More than two years after their dramatic rescue from America's House of Horrors, the 13 Turpin siblings have new lives.

The children, who ranged in age from 2 to 29, were held captive in the family's various homes from birth until 2018.

Freedom came when one sibling, a 17-year-old girl, managed to sound the alarm from their shuttered house in Perris, California using a secretly stashed mobile phone to call emergency services after months of planning.

When authorities entered the home, they were confronted with scenes of squalor and unimaginable cruelty. Not only were the children emaciated — some to the point their growth was stunted — there were shackles on filthy bunk beds where they had been chained up at night, or as punishment for talking to each other or "stealing" food from the kitchen.


Their parents, David and Louise Turpin, are serving life sentences after pleading guilty last year to offences ranging from torture and neglect to false imprisonment.

Now, after months of intensive therapy and plenty of love from the local community, the children are thriving in their new lives, with one having graduated from university while several others go to school or have jobs.

"They're all happy," Riverside County Deputy District Attorney Kevin Beecham told People magazine.

"They are moving on with their lives. Some of them are living independently, living in their own apartment, and have jobs and are going to school. Some volunteer in the community. They go to church."

Beecham, who worked closely with the siblings during their parents' trial, said the six youngest siblings had been adopted and were adjusting well to their new families.

"The younger ones didn't have as many years of abuse and neglect, so they are able to rebound a little better," he said.

Their older brothers and sisters — some of whom endured neglect and abuse for two decades longer than their siblings — have a more difficult road ahead.

"They are receiving really good help," Beecham said. "With therapy, counselling and a lot of psychological assistance, they're exponentially in a better place than they were before."


All 13 Turpin siblings remain in contact with each other, regularly meeting at a secret location, Beecham said.

While they continue to revel in their freedom, they remain haunted by a lifetime of unimaginable cruelty. Some memories have had a more profound effect than others.

On the rare occasions their parents went out for dinner, leaving their children locked in the house, the stronger siblings who were not shackled to their beds would sneak to the kitchen for food scraps to share.

Nine times out of 10 that meant bologna (similar to luncheon sausage) and peanut butter sandwiches. As a result, the Turpin children have developed deep-seated phobias about the meal.

"They still can't look at peanut butter or bologna," Beecham said.

"I made the mistake of mentioning peanut butter during one of our meet-and-greets, and one of the girls almost threw up.

"And when they're at the grocery store, they can't look at peanut butter. They can't even go down the aisle where there's peanut butter."

The dramatic rescue of the Turpin children on January 14, 2018 sent shockwaves around the world, with photographs of the squalid conditions inside their home earning it the nickname "House of Horrors".

The then-17-year-old Turpin daughter who saved her 12 brothers and sisters from a lifetime of abuse at the hands of their parents did everything she could to gather evidence before calling police.

That included taking photographs of her tortured siblings, including close-ups of their painfully thin wrists, raw from rubbing against the chains binding them to their beds and pieces of furniture.

She did it because, even though the children had been conditioned to the abuse, she understood their treatment was cruel and unusual to the extent that others might not believe her.

When the pictures were shown in court for the first time at her parents' 2019 trial, they elicited gasps from court employees and journalists.

They showed two pale, severely malnourished little girls, aged 11 and 14, shackled to bunk beds. Investigator Patrick Morris testified that the 11-year-old's growth was so stunted that her arms "were the size of an infant's". A report published in the El Paso Times described a young girl "chained around her frail torso".

"Her long dark hair covers the pale skin of her face, her eyes cast down and away," it said. "She sits on her knees on a filthy mattress thrown on the floor in front of a pair of bunk beds. Two open padlocks are visible on the mattress in a photo taken after the rescue."

An additional photograph showed another girl "chained to a bedpost, sitting on the floor with her thin wrists shackled tightly".

Before their arrest, neighbours had jokingly referred to the Turpins as the "vampire" family because of their nocturnal lifestyle.

They recalled seeing the children marching through the house in formation at all hours of the night and said that on the rare occasions they encountered any of them in person, they refused to reveal their names.

The siblings later told authorities they were made to stay up until 5am and sleep all day. The only form of entertainment they were allowed was to write in their journals while shackled to their beds.

Meanwhile, their parents would taunt them with new toys and food. They would leave pumpkin and apple pies on the kitchen counter that they were not allowed to touch and bring toys home that they were banned from playing with.