California sisters imprisoned, tortured by parents along with siblings break silence: It was 'hell'

Two California sisters who were among the 13 siblings held hostage by their parents at the Turpin family’s "House of Horrors" are speaking out for the first time, describing how they had been "close to death" many times before officers rescued them in 2018. 

Their parents, David and Louise Turpin, pleaded guilty in 2019 to years of torture and abuse of 12 of their 13 children and have been sentenced to life in prison with possibility of parole after 25 years.

The youngest child wasn't abused, according to the investigators.


"My whole body was shaking," Jordan Turpin tells ABC News in a promotional clip released Tuesday. "I couldn’t really dial 911," she says, before choking up, as Diane Sawyer interjects, "I don’t know how you had the courage." 

"I think it was us coming so close to death so many times," she says in the clip released by ABC’s "20/20." The full special, titled, "Escape From a House of Horror" will air Nov. 19. 

Jordan Turpin, then 17, climbed out of a window just before 6 a.m. on Jan. 14, 2018 to escape from her parents’ home in Perris, California, located about 70 miles southeast of Los Angeles, dialing 911 to tell a dispatcher, "I just ran away from home because I live in a family of 15 and we have abusing parents." 


Prosecutors allege the children were subjected to "frequent beatings" and "even strangulation", and weren’t allowed to be unshackled to go to the bathroom. (Facebook)

"Mother, she choked me. And I thought I was going to die," Jordan recalled to Diane Sawyer. 

At 17, Jordan had lived such an isolated life that she didn't know her address and didn't know what medication meant. Most of the children ranging in age at the time of their rescue from 2 to 29 were severely underweight and hadn't bathed for months. The house reeked of human waste.

Body-camera footage shows officers knocking on the door of the home, as David Turpin answers and admits to police that he does have guns in the home but they are locked up.

"My two little sisters right now are chained up," Jordan is heard telling a deputy. "On their bed." 

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"What are your parents going to do when they find out you left?" a deputy asks. Jordan is heard answering, "They are going to want to literally kill me."

Bodycam footage shows Louise near her front entrance way answer a question from police, admitting that she and her husband have 13 children. And officer is heard saying, "Serg, we got another room in the front right here with two kiddos in the bed," and body camera shows the chains in place.   

A second sister participating in the interview tells Sawyer, "The only word I know how to call it is hell." "They're strong. They're not broken. They've got this," she adds of her siblings now. She described to Sawyer how some of the children were sometimes chained to their beds for months. 

Before their parents’ sentencing, one of the daughters, identified in court as Jane Doe No. 4, said in a victim impact statement how they has taken "my whole life away from me, but now I am taking it back."

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The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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