'House of horrors' parents' sick plan for their family

The parents of 13 children found shackled and starved in their California home allegedly had plans to become millionaires.

David and Louise Turpin, who have each been charged with 12 counts of torture, had plans to have a 14th child and even had hopes to start a reality television show before their arrest.

“She used to say how they would be perfect for TV and would often ­mention they would be bigger than the reality show Kate Plus 8,” Ms Turpin’s half brother, Billy Lambert, told the Mirror.

“She thought the world would be fascinated by their lives."

The family pictured at a wedding vow renewal ceremony. Some neighbours said they were unaware there were children in the house. Source: Facebook/David-Louise Turpin.
Louise and David Turpin have been described by Louise's sister as

Mr Lambert said the couple had plans to have another child and hoped to make millions from a television show.

“What they did to the children is unforgivable. Seeing my sister laughing in court when they were charged made me ashamed to be her brother," he said.

Last week the children were found shackled to their beds by chains and padlocks after the couple's 17-year-old daughter escaped and called authorities.

They were forbidden to use the toilet, forced to relieve themselves where they were and could only shower once a year while they were restricted to just one meal per day.

According to neighbours, the family seemed fairly normal and many were shocked to learn of the misfortune these children were forced to endure for so long.

The children, aged two to 29, were taught at the family home in Perris, about 100km southeast of Los Angeles, after Mr Turpin officially registered a private school, the Sandcastle Day School, at the address in 2011.

The California Department of Education lists Mr Turpin as the school’s “principal” on its website. However, authorities said evidence suggested that only his children were taught there, News Corp reports.

The so-called private school was never inspected by education officials, and there is no legal requirement that they do so.

David Allen Turpin, accused of holding 13 children captive, appears in court. Source: Getty
Louise Turpin in a California court. Source: Getty

Riverside County district attorney Mike Hestrin said the children were so badly malnourished and abused that many of them were cognitively impaired.

“The children lacked a basic knowledge of life; many of the children didn’t even know what a police officer was,” Mr Hestrin said.

“A 17-year-old, when asked if there was medication or pills in the home, didn’t know what medication or pills were.”

David and Louise Turpin fronted court and each face 94 years to life in prison if convicted. Photo: AAP

Mr and Mrs Turpin have each been charged with 12 counts of torture, seven counts of abuse of a dependent adult, six counts of child abuse and 12 counts of false imprisonment. Mr Turpin faces an additional charge of performing a lewd act on a child.

They pleaded not guilty to all charges and are due back in court in February.

On the outside, the family home seemed relatively normal. Source: 7 News