Parents accused of holding 13 kids captive for years dreamed of being reality TV show stars

Parents accused of holding 13 kids captive for years dreamed of being reality TV show stars
David (center) and Louise Turpin (left), who are accused of holding their 13 children captive, dreamed of having a reality TV show, according to Louise's sister. The couple was charged with 12 counts of torture, seven counts of abuse of a dependent adult, six counts of child abuse or neglect, and 12 counts of false imprisonment. (Terry Pierson/Getty Images)

The California parents accused of starving, torturing and holding their 13 children captive in their suburban home for years dreamed of having a reality TV show, according to USA Today.

Police arrested David Turpin, 56, and Louise Turpin, 49, after 17-year-old girl escaped through a window of the family’s home and called 911.

Billy Lambert, Louise Turpin’s brother, told “Inside Edition” that his sister was obsessed with the reality TV series, “Kate Plus 8,” and that she wanted her family to have a similar show.

“I believe that my sister wanted a reality show because the very last conversation that I had with her before all this happened — she did actually say that she feels that they would be perfect for TV at one point,” Lambert told “Inside Edition”.

Photos on Facebook show the Turpins’ children dressed alike on trips to Disneyland and the Elvis wedding chapel in Las Vegas where the parents renewed their wedding vows at least three times.

Lambert told The Mirror that his sister’s family moved in 2010 from Texas to California “to be nearer to Hollywood.”

Lambert said Louise Turpin recently told him she also wanted to have another baby.

“I asked her why on earth they wanted more children and she said about wanting a reality TV show,” Lambert told The Mirror. “They didn’t care about the kids — it was all about them.”

Are all the children offspring of the couple?

Police are also looking into the DNA of the children after Teresa Robinette, Louise’s sister, told NBC News that her sister had gone through “a spiritual and sexual awakening” several years ago.

Robinette said Louise and David claimed to meet a man online between 2008-2010 and arranged a “tryst” with him in Alabama.

David dropped Louise off at the hotel so she could sleep with the man.

A year later, the Turpins went back to the same hotel where they stayed in the same room so that David could sleep with her in the same bed that she’d slept in with the other man, according to Robinette.

What else?

All of the children, except for the youngest, had been beaten, strangled, and were severely malnourished.

Authorities charged the couple with 12 counts of torture, seven counts of abuse of a dependent adult, six counts of child abuse or neglect, and 12 counts of false imprisonment.

Also, police charged David Turpin with a lewd act on a child by force or fear of duress, CNN reported.

The Turpins pleaded not guilty to all counts.

Bail is set at $12 million each. The couple is expected back in court Feb. 23.

Is there a fund set up to help the victims?

A trust for the children has been set up at the Riverside University Health System Foundation to assist with the long-term care that the Turpin children will need.

Donations can be made at the Perris Sibling Support Fund website. Authorities say this is the only official fund for the Turpin children.

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