Along with her husband, David Turpin, Louise Turpin allegedly abused and tortured her children for over two decades. When their 17-year-old daughter escaped from the home to tell police of their condition, the children’s sordid saga came to an end. Police arrested and charged the couple on multiple counts. The two will have a preliminary hearing on May 14.
The horrific case began as a love story of sorts. Louise Robinette was just 16 when she met David Turpin, who is seven years older than her, at church. Sparks flew, and love soon blossomed.
|About Louise Anna Turpin|
|Known As||Louise Turpin|
|Birth||May 24, 1968 Princeton, West Virginia|
|Spouse||David Allen Turpin 1985-Present|
|Siblings||Alene Lee, McCeary Lee, Elizabeth Flores, Teresa Robinette, Billy Lambert|
|Parents||Allen Robinett, Phyllis Robinette|
But how did an innocent teenager’s desire to be with the man she loved and to start her own family become something so twisted years later? Let’s take a look at Louise Turpin’s life and what happened with her children.
Early Life & Siblings
Born on May 24, 1968, Louise Anna Turpin’s age is now 49.
Louise was raised in a religious family in Princeton, West Virginia.
Her relatively large family was made up of her parents and five siblings. She had four sisters—Alene Lee, McCeary Lee, Elizabeth Flores, and Teresa Robinette—and a half-brother, Billy Lambert.
Flores, in remembering Louise as a child, describes her as being “loving, soft-spoken, and sweet.”
Dark & Painful Childhood
Flores recently released a book, Sisters of Secrets: The Story of Sisters Leading up to the Turpin Case Arrest, which allegedly contains dark secrets about her family’s past.
Flores painted a dismal picture of her sister’s childhood, and believes that it affected her later in life.
Their parents often fought. When they did, the sisters would cover their ears.
More importantly, the book mentions that she, Louise, and others in their extended family were repeatedly sexually abused by a relative. In her opinion, it was this abuse that led to Louise’s later alleged behavior towards her children.
Louise was still a teenager when she made a decision that would affect both her and her family’s lives: she decided to elope with David Turpin.
Running Away Together
When the young lovebirds met in church, Louise’s mother, Phyllis, allowed them to date. Despite their age difference.
Then one day, without warning, 23-year-old David signed 16-year-old Louise out of school without her parents’ knowledge.
The couple ran away to elope. Police were informed and caught up with the runaways, who had to return to West Virginia. Left with little choice, Louise’s father, Allen Robinette, reluctantly gave his blessing.
They got married on February 11, 1985, in Pearisburg, Virginia, where David worked as an engineer.
They later moved to Texas, and lived there for almost 17 years. Louise had their first child when she was just 20 years old. She always wanted a large family…and got her wish. The couple eventually became the parents to 13 children.
Louise and David Turpin reportedly renewed their vows at least three times between 2013 and 2016.
Kent Ripley, an Elvis Presley impersonator and Las Vegas entertainer, was present all three times. He did not believe anything was wrong with the couple or their kids.
Ripley remembered that they were an unusually large family, but nothing odd about their behavior stood out.
Breaking Away from Relatives
As the years rolled by, Louise and David Turpin started distancing themselves from their relatives, becoming estranged from some, including Louise’s sister Teresa Robinette.
Robinette spoke about her sister’s marriage and relationship with David at length. She said that the couple’s behavior became rebellious once they had children.
She claims that they felt a sense of missing out on all the fun had by their friends who didn’t have kids. And they decided to do something about it.
As Louise started approaching the age of 40, the couple stopped going to church, and started experimenting with different religions.
They allegedly started hanging out at bars. They reportedly didn’t drink alcohol before this.
They then are said to have taken up the practice of swinging.
They spoke with a man from Huntsville, Alabama online, eventually meeting up with him. Louise told her sister that she was going to sleep with this man…and David had given his approval. This alleged sexual encounter took place in a hotel.
Robinette told Louise that what she was about to do was a big mistake, but her sister went ahead and did it anyway.
A year later, the Turpins purportedly returned to the same room in the same hotel, spending the night in the very same bed as Louise had with her lover.
Louise Turpin’s Walk on the Wild Side
Elizabeth Flores’ book alleges that Louise completely changed after turning 40.
About Louise, Flores wrote: “She was drinking, smoking, partying, going to bars, practicing witchcraft, gambling, handling and eating rattlesnakes, dressing and acting vulgar on Myspace, into sex practices, and it goes on and on. I was really concerned for her.”
Inflicting Torture on Their Children
While Louise Turpin and her husband were apparently reliving their youth, they were allegedly mistreating their children.
Only the youngest child, who is still a baby, seems to have been spared the couple’s treatment. Neighbors found the family strange, but had no idea of the abuse the children suffered. Though they noticed that the kids were pale, they believed it had something to do with the family’s lifestyle, as the Turpins only seemed to go outside at night. Not even Louise’s relatives knew what actually went on in the home.
Neighbors who caught glimpses of the children noticed that they appeared malnourished, but didn’t think that the children were in danger.
In reality, the children were reportedly denied food, even though their parents ate well, leaving them suffering from malnutrition and weakness.
This starvation led to muscle wasting. The Turpins’ 29-year-old female child weighed only 82 pounds at the time of her rescue. Their 17-year-old daughter was so emaciated that she looked like a 10-year-old.
The children were also living in filth and squalor. They were not allowed to regularly go to the bathroom, and were reportedly only allowed to take one shower a year.
They were so cut off from any semblance of a normal life that some didn’t even know how to use a toothbrush.
Though it’s said the Turpin kids were home-schooled, there are records of one child attending a local college. However, it was only under the supervision of Louise, who accompanied him and waited outside of his classes.
The children were forced to continuously read the Bible. They were only allowed to write in their journals. It’s alleged that the kids were kept captive in the home; some were even chained to their beds.
The children were sometimes strangled, beaten, and punished for things like washing their hands above their wrists.
The abuse and neglect would have continued for longer had it not been for the brave 17-year-old Turpin girl who, on January 14, 2018, escaped from her parents’ home in Perris, California.
She escaped from a window, bringing to fruition a plan she’d worked on for almost two years. A sibling followed, but returned home out of fear.
She called 911 using a deactivated phone she found.
The 17-year-old told the dispatcher that she and her 12 siblings were being abused and kept captive by their parents.
On the phone, she showed authorities photos that allegedly documented the sordid abuse she and her siblings faced.
Police Enter the “House of Horrors”
Authorities swung into action and arrived at the Turpin home, only to discover what should rightly be called a “house of horrors.”
Louise and David Turpin allegedly managed to unshackle two children before police saw them, but a third child was still chained to the bed.
When found, the 12 children’s ages ranged between two and 29.
The couple was immediately arrested and detained, but Louise appeared to be perplexed by the action taken by police. It was described as though she was unaware that what she did was wrong.
However, many believe that this was not the case.
Charges Laid Against Louise and Her Husband
On January 18, 2018, Louise Turpin was charged with 12 counts of false imprisonment, 12 counts of torture, six counts of child abuse, and seven counts of abuse perpetrated on a dependent adult. David Turpin is facing the same charges.
If the two are convicted on all counts, they could be sentenced to 94 years to life imprisonment. The couple have pleaded not guilty to all the charges against them.
They are currently not allowed to go near their children, with a restraining order forbidding any contact.
Preliminary Hearing Scheduled
Both Louise Turpin and her husband and David are expected in court on May 14, 2018 for their preliminary hearing.
Though the children are not going to be present, officers working on the case are expected to testify about their findings. From there, a judge will determine if there is enough probable cause to take the case to trial.