Now, for the first time since escaping their California home and alerting authorities, the Turpin children are shedding light on the years of torture they endured in an exclusive interview on ABC’s 20/20.
Turpin Sisters Grant Exclusive Interview
According to Riverside County prosecutors, David and Louise Turpin subjected their 13 children to torturous living conditions for almost 30 years, when one of their daughters finally ran away from the family’s Perris, California home in 2018 and alerted police.
Now, in a clip from their upcoming interview, the Turpin sisters say they almost couldn’t bring themselves to make the daring escape.
“My whole body was shaking […] I couldn’t really dial 911,” said one of the young women. “It was literally now or never. If something happened to me, at least I died trying.”
ABC also obtained chilling audio from the Turpin sisters’ 911 call.
“Hello?” says a voice attributed to Jordan Turpin. “I just ran away from home, because I live in a family of 15 and we have abusive parents.”
None of the 13 children of David and Louise Turpin — some of whom were older than 18 when the abuse was discovered — have stepped forward or even been publicly named before the ABC interview.
The New York Post reports that the upcoming exclusive will also feature body camera footage from police who responded to the scene, providing a never-before-seen look into the Turpin house of horrors.
David and Louise Turpin ‘Shackled,’ ‘Tortured’ Children
During criminal proceedings, prosecutors said that David and Louise Turpin were so abusive to their 13 children that their parenting amounted to torture.
Authorities alleged that the parents imprisoned, beat, and strangled their children for years.
The Turpin siblings, who were reportedly malnourished when Riverside County police found them, said they were permitted to eat only once a day, and could only shower once yearly. Police said the family was so emaciated that the eldest siblings, who were adults, appeared to be children.
In addition, prosecutors found, the children were regularly shackled to their beds, both as a punishment and as a preemptive measure. Police arriving at the family home found one child chained up, and two more who appeared to have been freed just before authorities arrived.
Both David and Louise Turpin pleaded guilty to 14 felony charges, including torture, child cruely, and false imprisonment. The couple were each sentenced to life imprisonment with the possibility of parole after 25 years.
Turpin Children Remain Elusive
Before ABC’s exclusive interview with two of the Turpin sisters, none of the children had granted any public appearances since escaping their parents home — though two of them did read victim impact statements at their parents’ sentencing hearings.
After their rescue, the children reportedly all spent time in hospitals, before the six minors were placed in foster homes.
But those close to the children assure that they all keep in touch.
Riverside County Deputy District Attorney Kevin Beecham told People last year that “they still meet with each other, all 13 of them.”
“Some of them are living independently, living in their own apartment, and have jobs and are going to school. Some volunteer in the community. They go to church,” he said of the Turpin siblings.
Some, he added, have even changed their names to distance themselves from their troubled past.
“It would be difficult for them to carry that name, that label of being a victim, forever.”