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Turpin family Diane Sawyer interview


MEMBERS of the Turpin family are speaking out for the first time in an interview on Friday about their escape from their parents’ House of Horrors.

Jennifer and Jordan Turpin are speaking in an ABC special with Diane Sawyer, which started at 9pm on Friday night, about the experience of the 13 Turpin children.

The malnourished siblings, who ranged from 29 to three, were locked in cages and chained to beds by parents Louise and David Turpin.

They were also beaten until they bled, sexually abused, and starved over a period of almost two decades in the House of Horrors.

The alarm was finally raised in August 2018 when 17-year-old Jordan Turpin managed to slip out of a window of their Californian home and raise the alarm.

David, now 60, and Louise, 53, were jailed for life on February 22, 2019, on counts of child cruelty, false imprisonment and torture.

Read our Turpin Family live blog for the latest news and updates…

  • TAKEN AWAY IN HANDCUFFS

    As the Turpins were taken away in handcuffs in 2018, police asked them if there were keys to unchain the children.

    The keys were eventually found in the mom’s dresser drawer.

    “I saw them taking father and I started freaking out. The person in the car kept saying ‘it’s ok.’ He was really calming me down,” Jordan recounted seeing her dad as she sat in the police car.

  • LISTEN TO JORDAN TURPIN’S 911 CALL

    Back in 2018, Jordan Turpin built up the courage to escape her home and call 911.

  • ‘MOTHER’ CHOKED HER

    “When mother and father would leave, that’s when I would sneak into the bathroom and make my videos and put them out,” Jordan said about the footage of herself singing.

    Jordan would record herself singing, usually in the bathroom.

    She told Diane Sawyer that a viewer once messaged her asked a few questions. Their conversation prompted her to realize she should seek help.

    Jordan also said her mother once caught her secretly watching a Justin Bieber music video and choked her as punishment.

  • JUSTIN BIEBER’S IMPACT ON JORDAN TURPIN

    Jordan Turpin told Diane Sawyer: “I don’t know where we would be if we didn’t watch Justin Bieber.

    “I started realizing that there is a different whole world out there… I wanted to experience that.”

    Her favorite songs were As Long As You Love Me, Boyfriend, and Baby.

    “I watched all of his interviews,” Jordan said, admitting that watching the singer helped her learn.

  • BREAD AND PEANUT BUTTER

    The Turpin siblings usually ate bread and peanut butter, but their parents would “always eat fast food” or other full meals, Jennifer explained.

    Other foods the Turpin siblings would eat were bologna or chips.

    Jordan recounted to Diane Sawyer how she sometimes would eat Ketchup and ice.

  • ‘AFRAID TO DO ONE LITTLE THING WRONG’

    Jennifer Turpin told Diane Sawyer: “I was afraid to do one little thing wrong.

    “If I did one little thing wrong I was going to be beaten. And not just beat, beat until I bled.”

  • JENNIFER’S ‘FIRST MOMENT OF REAL FREEDOM’

    Jennifer Turpin told Diane Sawyer that her “first moment of real freedom” was hearing music and doing a little dance in the hospital on January 14, 2018.

  • NEVER-BEFORE-SEEN BODY CAM FOOTAGE

    “Never-before-seen body camera video shows Jordan Turpin meeting a deputy for first time, shortly after escaping from her parents’ house,” 20/20 tweeted.

  • HOW LONG DID IT TAKE FOR POLICE TO ENTER THE TURPIN HOME?

    An hour and a half went by until after police moved to enter the house.

    After knocking for two minutes and 10 seconds, the door opened up.

  • BODYCAM FOOTAGE

    Body camera footage showed Jordan telling the officer four years ago: “This is the scariest thing I’ve ever done.”

    When officer Anthony Colace asked if Jordan had pictures of what she was talking about, she showed him.

    Jordan showed him a photo she took of her sisters who were chained up.

    She said in the bodycam video that they were chained up because they “stole food.”

  • ‘WE LIVE IN FILTH’

    “We live in filth and sometimes we wake up and I can’t breathe,” Jordan was heard saying on the 911 call.

    During the 20/20 interview, Jordan told Diane Sawyer: “If we went back there’s no way we would have been sitting here right now.”

    Jordan admitted to being scared but knew she had to be brave to save her siblings.

    When the 911 dispatcher asked her whether her parents had any weapons, she is heard saying: “I think that my father has a gun.”

    “I was so nervous. I never had a conversation with a stranger before,” Jordan recounted how she felt when the police officer arrived.

  • JORDAN TALKS ABOUT 911 CALL

    “Eventually I saw a stop sign and she told me to say there,” Jordan recounted of when she was on the phone with 911.

    “I was so terrified I was so scared. If they knew police were coming they would have killed me right then and there,” she told Diane Sawyer.

  • ‘MY WHOLE BODY WAS SHAKING’

    The 20/20 special began with the 911 call that led the Turpin siblings to safety.

    “They pull out hair. They yank our hair. My two little sisters now are chained up,” Jordan was heard saying on the 911 call.

    Four years later, she recounted the moment to Diane Sawyer.

    She explained: “My whole body was shaking and when I was still on the phone I remember I couldn’t really dial 911 because … I was trying to dial 911 but I couldn’t even get my thumbs to press the buttons because I was shaking so bad.

    “But I was trying to calm down so I could do it. And then I finally pressed it and they answered. I literally never talked to someone on the phone.”

  • ‘ESCAPE FROM A HOUSER OF HORROR’ SPECIAL BEGINS

    “Jennifer and Jordan Turpin are the first of the 13 Turpin children to share their stories, exclusively with @DianeSawyer, after escaping their parents’ house of horror,” 20/20 tweeted as the episode began.

  • CHILLING 911 CALL

    Jordan Turpin was the one who ultimately called 911 and reported the abuse she and her siblings faced.

    Speaking with a dispatcher, she said about her life and parents David and Louise Turpin: “I just ran away from home because I live in a family of 15. OK? Can you hear me? And we have abusing parents. Did you hear that?”

    When the dispatcher asked her to describe how her parents were abusing her and her siblings, she said: “OK, They hit us. They like to throw us across the room. They pull out hair. They yank out our hair.”

    “I have two… My two little sisters right now are chained up.”

    She said her parents would “literally kill me” if they found out she had escaped.

  • WHAT DID DAVID AND LOUISE TURPIN DO, CONTINUED

    Jennifer also revealed that her parents would use parts of the Bible to explain their behavior, further traumatizing them.

    “They loved to point out things in Deuteronomy, saying that, ‘We have the right to do this to you.’ … that they had the right to even kill us if we didn’t listen,” she revealed.

    Jennifer and her Jordan Turpin went into detail, stating that they were even punished if they colored outside of the lines, and would often be dragged across the room by their hair.

    David would also use belts and sticks to whip the children, often until they bled.

    “I was afraid to do one little thing wrong,” Jennifer recalled.

    “If I did one little thing wrong, I was going to be beaten… until I bled.”

  • WHAT DID DAVID AND LOUISE TURPIN DO?

    David and Louise are the parents of 13 children.

    Growing up, they often chained their children to filthy beds and forced them to live in squalor for years.

    The kids were cruelly fed only once a day, allowed to shower just once a year, and were deprived of toys and games in their home.

    While the parents ate well, they tormented their starving kids by leaving apple and pumpkin pies on the kitchen counter, but not letting them have any, according to Riverside County District Attorney Mike Hestrin.

    “There was a lot of starving,” Jordan told Sawyer. “I would have to figure out how to eat. I would either eat ketchup or mustard or ice.”

  • CAN THE TURPIN INTERVIEW BE STREAMED?

    The 20/20 Turpin family special is scheduled to air on November 19, 2021, on ABC starting at 9pm EST.

    The show can also be streamed on Hulu.

  • WHAT HAVE THE TURPIN CHILDREN SAID?

    For the first time since their 2018 rescue, two of the Turpin sisters are speaking out on a new 20/20 special.

    In the episode, Jordan Turpin, the sibling that called 911, and her sister will sit down with ABC’s Diane Sawyer and describe what life was like it what many call the “House of Horrors.”

    “My whole body was shaking,” Jordan recalled to Diane about calling 911 in an exclusive preview obtained by People. “…I think it was us coming close to death so many times.”

    Adding, “It was literally now or never.”

  • HOW OLD ARE THE TURPIN CHILDREN?

    When authorities first found the children, they ranged from two to 29 years old.

    At this time, it remains unclear how old they are now as not much information about the children has been released.

  • WHEN IS THE TURPIN KIDS INTERVIEW?

    Escape from a House of Horror – A Diane Sawyer Special Event – airs on 20/20 on November 19, Friday night.

    It is scheduled for 9pm ET.

  • HOW WERE THE TURPIN CHILDREN FOUND?

    Two of the Turpins’ imprisoned children made a bid for freedom on January 14, 2018.

    Although one sibling became too scared and returned home, the second, the 17-year-old daughter, called 911 for help and jumped from a window to escape the Turpin home.

    After a lifetime in isolation, she did not know her address, the month of the year or what the word “medication” meant.

    But she knew enough to punch 911 into a barely workable cellphone and began describing years of abuse to a police dispatcher.

    She said in a high-pitched voice: “They will wake up at night and they will start crying and they wanted me to call somebody.”

    The girl added: “I wanted to call y’all so y’all can help my sisters.”

    She had planned the escape for two years, Riverside County authorities said.

  • ‘MALNOURISHED AND VERY DIRTY’

    When the Turpin children were rescued, cops found kids shackled to their beds in “dark and foul-smelling surrounds”.

    A statement from the Riverside County Sheriff’s Office said: “Deputies located what they believed to be 12 children inside the house, but were shocked to discover that seven of them were actually adults.”

    “The victims appeared to be malnourished and very dirty.”

    Neighbors told local media they had no idea there were children in the house, while others said they only saw them at night.

  • JANE DOE NO. 4’S WORDS OF HOPE

    One daughter, identified as Jane Doe No.4, said her parents had taken “her whole life away”, but she was reclaiming it, PEOPLE reports.

    She said: “They almost changed me but I realized what was happening and I immediately did what I could to not become like them.”

    The unnamed daughter said she’s a fighter and she’s “shooting through life like a rocket.”

  • WHEN WERE THE TURPINS SENTENCED?

    In February 2019, David and Louise Turpin pleaded guilty to torture and years of abuse of their children.

    They admitted to 14 counts that included cruelty toward all but their toddler daughter, and imprisoning the children in a house festering with filth and reeking of human waste.

    The guilty pleas were important to spare the children from testifying, though they were allowed to speak at the sentencing if they choose, said Riverside County District Attorney Mike Hestrin.

    In April 2019 a judge sentenced the pair to 25 years to life in prison with the possibility of parole in 22 years.





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