Where is Jennifer Turpin now?November 20, 2021
JENNIFER Turpin opened up about the abuse she and her 12 siblings suffered at the hands of their parents for ten years.
Now, 33, Turpin sat down for an interview with ABC’s Diane Sawyer alongside her sister, Jordan, to share the horrors they endured.
Where is Jennifer Turpin now?
Since the Turpin children escaped their house of horrors, Jennifer Turpin, who was 31 at the time, turned to music as an outlet.
Her first moment of freedom hit her sitting in her hospital room and she said she just danced. “Music was playing, I got up,” she told Sawyer.
“I made sure there was a little bit of a floor cleared out and I danced.”
She told Sawyer that she "daydreams of becoming a Christian pop artist" and that her favourite song is Kelly Clarkson's Broken & Beautiful.
Turpin has aspired to be a published author, although she didn’t specify what books she hopes to write.
But for now she works in a restaurant and finds simple pleasure in the act of getting fresh air and going for a walk.
“I’m so thankful just to walk… [to] take an hour-long walk with my music,” she told Sawyer.
“These little things I think… are things that people take for granted.”
What happened to Jennifer Turpin and her siblings?
Police rushed to the Turpin family’s home on January 14, 2018, after receiving a 911 call from Jordan Turpin that they were held captive and some siblings were chained to their beds.
In the exclusive interview with Sawyer, Jennifer said she remembers her homelife changed when her parents moved to Fort Worth, Texas, and eventually the house became overrun with dirt, trash, and mold.
Her mother, Louise, became prone to mood swings and would continuously lash out at the children for something as small as asking a question.
“I never knew which side I was going to get of her,” she said.
“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.”
As the years went on, her parents moved on from neglect to full-on abuse, and Turpin said they were pulled from school and only taught to remember what grade they were supposed to be in, in case someone asked.
The years she did go to school, from first to third grade, Turpin said she wore the same clothes every day, and kids didn’t want to be near her.
“I probably smelled,” Turpin said. “But I didn’t realize at the time I smelled, but that stench clings to you… because we would literally live in houses piled with trash.”
She told Sawyer she did run away once but was so worried about her siblings she returned only a day later.
In the leadup to gaining their freedom, Turpin said her parents started chaining her siblings to the bed, sometimes for months on end.
It wasn’t until Jordan was nearly choked to death that the possibility of escape started to take form.
Turpin said her sister planned over two years, taking photos of their abuse to plan her escape, to call for help.
Turpin said she told her sister everything she knew, and when their parents announced they would be moving to Oklahoma, the sisters knew it was now or never.
Jordan escaped and called 911, within two hours the police showed up with body cameras and took away their parents, David and Louise, in handcuffs.
What else did Jeniffer Turpin say?
In the exclusive interview Jeniffer also revealed that her evil parents would quote the Bible to justify the frequent beatings.
“They loved to point out things in Deuteronomy, saying that, ‘We have the right to do this to you.’ … that they had the right to even kill us if we didn’t listen,” she said.
Dad David Turpin used belts and sticks to whip the children. Jennifer recalled one moment when she said her father picked her up, feet off the floor, and slammed her into a wall.
“I knew he [was] saying that I was the devil,” she said. “I’m just looking at him like, ‘what did I do?’”
Mom Louise Turpin also racked up huge credit card debt and hoarded children’s clothes, games, and toys which she would never give to the children.
While their parents binged on fast food, and taunted them with freshly baked pumpkin pies which they were forbidden to touch, Jennifer says the children ate once a day – getting a peanut butter sandwich, a frozen burrito or chips.
When Jennifer was 18, parents David and Louise made 10 of the children move into a trailer in a remote part of their property, taking only their youngest two before driving away.
They brought limited groceries once a week, or sometimes every two weeks, leaving the children starving.
“I would try to stretch it out and make sure that we at least had stuff to eat each day of the week,” Jennifer said.
Jordan, who was just six, added: “There was a lot of starving. I would have to figure out how to eat. I would either eat ketchup or mustard or ice.”
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