”

Launched after 13 months behind bars, Bobby returned to armed theft however following a financial institution heist in 1970 he was captured and sentenced to 25-to-30 years in a most safety jail in North Carolina. “That was soul-destroying,” he admits. “Being in jail is the worst.”

Annoyed on the arbitrary cruelty of guards who crushed his possibilities for early parole, Bobby escaped from the again of a jail bus taking him to work on a street crew in 1977. He had served solely six years of his sentence.

“I ran and ran and ran,” says Bobby. “I didn’t ever, ever, ever need to return to jail.”

Lastly scared into going straight, the fugitive Walter Miller made his strategy to New York, invented his pretend identify of Bobby Love, and labored at a Brooklyn hospital the place he met nutritionist Cheryl, 12 years his junior.

cheryl love

Cheryl and Bobby Love’s story of redemption is being became a TV drama (Picture: NC)

“She was younger, fairly and clever,” he says. “By the point I met Cheryl I’d spent 10 years of my life in numerous jails, however I’d been going straight for seven years.”

Cheryl remembers: “He was tall, good-looking and made me giggle. He all the time handled me nicely, and we fell in love.”

Bobby admits: “My first years on the run I used to be all the time wanting over my shoulder, all the time anticipating the police to catch me. By the point I met Cheryl I felt I might chill out, however I by no means let my guard down.”

They married in 1985 and had 4 kids – Jasmine, 36, Jessica, 34, and twins Justin and Jordan, 17 – however Bobby was all the time too scared to inform his spouse that he was a financial institution robber on the run.

“If I’d instructed Cheryl the reality, she’d have instructed me to show myself in,” he says.

“That’s true,” she laughs.

But Cheryl admits she had nagging doubts about Bobby. “I saved feeling he was hiding one thing from me, however I didn’t know what,” she says. “He could possibly be moody and didn’t wish to share his feelings. He hated having his photograph taken. However he labored two or three jobs, all the time got here residence, handled the kids nicely, did the laundry, and liked me. What extra might I ask?”

bobby love

Love was sentenced to 25 to 30 years in a most safety jail in North Carolina (Picture: Getty)

Says Bobby: “After they arrested me it felt like my life was over. I nonetheless had 19 to 24 years left to serve. I assumed I’d misplaced Cheryl, misplaced my children, misplaced every thing. I’d been doing the precise factor, working laborious, following the legislation, elevating my household. I used to be devastated.

“I apologised to Cheryl, and instructed her I wouldn’t be shocked if she divorced me. However she mentioned she liked me and was staying for higher or worse. My children mentioned, ‘We wish our daddy!’ They by no means wavered.”

Cheryl admits: “After they got here to arrest Bobby in 2015 it shook my world. However I by no means thought-about leaving him, not for one second. I knew he was man, by no means hit me, and no matter he had accomplished up to now, he’d modified. Bobby wasn’t excellent, however neither was I. Bobby was a human being with flaws. I liked him together with his flaws. I needed to forgive the person, the crimes, every thing.”

Along with her husband again behind bars dealing with many years of imprisonment, Cheryl started working frantically for his launch.

“I bought letters from household, associates, and individuals throughout the nation supporting Bobby’s launch,” says Cheryl. “I even wrote to President Obama, telling him how Bobby had turned his life round, was a Sunday faculty trainer, a church deacon and helped individuals in the neighborhood.

“I instructed everybody: I really like my husband, everybody deserves a second likelihood, and he’d do good together with his life.”

Her cri de coeur attracted widespread publicity and towards all odds Bobby was granted parole in 2016 after lower than a 12 months behind bars, and eight years earlier than he was due for parole. Cheryl was ready with open arms.

“She redeemed me,” says Bobby, who then legally modified his identify to Bobby Love.

“Love conquers all, sure it does. God’s put me in the perfect place I may be. And it feels so good to have the ability to go anyplace with out worrying if I’ll be despatched again to jail.”

Cheryl says: “I’d all the time identified that my husband’s coronary heart was giant and that one thing was getting in the best way of him displaying it to me totally. Now I do know why. Love is the ability behind Bobby’s redemption. Our love is even stronger as we speak and our household ties are stronger than ever as a result of he may be himself now with out holding something again.” Bobby agrees: “Life’s superb now.”

  • The Redemption of Bobby Love: The People of New York Instagram Sensation, by Bobby & Cheryl Love (Bantam, £12.99) is out now. Without spending a dime UK P&P on orders over £20, name Specific Bookshop on 020 3176 3832 or go to expressbookshop.com

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