N.C. fugitive Bobby Love who found love on the run shares his viral story to Humans of New York – TheGrio


Cheryl Love was surprised to find out that her husband Bobby was actually an escaped North Carolina convict on the run for almost 40 years

n c fugitive bobby love who found love on the run shares his viral story to humans of new york thegrio N.C. fugitive Bobby Love who found love on the run shares his viral story to Humans of New York   TheGrio


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(1/11) “It was just a normal morning. Almost exactly five years ago. I was making tea in the kitchen. Bobby was still in bed. And we get this knock on the door. I opened it up slowly, and saw the police standing there. At first I wasn’t worried. We had this crazy lady that lived next door, and the police were always checking up on her. So I assumed they had the wrong address. But the moment I opened the door, twelve officers came barging past me. Some of them had ‘FBI’ written on their jackets. They went straight back to the bedroom, and walked up to Bobby. I heard them ask: ‘What’s your name?’ And he said, ‘Bobby Love.’ Then they said, ‘No. What’s your real name?’ And I heard him say something real low. And they responded: 'You've had a long run.' That’s when I tried to get into the room. But the officer kept saying: ‘Get back, get back. You don’t know who this man is.’ Then they started putting him in handcuffs. It didn’t make any sense. I’d been married to Bobby for forty years. He didn’t even have a criminal record. At this point I’m crying, and I screamed: ‘Bobby, what’s going on?’ Did you kill somebody?’ And he tells me: ‘This goes way back, Cheryl. Back before I met you. Way back to North Carolina.’”

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(2/11) “Back in the day my name was Walter Miller. It was a pretty normal childhood. We grew up poor, but nothing really dramatic happened until I went to a Sam Cooke concert at the age of fourteen. I was excited to be at that concert, so I pushed my way to the front row—right near the stage. 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 got so angry that he walked off the stage. So I screamed at the top of my lungs: ‘Sam Cooke ain’t shit!’ And in North Carolina, back in 1964, that was enough to get me arrested for disorderly conduct. Things went downhill pretty quick after that. My mother was raising eight kids on her own, so she couldn’t control me. 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, until one day I got busted stealing from the band room at school. They shipped me off to a juvenile detention center called Morrison Training School. I hated everything about that place. The food was terrible. The kids were violent. I still have scars from all the times I got beat up. Every night, while I was falling asleep, I could hear the whistle of a freight train in the distance. And I always wanted to know where that train was going. So one night, when the guard turned his back to check the clock, I ran out the back door– toward the sound of that whistle. And that was the first place I ever escaped from.”

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(3/11) “I followed those train tracks all the way to Washington DC. And for a minute, it seemed like everything would be alright. My brother lived in the city, so I started sleeping at his place. I enrolled in a new high school. I was going to class. Playing a little basketball. Things were going smooth. But I hadn’t learned my lesson yet. My old ways caught up with me, and I fell in with the wrong group of kids. These guys were robbing banks—and getting away with it. So I decided to tag along. We’d drive down to North Carolina because those banks had less security. And we got away with it a few times. After every score, we’d hang out on the strip at 14th and T, and act like big timers. We felt like gangsters. I have nobody to blame but myself. I just enjoyed the feeling of having money. But the fun didn’t last for long. Because one of those banks had a silent alarm. And while we were stuffing our bags full of money, the manager pulled the trigger. The police were waiting for us in the parking lot. All hell broke loose. I tried to get away, ducking and weaving, running through cars. But I got shot in the buttocks. The bullet went right through me. I woke up in the hospital– with a hole in the front and back of my coat.”

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(4/11) “It was all over for Walter Miller. The judge sentenced me to twenty-five to thirty years. I held out hope for awhile. I was doing appeals. I kept hoping to win on a technicality, or at least get a new trial with a better lawyer. But I kept hitting dead ends. And reality soon set in– I was going away for a very long time. They sent me to a maximum security facility called Central Prison. Gun towers and everything. There was no way out, so I sorta got used to it. My mama died during this time, and that really shook me up. Because my entire life she’d been praying for me to turn my life around. And she never got to see it happen. So I committed myself to doing better. I became the perfect inmate. I never had a mark on my record. My behavior was so good that they transferred me down the hill to a minimum security facility. This place was more like a camp. They still had gun towers and everything, but there was a lot of freedom. They let us walk around the yard. We could make phone calls. I even had my own radio show. It was a lot of fun. I recorded it every Wednesday, and they played it on the local college station. I was relaxed. I was feeling good. I had no plans to escape.”

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(5/11) “Everything changed for me when someone screamed ‘punk ass’ at the prison captain. He was walking through the parking lot. It was early in the morning, and it was still dark, so he couldn’t see who did it. I was working in the kitchen, so there was no way it could be me. But the captain said that he recognized my voice—and he wrote me up. After that he started picking on me. I tried to keep my head low. But the more I tried to do good, the more I got punished. He wrote me up for all kinds of phony things. He accused me of stealing a newspaper. He accused me of faking sick. The negative reports kept piling up, until I was one mark away from being sent back up the hill. And that’s when they started putting me on the road. It was the worst job in the prison. They’d call your name before sunrise, and you had to get on this bus. Then they’d drive you all over Raleigh to clean trash off the highways. 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. I saved up my money. I memorized the bus route. I noticed that we always stopped at a certain intersection—right next to a wooded area. And I figured I could make that distance in no time at all. I also noticed that the guard who worked on Tuesday never searched the prisoners as they boarded the bus. So one Monday night, while we were watching the Colts game on TV, I made the decision. That was going to be my last night in prison.”

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(6/11) “I cleaned out my locker before I went to sleep. I wanted to leave nothing behind. No phone numbers. No addresses. Nothing they could use to find me quick. Because I worked at the radio station, I was allowed a single pair of civilian clothes. I put those on beneath my prison garments and wore everything to bed. I didn’t sleep a wink that night. Every three hours the guards did a head count, and I kept seeing that flashlight shine on the wall. When the sun finally came up, I jumped out of bed and splashed water on my face. Then I glanced out the window. The careless guard was stationed at the gate. The one who never patted down the prisoners. So I said: ‘That’s it, I’m leaving.’ I got on the bus and went to the very back row, right next to the emergency exit. It was a five minute drive to the wooded area. As we slowed down for a stop, I swung open the back door– and I was gone. I could hear the alarm blaring behind me, but I didn’t look back. I peeled off my green clothes and just kept running. The sweat was coming off me. I looked like trouble, so I did my best to keep out of the white neighborhoods. Every time I passed a brother, I asked for directions to the Greyhound station. Everyone kept telling me: ‘Keep going, keep going, keep going.’ When I finally got there, I found a brother in the parking lot who agreed to buy me a one way ticket to New York. I waited until the last minute. I jumped on the bus right as the driver was closing the door. Then I slunk down in my seat while we drove out of Raleigh. Once we got on the highway, the girl next to me started making small talk. She asked me my name. I thought for a moment, and said: ‘Bobby Love.’ And that was the death of Walter Miller.”

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N.C. fugitive Bobby Love who found love on the run shares his viral story to Humans of New York – TheGrio

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