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.
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 parents chowed down on fast food in front of them, chaining the children to filthy beds if they tried to steal food.
‘They still can’t look at peanut butter or bologna,’ Deputy District Attorney Kevin Beecham told People magazine last year.
‘I made the mistake of mentioning peanut butter during one of our meet-and-greets, and one of the girls almost threw up. And when they’re at the grocery store, they can’t look at peanut butter. They can’t even go down the aisle where there’s peanut butter.’
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,’ Jennifer 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.
Beecham, who prosecuted the Turpin case, told People magazine that all of the siblings ‘are happy.’
‘They are moving on with their lives,’ he 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.
Several of the siblings have changed their names to rid themselves of the stigma of being a victim in the high-profile case.
‘It would be difficult for them to carry that name, that label of being a victim, forever,’ Beecham said.
In 2019, Louise’s sister Elizabeth Flores told Radar Online that Louise cried when they discussed the children but ‘didn’t want to admit to anything’ and is in ‘denial.’
‘We talked about the baby. She told me how she would turn 3 in two weeks and she started to cry because she was upset she wouldn’t be there,’ Elizabeth said.