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California Couple Charged With Torturing 13 Children Left Dead Dogs And Ropes Tied To Beds In Previous Home
People who knew the strange Turpin family are starting to speak out.
The California couple, David and Louise Turpin, who allegedly kept their 13 kids captive have been charged and new details are emerging about the mysterious family. According to CNN, David and Louise were charged with 12 acts of torture and David was also charged with lewd acts on a child. The couple's brave 17-year-old daughter escaped and called 911 last week, saving her 12 siblings. She had been planning the escape for two years. As the Los Angeles Times reports, former neighbors are now speaking out about the Turpins when they lived in Texas.
"When they moved in, they were really mysterious people. They didn't talk to us or socialize," shared their neighbor, Ricky Vinyard, of the family when they lived some 50 miles outside of Fort Worth. Vinyard said that the family moved in 2000 and were very reclusive. He shared that they the family members rarely left the four-bedroom home. The lights were always on and the blinds drawn. There were already indications that something was amiss with the eight children. On Christmas, they bought eight new children's bicycles but the they were left completely used and left outside to the point that the paint got bleached off.
"As time went on, it got worse and worse," said Vinyard. Apparently, the father was spotted in the driveway shooting cans with his pistol.
Barbara Vinyard, who is 19, remembers interacting with the Turpin kids. The kids would never share their names. At one point, she knocked on their door and a kid opened it, appearing totally spooked. "Her eyes just got real wide. She closed the door back in my face," Vinyard said. "he came around the back, looked at me and then ran back away into the house, through the back door." In retrospect, she wonders if she should have done more to reach out to the kids. "For the most part, when you live out in the country, you keep to yourself," she said. "Hearing about this makes me think I didn't do my part as a person." The sibling, ranging in age from 2 to 29 years old, and were reportedly never allowed to leave the house.
One of the older daughters tried to run away. She attempted to leave but was returned by a local resident.
Once they moved, Ricky Vinyard remembers seeing the filth of a trailer they owned. "It was waist-deep in filth. There were dead dogs and cats in there," he said. He said the smell was "rancid." In the family's car, had dirty diapers and empty Vienna sausage cans. "It seemed like that's all they ate."
Following their capture last week, 56-year-old David Turpin and 49-year-old Louise Turpin were each charged with multiple felony counts of torture, child abuse, abuse of dependent adults and false imprisonment.The father was also charged with one count of a lewd act on a child by force.
The couple has pled not guilty. If convicted, they face up to 94 years to life in prison.