Additional details are being released in the California “House of Horrors” child abuse case that has shocked the nation. David and Louise Turpin were in court yesterday after the judge in their case signed a protective order prohibiting the parents from contacting any of their children.
One relative is speaking out, claiming the couple admitted they only wanted lots of children because they thought it would better their chances of landing a reality television program. People are now beginning to rally around the abused and neglected children, ensuring they will finally get the love they deserve.
The Turpin’s have pled not guilty to 12 counts of torture and 12 counts of false imprisonment. David Turpin has also been charged with one count of a lewd act on a child under the age of 14.
In a strange court appearance Wednesday, Louise Turpin could be seen smiling at her husband. David looked disheveled and dazed.
The 13 children, ranging from 2 to 29, have been slowly revealing details of the horrific abuse suffered at the hands of their parents. “Victims in these kinds of cases, they tell their story, but they tell it slowly. They tell it at their own pace,” Riverside County District Attorney Mike Hestrin said, as reported by Yahoo News. “It will come out when it comes out.”
Hestrin further said that all of the children were relieved to be out of the house which authorities described as a “torture chamber.” The kids were held in separate rooms, with some being shackled to their beds. Isolated from the outside world and denied any access to modern technology, the children were only allowed to read and write. Hundreds of journals were seized by the authorities when they raided the Perris home.
It has also been revealed that one of the older Turpin boys attended classes at Mt. San Jacinto College, but that his mother took him to campus and waited outside class for him. In a bizarre new twist, Louise’s half-brother, Billy Lambert, told several news outlets that she aspired to gain fame and notoriety as a reality television star.
“She used to say how they would be perfect for TV and would often mention they would be bigger than the reality show Kate Plus 8,” Lambert told the Daily Mirror.
“She thought the world would be fascinated by their lives. I asked her why on earth they wanted more children and she said about wanting a reality TV show. It is the reason they moved to California to be nearer to Hollywood. They thought it would make them millions and household names. They didn’t care about the kids – it was all about them.”
Billy said he hopes that his sister and her husband never get released from prison. He even suggested they get the death penalty for their crimes.
“It is abhorrent what has emerged. I hope they never taste freedom again. The pair are animals,” he said.
“If they were both given the death penalty I wouldn’t object.”
He added: “What they did to the children is unforgivable. Seeing my sister laughing in court when they were charged made me ashamed to be her brother.”
“I’ll never speak to her again. She is dead to me.”
Despite David supposedly working as a highly trained aerospace engineer with defense contractor Northrop Grumman, it appears that the family ran into financial trouble on a number of occasions, moving several times.
“For the last seven years, they carried on the pretense that David was working but it was all a sham,” said Billy. “They were bankrupt not only financially but morally, too. They said they moved to California because of David’s job but that was just a lie, he didn’t have one.”
“The fact that their two dogs were treated better than the kids I will never forgive. It is them who are animals,” he added.
Billy also said that he would be interested in adopting the youngest children. “I would like to apply to adopt the three youngest children,” he declared.
“My sister Teresa has said she will take some in too. These kids are flesh and blood to us.”
As the Turpin children continue to receive medical treatment, the Corona Chamber of Commerce has got involved to try and raise some funds to meet their immediate and long-term needs. CEO of the Chamber, Bobby Siegel, hosted a press conference recently to discuss the case.
Bob said that the support for the Turpin kids has been absolutely incredible. He talked of a man who approached him on the street, asking if he could help. The man, who clearly had very little money, handed him two dollars and asked that it be spent on the children.
“He wanted the kids to know that there were people in the world who loved them and were thinking of them,” Bobby explained.
Erin Phillips, the Foundation Executive Director of Riverside University Health System Foundation then gave a short update on the new fund that has been set up to help the Turpin children.
“It is difficult for us to imagine that this could happen in our own backyard. We have a child assessment center where we assess child abuse and neglect on a regular basis,” she said.
“What’s horrific about this story is the volume and the torture. It is terrible what all these victims have endured. Our partners at the hospital have received thousands of calls from folks wanting to help.”
Erin then discussed an element of the children’s care that has been largely overlooked in the media.
“While we are going to take care of their immediate needs, we are going to use the funds collected to establish a trust that will help with their long-term needs,” she said. “Long-term exposure to this kind of treatment; lack of nutrition, the kinds of neglect they’ve experienced creates longterm residual effects.”
“They will have medical bills, health support, educational support, all of those things will be needed in the future. We are all rooting for these kids.”
“We’ve received emails that have brought me to tears,” Erin added. “These funds will be used for the longterm needs of the kids.”
You can give to the fund here.
Mark Uffer, CEO of Corona Regional Medical Center, gave an update on some of the children who are being treated at his hospital.
“We’re a little overwhelmed by the boxes, bags of clothes and financial support coming in to help our guests,” Uffer said.
“Our focus has really been on protecting their privacy, protecting their dignity, and trying to get them to a better place.”
“We’re all sitting here eating breakfast, in nice clothes, in beautiful surroundings, with people who actually like us. They haven’t experienced that,” Uffer added.
Uffer said that he spends “a couple of hours a day” with the kids. “CEO’s don’t normally do that but you become quite attached because you want to do something good for somebody,” he added.
Uffer added that despite being overwhelmed with patients suffering from the flu, the nurses are seeking to offer the very best care and treatment to the Turpin kids.
“Our nurses got into this business to do good. —” Uffer said.
“We are very proud of what we get to do for our guests. We hope that life gets better for them.”