BODYCAM footage exposes the misery inside the Turpin home and bruises from the children who were chained to beds.
In an unprecedented police video, the heartbreaking conditions of what has been called the “House of Horrors” are revealed to the world.
Police responded to the Turpin home in Perris, California on January 14, 2018, after Jordan fled the home through a window in January 2018 and told a police operator “my two little sisters are chained right now.”
She went on to say that her parents, David and Louise Turpin, had abused and starved their 13 children violently for years.
In a special ABC report on the family, bodycam footage of the moment police first arrived at the scene to find a panicked Jordan standing next to the road has been released for the first time.
A sheriff’s deputy, who was nearing the end of his shift, is heard greeting Jordan as he steps out of his patrol car and says, “Hi, Jordan. What’s going on?”
“I just ran away from home and I live in a family of 15,” the teenager, who looks and sounds much younger than 17, is heard telling him. “My two little sisters are chained right now … they stole mom’s food.”
She added: “We live in dirt and sometimes I wake up and I can not breathe because of how dirty the house is. We never take a shower.”
Officers then knocked on the door of the house for more than two minutes before parents David and Louise Turpin responded.
Louise can be heard saying they were in bed when police told her they were there for a welfare check after her daughter called them.
Once the officers were inside, they found piles of garbage, feces, musty food.
They also found dirty, pale and extremely thin children.
In one dirty bedroom, an officer spotted two fragile girls, crushed and caked in dirt.
“Hi darling. Hi girls. May I see your wrists ?,” the officer can be heard saying. “We are here to help you.”
Louise can then be heard asking the police “is that what this is about?” to which the officer replied, “well, that’s part of it, certainly.”
The officers then tried to free the children – when they arrested the parents and asked them where they could find the key to the chains, the footage showed.
The severely abused siblings aged two to 29 were taken to a hospital where they were fed and cared for.
But the shackles were just the tip of the iceberg in what had been decades of heinous abuses and acts of torture in the Turpin household.
Investigators would later discover that the children were often beaten by their twisted parents until they bled, suffocated them and allowed them to eat only once a day and take a shower only once a year.
The evil couple, who wanted to quote the Bible to justify the frequent beatings, left some of the children bound for several months at a time.
The kids made a living from bologna and peanut butter sandwiches while their parents devoured takeaways in front of them.
The children were not allowed to exercise, could only talk when they were spoken to, and they were also banned from socializing with each other.
David and Louise teased the children by omitting apple and pumpkin pies, which they were forbidden to eat.
They also bought toys for the children but refused to let them open them.
When police entered the home, they thought all the children were under 18 because of how malnourished they looked and how young they sounded. However, seven of the 13 children were over 18 at the time.
David, then 57, and Louise, 50, were arrested and later sentenced to life in prison for the gruesome abuse and imprisonment of their children.
They pleaded guilty to 14 counts, including cruelty to an adult, child abuse, torture and false imprisonment.
All Turpin siblings spent weeks in the hospital before six of the siblings were split into two different nursing homes.
‘I HAD TO DO IT’
Jordan reflected on her heroism almost four years ago that while she was scared, she knew she had to do something to save her siblings’ lives.
“My hands were shaking,” she said through tears the moment she tried to call 911.
“I was shaking and I tried to call 911, but I could not even get my thumb to press the buttons.
“But I tried to calm down so I could do it, and eventually I pressed it. And when they answered … I had literally never talked to anyone on the phone. And start saying how we did not go in school, we lived in dirt, how we starve and all this.
“I had to make sure that if we left, we would not go back and that we would get the help we needed. Because if we went back, I would not be sitting here right now.”
Asked how she mustered the courage to call police on her abusive parents, Jordan said, “I think it was like getting so close to death so many times, and I was worried about my siblings. .
“When I saw them worried and crying, I just felt like I had to do it.”
Jennifer also revealed how she “put music on and danced” to celebrate her freedom after waking up in the hospital the day after her parents’ arrests.
She then went to the park with two of her sisters and reveled in the “heavenly” taste of their newfound freedom.
“I was so excited because I could smell the grass,” she said. “I thought, ‘How could heaven be better than this? … Oh my God, this is so free, this is life.’
“I’m so grateful just to go … [to] go for an hour-long walk with my music, ”she said. “These little things, I think … are things that people take for granted.”
Escape from a House of Horror – A Diane Sawyer Special Event – airs on ABC 20/20 on November 19th.
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