New, disturbing details have emerged about the torture used against 13 California children ranging in age from 2 to 29 years old.
The kids were held captive in their home and shackled to their beds by their parents, David and Louise Turpin, until their 17-year-old daughter made a brave escape and alerted police, as previously reported by Dearly.
The father and mother, who are 57-year-old and 49-year-old, respectively, used chains and padlocks to hold their children captive, slowly starving them to death and trapping them inside a filthy home— conditions which Sheriff’s Capt. Greg Fellows described as “horrific,” according to KTLA.
As NBC News reports, a law enforcement official with knowledge of the case told them the children’s gruesome suffering also included only being allowed to shower twice a year. The kids were only fed a rationed meal one time a day in the urine-covered home. In one example of what he called “depraved conduct,” Riverside County District Attorney Mike Hestrin said the father committed a lewd act on one of the girls.
But, as Dearly previously reported, David’s mother, Betty Turpin, described her son as a “very good man.” She added that “[h]e is very protective of the kids. Everything is always in order.”
Betty told the Orange County Register the family would take them to restaurants and on family trips to Disneyland when the grandparents visited. She said David and Louise were very organized with the kids on outings. The children would wear matching outfits and be lined up for the rides in age order. She added:
“That shows you how particular they were about keeping the kids together and organized.”
The grandmother, who lives in West Virginia and hasn’t seen her grandchildren in four or five years, described them as a happy family, NBC News reports:
“And they had such good relationships. I’m not just saying this stuff. These kids — we were amazed. They were ‘sweetie’ this and ‘sweetie’ that to each other.”
Betty also said David and his brother, Randy Turpin, were model children growing up.
“I’m not just a bragging parent. We raised two sons. They never gave us any problem, never got on drugs. “(We) kept them in church. We never had to make them go to church.”
But the grandmother admitted the allegations shocked her: “I feel they were model Christians. It’s hard to believe all of this. Over the years, the Lord knows what happened.”
While David let his parents see his children, Louise blocked her side of the family out of their lives after she got married 19 years ago, as Dearly previously reported.
Louise’s sister, Elizabeth Jane Flores, told the Daily Mail:
“We would talk on the phone from time to time, but every time I would ask to talk to her kids, she wouldn’t let me.”
Louise’s other sister, Teresa Robinette, said their parents begged to see their grandchildren, but they were never allowed; she added that her sister didn’t even bother to come to their parents’ funerals.
NBC News reports that Robinette thought her sister was living a perfect life, but noticed her nieces and nephews were treated differently from other children:
“They weren’t allowed to watch TV. They weren’t allowed to talk on the phone, have friends over, stuff like that. Normal things that kids do.”
The six minor children and seven adult children were admitted to Los Angeles-area hospitals to be treated for severe malnutrition after their rescue.
A law enforcement official explained they are receiving antibiotics, vitamins and nutrients, as their treatment continues. The 13 siblings will also be evaluated by psychologists once they regain their strength physically.
David and Louise both face torture and child endangerment charges, with their bonds being set at $9 million each.
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