David and Louise Turpin of Perris, California, have 13 children. The eldest is Jennifer and Jordan Turpin. For many years behind closed doors at home, the parents subjected their children to near-constant physical and psychological abuse.

The children were chained, beaten, starved, left in filthy rooms, and denied a proper education. If the home is their palace for most kids, the Turpin children could only see their house as prison cells.

From the outside, their house looked just like any other suburban residence, but the inside was filled with mounting trash and piles of human waste.

On January 14, 2018, Jordan managed to sneak out of the house and called 911. The kids were eventually rescued.

The parents pleaded guilty to torturing and imprisoning 12 children – the youngest, who was two years old, made the exception at that time.

David and Louise Turpin are now serving their life sentence. In 2020, officials indicated the kids were attending school and that one of them had graduated from college.

In July 2022, the Turpin siblings sued the foster care agency for putting them to further neglect and abuse.


10 /10 ChildNet

The Turpin siblings filed not one but two lawsuits in the Riverside County Superior Court against ChildNet, the foster care agency tasked with overseeing their care.

In a statement in the lawsuit, the siblings indicated they were victims of further abuse physically, emotionally, and sexually by the foster family who took them in after the 2018 rescue.

According to Elan Zekster, the attorney representing Jordan and Jennifer Turpin, the county made a mistake by placing them in the hands of ChildNet.


9 /10 Ignored Alerts

It wasn’t like the county was not aware of the alleged abuse. As stated in the lawsuit, the siblings alerted officials about the abuse but no further inquiry into the report for three years.

In other words, the siblings were left with an abusive foster family after being rescued by their cruel biological parents.

Cited in the complaints were various forms of physical assaults, including but not limited to striking with a belt, head hitting, and hair pulling.

Riverside County Sheriff’s Department

8 /10 Arrested

The foster family has been arrested and charged with multiple accounts of neglect and abuse, and they have pleaded not guilty.

A Riverside Country Department of Public Social Services spokesperson refused to discuss the ongoing lawsuit but said the county is evaluating its services.

Similarly, ChildNet said the organization would not disclose matters about the allegations.

Also, through a spokesperson, the foster care agency reiterated its 50 years of track record serving vulnerable youth across California.


7 /10 Failed Services

Two weeks before the lawsuit, investigators hired by Riverside County concluded their eight-month probe into the ongoing care of the Turpin siblings.

The inquiry was in response to an ABC News investigation as part of a Diane Sawyer 20/20 special aired in November 2021.

During the “Escape from a House of Horror” episode, two Turpin siblings spoke in public for the first time about the hardship they had experienced in the years after the rescue.

An underlined revelation from the probe: the social service system had failed them.

6 /10 Food Insecurity

The Riverside County social service system, provided the siblings a safe transition back to society.

However, in the process, some of the kids were put in the hands of poorly-screened caregivers who ended up being charged with child abuse.

The report also mentioned the older siblings being forced to go through food insecurity and housing instability.

By any standard, their transition from years of false imprisonment into free independent living was far below what everybody expected expectation.

5 /10 Either Falling Short Of Failing Outright

Not everything was wrong in the report. Investigators also gave some good news. Over the last several years, the Turpin siblings received much-needed care from the county.

Some social service system personnel were dedicated enough to navigate the systemic hurdles and provide the attentions the siblings deserved.

That said, the good things seemed like the exceptions in this case. There were more examples of how the childcare system fell short or failed outright.

4 /10 Withholding Reports Of Abuse

According to the lawsuit, ChildNet received alerts about the abuse, but the agency decided to keep the information to itself.

The agency was supposed to forward every report of inappropriate or downright criminal conduct to law enforcement or the county’s protective services.

Instead, ChildNet withheld the words from the authorities. Some siblings mention in the complaint that they were forced to eat excessive food; when they couldn’t take it anymore and threw up, the foster family made them eat their vomit.

3 /10 Sexual Abuse

In another part of the lawsuit, the siblings accuse their former foster father of being sexually abusive. He would grab and rub the girls on the mouth, if not kiss.

Roger Booth, the attorney for four of the youngest Turpin siblings, said the home that ChildNet thought was safe turned out to be anything but.

Zester further explained if the county had oversight over the foster care agency. Officials were required to make sure the kids were in good hands.


2 /10 Jane And John Does

The lawsuit was filed electronically on July 19 to the Riverside County Superior Court.

The siblings are referred to simply as Jane and John Do. The named respondents are Riverside County, ChildNet, and Does 1-50.

Since the news broke out about the lawsuit, there has been a concern about the possibility of other cases of abuse happening to other kids under the ChildNet system.

If such an oversight happened to the Turpin siblings, who arguably are high-profile victims of the House of Horror case, the same mistake could put the lesser-known kids in grave danger.


1 /10 The Plugins

The foster family named in the lawsuit is the Olguins. They were taken into custody in March 2021 for multiple counts of abuse, including false imprisonment, willful cruelty, inflicting injury on a child, and lewd acts with a child.

The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department conducted the investigation leading to the arrest.

In the complaint, the foster father, Marcelino Olguin, is also said to have sexually abused the female siblings. At least three family members were accused of neglect, physical assault, and emotional abuse.

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