Jennifer and Jordan Turpin say they endured years of beatings, verbal abuse, and starvation as virtual prisoners in their parents’ home, even contemplating suicide before finally breaking out, according to newly revealed details.
“There was a lot of starving,” Jennifer, 33, the oldest of the 13 Turpin children, said in an upcoming interview with ABC’s Diane Sawyer. “I would have to figure out how to eat. I would either eat ketchup or mustard and ice.”
Things worsened, Jennifer said, when their parents moved most of the kids to a secluded trailer on their Texas property in 2007, leaving them trapped and starving.
She said her parents typically dropped off a small supply of groceries every week — but would occasionally forget.
“I would try to stretch it out and make sure that we at least had stuff to each day of the week,” Jennifer Turpin told Sawyer.
Parents David and Louise Turpin are now in jail — but the scars of the abuse remain.
The family originally lived in “a nice neighborhood” in Fort Worth but moved to the more remote Rio Vista in 1999, with the parents increasingly neglecting their home — and kids.
Jennifer Turpin said the children did not attend school — she was pulled out after the third grade — and lived in constant fear of violent beatings.
“I never knew which side I was going to get of her,” she said of her mother. “If I was going to ask her a question, [is] she going to call me stupid or something… and then yank me across the floor or [is] she going to be nice and answer my question.”
She said the children were punished for even the smallest infractions, with her mother throwing one of her siblings down the stairs for going into her bedroom, and their father using belts and sticks to beat them until they bled.
“I was afraid to do one little thing wrong,” Jennifer Turpin said. “If I did one little thing wrong, I was going to be beaten… until I bled.”
The family relocated to California in 2010, where the abuse continued — the sisters said they were largely barred from going outside, and their parents began to shackle some of the children to their beds.
Jordan Turpin said she survived by secretly watching movies on her mobile phone — and discovered pop star Justin Bieber, who she credits with saving her life.
“I don’t know where we would be if we didn’t watch Justin Bieber,” she said. “I started realizing that there is a different whole world out there. I wanted to experience that.”
She said her mother once choked her when one of her siblings ratted her out.
“I thought I was going to die that day,” she said. “After that whole day happened, I kept having nightmares that… she was going to kill me.”
But that’s when she began planning an escape, she said.
On Jan. 14, 2018, Jordan Turpin said she realized time was running short — she overheard her parents were planning to move to Oklahoma.
“The very next day we were moving,” she said. “It was literally now or never.”
She slipped through a window and called 911 — with cops taking her abusive parents into custody within two hours.
After being hospitalized with her brothers and sisters, Jordan Turpin said she finally ventured outside — to a local park.
“I was so excited because I could smell the grass,” she told Sawyer. “I was like, ‘How could heaven be better than this?’”
Titled “Escape From A House of Horror,” their ABC interview is scheduled to air on the network at 9 p.m. Friday.
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