Ever since 13 children were rescued from their parents’ home in California last Sunday, the world has watched an endless torrent of disturbing details emerge with one, resounding question.
In all the horror that Louise Turpin, 49, and David Turpin, 57, allegedly inflicted upon their children – including starving, strangling, and chaining them to bedposts – the couple’s motivation for the alleged abuse is not clear.
“Sometimes in this business, we are faced with looking at human depravity and that is what we are looking at here,” Riverside County District Attorney Mike Hestrin said in a press conference last Thursday.
No one can understand it. How these children, aged two to 29, emerged from the home so malnourished they look prepubescent with their muscles wasting away. That they’d been planning for two years to escape, until one of the daughters finally had the courage to climb out a window and call for help. Responding police officers thought she was 10. She was actually 17.
But now, one explanation – if there is such a thing – is on offer.
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According to Louise’s half-brother Billy Lambert, 30, who is a self-employed mobile home remodeler in Tennessee, the Turpin parents wanted their own reality TV show – a platform they thought could make them famous.
Speaking to The Mirror, Lambert said the couple moved to California from their home in Texas (police say that’s when the abuse “intensified”) in order to be closer to Hollywood. They wanted to make “millions”.
“She used to say how they would be perfect for television and would often mention they would be bigger that the reality show Kate Plus 8,” Lambert said.
It’s reported Louise wanted yet another child to increase the family’s potential as reality TV stars.