We are slowly learning more about the California “torture house” where over a dozen children were kept in subhuman conditions by their parents, and we now know that the victims kept journals.
Though the children in the home, ages 2 to 29, were only allowed to bathe twice a year and eat once a day, they were allowed to write all the time. District Attorney Mike Hestrin said in a press conference that the children kept hundreds of journals and that he believes they will be “very significant” in the upcoming court case, the Desert Sun reports. Hestrin added that he thinks the journals will provide “strong evidence of what occurred in that home.”
K I just noticed something really bizarre about that Turpin family (from the parents' shared facebook page). They recreated the exact same renewal of vows with the same Elvis impersonator, same outfits, the same venue THREE TIMES. (check the length of mom's hair) wtff pic.twitter.com/xwFwPbHK9A
— corn coblin (@GrrlGhost) January 16, 2018
Researchers are also interested in the journals as they detail the first-hand accounts of horrific abuse. One academic told the Desert Sun “There is a good chance that being able to write may have kept them sane. In an interesting way, this may have helped them come to terms with the bizarre world they lived in.” He even compared them to the journals kept by Anne Frank.
The journals could prove valuable for prosecutors as they might provide damning evidence that could be used to cross-examine the parents, David and Louise Turpin. The Turpins are facing life behind bars for a series of charges, including torture.
David Turpin, 57, & Louise Turpin, 49, in custody for suspicion of torture & child endangerment after 13 victims ranging from 2-29 years old were rescued. They were found to be malnourished & some chained to their beds. @JamesRojasKABC @RSO pic.twitter.com/4Dnb6ubiks
— 790 KABC (@KABCRadio) January 15, 2018
The journals have not been made public, and law enforcement officials are currently in the process of reviewing them.
The conditions in the home were unimaginable. The children were reportedly beaten and chained to furniture. Neighbors recalled seeing them marching during the night, and they were almost never allowed outside. They were finally liberated when one girl escaped and managed to find a police officer. She was 17 years old, but her growth was so stunted that police allegedly estimated her to be closer to 10 years old when they first saw her.