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ened to the Turpin parents? Family story explained as ‘Escape from a ‘House of Horror’ takes internet by storm
David and Louise Turpin left America terrified when they were arrested in 2018 for abusing their 13 biological children for more than two decades.
Nearly four years after their conviction, two of the Turpin siblings opened up about their terrorizing past on ABC’s Escape from a House of Horror special that aired on November 19, 2021.
13 children were held captive by their parents in a survival story like you’ve never seen. Now, hear from the family for the first time. Watch the @DianeSawyer special event – “Escape from a House of Horror” – premiering TONIGHT at 9/8c on @ABC. Stream next day on @Hulu. https://t.co/VVt5XxOfMI
Jennifer and Jordan Turpin spoke to Diane Sawyer about the years of physical, mental, verbal and emotional abuse the siblings suffered at the hands of their own parents. However, in January 2018, the latter decided to seek legal help after breaking out of the house.
The 21-year-old shared:
“I was always terrified that if I called the cops or tried to escape, I would get caught, and then I knew I would die if I got caught. But at the end, when I saw all my younger siblings, I knew that’s what I had to do… That was my only chance. I think it was us coming so close to death so many times. If something happened to me, at least I died trying.”
Meanwhile, Jennifer (33), the eldest of the Turpin siblings, recalled glimpses of her terrifying past:
“The only word I know to call it is ‘hell’… We [weren’t] even allowed to stand up. We were supposed to be sitting down all the time. Most of the time we were up at night and then sleeping in the day… There was a lot of starving. I would have to figure out how to eat. I would either eat ketchup or mustard and ice.”
Following Jordan’s escape from ‘The House of Horrors’ in Perris, California, the Turpin parents were arrested for severe “child maltreatment” and charged with 14 felony counts including “12 counts of torture and false imprisonment, nine counts of child abuse and seven counts of cruelty to a dependable adult”.
David and Louise pled guilty to all charges in 2019 and were sentenced to life imprisonment with the possibility of a chance of parole after 25 years.
The Turpin family ‘House of Horrors’ case explored
On January 14, 2018, police raided the California home where 13 Turpin children were imprisoned, starved, beaten and shackled over several years. The children aged between 2 and 29 were held captive and never allowed to leave the house without their parents.
The family initially lived in Fort Worth but moved to Rio Vista in 1999. The abuse initially started as a form of negligence and abandonment but went on to take a violent turn over the years. The Turpins left their Rio Vista home in 2010 and moved to California.
Neighbors reportedly found feces, piles of garbage and dead pets as well as ropes tied to beds after the family left their second home. The abuse continued into their California residence where the children were deprived of food, basic hygiene, health care and education.
In the latest Escape from a House of Horror special interview, eldest Turpin sister Jennifer mentioned that the siblings were only allowed to eat once a day and bathe once a year. They were reportedly left starving while the couple had junk food. Coupled with that, they were beaten upon the slightest attempt to steal food from their parents.
She also shared that the children were punished for the smallest of things and faced violent beatings from their parents. She claimed that Louise pushed one of her siblings down the stairs for entering her bedroom while David often beat them with belts and sticks until they bled.
The children were also prevented from visiting the washroom, leading to filthy and unhygienic living conditions. The Turnpin couple also tied the children to their beds with ropes and strangled them with chains.
The children were also kept away from basic education and did not attend school. The eldest sibling was initially enrolled in a school but pulled out by her third standard. David filed affidavits with the California Department of Education claiming that his children were being educated in private but was charged with perjury for his false statement.
The Escape from the ‘House of Horrors’
In her latest interview, Jordan Turpin mentioned that she got a taste of the outside world after secretly coming across Justin Bieber and his videos on her phone:
“I don’t know where we would be if we didn’t watch Justin Bieber. I started realizing that there is a different whole world out there. I wanted to experience that.”
However, things took a turn for the worse when her mother discovered the secret through one of her siblings and choked her for her action:
“I thought I was going to die that day. After that whole day happened, I kept having nightmares that… she was going to kill me.”
Following the incident, Jordan decided to escape from the house and discussed the plan with some of her siblings. Her sister Jennifer recalled drawing a map of the neighborhood with a few memories of being outside:
“She was like, ‘We need to get out of here. So I gave her all the advice I knew, all the advice I could.”
The siblings got the idea to call 911 after overhearing their brother secretly watching a show called Cops. They even collected photographic evidence of some of their siblings chained to the bed.
Jordan finally decided to jump out of the window after she heard her mother talking about the family moving to Oklahoma:
“If we went to Oklahoma, there was a big chance that some of us would have died.”
Following her escape, a terrified Jordan Turpin contacted the police and sought help from Deputy Anthony Colace:
“I had no idea what direction to go. I was so scared. I was trying to dial 911, but I couldn’t even get my thumb to press the buttons because I was shaking so bad. I was telling them everything: We don’t go to school, we live in filth, how we starve and all this stuff. Because I had to make sure that if I left, we wouldn’t go back. I was like, ‘I’m scared [my parents] are going to come. They would just kill me right there, especially if they knew I was on the phone with the police.”
Deputy Anthony Colace was at the end of a graveyard shift when he responded to a runaway call. He was the first person 17-year-old Jordan Turpin encountered after her escape from a “house of horror.”The new 20/20 premieres Friday on @ABC. Stream on Hulu. abcn.ws/3oz7QBR https://t.co/1XS0QbLBX2
Police authorities immediately raided the house and came across the malnourished Turpin children. They also discovered chains and marks of bruises on the children’s wrists. Officials said the children lacked knowledge of basic terms like “police” and “medication” and some even failed to spell their own names.
Authorities mentioned that the Turpin siblings lived in “dark and foul-smelling surroundings” and few of them were so malnourished that the police failed to understand that some children were, in fact, adults. The eldest sibling was 29-years-old at the time but weighed as low as 82 pounds:
“Deputies located what they believed to be 12 children inside the house, but were shocked to discover that seven of them were actually adults. The victims appeared to be malnourished and very dirty.”
The Turpin siblings were immediately shifted to medical care for treatment and healthcare assessment. The seven adult children were shifted to Corona Regional Medical Center while the six minors were taken to Riverside University Hospital System (RUHS).
The minors were also placed in foster care homes after several weeks of treatment.
All about David and Louise Turpin
David Turpin was born to James and Betty Turpin and grew up in West Virginia. He graduated from Virginia Tech University with a degree in engineering and went on to establish a successful career in the field.
He became a computer engineer and held remarkable positions in companies like Lockheed Martin and General Dynamics until his retirement in 2012. Despite having a successful professional and academic career, David had to file for bankruptcy in 2011 due to $240,000 in credit card debt.
Meanwhile, his wife described herself as “homemaker”. Louis Turpin (nee Robinette) also grew up in an abusive household. Her sister Teresa Robinette told The Daily Mail that the siblings and their cousin were repeatedly abused by their maternal grandfather in exchange for money.
The sisters said Louise became obsessed with witchcraft and alcoholism later in life and engaged in several sordid rituals. However, they never imagined their sister could commit the crime of abusing her own children.
Louise and David Turpin attended West Virginia High School together, although the latter was eight years his wife’s senior. The couple eloped to Texas when Louise was 16 years old and David was 24. However, they returned home after Louise’s parents filed a police complaint against the pair.
Surprisingly, Louise’s father allowed the couple to marry and they tied the knot in 1984 in Princeton before moving to Texas. Reports suggest that the pair followed Pentecostalism and also engaged in the Quiverfull Movement.
Where are the Turpin parents now?
Following their 2018 arrest, the Turpin parents pled non-guilty to the 14 felony charges against them but changed their plea to guilty the following year. They were sentenced to serve a lifetime in prison but have the possibility of parole after 25 years.
According to CNN, Louise Turpin apologized for her actions during one of the hearings:
“I’m sorry for everything I’ve done to hurt my children.”
Meanwhile, David Turpin said:
“I love them more than they could ever imagine. I thank God for all of my children.”
One of the Turpin children reportedly forgave their parents and some have the right to visit them in prison. However, nearly 10 of the siblings have 10-year restraining orders against the Turpin couple.
David was initially sent to Mule Creek State Prison and later transferred to California State Prison while Louise was detained at Central California Women’s Facility.
Edited by Sijo Samuel Paul
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Frequently Asked Questions About what happened to the turpin parents
If you have questions that need to be answered about the topic what happened to the turpin parents, then this section may help you solve it.
Where are the Turpin parents at now?
Living in squalor As Riverside’s district attorney, it was Hestrin who prosecuted the Turpins’ parents, David and Louise. They are now serving life sentences in separate California penitentiaries
What happened to the Turpin children?
Six of the 13 Turpin children ? who were tortured for years by their biological parents ? were then placed in a foster home where they endured a ?second bout? of abuse, including sexual, physical and emotional abuse, and their reports were ignored by the foster care agency, an attorney for two of the children told HLN
Where are Jordan turpins parents?
Parents David and Louise Turpin were convicted of abusing their 13 children and sentenced to life in prison
What happened to the other Turpin family?
“Some of the younger Turpin children were placed with caregivers who were later charged with child abuse,” the 630-page report found. “Some of the older siblings experienced periods of housing instability and food insecurity as they transitioned to independence.”
Where did the Turpin money go?
According to the report, the Corona Chamber of Commerce, which raised money for the Turpins, donated about $209,000 that’s controlled by SAFE Family Justice Centers, a nonprofit group that deals with victims of domestic violence, human trafficking and child/elder abuse.
Where is Jordan Turpin today?
?Some quit and said: ‘I don’t work here anymore. ‘? Turpin has since moved into her own apartment in California, which she said has been a ?scary? adjustment, as ?it’s expensive, and you’re not aware of how much you’re gonna need?. However, she also said it has been nice to ?just be myself? and feel free.
What happened to Jordan Turpin in her foster home?
Jordan Turpin is revealing new details of the horrific abuse she says she and her siblings suffered in foster care after escaping years of torture by their monstrous parents. Jordan Turpin courageously rescued herself and her 12 siblings from horrific abuse from their parents.
How were the Turpin kids tortured?
The Turpin siblings, who made headlines in 2018 when they were rescued from their parents’ ?house of horrors? in California, were allegedly abused by their foster family ? who forced them to eat their own vomit and told them to commit suicide, according to two new lawsuits.
What does Jordan Turpin do for a living?
Jordan Turpin, who escaped a house of horrors where she and her 12 siblings were abused, has become a TikTok star. Jordan Turpin has more than 475,000 followers on TikTok, where the 21-year-old posts typical dance videos and her bio reads: ?I love helping others!
Did the Turpins go to Disney?
October 2011: David and Louise Turpin renew their wedding vows at a Las Vegas chapel. They are accompanied by all of their children and photos are posted online. The siblings are dressed alike and have similar haircuts. 2012: The family goes to Disneyland and photos from the trip are posted online.
Are the Turpin siblings okay now?
Today, four of the 13 siblings are still in foster care, and Booth said they are now together and safe in a new home.
Where are the Turpin siblings living now?
David and Louise Turpin are both serving life sentences in state prison. The six minor Turpin children were placed in foster care.
Were any of the Turpin children adopted?
In October 2019, five of the younger children were adopted by an abusive family who further tormented them.
Do the Turpin kids have access to their money?
The 13 Turpin children are having difficulty obtaining more than $1 million in donations that is being held by two charities as they attempt to rebuild their lives after years of abuse at the hands of their parents, the attorney for some of the adults said.
How did Turpin get a cell phone?
Jordan Turpin had somehow obtained an envelope that had her home’s address on it, a cell phone from her brother that was only able to dial 911 and escaped through a window. “My two little sisters right now are chained up,” she told the dispatcher in a frail voice.
What does Jordan Turpin do for work?
Jordan Turpin’s childhood was truly horrific, as she was one of 13 siblings forced to survive the so-called ?house of horrors? in California. But now she is making a new life for herself as a social media influencer.