The Family Next Door: The Heartbreaking Imprisonment of the 13 Turpin Siblings and Their Extraordinary Rescue

St. Martin’s. Aug. 2019. 320p. ISBN 9781250202130. $28.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250202147. CRIME
In January 2018, a 911 call led to the discovery of the Turpin siblings, 13 children and adults between the ages of two and 29, who were being held and tortured by their parents inside a suburban family home in California. The story was horrifying, even more so because the physical, verbal, and psychological abuse had continued for so long without anyone suspecting. The children lived in filth—they were fed once a day, denied schooling and proper hygiene, and chained to their beds for weeks or months. The parents, Louise and David Turpin, bought the children expensive gifts they couldn’t play with and tortured them with pies that grew moldy on the counter while the children were forbidden to touch them. Most distressingly, Louise and David didn’t seem to understand what they were doing was wrong; in fact, they dreamed of starring in their own reality TV series. Glatt (The Lost Girls; My Sweet Angel) compellingly delves into the history of the sexual abuse Louise suffered as a child and discusses the psychology of abuse survivors.
VERDICT The Turpins’ recent guilty plea to 14 counts of torture and child abuse makes this a timely account for true crime fans.
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