The Turpin children are beginning to speak. It’s not a quick process as they continue to get treatment for severe malnutrition and the effects of alleged torture, imprisonment, and social isolation, but they’re starting to talk about what life was like in what has been described as a “house of horrors.”
When police first entered the southern California home on Jan. 14 after a 17-year-old girl called 911 to say she had escaped from captivity, they found a dark, filthy, foul-smelling abode they described as a “torture chamber.” Starving, stunted kids and young adults showed confusion about the outside world, and some of the 13 siblings — ages 2 to 29 — were locked in chains.
Subsequent reports have claimed that the Turpin children were beaten, taunted, fed only once a day, only allowed to shower once a year, spent weeks to months at a time in chains as a severe form of punishment, were not allowed to have friends, and were kept away from TVs and phones.
According to Time, Riverside County District Attorney Mike Hestrin explained, “Victims in these kinds of cases, they tell their story, but they tell it slowly. They tell it at their own pace. It will come out when it comes out.”
But he said something new they’d told him was that not only were they often locked up with chains, they were isolated from each other, locked in separate rooms in small groups.
Their parents, David and Louise, appeared in court on Wednesday as they face dozens of charges. An eyewitness in the courtroom described to Hollywood Life how they acted.
The witness said, “They look like sick, deranged people. They looked like they were sad that they had gotten caught.”
“Both were crazy-eyed and were glossed over,” they continued. “As the judge explained their restrictions ruling, they had no emotion whatsoever. They still, and have never, showed any remorse and only seemed to care about themselves.”
A number of witnesses say Louise grinned eerily when the judge told her that she and David would not be allowed to have any contact with their kids during this whole process, according to the UK’s The Sun.
David, on the other hand, looked downcast as the judge ordered him, "You must not try to get [your children’s] addresses or locations and must have no electronic, telephone or written communication. You must not contact them except through your lawyer. You can’t use a third party other than your lawyer, including an investigator."
Please pray for the 13 siblings as they work through an incredible about of psychological baggage. In related news, a former classmate of the oldest Turpin daughter is describing her condition back when she was allowed to attend grade school and admitting that he and others bullied her mercilessly.