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Back in 2019, David Allen Turpin and Louise Anna Turpin were sentenced to life in prison for holding 12 of their 13 children captive for years — abusing them mentally and physically, depriving them of health care or basic hygiene, and keeping them locked in chains in their home.

It was only when one of their daughters escaped one night and called 911 that she was able to rescue her siblings while her parents were taken away in handcuffs.

What makes this story all the more troubling is that the Turpins were considered a “good Christian family” to the outside world. It’s part of why they were able to get away with their crimes for so long. They belonged to a Pentecostal church and believed God wanted them to have as many children as possible. They got away with the abuse because they said they were homeschooling their kids and had no real oversight.

Now two of their daughters, Jennifer (the oldest child) and Jordan (the one who escaped that fateful night), have spoken to ABC News about what they went through. It’s a horrific story even knowing how it ends.

“They literally used the Bible to explain their behavior to us,” Jennifer said. “They loved to point out things in Deuteronomy, saying that, ‘We have the right to do this to you.’ … That they even had the right to kill us if we didn’t listen.”

Whatever those parents were thinking, they felt justified in hurting their children because they felt a biblical mandate to do it.

The two women telling their stories now are just incredibly brave. It’s only been a few years since they found their freedom and it’ll take a lifetime to catch up on the lives they’ve lost due to their parents’ cruelty. The world is safer, though, with those parents behind bars.

The whole ABC News special is streaming on Hulu, but you can watch most of it starting by clicking on the video above.

(Thanks to everyone for the link)

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Hemant Mehta is the founder of, a YouTube creator, podcast co-host, and author of multiple books about atheism. He can be reached at @HemantMehta.