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Published 2022-01-31
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Turpin Siblings - Huge Dramas After Horror House Escape. The Government Failed Them Again!

In 2018 the case of 13 siblings from California has caught the attention of the entire world. The Turpin children had spent most of their lives indoors, where they were regularly beaten and starved by their parents. The children had no knowledge of the outside world and when rescued they didn’t know what medicine was. It’s been several years now since the children have been rescued yet reports have emerged that despite the fact that people have donated thousands of dollars to help them with their future life, things might not have gone as some had hoped. What exactly happened to the children? Have they not had access to the money? And were some of the youngest kids been abused in foster care? Read on to find out what had happened to the Turpin siblings.

Who Were The Turpins?

David and Louise Turpin from Perris, California, had 13 children aged 2 to 29. For years they had chained them to filthy beds and forced them to live in squalor. They were fed only once a day, allowed to shower just once a year, and were deprived of toys and games. According to reports at the time, the parents starved them to the point that they stopped growing, and suffered muscle shrinkage. When they were given food, it was bologna and peanut butter sandwiches while their parents ate take-out. David and Louise would also leave foods such as pies on the kitchen counter where the children could see them but never let them have any. While from the outside the house was kept clean and looked like any other in the neighborhood, inside it was festered with filth and reeked of human waste.

The Turpin Children’s Escape

By 2018 the children had been planning their escape from their parents for more than two years. The fateful day came on January 14th, 2018, when two of the girls left the house through a window. The 13-year-old got scared and turned back, but then-17-year-old Jordan carried on and when she made some distance from the property she called 911 on a deactivated cell phone that she had brought with her. During the call, she told the dispatcher that she and her siblings were abused by their parents, spoke of the conditions revealing that sometimes the smell was so bad that she could barely breathe. She wasn’t sure whether anyone would believe her but when a police officer arrived where she was, the teenager was able to show him photographic proof of the inside of the house. After getting more information from the girl, deputies of the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department raided the house, stating that they were there for a “welfare check”.

The Turpin Children Conditions

What the officers saw that day had deeply shocked them. The children were described as being beaten, starved, and put in cages and they had spent most of their time locked in their room. Those present on the scene had described it as a “house of horrors” where the kids were chained to furniture and often deprived of a toilet. Some of the victims had so little contact with the outside world that they did not understand the concept of a police officer or medicine. As it was reported at the time, the investigators concluded that the couple's youngest child, a two-year-old toddler, was the only one not abused. Upon finding the children, the sheriff’s office had reported that deputies believed that there were 12 children there however it shocked them to learn that seven of them were actually adults, and were so malnourished that they appeared like children with the 29-year-old weighing just 82 pounds.

The Turpin Trial

As soon as the news about the children had come out to the public after they were removed from their home, more than $500,000 in donations were raised by local groups for their care. Those funds had helped provide medical and dental care, educational assistance, and other services for the abused siblings. The parents were arrested and later convicted on 14 felony counts including cruelty to an adult-dependent, child cruelty, torture, and false imprisonment. In 2019 both were sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole after 25 years, however, experts believe that neither will receive it due to the severity of the crime. And while the case that captivated the attention of not only the US but the rest of the world, appeared to have a happy ending, recent reports seem to suggest that the reality might be much different.

Abuse Of The Minor Turpins

After leaving the House of Horrors, the youngest seven children who were still minors, were placed in foster homes. Though according to media reports what followed was a whole new series of horrors these children faced. As per People, in one foster home that several of the children lived in, they were allegedly abused over an extended period of time. In another home, a foster parent told one of the girls that “she understands why her parents chained her up”. Though as of late 2021, it was reported that four of the youngest ones are now together in another foster home, where their older siblings say they are finally happy. But what difficulty have the older children faced? Read on to find out.

Oldest Turpin Children Left With No Help

After their release, the adult Turpin children were provided with a court-appointed public guardian whose job was to manage their health care, nutrition, safety, housing, and education. According to what they revealed when speaking with ABC News, they were sent out into high-violence neighborhoods with little-to-no life skills training and have also allegedly been denied basic care from their guardian. They had also revealed that the person tasked with helping them was often unwilling to offer simple support, such as teaching them how to use public transportation, cross the street properly, and access their health care benefits. Joshua, who is now aged 29, revealed that when he would ask for help she would tell him to, “Just go Google it”. Some of them, including Jordan, had struggled to find stable housing which caused them to end up homeless and they continued to starve.

What Happened To Support Funds For The Turpin Children?

An investigative reporter for ABC News, David Scott, had noted that the Turpins had continued to live in such poor conditions despite receiving more than $600,000 in donations from strangers. He revealed that most of the money went into an official trust overseen by the court and hidden from public oversight, therefore it is unable to tell exactly how much had been already spent and on what. Though it is worth noting that the Turpins have said those funds have been difficult to access. Despite the fact that there were many offers for the adult Turpins with their day-to-day lives, according to Riverside County Director of Victim Services Melissa Donaldson, none of them were used. Speaking in an interview she had said that when the case first broke she got thousands of offers to help from dentists, and doctors who said they would serve them “pro bono”. She had passed these referrals to the Child Protective Service workers and the hospital, yet none of them were ever utilized.

The Turpin Children Appearing On TV

In November 2021, Jordan and Jennifer Turpin sat down with ABC’s Diane Sawyer and described what life was like for them as well as recalled the night that they escaped. The show also featured the real 911 audio call from when Jordan had called for help, as well as body-cam footage from the officer on the scene. She recalled that her whole body was shaking, she also revealed that the thought that they had all come close to death many times was the reason that she had to do something to make sure that they wouldn’t go back because she was sure that if that happened, she would not have been sitting there. Another stressful thing for her was having to convince the police officer, which was her first time meeting a stranger or even being alone with them, that her story was real and that she and her siblings needed help. Jordan also revealed that it was seeing videos of Justin Bieber on one of her older siblings' smartphones, that had inspired her to make a change to her life and do something to help herself and her siblings.

Future For The Turpin Children

In light of the Turpin siblings not being able to have access to their funds, Jaycee Dugard, an author, and activist who had spent 18 years of her youth in captivity, had set up a new fund through her foundation to support the Turpin siblings, encouraging all who know their story to donate. Right now, they are leaning on each other and learning to get by. Jordan had said that being together with her siblings feels like home for her and that it is a special moment because they know that “at the end of the day we’re always going to have each other”.

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