Seven most horrifying ways Turpin parents abused their 13 children from starvation to chaining them to beds

EVIL David and Louise Turpin inflicted a shocking catalogue of abuse on their children which has seen them locked-up for life for their horrific crimes.

The scale of the suffering the kids endured is staggering but The Sun has rounded-up some of the most vile actions to have taken place in the House of Horrors.


David and Louise Turpin starved their children, allowing them just one meal a day.

The parents had starved them to the point that they stopped growing, and suffered from muscle shrinkage.

The eldest child, a 29-year-old woman, weighed only 82 pounds – the typical weight of a seven-year-old.

An 11-year-old child was so malnourished that her arm circumference was the equivalent of a 4-and-a-half month old baby, investigators said.

The kids lived on bologna and peanut butter sandwiches while their parents ate take-out, according to People.

Jordan, who was just six, added: “There was a lot of starving. I would have to figure out how to eat. I would either eat ketchup or mustard or ice.”

While the parents ate well, they cruelly tormented their starving kids by leaving apple and pumpkin pies on the kitchen counter, but not letting them have any, said Riverside County District Attorney Mike Hestrin.

The victims were severely underweight and hadn’t bathed for months when they were found by cops on January 14, 2018.


The Turpins kept their children chained up to filthy beds or furniture, locked in their rooms and were deprived of toys and games at their Perris, California, home – about 70 miles from Los Angeles.

The evil couple, who would quote the Bible to justify the frequent beatings, left some of the children tied up for months at a time.

Two of the Turpin sisters spoke out on a 20/20 special.

Jordan Turpin, the sibling that called 911, and her sister Jennifer sat down with ABC's Diane Sawyer and described what life was like in what many call the "House of Horrors."

When officer Anthony Colace asked if Jordan had pictures of what she was talking about, she showed him.

Jordan showed him a photo she took of her sisters who were chained up.

She said in the bodycam video that they were chained up because they "stole food."

She told the authorities her 12 brothers and sisters were being held captive and that some were bound with chains and padlocks.


Jennifer spoke during the ABC interview about how before the siblings were freed, she was afraid to do anything wrong because her parents would beat her.

"If I did one little thing wrong, I was going to be beaten," she said. "And not just beat, beat until I bled.”

Jordan's 911 call, which was aired during the episode, describes some of the horrors that the Turpin children went through.

"They hit us … they throw us across the room, they pull our hair, they yank out our hair," she said. "My two little sisters right now are chained up."

Jennifer and Jordan went into detail, stating that they were even punished if they colored outside of the lines, and would often be dragged across the room by their hair.

David would also use belts and sticks to whip the children, often until they bled.


The evil parents traumatized their children further by quoting from the Bible to justify their actions.

After moving to a more isolated home in Rio Vista, Texas, when Jennifer was 11, the couple had more children and the neglect turned to physical abuse.

The couple would quote the Bible to justify the frequent beatings.

“They loved to point out things in Deuteronomy, saying that, ‘We have the right to do this to you.’ … that they had the right to even kill us if we didn’t listen,” she said.

Jennifer recalled one moment when she said her father picked her up, feet off the floor, and slammed her into a wall.

“I knew he [was] saying that I was the devil,” she said. “I’m just looking at him like, ‘what did I do?’”


Jennifer Turpin said their parents left the older siblings with a flip phone so they could receive their “instructions.”

One of these, according to Jennifer, was to put any rebellious children into cages, some of which were dog kennels with locks.

“You’re torn, you don’t know what to do,” she said. “I was on the brink of suicide. I wanted to just end it all. All of my pain, everything.”


Not only were the children kept chained up for months at a time they also had to live with the stench and squalor inside the property.

While the outside of the home is said to have been kept nice and tidy, inside it was a completely different matter.

Jennifer remembers a house strewn with rubbish, faeces and mould.

She was shunned at school because she wore the same clothes every day, and didn’t wash.

“They called me skinny bones and acted like they didn’t want to be around me,” she said. “I probably smelled. But I didn’t realize at the time I smelled, but that stench clings to you… because we would literally live in houses piled with trash.”

She was taken out of school in year 3.

Cops found kids shackled to their beds in "dark and foul-smelling surrounds".


Another way David and Louise would torment their children was by buying them toys and then refusing to let them open them.

Louise racked up huge credit card debt and hoarded children’s clothes, games and toys which she would never give to the children.

They had to sleep during the day and were active for only a few hours at night.

Shocked authorities said they had been confined to the house of horrors – chained to furniture, starved, and often deprived of the use of a toilet.

David, then 57, and Louise, 50, were arrested and later sentenced to life in prison for the hideous abuse and imprisonment of their kids.

They pleaded guilty to 14 counts including cruelty to an adult-dependent, child cruelty, torture, and false imprisonment.

At their sentencing, David's attorney read a prepared statement that said he, "never intended for any harm to come to my children…. I hope the very best for my children in their future."

Louise added: "I want to say I am sorry for everything I have done. I love my children so much… I pray for my children every day. I am truly sorry for everything I have done to hurt them. I love them more than they can ever imagine."

All of the Turpin siblings spent weeks in hospital before six of the siblings were split up into two different foster homes.

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