One year ago Riverside County Sheriff’s deputies discovered this house of horrors in Perris.
At the time district attorney Mike Hestrin said inside what looked like a normal home 12 of 13 children and adults who lived there were held captive, starved and tortured at the hands of their own parents David and Louise Turpin, “Sometimes in this business we’re faced with looking at human depravity and that’s what we’re looking at here.”
Now that a year has passed their attorney Jack Osborn says the 13, who range in ages from 2 to 29, are simply trying to live in a world they’ve never known, “For really the first time they’re able to make their own decisions, and decide you know what they’re going to eat, and decide where they’re going to go, where they’re going to study … They came in a situation that seemed normal to them and so i think they may spend a long time processing the two.”
He says the older siblings are helping the younger ones cope as they cope themselves, “The older children are extremely protective of the younger ones so when they do have time together there’s a lot of nurturing, there’s a lot of reassuring and one of the things they’re grateful for is they’ve got each other.”
Despite what Hestrin says they suffered under the alleged abuse of their parents, “One victim at one point was tied up and hogtied and then when that victim was able to escape the ropes these defendants began using chains and padlocks.”
Osborn says they still worry about their alleged abusers, “They do worry about their parents and i think at times, they do miss their parents,” adding they also worry about testifying against them, “that worries them and that’s something they’re not looking forward at all.”
He says they don’t want people to feel sorry for them, “They want people to know that they are survivors.”
And we can all learn a lot from this group of survivors.
“They’re not bitter, they really take everyday as it is as a gift,” says Osborn.