In 2018, the world learned about the “House of Horrors”. 13 siblings all suffered unspeakable child abuse by their parents, David and Louise Turpin.
The children were between the ages of 2 and 29 when 17-year-old Jordan Turpin managed to crawl out of the family home, call the police on a deactivated phone and inform the local police about what was going on inside that house.
“I live in a family of 15 people and my parents are abusive,” she told the operator. “My two little sisters, right now, are chained up… with chains. They’re chained to the bed.”
The story shocked the world. It sounded almost too terrible to be true but it really did happen.
Years of extreme abuse
For several years, David and Louise kept their children locked up, sometimes in chains. They had 13 kids – three boys and 10 girls. At one stage they left the 10 oldest children in an isolated trailer on their property, only returning once a week to feed them.
When the family left that property, neighbours discovered feces and beds with ropes tied to them inside the house, along with dead cats and piles of garbage.
In 2014, the Turpins moved their children to California. While there were a few public outings – including a family trip to Disneyland, neighbours reported that the children were silent unless spoken to and incredibly pale.
Inside the Turpin House of Horrors, the children were beaten, strangled, and fed only once a day. They were only to bathe once a year and they were incredibly malnourished with caked-on dirt and bruising all over their bodies.
They were also plotting their escape.
Turpin House of Horrors comes crashing down
In January 2018, Jordan and her younger sister, then 13, escaped out the window. Jordan’s little sister got scared so ran back. Jordan managed to get far enough away to call the police where she told them where she lived, explaining the conditions.
The police raided the house and not only found 12 very abused children, but also dead pets, human excrement, mouldy food, and decaying garbage on every surface.
The House of Horrors made headlines and shocked us all. We felt sick to our stomachs for those poor children and what they had endured. We were so glad their parents would rot in jail for life and that the horror was finally over for them.
Except, it wasn’t. As Jordan recently shared with People, the abuse continued for years and years to come.
‘A very scary journey’
After her parents were arrested, Jordan and four of her siblings were placed into the foster care system.
Jordan and two of her siblings were placed into a foster home with the Olguin family where the abuse continued.
“I’m not ready to go into details about what happened to me in that home. I was very traumatized, and it’s been a very scary journey,” she says quietly.
“It was really hard to understand the first situation [with my parents]. Then going into another, that was just really, really hard. You have all these questions and you just don’t get the answer.”
In 2021 Jordan and these two siblings (identified as Jane and John Doe) filed lawsuits against Riverside County and ChildNet Youth and Family Services, a private foster care agency, alleging they were faced with “severe abuse and neglect”.
In the lawsuit, they alleged the foster family had a prior history of abusing children – but organisations were also aware of that history and failed to act even after the children asked for help.
Marcelino and Rosa, along with their adult daughter, Lennys Olguin have been arrested and charged with multiple counts of child abuse. Marcelino has also been charged with committing lewd acts on children. (All three have pleaded not guilty.)
Every time my eyes would close, I dreamed about being [in my first foster home]. I had to go to the emergency room a lot. I was really, really broken,” Jordan reveals.
‘Life is about to actually start’
It’s been a long and painful process, but Jordan has come a long way. She graduated high school where she used a different surname, and now has quite the following on both TikTok and Instagram. She has her own apartment in California and is loving the freedom.
“Sometimes I walk into my apartment and literally think, ‘Is this real?’ I’m more independent and can just be myself. I’ve been feeling like my life is about to actually start.”
Jordan hopes to become a motivational speaker one day.
“I want to take what I went through and turn it into something positive. I want people to know they’re not alone. There is a way out.”
She also supports her siblings and keeps in touch with them.
“After everything that happened, and after escaping, I’m so protective over each one. They always know they have me.”
While most of them remain out of the spotlight, she does attend events with sister Jennifer Turpin and another sister, Jeanetta also has an active social media account.
Jordan also admits she hasn’t spoken to her parents in years, and she plans to keep it that way.
“I still have nightmares. I can’t imagine if I ever kept in contact with them. There’s no way I would be able to heal.”