Kids Speak As Parents Are Sentenced To Life In ‘House Of Horrors’ Case

Kids Speak As Parents Are Sentenced To Life In ‘House Of Horrors’ Case

Kids who were forced to live in the “House of Horrors” spoke out in court, as their parents were sentenced to life


David and Louise Turpin were handed a sentence of twenty-five years to life in prison on Friday for starving, beating, and holding their twelve children captive. Some of the kids spoke in front of the courtroom and offered heartbreaking, gut-wrenching accounts of their lives inside the Perris, California home.



Last January, the Turpin’s 17-year-old daughter grabbed a cellphone, escaped, and called 911. When the police arrived, they were greeted by “dark and foul-smelling surroundings.” There were thirteen children, who ranged between the ages of 2-29, and some were chained or padlocked to furniture. They told the officers that they were starving. This is the disturbing 911 call:



TURPIN 911 CALLS: For the first time, @ABC News has obtained the 911 call that a 17-year-old made to get help and rescue her 12 siblings who were locked up for years. @MattGutmanABC has the call. https://t.co/jKpN853xJ0 pic.twitter.com/5EE97YVjsF


— World News Tonight (@ABCWorldNews) April 19, 2019




Thankfully, photos weren’t allowed of the children inside the courtroom but Southern California News Group reporter Ryan Hagen broke down each horrifying victim impact statement on Twitter. One of the daughters, called Jane Doe 4, told the judge that her parents had taken her life away from her. “Now I’m taking my life back,” she said. “I’m in college now and living independently.”


The incredibly strong young woman added that she’s a fighter and she’s “shooting through life.”



Sentencing had begun. Slight change in charges to which Turpins are pleading guilty. Sentence and plea deal will remain the same. David Turpin in court, seems to have aged markedly in the year since his arraignment more than a year ago. pic.twitter.com/SGvd5wJMXB


— Matt Gutman (@mattgutmanABC) April 19, 2019



A victim, "Jane Doe No. 4," is called to give a victim impact statement.

— Ryan Hagen (@rmhagen) April 19, 2019

Jane Doe, choking back tears: My parents took my whole life from me, but now I'm taking my life back. I'm in college now and living independently.

— Ryan Hagen (@rmhagen) April 19, 2019


Doe: Life may have been bad, but it changed me for the better. I'm a fighter, I'm strong, and I'm shooting through life.

— Ryan Hagen (@rmhagen) April 19, 2019

One of the Turpin’s sons said that he’s still dealing with the incredibly horrific trauma that his parents inflicted on him. “I cannot describe in words what we went through growing up,” he said. “Sometimes I still have nightmares of things that happened such as my siblings being chained up and beaten.”


He added that he’s learned how to ride a bike and is getting a bachelor’s in software engineering. “I’ve also learned advocate on my own behalf, Thank you, your honor.”


Brother, slouched over lectern, on own behalf: "I cannot describe in words what we went through growing up. Sometimes I still have nightmares of things that happened such as my siblings being chained up and beaten."

— Ryan Hagen (@rmhagen) April 19, 2019

Brother: I love my parents and I have forgiven them for much of what they did.
Since January, I learned to ride a bike. Getting a bachelor's in software engineering, then will get a job as a software engineer and go to school part-time to get master's.

— Ryan Hagen (@rmhagen) April 19, 2019

Brother: I've also learned advocate on my own behalf. Thank you, your honor.

— Ryan Hagen (@rmhagen) April 19, 2019

Brother and the sister who spoke earlier briefly make eye contact. She looks away and pets the comfort dog.

— Ryan Hagen (@rmhagen) April 19, 2019

Perhaps the most difficult victim impact statement to read was Joy’s. She defended her mom and dad for their actions, said that their jail sentence was too long, and asked that the restraining order be removed. Her response shows just how deeply the abuse must have effected her psyche, forcing her to believe that her parents weren’t in the wrong.



“She didn’t want to use chain, but… they didn’t know what else to do,” Joy said. “… I believe with all my hearts my parents tried as hard as they could and tried to give us a good life.”


Joy: She didn't want to use chain, but... they didn't know what else to do.

Louise is crying, red-faced and blowing her nose. David has a blank face.

— Ryan Hagen (@rmhagen) April 19, 2019

Joy: Our mother would always tell us to let us know if we are still hungry and she will give us more.
First child went to public school. Noticed she wasn't learning much, so Mother decided to home school all our children.

— Ryan Hagen (@rmhagen) April 19, 2019

Joy: I feel like 25 years (jail) is too long. I believe with all my hearts my parents tried as hard as they could and tried to give us a good life.

— Ryan Hagen (@rmhagen) April 19, 2019

Joy: If at all possible, I would appreciate if the court would place our parents near the detention center they're at now so we can visit, and would like restraining order removed.

— Ryan Hagen (@rmhagen) April 19, 2019

The judge ruled that the Turpins would be eligible for parole in twenty-five years.


“As one of the Turpin children said, ‘Children are indeed a gift. They’re a gift to their parents, to their family, their friends, and they’re a gift to society,'” he said. “The selfish, cruel and inhumane treatment of your own children has deprived (you and society) of those gifts. Their lives have been permanently altered in their ability to thrive.”



Judge: As one of the Turpin children said, "Children are indeed a gift. They’re a gift to their parents, to their family, their friends, and they’re a gift to society."

— Ryan Hagen (@rmhagen) April 19, 2019

Judge: The only reason that your punishment is less than the maximum time, in my opinion, is because you accepted responsibility at an early time and spared your children from having to relive the harm in that house of horrors."

— Ryan Hagen (@rmhagen) April 19, 2019

The judge added that the parents are not allowed to get in contact with any of the children, unless through a court order.


“You have delayed their mental, physical and emotional development,” he concluded. “To the extent that they do thrive – and it appears from today that a couple will- it will be not because of you both, but in spite of you both.”


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