YouTube videos show shackled siblings' life in captivity
PALM SPRINGS, Calif. — Videos emerged this week giving a glimpse of the lives of a group of siblings who were shackled and starved inside their parents’ California home.
Their parents, David and Louise Turpin, have pleaded not guilty to torture and other charges.
The videos were posted to YouTube by the couple’s 17-year-old daughter under an alias, according to ABC News.
A video posted with the ABC News story shows the daughter in her Perris home, singing songs she wrote. She sings “you blame me for everything, you blame me in every way, you blame me for what they say, what they say.”
Another clip posted to her YouTube page, shows the teenager playing with one of the family’s dogs. Piles of clothes can be seen in the background as well as dirty and “grime-smudged doors.”
The girl also has an Instagram account, according to ABC News, that shows selfies and photos of Justin Bieber.
Meanwhile, the siblings received a special performance by the world-famous cellist Yo-Yo Ma at the Corona Regional Medical Center on Friday. The hospital posted a photo of the cellist to their Twitter on Monday thanking him for the visit.
“Corona Regional Medical Center graciously thanks @YoYo_Ma for visiting and sharing his love of music with the Turpin Siblings during the Kennedy Center’s ‘Arts Across America’ visit on Friday. Very inspiring!”
The siblings were discovered Jan. 14 after one of the older children escaped and called 911. Investigators say the 13 siblings, ranging in age from 2 to 29, weathered years of abuse including starvation, being chained to beds, and being beaten for as little as getting water on their wrists while washing their hands. Most of the children lacked proper education, officials said.
The older children’s lawyer, Jack Osborn, whose law firm was appointed by the court, said the children have shown significant improvement in their self-confidence and their physical and mental conditional over the past few weeks. The six younger Turpin siblings, who are minors, are being cared for at a separate facility.
Osborn said for the older children, “it’s been more like being on a cruise ship than at this hospital,” as they have enjoyed using iPads, playing basketball and soccer, listening to music, watching movies and reading books.
Country music, books about nature and insects, and “Harry Potter” films have been among the favorites for the older siblings.
The parents, David and Louise Turpin, remain in custody and are barred from having contact with their kids after pleading not guilty to all charges. They face life in prison if convicted. Investigators say the abuse dates back at least 10 years to when the family lived in Texas, but stories from former classmates and neighbors hint that the mistreatment started in the 1990s.
Contributing: The Associated Press