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Two of the 13 children who were rescued from a California home dubbed the “House of Horrors," including the one who made the rescue call that saved them, are speaking out about the abuse they endured.
Investigators, as well as the world, were introduced to the Turpin family in 2018 after the couple’s then-17-year-old daughter jumped out of a window to find a phone and call 911 to report the conditions.
That brave girl, Jordan Turpin, sat down with ABC News' Diane Sawyer along with one of her sisters to discuss the ordeal. The exclusive interviews will air on “20/20” on Nov. 19.
“In the two-hour primetime event, viewers will hear from the daughter who made the emergency call that led to their rescue, and her sister who previously attempted an escape – the first interviews from any of the 13 Turpin children,” a press release from ABC reads. “The program includes never-before-seen police body camera tape, as well as footage and photos from the children’s lives inside their parents’ house – characterized by authorities as a house of horror – and from the day one child made a run for it.”
Turpin reported that some of her siblings were chained to their beds and that she hadn't bathed in months when she dialed 911 in 2018. She tells Sawyer in a clip of the show that she decided to make the call because her siblings had been close “to death so many times." Holding back tears, she explained that her whole body was shaking when she made the call.
“It was literally a now or never,” she said. “If something happened to me, at least I died trying.”
In body cam footage, she told investigators that she feared her parents would "literally kill me" if they found out she fled the home.
Thankfully, she didn’t die and her bravery led to her siblings' freedom, and put her parents behind bars. David and Louise Turpin were convicted in 2019 on 14 felony counts, including cruelty to a dependent adult, child cruelty, torture and false imprisonment. They were both sentenced to life imprisonment with the possibility of parole after 25 years.
The upcoming ABC News special features interviews with investigators, clips of that fateful 911 call and body cam footage. When deputies arrived at the family's home in Perris, they found the couple’s 22-year-old son chained to a bed in a house covered in filth and human waste. Deputies testified during the parents’ trial that the children said they were only allowed to shower once a year.
"The only word I know to call it is 'hell,” a Turpin sibling tells Sawyer.
She said that despite the years of abuse and torture at the hands of their parents, she and her siblings are surviving.
"They're strong,” she said. “They're not broken. They've got this.”
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