While David and Louise Turpin have pleaded not guilty of 75 counts of endangerment, abuse, and torture, and they have not been convicted in a court of law, Louise’s younger sister has little doubt that the alleged years of starvation, beatings, and extremely harsh imprisonment involving 13 siblings did indeed happen. And now she wants nothing to do with the woman she no longer considers to be her sister.
The Turpin parents are facing 75 counts of endangerment, abuse, and torture. David is also being accused of lewd conduct involving a daughter under the age of 14. The 13 children — ages 2 to 29 — were reportedly getting fed only once a day, were allowed to shower only once or twice a year, were taunted with desserts and toys they could never have, and were locked in chains for weeks or month without being allowed to use that bathroom as a form of punishment.
Their living conditions in at least one of their California homes and two of their Texas homes have been described by witnesses and authorities as filthy, dark, foul-smelling, and extremely unhygienic. Their contact with and knowledge of the world outside the walls of their homes has been described as very limited.
Now Louise’s younger sister Teresa Robinett has disowned her, according to an exclusive interview with the UK’s Daily Mail.
“I have four siblings now instead of five. She is off my family tree; she is dead to me,” Teresa expressed in a tearful interview. “I couldn't care less about speaking to Louise ever again. It hurts to say she’s my sister. I don’t even want to be related to her.”
She also said of David and Louise, “I hope they suffer as much, if not more, than those kids suffered. I hope they torture my sister for the rest of her life.”
Teresa also suggested that Louise and David tore their family apart at a young age. She says the several-year-older David illegally took 16-year-old Louise out of her high school in West Virginia and fled with her on a 1,000-mile trip to Texas in order to elope. But before they could wed, they were caught by authorities.
She said her mom had “allowed Louise to date David secretly because she loved him and he was from a Christian family and she trusted Louise. But she was doing it behind my dad's back….”
After the attempt to elope, Teresa recalled, “My mom, who had let them date, ended up being the one telling the police they had to send her home. She wanted her home right now, but my dad said, ‘No, she has made her choice, she should go off and live her life.’”
“He was angry at my mom for letting them date. He was so upset. He told her it was all her fault. He got on the phone and told Louise, ‘This is the life you want, you're now an adult, I love you and I'll always be your daddy, but now you can take care of yourself. If this is what you want, you go for it,’” she continued. “So he let her marry him.”
But Teresa said the family conflict broke their parents’ marriage, and a couple years later, they got divorced. Their dad also ended his work as a traveling preacher.
“He still went to church, he still lived for God, but he stopped preaching,” she said.
Teresa also sat down with Megyn Kelly for an NBC News interview and said she knew her sister and David led unusual lives, but she had no idea her nieces and nephews were being tortured. Contact with the Turpin family lessened over the years, and about eight years ago, Teresa was no longer permitted to speak with her nieces and nephews via Skype.
But earlier on, when the Turpins lived in Fort Worth, Texas, they seemed to Teresa to be living the high life. David had a high-paying job, their house was big, their cars were nice, and trips to amusement parks were not unusual.
“Every time I was on the phone with Louise, it was always perfect, and you know, in my mind, I always believed they were still living the life that they were living when we visited them,” Teresa said.
Later after moving to California, the Turpins struggled with bankruptcy, and investigators believe the living situation for their kids got progressively worse. Asked if she had had clue that things were really bad with his sister’s family, Teresa replied: “Absolutely not.”
Watch the first part of the Megyn Kelly interview below:
Teresa and Louise’s half-brother Billy Lambert also spoke with the Daily Mail and gave his claim that the Turpins moved from Texas to southern California back in 2011 with dreams of starting own reality show. He said Louise was convinced her family’s large size would make them millions as reality TV stars. And she even wanted to grow the family larger to make it better for TV.
Meanwhile, after reportedly leaving their Fort Worth home a wreck, a neighbor and the next homeowner of the family’s Rio Vista, Texas house are revealing the awful living conditions they observed.
Please pray for the 13 siblings as they heal from malnourishment and deal with their emotional baggage. In related news, their parents have been hit with fresh accusations as authorities are reportedly discussing using cadaver dogs to search the Perris, California property.