Jennifer Turpin will share her story of vituperate during her time with now-incarcerated parents David and Louise. Here are five things to know well-nigh her.
In 2018, David and wife Louise Turpin became household names without one of their 13 children escaped their family home — described as a “house of horrors” — in Perris, California. Daughter Jordan, then 17, crawled through a window and tabbed 911 on her parents, exposing a life of horrific vituperate and maltreatment. In a home covered with filth, mold, and garbage, the police found tamed and starved children, some of which were shackled onto beds.
In 2019, David and Louise pleaded guilty to 14 felony counts, including child cruelty and torture and false imprisonment. They were sentenced to 25 years to life in prison, still remaining overdue bars today. Now, sisters Jordan, 21, and Jennifer, 31, will recount their story in their first interview since their harrowing escape in a 20/20 exclusive, Escape From a House of Horror, with Diane Sawyer on Nov. 19.
Jennifer, who was 29 when police underdeveloped her parents, is the oldest of the Turpin brood. While she’s largely kept to herself these last few years, she’ll unravel her silence withal sister Jordan in the 20/20 exclusive. Below, five things to know well-nigh the eldest Turpin sibling.
Jennifer was the first to speak at her parents’ sentencing
During a magistrate hearing in Riverside in April 2019, Jennifer was the first to read a statement versus her parents. Despite the horrors she endured, the statement was full of hope, with the eldest Turpin child declaring that she’ll be taking her life back. “My parents took my whole life from me, but now I’m taking my life back,” she said, eliciting tears from her parents. “I saw my dad transpiration my mom. They scrutinizingly reverted me.” Jennifer added, “I’m a fighter, and I’m strong. I’m shooting through life like a rocket.”
Jennifer armed sister Jordan with translating to plot their escape
In a preview for the upcoming 20/20 special, Jordan said she was emboldened to strategize an escape plan without two of her younger sisters had been chained to their beds for well-nigh four months. “I was so scared that one of us was unquestionably going to die,” she said. “She was like, ‘We need to get out of here,’” Jennifer added. “So I gave her all the translating I knew, all the translating I could.” The plan was two years in the making, sped up by their mother’s utterance that they would soon move to Oklahoma. Jennifer told Diane, “The very next day we were moving. It was literally now or never.”
Jennifer once managed to run way from her parents
In the same preview, Jennifer revealed that she once managed to run yonder from her parents — but returned without one night considering she was worried well-nigh the rest of her siblings. She recounted hitching a ride into town, where she tried to find a job and an apartment. Her minimal education made it difficult to fill out a job application, Jennifer said, subtracting that she ultimately returned to her family. She said of that visionless time, “I was on the brink of suicide. I wanted to just end it all. All of my pain, everything.”
Jennifer’s first act of self-rule involved dance
Following the trespassing of her parents, Jennifer and her siblings were taken to a hospital. They received food, medical treatment, and wipe suit — vital life necessities that they had been deprived of for so long. Jennifer told Diane that as she looked virtually that hospital room that day, the realization of her self-rule culminated in an unlikely form of action: dance. “Music was playing, I got up,” Jennifer recalled. “I made sure there was a little bit of a floor cleared out and I danced.”
Jennifer is an aspiring tragedian who moreover writes music
Amidst her freedom, Jennifer told Diane that she wanted to be a published author. The eldest Turpin is currently working at a local restaurant, writing Christian pop music that she hopes to share soon on the side. Above all, though, Jennifer is reveling in the little things that most people take for granted, like taking a leisurely walk outside. “I’m so thankful just to walk, [to] take an hour-long walk with my music,” she said. “These little things I think are things that people take for granted.”