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

by Thea Glassman
Image via NBC News Video

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:

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.”

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.”

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.”

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.”

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.”