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'House of horrors': California couple sentenced to life in prison for torturing their children

'House of horrors': California couple sentenced to life in prison for torturing their childrenDavid and Louise Turpin, who pleaded guilty in February to torture and false imprisonment, are eligible for parole after 25 years.



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David and Louise Turpin facing additional charges over California 'house of horrors'

David and Louise Turpin facing additional charges over California 'house of horrors'A couple facing trial over the torture and false imprisonment of their 13 children had four more charges filed against them on Friday in a California court. The Riverside County district attorney filed three further charges of child abuse against David and Louise Turpin, and one count of felony assault by Mrs Turpin against one of her children. The couple are pleading not guilty to all 42 charges, including torture, false imprisonment, abuse of a dependent adult and child abuse, as well as one count of lewd conduct with a minor against Mr Turpin. Lawyers for the couple said they are both pleading not guilty to the additional charges filed on Friday. "Today we filed an amended complaint in the Turpin case this afternoon," said John Hall, spokesman for the district attorney's office, speaking outside court after the hearing. David and Louise Turpin with their children "We have amended the complaint to file three new charges on both defendants of child abuse, and one new count against only defendant Louise Turpin of felony assault. "There have been no counts that have been removed, and no other additional counts other than those. "It's further investigation that we've been doing in this case has led us to amend the complaint. That's not uncommon in cases," he added. "It could add some time to the exposure that they're facing, I don't have that tabulated right now." Mr Hall said he was not aware of any changes to the charges filed against the couple last month. Evidence which will be passed to the defence in discovery includes “voluminous” video and audio recordings, and physical evidence, according to Dave Macher, attorney for Louise Turpin. A new Felony Settlement Conference was set for March 23, where the attorneys for all sides will discuss the charges with the judge, and a new preliminary hearing was scheduled for May 14. The May hearing will likely involve testimony from police officers involved in the case, without the Turpin children being present, Mr Hall said. David and Louise Turpin's mugshots at a press conference on January 18 David Turpin appeared in court dressed in a black suit with a blue shirt, and had trimmed his hair since his first court appearance. He sat facing forward, with a lawyer sat between him and his wife. Mrs Turpin wore a fitted black suit and turned to watch the scores of journalists, law enforcement and public file into the court. The two defendants spoke only to confirm the date of the next court hearing. The Turpins’ children, aged between two and 29, have been taken into care and are split between two foster homes, sources say. Having lived under the tyrannical and abusive rule of their parents their whole lives, the children have not experienced many of the things other children take for granted – they are currently being introduced to iPads, Harry Potter movies, and even toothbrushes. The alleged abuse was revealed when one of the children, a 17-year-old girl, escaped out of a window at their house in Perris, California, and called 911. Police arrested David and Louise Turpin at the property last month. The house in Perris, California where the Turpins lived Mike Hestrin, Riverside County district attorney, said police found the girl’s 12 siblings inside the four-bedroom home, padlocked and shackled to the furniture, lying in their own urine and faeces. All 13 children were hospitalised, and were so malnourished they were at risk of shock. The eldest child, a 29-year-old woman, weighed just 82lbs (5 stone) when she was rescued. Officials said a total $ 570,000 has been donated from around the world to help pay for their healthcare and education. "In cases like this there are long-term needs like behavioral health, housing, scholarships, educational support, tutors and medical needs," Erin Phillips, a spokeswoman for the Riverside University Health System told CNN. "It's been amazing the outpouring of love and sentiments," Phillips said. "It reminds us there is so much light in this world in contrast to such a dark case." Jack Osborn and Caleb Mason, lawyers who represent seven of the older children, said that staff had converted a ward at Corona Medical Center to make them more comfortable, with an outdoor area where they can exercise and play sports. "That in itself is a new experience for them, understanding that they do have rights and they do have a voice," Mr Osborn told CBS. "That's a big deal, deciding what they're going to read, deciding what they're going to wear, these are all things that are decisions they make every day that are new and empowering." Corona mayor Karen Spiegel said nurses at the hospital looking after the Turpins’ children told her they were “warm” and “appreciative”. "They talk about how warm and loving these kids are and so appreciative," she said. "Some of them have never really seen a toothbrush before… Things that we just take for granted mean so much to these kids." Detailing the allegations against the Turpins at a press conference last month, Mr Hestrin said the children were “hogtied” and subject to “frequent beatings and even strangulation”. “As a punishment starting many years ago they began to be tied up, first with ropes,” he said. “One victim was tied up and hogtied. When that victim was able to escape the ropes the defendants started using chains and padlocks. “These punishments would last for weeks or even months,” he added. “The victims were often not released from their chains to go to the bathroom.” Mr Hestrin said the couple engaged in the psychological torture of their children, taunting them at their home with toys and food that they were not allowed to touch. Police are understood to be still combing through a stack of the children's journals recovered from the house, looking for further evidence of the alleged abusive treatment by their parents.



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Turpin family: CCTV reveals moment imprisoned children escape from 'house of horrors'

Turpin family: CCTV reveals moment imprisoned children escape from 'house of horrors'Footage has emerged of the moment the imprisoned Turpin family children escaped from their parents’ “house of horrors”. Moments before police descended on the suburban home in Perris, California, the children, some of whom were allegedly tortured and shackled, the children can be seen filing out onto the drive. David Turpin, 56, and his wife Louise Turpin, 49, have been charged with torture, abuse and false imprisonment.



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Turpin Case: Clothes, Shoes and Toys Donated to 13 Siblings Saved From California 'House of Horrors'

Turpin Case: Clothes, Shoes and Toys Donated to 13 Siblings Saved From California 'House of Horrors'The Perris community is rallying around the children, who were allegedly tortured by their own parents.



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California community reeling over Turpin 'house of horrors': 'I served them pizza while their children were starving?'

California community reeling over Turpin 'house of horrors': 'I served them pizza while their children were starving?'The quiet California community of Perris has been left reeling after the discovery of 13 children  found chained and malnourished in squalid conditions in their parents' house. Matthew Alex Padilla, a 20-year-old former Marine, said he was sickened to learn that Louise Turpin, the woman he served pizza to near the Perris property, had a house full of starving children.  Mr Padilla has worked at Leonardi’s Pizza inside the WinCo supermarket for a year, and told The Telegraph he last saw Mrs Turpin a week or so ago. “Louise was in here every other day,” he said. “Sometimes with her husband, and a few times with a little girl, but never more than one. “We knew each other, and would chat – she was normal, if maybe a bit reserved. I had no idea she had 13 children, because she’d only ever order a slice of pepperoni, or a chicken club sandwich with no tomato. David Allen Turpin, 57, and Louise Anna Turpin, 49, were arrested after the discovery of the 13 children Credit: AFP “I’ve seen her buy food and eat, and yet there were 13 hungry kids at home? That’s messed up. They should be sentenced to a long time in jail. To do that to your kids – it’s not OK.” Louise and her husband David forced their offspring to march around the house, drill formation, at the dead of night, one neighbour claimed. Mike Clifford, a 60-year-old aerospace machinist, lived opposite the family for three years in Murrieta, where the couple rented a six-bedroom home between 2011 and 2014. Described by their family as “deeply religious”, the Turpins home-schooled their children and the youngsters were rarely seen in the community. “We thought they were mentally handicapped kids, so they kept them in,” said Mr Clifford, who worked late shifts and would catch sight of them in the evenings.  “I never saw them play. What we did used to see a lot was on the second floor, the kids would be walking in circles like they were marching for hours at a time. It was military like.”  He told the Mail Online he would see the Turpins bundling their children into their minivan at least twice a month in the early hours of the morning as he arrived home. Neighbours stand outside the house where the children were found Credit: Los Angeles Times “They would load up the kids at about one in the morning,” he said. “The garage doors would just pop open and half a dozen kids would get into the van and then they'd drive off. “My weirdest thought was that they were selling the kids, sexually or whatever.” Despite his concerns, Mr Clifford says he never saw anything that would have warranted a call to the police and said the children appeared clean, if “robotic” when spoken to. In 2014 the family moved up the road to Perris, from where the alarm was raised by their 17-year-old daughter on Sunday morning. Inside the house, police found 12 more of the couple’s children, aged two to 29, begging for water and food, some shackled to the bed in a stench-filled room. Gabriela Del Toro, manager at the Primos Mexican restaurant in Perris, said that Mrs Turpin would come in several times a week to get takeaway food – but never in family-sized quantities. “She was pleasant enough – there was absolutely nothing out of the ordinary,” she said. “It’s mad to think that was going on just down the road.” The couple posted several pictures from family outings on their Facebook page  Mr Turpin’s parents were also left reeling by the news. James Turpin, who lives near Princeton, West Virginia, with his wife Betty, told his local newspaper that their son was “a fine person". David Turpin grew up in West Virginia’s Green Valley area and studied at Virginia Tech before moving away – first to Texas, then to California. "He did an outstanding job and worked in school, and the last time we were out there was about six years ago,” he said.  “The kids were fine. They were healthy and nothing was wrong. "I cannot understand. I'm going to talk to the kids as soon as they let me. I'm getting ready to make a call." Their other son, Randy, president of Valor Christian College in Ohio, said he was estranged from his brother and has taken leave to deal with the fallout. Yet on Mrs Turpin’s side of the family, a more damaging picture was presented. Elizabeth Jane Flores, her 41-year-old sister, appeared on US breakfast television on Wednesday and said her family tried "for years" to get in touch with her sister – but "she just shut us out of her life" for decades. "I want to reach out to the kids, I want them to know that for years we begged to Skype, we begged to see them, the whole family,” she said. The couple are being held on a $ 9 million bond Credit:  Barcroft Media Mrs Flores said she lived with her sister and brother-in-law for a few months when she was at university.  At the time, the couple only had four children and the eldest was in elementary school. "I thought they were really strict, but I didn't see any type of abuse," she said of the parents. "Now that I'm an adult, I look back, I see things that I didn't see then." She also said she had "uncomfortable" experiences with her brother-in-law but never told anyone because she was "young" and "scared." "He did things that made me feel uncomfortable," she said. "If I were to get in the shower, he would come in there while I was in there and watch me, and it was like a joke. He never touched me or anything." Mrs Flores said her mother drove for hours to visit the family in Texas at one point, but the Turpins didn't let her inside the house.  A few years later, Mrs Flores said, her father bought a flight to see the family but his daughter told him not to come, insisting she would visit them instead – which they never did. Another sister, Teresa Robinette, said that Mrs Turpin did not visit her parents even when they begged, on their death beds, to see her. “She didn’t even show up to either of their funerals,” she said. “So we have really no connection with Louise in a long, long time since we were young.” She said her sister had married Mr Turpin when she was 16. “We always thought she was living the perfect life. She would tell us they went to Disneyland all the time. They would go to Vegas.” But, she admits, in hindsight there were signs of neglect. “I always made comments to Louise when I talked to her about: ‘Gosh, they’re so skinny,’” she told NBC’s Today show. “And she would laugh it off: ‘Well David’s so tall and lanky, they’re going to be like him.’ “I can’t even say the words to you that I would like to say to her — I’m so angry inside.”



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California 'House of horrors' children like 'clones' and were 'forced to march in circles'

California 'House of horrors' children like 'clones' and were 'forced to march in circles'The 13 children from the California 'House of Horrors' were forced to march in circles in the middle of the night, according to a former neighbour. A man named Mike, who used to live across the road from David and Louise Turpin, the couple arrested yesterday for torture, told the New York Post that the family was "like a cult." He said: "They would march back and forth on the second story at night. The light would be on the whole the time, and they would be marching the kids back and forth." Because he worked at a hospital, he often came back home in the early hours of the morning, which is when he says he saw the children engaging in the strange behaviour. Mike, who didn't give his last name, said he saw them being marched through the upstairs rooms between midnight and 3am. 'Clone' children 'spoke robotically and at the same time' David Allen Turpin, 57, and Louise Anna Turpin, 49,  have been charged with nine counts of torture and 10 of child endangerment after being arrested at their home in Perris, California. It followed a dramatic rescue of thirteen children aged between 2 and 29 who were discovered starving and some chained to items of furniture in the “filthy” and “foul-smelling” house.  Police uncovered the abuse after a 17-year-old girl fled the property through a window, stole a mobile phone and alerted officers to the children’s plight.  She was so emaciated police thought she was only 10. Despite the fact Mike thought the situation was strange, he didn't feel anything serious enough to call the police was going on. He said: "My wife called them clones. They spoke robotically, in a monotone and at the same time." Family appeared 'obsessed with Disney' The family at Disneyland The Turpin family took multiple trips to Disneyland, and posted the evidence on Facebook.  The children were seen in these pictures wearing matching Disney clothing. Reporters on Monday gained access to the family's back garden, where they saw Disney merchandise including pet food bowls (though it is not thought they had any pets) and a Mickey and Minnie Mouse fountain. Two cars parked outside the residence had personalised number plates, one reading DLand and another reading DL4ever.  Although it is thought the first numberplate reads "Disneyland", the other could either mean David and Louise forever or Disneyland Forever. The family also appeared obsessed with Elvis Presley The Turpin couple renewed their vows three times, in the exact same location with the same Elvis impersonator performing their vow renewal ceremony.  David and Louise Turpin renew their wedding vows at an Elvis chapel on their 30th anniversary on October 31, 2015 Credit: Elvis Chapel/YouTube They also wore the exact same outfits, at the Elvis Chapel in Downtown Las Vegas  – Mrs Turpin’s changing hairstyles being the only difference. Kent Ripley, the Elvis impersonator at the chapel, said he was "still disturbed" by the reports of abuse.  "I mean they were sitting right around here three different times," he told Fox5 Vegas, indicating the rows of empty chairs in the chapel.  The Elvis impersonator serenades the couple during the ceremony Credit: Elvis Chapel/YouTube "[The Turpins] seemed to care about each other and care about the kids. They seemed to smile, the kids were smiling they didn't hide behind themselves, they were very quiet." The couple stare into each other's eyes as their children look on Credit: Elvis Chapel/YouTube The family outings appear to have all stopped last July – five months after Mrs Turpin’s mother, Phyllis Robinette, died aged 66 in Princeton, West Virginia. Shortly before she died, Mrs Robinette wrote on Facebook: “Would love to come and see you all.” Louise Turpin's sister: we were not brought up like this Teresa Robinette, the sister of Louise Turpin told NBC News: "I've never felt such a diferent mixture of emotions. Like seriously I'm so heartbroken for my neices and my nephews. I'm so angry, I'm so mad, I'm hurt. "Our life wasn't perfect growing up but she didn't live like that. Neither did David, he was raised in a very wealthy home. "As a matter of fact my dad was a preacher at one point when I was very little – they weren't raised like this. I don't know where it came from. I feel like it's a bad dream."



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‘This Is a Highly Respectable Family.’ Grandmother Defends Couple Accused in California 'House of Horrors'

‘This Is a Highly Respectable Family.’ Grandmother Defends Couple Accused in California 'House of Horrors'“They were very protective of the kids,” David Allen Turpin's mother said



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Several 'House Of Cards' Employees Level New Accusations Against Kevin Spacey

Several 'House Of Cards' Employees Level New Accusations Against Kevin SpaceyAn anonymous former production assistant for Netflix’s “House of Cards” said actor Kevin Spacey put his hands down the man’s pants in a nonconsensual encounter, according to a report from CNN.



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'House Of Cards' Creator Responds To Kevin Spacey Sexual Harassment Allegations

'House Of Cards' Creator Responds To Kevin Spacey Sexual Harassment Allegations“House of Cards” creator Beau Willimon is responding to sexual harassment allegations made against the Netflix show’s star, Kevin Spacey.



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Eight dead in shooting at Texas 'house party'

Eight dead in shooting at Texas 'house party'At least eight people are dead, including the suspect, after a shooting at a home in Plano, Texas, authorities in North Texas said Sunday night. The shooting occurred around 8 p.m. in the city less than 20 miles (32.19 kilometers) northeast of Dallas. Plano police spokesman David Tilley said police initially responded to a report of shots fired. When the first officer arrived and went inside the home, the officer confronted the suspected shooter. The officer opened fire, Tilley said, killing the suspect. Two others were injured in the shooting. Their conditions were not released. The shooting occurred at a Dallas Cowboys viewing party, local media reported. Police officers work the scene of a shooting at a home in Plano, north of Dallas, Texas Credit: AP The victims and suspect have not been identified. All of those killed and injured were believed to be adults. Police also have not determined a motive for the shooting. Additional details were not immediately available. Tilley said that a shooting of this magnitude was unusual for Plano, especially in such a quiet neighbourhood. He could not say whether police had been called to the home before Sunday. A police investigation is ongoing.   



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