In a quiet neighborhood in Parris, CA, where children can be seen playing outside, shooting hoops, riding scooters, families gathered outside for BBQs, normal neighborhood things you’d see in a nice suburban neighborhood, there was a house of horrors no one knew about.
Little did the neighbors of David Turpin, 57 and his wife, Louise Turpin, have any kind of clue of the horror that was living in the house next door.
On Sunday, the Parris police where notified by 911 dispatch that a little girl had ran from the home with a cell phone and called 911 for help.
What they found inside shocked even officers with years of experience.
Inside the beautiful home, police found what they originally thought were 13 children, with signs of torture, malnourished and dirty.
What they later found out was that the children ranged in age from 2 years old to 29 years old. But they were so pale and malnourished, the police thought all were children.
The police originally thought the girl who escaped and called 911 was only 10 years old. She is actually 17.
All 13 of the children of the Turpin’s were taken to the hospital, where they remain but are now in custody of Children’s Protective Services and Adult Protective Services.
This is such a bizarre story. The parents, according to Turpin’s parents who were interviewed, said the couple was deeply religious. To the point of making the children memorize the whole Bible.
And the parents claim God kept telling them to have more children.
Really? Did He also tell them to not feed or water them and keep them chained to beds? I highly doubt that!
So how does this happen in a middle class neighborhood in CA?
Some neighbors didn’t even know there were children living in the home. One said she saw them out at night, kneeling on the ground with the mother on the porch watching. She said she thought it odd that they looked so pale, but thought maybe they couldn’t be in the sun. Another neighbor reported seeing them only outside at night. But most neighbors said they didn’t even know children lived there.
David Turpin had the home registered as a day school so that he could homeschool the children, but the grandparents said most of the homeschooling was nothing more than Bible reading and Bible study.
The grandparents said they hadn’t seen the kids in about 4 years, but had talked to the parents on the phone regularly and had no idea anything was wrong.
So how did so many people fail these 13 children?
Why did grandparents never ask to talk to their grandchildren when talking to parents?
Why did no neighbor who saw them out at night never go over to knock on the door and ask about the children?
How does this happen?
Because too many people don’t want to get involved. Too many people don’t want to offend someone. Too many people just look the other way.
What has happened to our neighborhoods? What has happened to friendly neighbors? Why are we so afraid to “get involved.” Afraid we’ll be sued if we offend someone? Afraid of retaliation if we speak up or ask questions?
Too many people failed these 13 children. Too many turned away. Too many people didn’t listen to their instincts. What about doctors? Were the children ever taken to doctors when they were ill?
It is so sad that something like this can happen in today’s world. When will enough people be willing to become involved, to not be afraid to ask questions, to save the lives of children being tortured, unfed and not even give them water?
Too many people need to speak up, reach out, listen, pay attention. It’s always better to ask and have someone be angry at you for asking, than to keep silent. That’s the way our neighborhoods used to be. People cared.
My prayer for the godly couple is that they are never allowed out of prison or never allowed to see the children they gave birth to again. They are not their children. They are children of God. And pray they will be taken care of. I pray they get all the help they need, physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. I pray they are allowed to be children and play outside anytime they want to. I pray the best of homes are found for all of them.
And I pray people pay attention.