All Smiles in Public, But Kept Isolated From the World at Home
This vacation photo doesn’t match the squalor waiting for the 13 Turpin kids when they got home. Mum and Dad look happy, but the kids have their faces blanked out to preserve their privacy.
In a modern day Baby Jane Attack, David Turpin, age 57, and his wife, Louise Turpin, age 49, cut off all communication with the outside world and punished their 13 children by starving them, preventing them from showering and chaining them up to keep them captured. No school. No medical care. No mixing with anyone outside of the house.
Enough is Enough
Until their daughter, age 17, escaped and contacted the police. That girl showed focus, determination, courage, faith and trust that someone would believe her and rescue her siblings.
The original “Baby Jane” was portrayed in a movie called, “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?”.
Jane tortured her sister, Blanche, an invalid confined to a wheelchair. Jane gave the housekeeper the day off and then proceeded to feed her sister a rat for lunch. Then, Blanche’s pet bird appeared on the menu. Blanche had no way to contact the outside world.
Lucky for Blanche, the housekeeper didn’t trust Baby Jane’s mental state. She turned up with the police and had Baby Jane taken to a mental health facility.
But that was a movie. The Turpin family situation is real life.
Everything changed when one of their daughters, age 17, escaped through a window and dialed 911 on a deactivated mobile phone. For two years, she watched, listened and waited for her opportunity to escape. So brave and so terrifying!
Not Guilty! Ugh! Disgusting! How was this missed by everyone?
Getting caught, red-handed, with malnourished people chained up in filthy conditions — and you plead “not guilty”.
Mrs. Turpin gave birth 13 times. None of the kids went to school. They were home-schooled. They didn’t go to the dentist. They went to theme parks and watched their parents renew their vows in Las Vegas. Based on how their parents treated them, the kids seem more like pets than children.
Hmmph…13 pregnancies. Was that last baby birthed by Mama Turpin or by one of her children? That might have gotten attention from medical personnel.
It’s unbelievable that no one knew. Relatives too busy to notice? Too scared to interfere? Just happy to be estranged and no need to talk to weird family members?
I find it hard to believe that all the kids dressed alike didn’t attract curious attention. How could you see that and not question it? I would wonder how you get that kind of wardrobe compliance from a group of teenagers. Of course, now it’s clear how that kind of control is created.
Too late to ask those questions now. And nothing to do about it unless you had hard evidence of something you’d seen.
Lessons to Learn From this Situation
Number One Rule: Don’t let people close the loop around you. Always have an escape route planned. It’s important to avoid being isolated, at all costs. If someone is cutting you off from connecting with people outside of your home, that’s a huge red flag. Make friends at work, at church, wherever you spend time. Make sure someone would notice if you went missing.
If something feels weird, don’t just brush it off. Talk to people. Notice things. Trust your instincts.
Great Fighters Create Opportunities, Rather Than Wait For One To Show Up
Keep talking until someone believes you. If you’re the first one to say that something’s wrong, you might have a difficult time getting people to believe you. But stand your ground. Have faith and believe that others will follow. Establish the pattern. And wait for others to make their reports. The behaviors will line up. And then, people will believe you.
Unfortunately, it’s never fast enough. But hey, if a young girl, 17 years of age, can handle it, so can you.
Practice Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) for your mouth. This article is an all belt levels lesson.