Jordan Turpin escaped from the ‘house of horrors’ and made the 911 call that rescued her siblings from their abusive parents. As Jordan shares her story in a new special, learn more about her here.
Jordan Turpin has been lauded as a hero ever since she saved her 12 siblings from their parent’s “house of horrors” several years ago. Jordan, then 17, and her siblings were prisoners in David and Louise Turpin‘s home in Perris, California, where they suffered horrific abuse. On January 14, 2018, Jordan heroically crawled through a window and called 911, which resulted in the siblings’ rescues and David and Louise’s arrests. In 2019, the couple pleaded guilty to 14 felony counts, including child cruelty and torture and false imprisonment. They were sentenced to 25 years to life in prison. Jordan, now 21, and older sister Jennifer, 31, will break their silence on their story in a 20/20 exclusive, Escape From a House of Horror, with Diane Sawyer that airs on Nov. 19.
Below, learn all about Jordan Turpin — including how she managed to pull off her life-changing escape, and how she’s adjusted since being free.
Jordan endured horrific abuse at the hands of her parents.
Jordan and her siblings were subject to unimaginable acts of abuse by their parents for years. The children, who ranged in ages from 2 to 29, were often beaten and starved, and some were shackled to the beds. Deputies have testified that the kids were only fed once per day, and showered once per year. In the 20/20 special, Jordan said they were “close to death so many times” and woke up terrified each day. “Mother, she choked me, and I thought I was going to die,” Jordan recalled.
Justin Bieber inspired Jordan to escape.
In the special, Jordan credits Justin Bieber with giving her the inspiration to finally escape from her parent’s home. “I don’t know where we would be if we didn’t watch Justin Bieber,” she told Diane. “Sometimes, especially when we were younger, my mother and father would leave. The older ones would sneak in and turn on the TV. So we would see music videos and stuff, and that’s where we learned a lot. I would watch a lot of Justin Bieber.” Jordan went on to explain that watching the “Baby” singer’s interviews helped her realize she wanted to explore life outside their abusive home. “Watching him, that made me learn fast, smarter, because I started paying attention,” she shared. “I started realizing that there is a different world out there. I only knew one world and that was like always being there. I was always like, ‘I want to be out there. I want to be like that being free, not being trapped.’ “
Jordan’s older sister Jennifer gave her advice in their escape plan.
Jordan’s big sister Jennifer was a big help in their heroic rescue. In a preview for the 20/20 special, Jordan said she was emboldened to strategize an escape plan after two of her younger sisters had been chained to their beds for about four months. “I was so scared that one of us was actually going to die,” she said. “She was like, ‘We need to get out of here,’ ” Jennifer, who was 29 at the time, added. “So I gave her all the advice I knew, all the advice I could.” The plan was two years in the making, sped up by their mother’s announcement that they would soon move to Oklahoma. Jennifer told Diane, “The very next day we were moving. It was literally now or never.”
Jordan was the person to call 911 and report her parents.
On January 14, 2018, Jordan and her siblings were finally freed after the then-teenager escaped from a window and ran out to the street, where she called 911. An audio clip from the 20/20 special includes the exact call that Jordan made to authorities after escaping. “I just ran away from home because I live in a family of 15 and we have abusing parents,” Jordan says. “My two little sisters now are chained up, on their bed.” Jordan reflected on that life-changing moment when speaking to Diane. “My whole body was shaking. I couldn’t really dial 9-1-1,” she said. Another clip from the special shows that Jordan admitted to the police she was unfamiliar with the area she lived in, as well as what medication was. “I was actually on the road, because I didn’t even know about the sidewalks,” she said in the interview. “I’d never been out there.”
Jordan is blossoming in her post-freedom life.
It’s now been almost 4 years since Jordan and her siblings escaped, and they’ve done their best to adjust to the real world. The 20/20 special reveals that Jordan received her high school diploma one year after the escape, according to E! News. She is currently taking college classes. Jordan also confirmed to Diane that all of the siblings have kept in touch since they got their freedom, thanks especially to Jordan. “Every time we’re together, it’s a very special moment,” she said. “We always know at the end of the day, we’re always gonna have each other.”