California torture house: Teen who escaped overcame tremendous odds

Jan 27, 2018, 16:43
California torture house: Teen who escaped overcame tremendous odds

"They're very co-operative, and I believe they are hopeful that life will get better for them".

Riverside County Sheriff's Homicide Detectives want to determine if David and Louise Turpin had any children who did not survive their house of horrors.

David Turpin, 56, and Louise Turpin, 49, pleaded not guilty Thursday to multiple counts of torture, child abuse, dependent adult abuse and false imprisonment.

The alleged abuse also involved choking and beatings, according to the D.A., who said the punishments worsened, particularly after the family moved to California, noting that the children were initially bound with ropes, but when they figured out how to escape from such bondage, the couple switched to chains and padlocks, denying the victims bathroom access.

A pair of well-kept dogs were taken from the Perris, California, house where 13 children were found shackled and severely malnourished last week.

The children had suffered from years of abuse.

What prompted her to make a break for freedom on Sunday - and expose to the world what David Allen Turpin and Louise Anna Turpin had allegedly done to the family - is just one of the questions investigators in Riverside County are seeking to answer.

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Additionally, David Turpin has pleaded not guilty to sexually abusing a child.

Some of the 13 children had been isolated so long they did not know what a police officer was.

As a result of malnourishment, the 12-year-old child was the weight of an average 7-year-old while the oldest, a 29-year-old woman, weighed just 82 pounds, he said.

"The parents would buy food for themselves and not allow the children to eat, " Hestrin said. They also taunted them with new toys they were not allowed to touch. The girl, 17, had planned the runaway attempt for two years.

Both Turpin family dogs were found in good health. According to Hestrin, the children "lack a basic knowledge of life", although they were allegedly homeschooled, KTLA reported. The children, who were schooled at home, were rarely seen outside the house, though the parents posted photos of them smiling together at Disneyland and in Las Vegas, where the couple renewed their wedding vows.

After being beaten and choked in chains for months at a time, the children began planning their escape two years ago and on Sunday, their moment of deliverance came.

Lambert also had a few things to say about David Turpin which mirrored an account shared by Louise Turpin's sister, Elizabeth Flores, 41.

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Disturbing details have been slowly emerging over this past week about the Turpins, and this is what we know so far about the "California torture house" parents.

"She used to say how they would be ideal for TV and would often mention they would be bigger than the reality show Kate Plus 8", he told the Sunday People in the Mirror. The whole family have asked for 20 years to be able to Skype them.

David Turpin's mother has defended him to the media, stating that the couple had a "highly respectable family". Their attorneys said they were still reviewing the serious allegations and declined to comment on specific allegations.

"They didn't care about the kids - it was all about them".

Now Louise Turpin's half-brother Billy Lambert claim the couple had planned to have another baby - making them "perfect for TV".

While the children were deprived of food, the Turpin parents ate well and even tormented the children by putting apple and pumpkin pies on the kitchen counter, but not letting them have any, Riverside County District Attorney Mike Hestrin said.

"We recognise financial gifts will not eliminate their trauma, but additional resources will be extremely important in helping these victims adjust over time", said Erin Phillips, executive director of RUHS Foundation, who assured 100 per cent of funds will go to the rescued family members.

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