13 Children Brutally Abused and Chained in a Family House


Raffaella Jarvis, Reporter

Last week a tragic story took place in sunny California. 13 children were held against their will, tortured and chained in the house of a seemingly regular couple. The ages of the victims varied from 29 all the way down to two years old and they were the biological children of the abusers. The two-year-old was not harmed but the other twelve were.
The seventeen-year-old girl, who looked no older than ten, managed to escape through her parents’ window and find help. The girl had been working on an escape plan for two years and finally managed to find the nerve and stamina to carry it out. She initially planned to escape with one of her sisters but her sister was too afraid and ran back to the house.
The children looked extremely malnourished and pale. They were chained to their beds for many ”weeks or months at a time” and beaten, and they were only allowed to shower once a year, but were allowed to wash their hands. They were allowed out of the house on occasion only if they were all together as a family. A witness said that looking back she remembered the children decorating the house at Christmas looking sick and thin. When she had asked their names, they all had a look of terror on their faces and rushed inside. Unfortunately, at the time, the witness failed to report this suspicious event to the police.
When the police came to rescue the children they found several still chained to beds after the parents had tried to release them before the police’s arrival. The couple (the Turpins), when asked about the situation, acted confused and denied all accusations. They plead not-guilty on trial but have been convicted to 95 or more years of time in prison. The 13 children were found to not know basic knowledge. When asked if they had medication, they said they didn’t know what the word “medication” or “pills” meant. None of them even knew what a police officer was.
The Turpins would buy plenty of food to fill the mouths of the whole household but instead of giving it to the children, they would lay it out in front of them and let them look at it but not let them eat it. The reasoning behind this torture was to punish the children for things like; washing their hands above their wrists, which was considered “playing in the water.” The only thing they were allowed to do while locked up, was to write in journals. Hundreds were collected and are now in police custody and are being used as proof of the abuse.
The Turpins have been charged “with 12 counts of torture, seven counts of violation of a dependent adult, six counts of child abuse or neglect, and 12 counts of false imprisonment.” The children, since they were abused not only physically but mentally as well and were malnourished, have suffered “cognitive impairment” (Cognitive impairment “causes a slight but noticeable and measurable decline in cognitive abilities, including memory and thinking skills”). They are now finally in safe hands and will never have to see the likes of their abusers ever again.
If you ever notice something suspicious, like the situation that the previously mentioned eyewitness saw, please report it to the authorities. It might be nothing, but it also might save someone’s life.

Photo provided by the author.