David and Louise Turpin have become infamous since their arrest late last year when it was revealed that they had kept their thirteen children imprisoned in a basement and abused them for years. Many of the children had been strapped to their bed, and all but the youngest were severely malnourished with the eldest weighing just 82 pounds, or 5 stone.
Other details emerged that revealed the Turpin parents would provide only one meal a day, and would keep luxury items just out of the children’s reach. Perhaps one of the strangest details is that the parents maintained a seemingly normal social media presence, including a Facebook account with photos of the children smiling at Disneyworld while wearing matching outfits.
All the children under-18 have been split up and moved to foster homes while the adult children have remained at hospital where a section has been refitted for their needs. They have apparently spent their time recovering, exercising outdoors, and watching movies like Harry Potter for the first time in their life. Their representative told reporters,
“That in itself is a new experience for them, understanding that they do have rights and they do have a voice. 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.”
Meanwhile David and Louise Turpin have continued to behave shamelessly, grinning while the judge spoke during an earlier court appearance and pleading not-guilty to all 37 counts of abuse. Now they have been summoned to court once more and repeated their strange behaviour. As the judge added three more charges to their (long) list of crimes they continued to sit and stare vacantly at each other with broad smiles.
This is in spite of them facing a list of crimes that includes abuse, torture, and assault, all perpetrated against their own children.
Their next court appearance will begin the long process of hearing testimony from law enforcement officers. While it is expected that the children will eventually have to give testimony themselves, it is hoped that by having police and first-responders take the stand first more time can be given to the children for their recovery.