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It has always been a norm for parents to care for the wellbeing of their children and protect them from all harm. But as humans are known to err often, there are cases where parents who are supposed to care for their children, become the source of their pain and suffering. This is the case of the Turpin family that made news headlines in 2018 when luck ran out on David and Louise Turpin, the parents of 13 children who were anything but loving to their kids.
The Turpin kids at the time of discovery had suffered years of untold hunger bolts, caging, beating, deprivation from association and schooling, an unhealthy environment, and lots more in the ‘house of horrors’ created by their parents. Here is all you need to know about the Turpin House of Horrors.
Facts About The Turpin Family and Their ‘House of Horrors’
David and Louise’s Marriage
David and Louise’s relationship began a very long time ago when they were still young children in the cares of their parents. They were friends at first who would often see each other in church. When David was 24 and Louise Turpin was still in her mid-teen years, the two ran away together but were tracked down at Texas by the police who brought them back home after Louise’s parents reported the incidence.
Their bold move, however, necessitated their parents’ approval for them to get married at such young ages rather than have them commit fornication. Apparently, both families were of the Christian faith. Later admissions by Louise’s siblings revealed that her mother had always liked David and she felt he could be trusted especially because he came from a Christian home. It also revealed that she knew about their hidden love affair but didn’t tell her husband who was also a preacher.
David got married to Louise legally in 1984 at a small wedding ceremony their families had organized; they moved to Texas afterward to start their family. After the move, Louise never set her eyes on her father again till his death, and even when he requested to visit her, she declined.
David on his part had always been a bright and intelligent chap who had prospects professionally and started out doing just fine at the time they started having children. The Turpin family lived a good life and often visited Disneyland with the kids, but things changed gradually in their finances that necessitated David filing for insolvency to the tune of $240,000, this was probably due to a combination of several things but most especially family issues.
Soon after that, they withdrew the children from school and made attempts to home school them. This was seen in the fact that David Turpin was named principal of the Sandcastle Day School that he ran from his home, for his kids. The couple claimed that their children were homeschooled until January 2018 when their secret sins were exposed.
What Made the Turpin Family a ‘House of Horrors’?
At the time the police discovered the Turpin kids in 2018, it was learned that the plan to escape and make a 911 call had been in the pipeline for two years. From the recordings which have been released, the brave 17-year-old who escaped to make the call narrated that two of her younger sisters and one of her brothers were shackled to their beds with chains and that she couldn’t take it anymore. She went further to say that her siblings wake up at night crying for help hence her call to 911.
The Turpin family was dubbed a house of horrors because the 13 children who were found there had been so isolated almost all their lives and were subject to the most inhumane treatment. When help arrived, 2 of them were found shackled to their beds, with the 22-year-old still fastened to his bed in chains in a very filthy house. After investigations, it was discovered that he had committed the crime of stealing food and being disrespectful, hence the shackles.
It was revealed that these kids were kept hungry, tortured and restricted from playing; they were only allowed to write journals. Even though their parents claimed to be homeschooling all their kids, it was difficult to believe because their 12-year-old couldn’t recite the 26 alphabets properly and the 17-year-old found it difficult pronouncing some very common words. Moreso, the brave 17-year-old rescue finder who called 911, didn’t know her home address. From all indications, the children received very poor health care, with no visits to the hospital except for a case of severe fracture.
The 13 children of the Turpin family were not allowed to go outside, visit people or have friends, they were only allowed out during Halloween or when they went to Disneyland or Las Vegas as a family. They were hardly let out of their rooms except on occasions when their parents felt like it. They were allowed to have a bath once every year and ate one meal per day. The state of the children on their discovery was so critical that they were all admitted to the hospital for malnutrition and mental disorders.
Trial and Sentence
After the discovery of the situation of things in the Turpin family home, the children were taken away and the couple was arraigned before a court where they first pleaded not guilty to the charges laid against them. Following their plea, investigations ensued that saw more degrading details uncovered that ensured the couple could not escape the wrath of the law for their crimes. After months of long court hearings, more damning evidence kept turning up; David and Louise finally pleaded guilty and were sentenced to life imprisonment to be eligible for parole after 25 years.
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