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David Allen Turpin, 57, and Louise Anna Turpin, 49, were arrested last week for allegedly torturing their 13 children and holding them captive in their Perris, California home. According to Louise's brother, the California family had entertainment dreams. Her brother, Billy Lambert, told "Inside Edition" that she wanted her big family to be on reality TV.
Oxygen will be delving in to this tragic and shocking case in a two-hour special event "The Turpin 13: Family Secrets Exposed," premiering Saturday, April 28 at 6/5c.
“I believe that my sister wanted a reality show because the very last conversation that I had with her before all this happened — she did actually say that she feels that they would be perfect for TV at one point," Lambert said.
As USA Today reported, court documents show that David and Louise Turpin gave their children names that they believed were camera-ready. The Turpins' children all allegedly have names that begin with the letter J, just like the family featured in the reality show, "19 Kids and Counting," starring Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar.
Lambert said that the Turpins actually moved from a small town in Texas to California to be closer to Hollywood.
“I asked her why on earth they wanted more children and she said about wanting a reality TV show,” Lambert said in an interview with British publication The Mirror. “They didn’t care about the kids — it was all about them.”
He added that the Turpins even wanted to add a fourteenth child to the family, and that his sister "would often mention they would be bigger than the reality show 'Kate Plus 8.'"
According to "Inside Edition," police who searched the Turpin house found hundreds of DVDs, including seasons of "Kate Plus 8."
On January 14, the Turpins' 17-year-old daughter escaped their home in Perris through a window and called for help. Authorities then rescued her and her 12 siblings, who range in age from 2 to 29. Disturbing details emerged about the children's living conditions, and allegations surfaced that the children were beaten and strangled, kept from society and only allowed to shower twice a year, reported the Los Angeles Times.
"I will tell you as a prosecutor, there are cases that stick with you, they haunt you," District Attorney Mike Hestrin said. "Sometimes in this business we are faced with human depravity. That is what we are looking at here."
The parents 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 Turpins have pleaded not guilty to the charges.
[Photo: Riverside County Sheriff's Department, Getty Images, Facebook]
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