Wife of Bank Robber Tells All

In 2003, Jeanne Callahan Trantel had the perfect life: a loving husband, two adorable little boys, a nice home in the suburbs of Long Island.

Then it all came crashing down.

Her husband, Stephen Trantel, lost his job as a commodities trader, and what Jeanne didn't know was that he had picked up a new career: robbing banks.

"Stephen was the love of my life, my knight in shining armor," Jeanne told CBS News. "The most amazing husband and an amazing dad."

Stephen said he started robbing banks because bill companies were calling and the family was behind on the mortgage.

Wearing a disguise that included a cap and sunglasses, Stephen robbed 10 Long Island banks in four months, stealing more than $60,000.

Stephen told CBS News, "The bottom line is that I just came to this epiphany that there's no other way. If I want to hold onto everything, then I got to steal money."

Jeanne said on "The Early Show" Tuesday she didn't know how it all happened -- and still doesn't today.

"I feel so sad about how he had to turn his whole life into something so horrible and so crazy and how he was in so much pain," she said. "(I) still can't really wrap my whole brain around all this. ... I know that he was very nervous for a long time, acting somewhat crazy at times. I knew that there was something not right."

However, when her husband would act act "crazy," he would quickly smooth things over with Jeanne.

"He would say things are OK, and he would kind of schmooze me over," she said.

However, Stephen's crime spree didn't last. His fingerprint was found on a note passed to a teller. Police matched it to a 1984 driving while intoxicated (DWI) conviction, which led to his arrest.

Jeanne said she was stunned when she learned of his robberies.

"I was in shock," she said. "And I still am now in shock."

Jeanne said Stephen left for work every morning at the same time wearing a suit and tie, seemingly headed to work. Jeanne said she packed him lunches every day. He came home every night at the same time.

When she learned the news, Jeanne said she was "crushed."

She said, "I couldn't believe this man that I loved -- and was married to him for nine years -- that this could have ever happened."

In 2004, Stephen pleaded guilty to first degree robbery and received a nine year sentence. Jeanne has divorced him, and is raising their two boys on her own.

Jeanne said her children know about their father and his past.

"He loves them, still, he does," she said.

Jeanne has written a book called "Disguised Blessings," a memoir about her former husband's double life.

"Early Show" co-anchor Maggie Rodriguez asked Jeanne what she wants to share with her book.

Jeanne said she wants to give hope to people who feel they have no way out of bad circumstances.

"They don't have to resort to this," she said. "They have a way out."

And can someone move on after experiencing such a shock?

"If I can," Jeanne said, "anyone can."
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