'House of horrors' children say they "love their parents" and have "forgiven them" despite the abuse
The infamous "House of Horror" parents, David and Louis Turpin, were sentenced to 25 years to life after years of abusing their 13 children by keeping them in atrocious conditions at home and starving them.
Some of their children, however, during the sentencing said that regardless of the abuse their parents inflicted on them, they have forgiven them and continue to love them.
David and Louis Turpin were charged with 14 counts each of torture, dependent adult abuse, false imprisonment, and child endangerment. The children have not been identified but all of their names begin with "J." They were taken into protective custody after their atrocious living conditions in a Perris, California home were revealed in January 2018.
The Turpins horrendous practices were exposed after their 17-year-old girl climbed out of the window of the family home to alert the authorities of their hellish existence in their home. When she was asked if she needed medication, she did not know what that was.
Soon after the parents were arrested and a family photograph of the girls in identical purple gingham frocks posing with an Elvis impersonator began circulating across the world. The children in the picture were unusually pale, it was later revealed that was so because they had been kept captive in their dark "house of horrors" throughout their lives.
When authorities came to investigate the house, they realized that some of the Turpin children were not "children" at all but highly malnourished, with the eldest among them being 29-year-old.
Officers found some of the siblings bound to their beds and furniture by chains and padlocks, and they told police that they were "starving" in the house.
The couple reportedly managed to cover up the horrors of their children's living conditions for years under the guise of "home-schooling" them. However, they instead kept their children chained, sometimes for a month or two, and they were only freed to brush their teeth and use the bathroom, according to reports.
Some of the children appeared in court for their parents' sentencing on Friday as the court heard the details of how some of them had claimed to not have bathed for a year. They told tales of how their parents baked them food and brought them toys, but they never allowed them to touch them. The children were even stopped from using the toilet and had never seen a dentist.
One of the couple's daughters said in court: "My parents took my whole life from me, now I’m taking my life back. Life may have been bad, but it made me strong. I saw my dad change my mum, they almost changed me. I’m a fighter. I’m strong," according to the Mirror.
While an adult son of theirs recounted years of abuse by his parents but said that he still loves them.
"I cannot describe in words what me and my siblings went through," he said in a statement. "Sometimes, I still have nightmares about what happened, like my sibling being chained up and beaten. I love my parents and have forgiven them for all of the things that they have done to us. I have learned so much and become very independent."
"I live in an apartment and go to a nearby college. I am getting a bachelor's degree in software engineering, and after I get my bachelor's degree I'm going to get a job as a software engineer and go to school part-time to get my master's degree," he added.
The same son also read out a statement on behalf of one of his younger sisters, saying: "I love both of my parents so much. Although it may not have been the best way of raising us, I'm glad that they did, because it made me the person I am today. I just want to thank them for teaching me about God and faith. I hope they never lose their faith. I pray often for them. I am doing well. I'm going to college full time. I have an apartment ... we are not supposed to necessarily understand God's will. But we are only to follow and to trust in him."
David Turpin, in a statement to the judge in the court, said: "I never intended for any harm to come to my children. I'm sorry if I’ve done anything to cause them harm... I love my children and believe my children love me. ...I hope the very best for my children in the future."
While their mother Louise said that she was sorry for everything she did to hurt her children, and added that she was looking forward to a day when she can tell them she's sorry and hug them.