The man who renewed the Turpin’s vows claims to have video of their kids that he finds ‘haunting’ after learning about the alleged abuse they were put through.
Just over two years before David and Louise Turpin were arrested for allegedly torturing and abusing their 13 children, they renewed their wedding vows in Las Vegas on Halloween 2015. Kent Ripley, the Elvis impersonator who conducted the ceremony, says he helped the couple renew their vows at least three times, so he had memorable dealings with the Turpin family. However, it wasn’t until he learned of the shocking abuse allegations against the parents that he looked back at the interactions in a different light. After the Turpins arrest, Kent watched videos from the vow renewal ceremonies, and was a bit taken aback by what he saw.
“Watching them now, it’s kind of haunting and disturbing,” he told The Associated Press. “They all looked young and thin, but I figured it was just their lifestyle. Maybe the activities they did, maybe because of their religious beliefs. I didn’t get that in depth with them, but I knew they were a fun family.” Kent recalls the kids “dancing and smiling” during their visits to the chapel. However, when the couple’s 17-year-old daughter managed to escape and call 911 earlier this month, police found them in a much different condition. The children, aged 2 to 29, were “severely malnourished,” and some were even chained up.
Ever since the conditions of the Turpin household were finally revealed, the public has been left wondering how neighbors, relatives and others who interacted with the family in the last 20-something years could have not noticed what was going on. David and Louise were arrested on Jan. 14. four days later, they were charged with 12 counts of torture, 12 counts of false imprisonment, seven counts of abuse on a dependent adult and six counts of child abuse. They plead not guilty to the charges and are currently being held on $9 million bail.
HollywoodLifers, do you think the Elvis impersonator should’ve realized there was something wrong with the Turpin kids?