JENNIFER Turpin disclosed that she and her 12 siblings suffered ten years of abuse at the hands of their parents.
Now, 33-year-old Turpin and her sister Jordan have accepted an interview with ABC’s Diane Sawyer to share the horror they endured. Jennifer Turpin tells about the abuse and torture she and her siblings have suffered over the past 10 years.
As Turpin’s children escaped from their horror house, Jennifer Turpin, then 31, turned to music as a way of venting. The first moment of freedom she sat in the ward shocked her, she said she was just dancing. “Music is playing, I got up,” she told Sawyer.
“I made sure to clean the floor a bit, and then I danced.” She told Sawyer that she “dreamed of becoming a Christian pop artist” and her favorite song was Kelly Clarkson’s “Broken and Beautiful.” Turpin has always aspired to be a published writer, although she did not specify what book she hopes to write.
But now she works in a restaurant and finds simple pleasure in the act of breathing fresh air and walking. “I am grateful to be able to walk… [in order to] use my music to walk for an hour,” she told Sawyer. “I think these little things… are things that people take for granted.”
What happened to Jennifer Turpin and her siblings?
The police arrived at Turpin’s house on January 14, 2018. After receiving a 911 call from Jordan Turpin, they were detained and some of their brothers and sisters were locked in the bed.
In an exclusive interview with Sawyer, Jennifer said she remembered a change in her family life when her parents moved to Fort Worth, Texas, and eventually the house was flooded with dirt, garbage and mold. Her mother Louise is prone to mood swings and will constantly attack the children for asking small questions.
“I never knew which side of her I would be on,” she said. “If I were to ask her a question, [yes] she would say I was stupid or something… and then drag me to the floor, or [yes] she would answer my question well.”
As the years passed, her parents turned from neglect to total abuse. Turpin said they were expelled from school and only taught them to remember which grade they should be in, just in case.
During the years when she was in school, from grade one to grade three, Turpin said that she wore the same clothes every day and the children did not want to be close to her. “I might smell it,” Turpin said. “But I didn’t realize it when I smelled it, but the smell keeps lingering on you…because we really live in a house full of garbage.”
She told Sawyer that she had run away once, but was very worried about her brothers and sisters, and only returned a day later.
Before being free, Turpin said her parents began to lock her siblings in bed, sometimes for months. It wasn’t until Jordan almost choked to death that the possibility of escape began to appear.
Turpin said that her sister had planned for more than two years and took pictures of their abuse to plan her escape and seek help. Turpin said she told her sister everything she knew, and when their parents announced that they would move to Oklahoma, the sisters knew now or never.
Jordan escaped and called 911. Within two hours, the police showed up with a camcorder and handcuffed their parents, David and Louis.