REAL LIFE

NEW DETAILS: Couple’s twisted plan to make millions off their 13 starving children

David and Louise Turpin had plans for a reality TV show
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The couple whose 13 children were found starved and chained to their beds reportedly had plans to ‘make millions’ from a reality TV show and wanted more children.

David and Louise Turpin are accused of shackling their children – aging from 2 to 29 – inside their own home and depriving them of showers and regular meals.

Their shocking actions were only uncovered when their 17-year-old daughter escaped through a window and alerted authorities.

Now, Louise Turpin’s half brother, Billy Lambert, has revealed it was Louise’s dream to be famous one day.

‘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 told the Sunday People in the Mirror, referring to the popular American TV show about a couple raising 8 children.

‘It is the reason they moved to California to be nearer to Hollywood.’

Lambert also said the couple planned to have more children.

David and Louise Turpin's children have all been taken into care
David and Louise Turpin’s children have all been taken into care

‘Only last month Louise told me her and David were planning to have another child,’ Lambert said.

‘I asked her why on earth they wanted more children and she said about wanting a reality TV show.

‘They didn’t care about the kids – it was all about them.’

Lambert said, up until their arrest, he thought his sister and her husband had the perfect life and that he was completely blindsided by the allegations against them.

‘I will never speak to her (Louise) again. She is dead to me,’ he said.

David and Louise Turpin after their arrest
David and Louise Turpin after their arrest (Credit: Riverside County Sheriff’s Department)

The couple were charged with 12 counts of torture, seven counts of abuse of a dependent adult, six counts of child abuse or neglect and 12 counts of false imprisonment for crimes dating back to 2010.

David Turpin is also charged with performing a lewd act on a child, but the couple have plead not guilty to all charges and are awaiting trial.

Last week, sick details about the family’s living conditions emerged.

Riverside County district attorney Mike Hestrin said the children were tied up with ropes by their parents, and restrained by chains and padlocks when one sibling managed to break free.

He told press the children had not been allowed to shower more than once a year.

The district attorney said the parents would bring food home for themselves but would not allow their children to eat; the 29-year-old female sibling is said to have weighed just 37 kilos. 

‘They would buy food including pies, apple pies, pumpkin pies, leave it on the counter, let the children look at it, but not eat the food,’ Mr Hestrin said.

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The 17-year-old girl who escaped from the family’s house to call the police and reveal the alleged abuse, was so emaciated she appeared to be only 10, authorities said.

David and Louise Turpin both remain behind bars awaiting trial.

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