true crime

A former uni classmate describes her 'unforgettable' encounters with the oldest Turpin boy.

For six semesters, a “gaunt” boy who wore the same clothes every day, attended a music course at Mt San Jacinto College in Kentucky.

He was said to have stood apart from his peers in complexion, outlook, and the way he ate. His mother was reportedly waiting for him in the car park as he attended his classes.

Now, that boy’s teachers and fellow students have learnt his true identity. He is the oldest son of David and Louise Turpin, who last week in California were charged with imprisoning and torturing their 13 children – aged two to 29 – within a “house of horrors”.

It was a dark place where the siblings were allegedly chained to beds; made to watch their parents eat; were given only one meal a day; and weren’t allowed to shower more than once a year.

On Sunday, January 14, one of the children – a 17-year-old who looked as if she was 10 – escaped through a window and called emergency services. Police are now combing the place for evidence and the siblings are receiving treatment for extreme malnutrition.

Police last week confirmed that one of the children, a boy, was allowed out of the home. This was to attend university classes with the accompaniment of his mother.

Now, former student Angie Parra has spoken to the media, revealing the sad reality that was this “introverted” boy attending her college.

“He never really wanted to make eye contact with anyone,” Parra told NBC Los Angeles. “There was a sadness in his face and eyes I didn’t understand.”

turpin family california siblings details
The Turpin family. (Image via Facebook.)

She said signs he was hungry were also evident, however no one could guess the true extent of his struggles.

"He stood by the [buffet] table and sat down with his plate and literally just ate plate after plate after plate," Parra said. "I'll never forget this ... he was clearly famished."

The college also released a statement saying: "We at Mt San Jacinto College are deeply saddened and horrified to hear of the allegations involving these children. Our hearts go out to the victims."

David and Louise appeared in court last Thursday, both pleading not guilty to 13 counts of torture; one lewd act on a child; seven counts of abuse of a dependent adult; six counts of child abuse; and 12 counts of false imprisonment.


If convicted, they are facing 94 years to life in prison.

LISTEN: The Stephens Twins and Holly Wainwright deep dive on our fascination with true crime. 

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