Never-before-seen footage released exclusively to ABC’s 20/20 shows the moments officers raided a California home and rescued the Turpin children from their parents’ house of horrors.
Perris police-worn body camera footage shows officers enter the house, confront the parents, David and Louise Turpin, and discover the children, at least two of whom were shackled to their beds.
‘Sarge, we’ve got another room in the front right here with two kiddos in the bed,’ an officer says on the video.
The siblings, whose ages ranged between two and 29 years old when they were rescued in 2018, escaped from the home after Jordan Turpin, then 17, crawled through a window and called 911.
‘I just ran away from home because I live in a family of 15 and we have abusing parents,’ Jordan told dispatchers. ‘My two little sisters now are chained up, on their bed.’
Now, speaking two sisters from the family are speaking out about their torture and imprisonment for the first time.
‘The only word I know to call it is ‘hell,” one Turpin sibling told Diane Sawyer in a special 20/20 interview slated to air on ABC next week.
Police body camera video shows officers knocking on the door of the Turpin family’s Perris home in January 2018, moments before the siblings were rescued
Police have released never-before-seen footage of the moments officers raided a California home and rescued the Turpin children from their parents’ house of horrors. The video footage shows the home was covered in trash and at least two children were shackled to their beds
Jordan Turpin, whose 911 call resulted in the siblings’ rescue, (pictured) told Diane Sawyer that her mother regularly choked her and she ‘thought she was going to die’
Jordan’s sister (who is not identified and is seen hugging Jordan Turpin) described their childhood as ‘hell’
Jordan, echoing her sister’s fear, shared that the children came ‘close to death so many times.’
‘Mother, she choked me and I literally thought I was going to die,’ she shared.
The Turpin siblings were regularly beaten, starvation and strangulated by David and Louise. The house was covered in filth and the stench of human waste was said to be overwhelming.
One of the sisters, who does not appear to be named in Sawyer’s interview, confirmed that the kids would often be chained up for months.
The parents’ abuse and neglect was so ‘severe, pervasive, [and] prolonged’ that it stunted their children’s growth, led to muscle wasting and left two of their daughters unable to bear children.
The years of abuse only came to light in January 2018 when Jordan jumped from a window of their filthy home and called 911 on a barely workable cellphone.
Two of the 13 Turpin children who were tortured in their parents’ California ‘House of Horrors’ spoke out to Diane Sawyer about their rescue (Pictured L to R: Unidentified Turpin sister, Jordan Turpin and Diane Sawyer)
Officers are seen confronting mother Louise Turpin after entering the home. They ask her: ‘How many children do you have?’
The call lasted for 20 minutes because the girl struggled to work out her address because she had not been outside alone before.
Explaining her decision to call police Jordan tells Sawyer, ‘I think it was us coming close to death so many times.’
‘It was literally a now or never. If something happened to me, at least I died trying.’
Following David and Louise’s arrests in January 2018, horrific details began to emerge of the extent of torture, abuse and neglect that the children.
Deputies testified that the children said they were only allowed to shower once a year.
David (left) and Louise Turpin (right) pleaded guilty to 14 counts of torture and other abuse in 2019 and were sentenced to 25 years to life in prison. They are eligible for parole in 22 years
Louise and David Turpin pictured with their 13 children before their arrest for holding the children hostage
WHERE ARE THE TURPIN CHILDREN NOW? THE CASE THAT SHOCKED THE NATION
Since the 13 Turpin children were rescued from their parents horror house in January 2018, they have been actively working to take back their lives.
‘They’re all happy,’ Deputy District Attorney Kevin Beecham, who prosecuted the Turpin case, told People in April 2020. ‘They are moving on with their lives.’
His interview revealed the siblings still live in Southern California and remain close to each other, regularly getting together.
‘They still meet with each other, all 13 of them, so they’ll meet somewhere kind of discreet,’ he shared.
Beecham shared that the six youngest children had been adopted and, since they had experienced fewer years of abuse due to their ages, were able to quickly adjust to their new lives.
One of the older siblings has earned a college degree.
Others are in school, living on their own and working jobs.
‘Some of them are living independently, living in their own apartment, and have jobs and are going to school. Some volunteer in the community. They go to church,’ Beecham explained.
A few of the siblings, at the time of the interview, were still living in group homes as they received therapy and counseling.
Two of the Turpin sisters spoke out to Diane Sawyer, in an interview airing on November 19, revealing that they were moving forward with their lives.
‘My parents took my whole life from me, but now I am taking my life back,’ one sister told Sawyer.
The other described her new life as being ‘free.’
They were mainly kept in their rooms except for meals, which had been reduced from three to one per day, a combination of lunch and dinner. For years, the siblings’ diet consisted of nothing but two slices of bread with peanut butter or bologna. The couple were also accused of taunting their children with pies and other food that they were forbidden to eat.
The Turpin offspring weren’t allowed to play like normal children and were deprived of things other kids had, including toys and games.
‘My parents took my whole life from me, but now I am taking my life back,’ the unidentified sister told Sawyer.
She added that she doesn’t want her siblings to be remembered as victims, but instead as fighters.
‘I want the Turpin name [to be] ‘Wow, they’re strong. They’re not broken. They’ve got this,’ she shared.
Jordan, describing life post-rescue said: ‘It’s so free. Like wow, this is life.’
Sawyer also spoke with Riverside County District Attorney Mike Hestrin, who was involved with the case. He says it is one he will never forget.
‘It stopped me dead in my tracks,’ he said. ‘There are cases that stick with you, that haunt you.’
David and Louise pleaded guilty to 14 counts of torture and other abuse in 2019 and were sentenced to 25 years to life in prison. They are both eligible for parole in 22 years.
The 13 siblings remained out of the public eye as their parents’ case unfolded in court and they learned to adapt to normal life outside the confines of the house of horrors.
In an interview with People last year, Deputy District Attorney Kevin Beecham, who prosecuted the Turpin case, said all of the siblings ‘are happy.’
‘They are moving on with their lives,’ Beecham added.
At that time, one sibling had graduated college, while several others had jobs or were going to school.
‘Some of them are living independently, living in their own apartment, and have jobs and are going to school. Some volunteer in the community. They go to church,’ he shared.
He also noted that the siblings see each other regularly.
‘They still meet with each other, all 13 of them, so they’ll meet somewhere kind of discreet,’ he said.
The complete 20/20 interview, Escape from a House of Horror – A Diane Sawyer Special Event, airs Friday, November 19 at 9pm EST on ABC.