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Turpin sisters detail escape from abusive home in exclusive interview with Diane Sawyer

"Escape From A House Of Horror" airs Friday on ABC
Posted at 4:45 PM, Nov 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-19 20:09:41-05

(KGTV) — Two of the thirteen Turpin siblings are now sharing their story of survival with ABC’s Diane Sawyer in an exclusive interview.

Jordan and Jennifer Turpin lived through horrifying abuse for years until Jordan escaped and called for help.

The abuse case captivated the nation in 2018. The family’s Perris, CA home in Riverside County quickly became known as the “House of Horror” once everyone on the outside found out what was happening inside.

“The abuse and severe neglect intensified over time,” said Mike Hestrin, Riverside County District Attorney, during a press conference in 2018.

“All the victims have now been examined by doctors and medical professionals. All the victims were and are severely malnourished, specifically severe caloric malnutrition, associated with muscle waste. To give you an example, one of the children at age 12 is the weight of a 7-year-old. The 29-year-old female victim weighs 82 pounds.”

Thirteen siblings ranging in age from 2 to 29 lived in filth, disconnected from the outside world. Many were starved and chained, abused at the hands of their parents, David, and Louise Turpin, until Jordan Turpin escaped from the home and called 911.

OPERATOR: And how many of your siblings were tied up?
JORDAN: Two of my sisters, one of my brothers.
OPERATOR: How are they tied up with rope or with what?
JORDAN: With chains. They’re chained up to their bed.

That’s part of a 911 call obtained by ABC News. Now in an exclusive interview Jordan Turpin, now 21, and her sister Jennifer, now 33, are sharing their story publicly for the first time.

"I was so nervous, because I never had a conversation with a stranger before," said Jordan Turpin, speaking to Diane Sawyer about her interaction with a deputy who arrived after the 911 call. "I didn't know what he was thinking, because he had one straight face."

Jordan also described the first place they went once free. "We went was a park, with two of my sisters, and I was so excited because I could smell the air, I could smell the grass. I said 'how could heaven be better than this? Oh my gosh this is so free, this is life.'"

You can catch Escape From a House of Horror, a Diane Sawyer special on ABC’s 20/20 Friday at 9 PM.