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Turpin 'House of Horrors': How the Bible validated torture of 13 children

The accused couple cited passages from the Bible to validate their torture on the kids who were aged between 2 to 29 years
UPDATED NOV 29, 2021
Turpin siblings Jennifer and Jordan (L-R) appeared on TV recently to share about their horrifying abuse (ABC)
Turpin siblings Jennifer and Jordan (L-R) appeared on TV recently to share about their horrifying abuse (ABC)

Two sisters from California's Turpin 'House of Horrors' have opened up about their horrifying torture in their latest interview. Jennifer and Jordan Turpin, who are 33 and 21 years old respectively at present, were among the 13 siblings held captive by David and Louise Turpin in the house and abused for decades. They have shared blood-curdling details of the abuse and assault meted out by their own parents, who used quotes from The Bible to justify their actions. 

The ordeal came to light when Jordan managed to stage a daring escape in January 2018 and informed the police. She crawled out of one of the bathroom windows in the house and ran out in the open, planning to get help for her other siblings. The escape plan was a two full years in the making and Jordan was supposed to have executed the plan with one of her other siblings who backed out on the day of the escape because she was too afraid. Authorities sprang into action as soon as they found out about "The California House of Horrors". The Turpin 13, the term used by the media to refer to the 13 children, garnered massive amounts of support from people across the world.


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In the ABC interview with Diane Sawyer, sisters Jennifer and Jordan revealed that their parents quoted the Book of Deuteronomy to claim that it was justified to murder their own children. The Book of Deuteronomy is the fifth book of the Torah, also considered the fifth book of the Christian Old Testament. Jennifer shared, "They loved to point out things in Deuteronomy, saying that, 'We have the right to do this to you.' That they even had the right to kill us if we didn't listen."

"To be honest, not even all of us know every single thing each one of us went though," Jennifer remarked, adding that the parents threatened them with belts and sticks. The children were warned that if they "didn't behave", they would be chained to their beds and their parents would pull their hair. The accused couple cited passages from the Bible to validate their torture on the kids who were aged between 2 to 29 years.  

New bodycam footage shows the moment Jordan Turpin meets a deputy after escaping the 'House of Horrors.' (YouTube/GMA)

After Jordan managed to escape, she was too traumatized to even dial 911. "My whole body was shaking. I couldn't really dial 911. I think it was us coming so close to death so many times. If something happened to me, at least I died trying," she said. 

When the police arrived at the home, they shockingly found everything the escapee said to be true. The other children were found in a room at the family home, cruelly shackled in a dark and terrible-smelling room. The couple had tied up the children and allegedly beat and strangled them regularly. The kids were only allowed one meal a day to eat and they were allowed to take a shower only once a year. 

David Allen Turpin, accused of abusing and holding 13 children captive, appears in court on May 4, 2018 in Riverside, California. (Getty Images)

The children are all in the age groups of 2 to 29-years-old. At the time of the raid on the Turpin home, seven of the thirteen children were over the age of eighteen. Investigators even said that the children were so malnourished that they looked much younger than their age actually was. The eldest of the thirteen children is a 29-year-old female. She weighed only 82 pounds or 37 kilograms at the time of David and Louise Turpin's arrest. Most of the children did not know basic things about the rest of the world and they had no idea what medicine was at the time.

David and Louise were arrested by the authorities but they pleaded not guilty to all the charges that were laid out against them. There have been many legal charges and court hearings that followed the arrest. This particular case has been considered by many as being "extraordinary for numerous reasons" because the alleged abuse was calculatively performed by two parents to their own biological children.