The stories surrounding David Allen Turpin, 57, and Louise Anna Turpin, 49, only become stranger as more about the California parents who allegedly shackled and tortured their 13 children for years is revealed. Their families have not shied from speaking, as evidenced by a statement from Louise’s half-brother, Billy Lambert.
Speaking with the Mirror, Lambert revealed that his sister wanted to use her motherhood for fame. She and her husband hoped to have more children in the hopes that they would land their own reality television show, similar to Kate Gosselin’s “Kate Plus 8” or the Duggar family’s “19 Kids and Counting.”
“Only last month, Louise told me her and David were planning to have another child,” he said, speaking of the couple’s desire to add a 14th child to their family.
“She used to say how they would be perfect for TV and would often mention they would be bigger than the reality show ‘Kate Plus 8,'” he added.
Lambert suggested that the couple may have moved the family to California in order to be closer to Hollywood.
“They didn’t care about the kids — it was all about them.”
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Lambert also had a few things to say about David Turpin which mirrored an account shared by Louise Turpin’s sister, Elizabeth Flores, 41.
Lambert said that David would watch Flores in the shower while she stayed at their house many years ago. Flores also described that behavior during an appearance on ABC’s “Good Morning America.”
Sister of California mom accused of holding her 13 children captive: "I don't agree with what she did and her actions have made the whole family suffer. And I want her to know that I'm praying for her salvation." https://t.co/uXh0y8nGLf pic.twitter.com/zcufPmYRcV
— Good Morning America (@GMA) January 17, 2018
But the strangeness doesn’t end there.
The New York Post reported a disturbing account of the origins of the couple’s marriage, which took a heavy toll on another marriage.
In 1984, Louise’s mother allowed her to date David without the knowledge of her father, a preacher at the time. He was not made aware of the relationship until Princeton Senior High School in West Virginia allowed a 24-year-old David to sign a 16-year-old Louise out of her 10th-grade classroom, taking her cross country so that they could elope, according to the Post.
The pair was caught in Texas, and Louise’s father allowed her to marry David when they returned.
A rift between Louise’s parents over their respective actions led to a split two years after the events.
Flores explained in her interview that Turpins eventually thwarted communication attempts from the rest of the family.
David’s family also commented on the situation. James and Betty Turpin of West Virginia, his parents, told ABC News that they were “shocked” by the allegations. They said they had not seen the couple in at least four or five years.
The couple reportedly kept their 13 children, ages 2 to 29, in subhuman conditions. According to police, they were chained, beaten, only allowed to bathe twice a year and eat once a day and not allowed to go outside. The children reportedly kept journals to cope with their captivity, which are now being reviewed by law enforcement officials.
The couple made their first court appearance last Thursday. There, they face 92 years to life in prison if convicted of all charges, which include torture.