This is a tough one. For the past few days, the world has been riveted by the story of the Turpin family.
David and Louise Anna Turpin of California have been arrested and charged with torture and abuse after it was discovered that they were holding their 13 children locked up inside the house.
The initial facts of the story were almost too much to emotionally comprehend. But it gets worse as details have begun to be released, and a true picture of this tragedy has begun to take form.
As you learn about this story, after the shock and anger you begin the questioning. How could people do this? Why did no one report them?
Well it’s being reported now that some of the family’s neighbors had no idea that there were children in the house.
Other neighbors reported seeing kids engaged in odd behavior but nothing that they felt warranted a call to police.
What type of “odd behaviour?” Oh, only things like marching around in the dead of night.
If the neighbors could only have looked inside though, they would have seen absolute squalor and more than enough evidence to make that call.
Police say that the children were chained up, often not even being released to use the bathroom.
David and Louise Turpin used to live in Fort Worth. Moved out after foreclosure. Current owners still keep pics of what it looked like inside pic.twitter.com/E56stUObZP
— Jason Allen (@CBS11JasonAllen) January 16, 2018
On the rare occasion when they were unshackled, they could not get water above their wrists lest they be punished for playing in water. The children were certainly not let out to eat.
When they were found, they all were extremely malnourished. Police have said that when they spoke with the brave 17-year old who escaped and alerted authorities to what was happening, they felt that based on her size she was only 10.
That’s not to say that there wasn’t food in the house. It’s just that the parents would place food out so the children could see it, but not have any of it.
They are now safe, being cared for and getting the vitamins and nutrients they have so desperately needed. Authorities reported that they were in such a bad state that they could go into shock at any moment.
Unfortunately, they have suffered more than just physically, and have been observed to be mentally underage. But who wouldn’t be, after an entire life spent in such conditions?
Though they were allegedly schooled at home, the victims didn’t seem to know many basic day-to-day facts. They didn’t know what cops were, for example, or medicine.
If the parents are convicted of all of the charges that they are convicted of, they’ll spend the next hundred years in jail. They have currently pled not guilty.
Let’s take a moment to keep the children in our thoughts. And then let’s make sure that we use this tragic story as a reminder of how important it is to connect with your neighbors.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.