The Turpin family had 13 children, but there is no question that they had a house of horrors, and it might take years of therapy for the kids to get through it.
Two California sisters from the Turpin family are now breaking their silence regarding the fact that they were held hostage by their family at the Turpin “House of Horrors” and perhaps one of the most notable things they are saying is that they were “close to death.”
Their parents were David and Louise Turpin, and they pleaded guilty in 2019 to years of abuse and torture of 12 of their 13 children, ultimately being sentenced to life in prison with a possibility of parole in 25 years due to these awful allegations of abuse and neglect.
According to investigators, the youngest child wasn’t abused.
The investigation began when one of the oldest siblings reported her abusive parents, calling 911 and saying that her sisters were “chained up” in one of the bedrooms.
“My whole body was shaking,” Jordan Turpin told ABC News in one of their promotional clips regarding the story on one November Tuesday.
“I couldn’t really dial 911,” she says before she began choking up, and then Diane Sawyer interjected, “I don’t know how you had the courage.”
“I think it was us coming so close to death so many times,” she says in the clip released by ABC’s “20/20.” The full special, titled, “Escape From a House of Horror” aired on November 19.
Jordan Turpin was 17 at the time and she had climbed out of a window just before 6 a.m. on January 14, 2018 to escape from her parents’ house in Perris, California, which is about 70 miles southeast of Los Angeles. She dialed 911 and told a dispatcher, “I just ran away from home because I live in a family of 15 and we have abusing parents.”
Prosecutors alleged that children had been subjected to “frequent beatings” and “even strangulation” and they weren’t even allowed to go to the bathroom unshackled. “Mother, she choked me. And I thought she was going to die,” Jordan recalled when she was recently interviewed by Diane Sawyer.
Body camera footage had shown the officers knocking on the door of the home, and then David Turpin proceeds to answer and admits to police that he does indeed have guns but they are locked up.
“My two little sisters right now are chained up,” Jordan is heard telling a deputy. “On their bed.”
“What are your parents going to do when they find out you left?” a deputy asks on the body cam footage. Jordan is heard answering, “They are going to want to literally kill me.”
There is body cam footage that is showing the family matriarch, Louise, near the front hallway answering a question from police and admitting that they have 13 children. Not soon after, the officer is heard saying, “Sarge, we’ve got another room in the front right here with two kiddos in the bed,” and the body cameras from the police officers showed the chains in place on the bed.
A second sister participating in the interview described it this way to Sawyer, “The only word I know how to call it is hell.”
“They’re strong. They’re not broken. They’ve got this,” she adds of her siblings now. She described to Sawyer how a few of the children were sometimes chained to their beds for months.
Before their parents were sentenced, one of the daughters, who was only identified as Jane Doe No. 4, said that her parents had taken “my whole life away from me, but now I am taking it back.”