The Horror of Thirteen Malnourished Siblings in Perris, CA

Picture of a child and the word "crime"How could this have happened among us? I am talking about the 13 siblings who were held captive and suffered malnourishment at the hands of their own parents. How disgusting! Kudos to the 17-year-old daughter who escaped and called 911 to alert officials. She is the heroine in this horror.

First of all, what kind of parents could and would do something so terrible? In this case, I am using the term parents loosely. It does not appear that any parenting had been going on in the home for a long time. Hospital staff members were brought to tears at the sight of seven of the 13 malnourished siblings.  (I cried just reading and writing about this.) Those seven were all adults. According to hospital CEO and Chief Managing Director Mark Uffer, he has never seen mistreatment of this magnitude.

Clearly, no parenting had been happening in the home for long time. As for what kind of parents could and would do this, I can only conclude they must be either mentally ill, demonically-possessed, or a combination of the two. No parents in their right mind could and would do this to their own children. Of course, the Bible warns us that in the last days there will be those who are “without natural affection” (2 Timothy 3:3).

That brings me to my second question. Where was everybody? I am talking about neighbors and family members. It’s not as if the 13 were living in the boonies somewhere. Their house was located about 27 miles outside of San Bernardino, California. Maybe I am being naïve, but how can something so morally repugnant happen in our neighborhood—for so long–and no one in the neighborhood becomes suspicious enough to knock on the door or call a legal authority to check things out?

In the Christian community, we are commanded to love our neighbors as ourselves. I just can’t believe that the hell occurring in the home where the 13 siblings lived did not give some hints of abnormality. What does this say about us as fellow neighbors?

Now for the family members. Surely Louise and David Turpin, the two perpetrators of this betrayal of trust, have family members somewhere in the world. Surely the 13 brothers and sisters have relatives. I heard one family member on the news say she had not seen the children in years. Yet no relative cared enough to inquire about their well-being? Really? This is just sad all around.

Perhaps what happened in Perris, California will be a wake-up call for all of us. This not a put down; just a fact. Sometimes, it’s not OK for us to simply mind our own business. That definitely was the case with regard to the home of the Turpins in Perris, CA. In this instance, one of the victims had to rise to the occasion to bring an end to the nightmare of the severely malnourished siblings. Now let the long-term healing process begin.

Copyright © 2018 by Frank King. All rights reserved.

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2 thoughts on “The Horror of Thirteen Malnourished Siblings in Perris, CA

  1. Thank you, Frank, for addressing this outrageous horror. My concern is that they were supposedly homeschooling their children. Those who oppose homeschooling will now use this to make all homeschoolers suspect.

    • Kathleen, now that you mention it, I did hear that they were on record as homeschooling. And you are right that this may result in increased scrutiny for all homeschoolers. I can’t even imagine what those 13 siblings went through. God help them to heal from the inside out.

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