The 13 siblings rescued from a California ‘House of Horrors’ three years ago have been failed miserably by a social services system that was supposed to help them transition to new lives, according to a new report. 

At the age of 2, they were living in terrible abusive circumstances. They were locked in their homes for years and shackled to their beds. Before their escape, their parents starved them. 

Now, Riverside County has hired a private law firm to look into allegations the seven adult and six minor children in the Turpin family did not get basic services they needed after they were freed from their parents’ prison-like home, ABC News reported on Friday.

Britney Spears recently was released from a conservatorship that prevented even the adult Turpins’ access to some $600,000 of donated funds. This is leaving them homeless and living in extreme poverty.  

ABC also reported that there is an ongoing criminal investigation into the foster family for mistreating multiple children including one Turpin. ABC reported that the family’s lawyer denied all allegations.

Jennifer (left) and Jordan (right) Turpin spoke out for the first time about their horror ordeal. Whistleblowers say the abused children have been

Jordan Turpin (right), and Jennifer Turpin (left) spoke for the first times about their horrendous ordeal. The abuse children were abused according to Whistleblowers. 

Then aged from two to 29, the siblings lived their lives in horribly abusive conditions that included being locked in their home for years, shackled to beds and starved by their parents

At the age of two-nine, their siblings were forced to live in horrifically abusive circumstances. They were locked up in their homes for years and shackled in beds. The parents also starved them.

Jordan staged a daring escape from the family home (above) in 2018, contacting police

Jordan made a bold escape from his family’s home in 2018 and contacted police

Melissa Donaldson (director of victim services in Riverside County) said that many of the children had felt “trayed” by their local authorities’ handling of their cases. 

Donaldson stated that there were occasions when children didn’t have enough food or a safe place for them to sleep. Donaldson also said that the court appointed conservator prevented the adults from accessing the $600,000.

Joshua Turpin (29), told the network that the conservator at the public guardian’s office denied him permission to use funds for a bicycle purchase, even though he did not have any other means of transport. 

Donaldson wept as she spoke of how her children were kept in isolation by David Turpin and Louise Turpin. They had very little contact with the outside, but they could not help but feel trapped.

‘When the case broke, I received thousands of offers of assistance… doctors and dentists. People offered to serve these kids free of charge. She asked, “Please send them my direction.” 

“I was required to forward those referrals to Child Protective Services and to the hospital. None of them were ever used, she stated.

Melissa Donaldson, Riverside County's director of victim services, slammed local officials for their handling of the case, saying the children 'feel betrayed'

Melissa Donaldson from Riverside County is the director of victim service. She criticized the local authorities for handling the case. The children were allegedly ‘feeling betrayed’ by the officials.

'They have been victimized again by the system,' said Riverside Country District Attorney Mike Hestrin. 'And that is unimaginable to me'

“They’ve been victims again by the system,” said Riverside County District Attorney Mike Hestrin. “And that’s unimaginable to my mind”

According to the social worker, the Turpin adult children lived in one of most crime-ridden areas of the county and one had been assaulted.   

“They all had a sixth sense of terror, but they didn’t have it.” They had none of that, and they were cast right into the world in a very unsafe violent inner-city area,’ said Wade Walsvick, the lead district attorney’s investigator on the case.

“There are resources available to them that they don’t have.” They are living in extreme poverty. They live in crime-ridden areas. There’s money for them for their education. They can’t access it,’ said Riverside Country District Attorney Mike Hestrin.

Hestrin said that the children were being victimized yet again by this system. He stated, “And that is impossible to me. That we could have perhaps the worst child abuse case in California history and that then we would not be able t get it together for their basic needs, basic necessities.

Donaldson claimed that Donaldson spoke out “because it is necessary to repair” the system. 

The Turpin family’s shocking abuse went unnoticed by Perris community, 60 miles south of Los Angeles. Jordan Turpin, then 17, escaped the Turpin house and called the police. 

Jordan and her sister gave their first interview to the media for Friday’s ABC 20/20 segment.

Jennifer and Jordan Turpin (second from left) spoke to Diane Sawyer about their rescue. The full interview is set to air on Friday

Diane Sawyer spoke with Jennifer Turpin and Jordan Turpin, second from left. Full interview to be aired on Friday

Jordan was 17 when she called police to her California home in 2018. It was the first time she had ever spoken on a phone or to someone outside her family

Jordan, then 17, called 911 in 2018 to report that she was being robbed at her California residence. She was 17 when she called police to her California home in 2018.

Deputies testified that the children said they were only allowed to shower once a year

Deputies stated that the children could only shower one time a year.

Jordan is 21 years old and recalls how, after she fled her home, she couldn’t press any buttons to dial 911. According to her, Jordan had never called anyone before and she was shaking.

After seeing her sisters suffering, she stated that she felt the need for action.

‘I had to make sure that if I left we wouldn´t go back, and we would get the help we needed,’ she said in a tearful interview. ‘Because if we went back, there´s no way I would be sitting here right now.’

Jordan claimed that she had escaped from jail because her brothers and sisters, ranging in age between 2 and 29, were starved, tied to their beds, and forced to survive in poverty. 

The children were sleeping during the day and active during the night. They had very little education.

The deputy who saved the siblings from drowning shows Jordan talking to him via body-worn video. She nervously claims that she has never spoken to someone outside of the family. 

When the deputy asked if she was taking any medication, Jordan said she didn´t know what that word meant.

The 13 siblings, except for the 2-year old, were all severely overweight and had not bathed in months. 

Investigators found the youngest child wasn’t abused and were sent to prison for life.

David (pictured) and Louise Turpin pleaded guilty to 14 counts of torture and other abuse in 2019 and were sentenced to 25 years to life in prison

The Turpin parents are both eligible for parole in 22 years (Pictured: Louise Turpin)

Louise Turpin and David Turpin pleaded guilty in 2019 to 14 counts each of torture and abuse and were sentenced for 25 years to life imprisonment. In 22 years, they are eligible for parole.

David and Louise ate fast food in front of their children, who were only allowed one meal per day at one point. They would chain the siblings to filthy beds if they tried to steal food

David and Louise enjoyed fast food right in front of their kids, who only had one meal per day. If the siblings tried to steal food they would put them in filthy beds.

After their release, both the minor and the adult children were taken to local hospitals for treatment. From all over the globe, support and donations were pouring in.

The adult siblings, however, have had difficulty accessing services or money given to their care. The court appointed public guardian placed the money in trust.

Joshua Turpin, 29, told ABC News he couldn’t access funds to cover transportation needs and when he asked for help from the county’s deputy public guardian assigned to his case, ‘she would just tell me, `Just go Google it.´’

‘I called the public guardian´s office and she refused to let me request for a bike,’ he said.

Riverside County Executive Officer Jeff Van Waganen released a statement stating that his office had hired Stephen G. Larson’s law firm to evaluate the quality and services they provided. 

By March 31, a report will be due.

‘The County of Riverside is committed to conducting a thorough and transparent review of the services provided to the Turpin siblings and to improve and strengthen the County´s child welfare and dependent adult systems,’ the statement said.

Matthew Chang is the head of the county’s guardian agency. He said he welcomes the inquiry into the siblings’ care.

Jordan crawled out of a window and called the police using a cell phone in January 2018. She said she walked on the street because she didn't know about the sidewalks

Jordan crawled from a window, called police with a cellphone in January 2018 and called them. Because she wasn’t aware of the sidewalks, she said that she had walked along the street.

After Jordan, 17, crawled through the window to call 911, Jordan and his siblings were able to escape from their home. 

Their parents beat, starved, and strangled them regularly. They were said to have been overwhelmed by the smell of human waste and filth in their home.

Jennifer said that children would be often chained for many months. 

The abuse and neglect of the parents was so severe, pervasive. [and]They were unable to have children for two years because of the prolonged period.

Jordan called police for twenty minutes, but the little girl couldn’t find her address and struggled to get it. She had never been alone outside before.


The 13 Turpin kids were saved from the horror of their parent’s house by their father in January 2018. Since then, they have worked hard to reclaim their lives. 

‘They’re all happy,’ Deputy District Attorney Kevin Beecham, who prosecuted the Turpin case, told People in April 2020. They are continuing to live their lives.

The interview showed that both siblings remain in Southern California. They are close and still get together regularly.  

He said, “They still get together with each other, all 13, so they will meet somewhere kinda discreet,”

Beecham said that six of her youngest children, who were all adopted, had had less years of abuse as a result of their age and had been able to adjust quickly to their new lives.

One of their older brothers has a college degree.  

Others work, live independently and are in school.

“Some are independent, live in their own apartments, have jobs, and go to school. Many volunteers are involved in the community. Beecham stated that they go to church. 

Several siblings were living with their parents in group homes at the time they had to interview. They also received counseling and therapy.

Diane Sawyer was interviewed by two of the Turpin sisters, and they revealed that their lives were progressing. 

Sawyer was told by a sister that her parents had taken my entire life, and now she is taking it back. 

One of her friends described her new life in a positive way as ‘free.

In January 2018, David and Louise were taken into custody. It was then that horrific details emerged about the child abuse, torture and neglect.

Witnesses testified that children were allowed to shower only once per year.

They were kept in their rooms, with the exception of meals. This was cut from three to one per person, and it consisted mostly of lunch or dinner. 

The siblings ate two pieces of bread with peanut butter and bologna every day for years. They were accused of taunting their children by giving them pies and other forbidden food.  

Turpin parents indulged in fast food, and chains were put on the children’s beds to prevent them from stealing. 

“They don’t know how to look at bologna or peanut butter,” Kevin Beecham, the Deputy District attorney, told People magazine last January.

“I mentioned peanut butter at one of our meet and greets. One of the girls nearly threw up when I did this. When they get to the supermarket, they won’t be able to look at peanut butter. It’s impossible for them to even walk down an aisle that contains peanut butter.

Turpin children were not permitted to behave like other children, and they weren’t allowed toys or any games. 

Sawyer also spoke with Riverside County District Attorney Mike Hestrin, who was involved with the case. This is a story he won’t forget.

He said, “It was the thing that stopped me from moving.” “There are some cases that stay with you and that haunt you. 

David and Louise pleaded guilty to 14 counts of torture and other abuse in 2019 and were sentenced to 25 years to life in prison. 

Both are eligible to be paroled in 22 years.

As their case was being heard in court by the parents, 13 of their siblings chose to remain out of public view. However, they were able to adjust to normal living outside of the House of Horrors. 

Beecham was the Turpin prosecutor and told People magazine that the children were all happy.

He added, “They are continuing with their lives.”

One sibling was a graduate of college at the time. Others were working or going to school. 

One of the residents is independent and lives in their own home. They also have jobs and attend school. Some are volunteers in the local community. He shared that they go to church. 

He noted also that siblings often see one another.  

He said, “They still meet together, all thirteen of them so they’ll find somewhere kind of discrete.” 

Many of the siblings changed their names in order to get rid of the stigma associated with being victims of this high-profile case. 

Beecham explained, “It would prove difficult for them, to continue that name, this label of victim forever.” 

Radar Online reported that Louise’s sister Elizabeth Flores said in 2019 that Louise wept when she discussed their children, but that she didn’t want to talk about it and was still in denial.

We talked about the baby. She told me how she would turn 3 in two weeks and she started to cry because she was upset she wouldn’t be there,’ Elizabeth said.

Hulu has the complete 20/20 Escape From A House Of Horror special.