Louise Turpin and her husband David are currently in prison for felony child abuse, torture, and imprisonment for raising their 13 children in nightmarish conditions. Louise’s sister Elizabeth Flores opened up in 2019 for Season 6, Episode 8 of Evil Lives Here called “My Twisted Sister.”
Elizabeth and Louise grew up in a religious home in West Virginia with a lot of fighting. Elizabeth remembers her older sister comforting her when their parents would argue. Decades later, however, Elizabeth doesn’t recognize the look in her sister’s eyes.
The dark trauma they both shared
Elizabeth shudders as she looks at photographs of her grandparents because both she and Louise were sexually assaulted by their grandfather as children. It started after Elizabeth’s birthday when her grandfather bought her a Big Wheel tricycle that she had wanted. He told her not to tell anyone, but she did tell one person: her other sister Louise.
Louise started protecting Elizabeth by going in to be with their grandfather in Elizabeth’s place. Elizabeth still wonders if this trauma made her “go insane,” as she puts it, and contributed to how Louise treated and tortured her future children.
Louise found a way out with an older man
When Louise was only 16-years-old she ran away with David Turpin, who was 23. Louise broke the news to her younger sister Elizabeth by promising to make a new family for them to escape the one they had. Still, she asked Elizabeth to not tell anyone that she had been packing. The next day Louise was gone, and Elizabeth realized she had run away with David.
Louise and David were tracked down in Texas, and when they came back Louise begged her parents to let her get married to David. Louise had always dreamed of having 12 children, and she got started right away. Soon enough, Louise and David had four children already.
Elizabeth finds out Louise escaped only to create another hell
During one of Elizabeth’s summer breaks from college when they had four kids, she asked to stay with Louise instead of going home to chaos.
At the time, Elizabeth thought that Louise was living a dream life, but that dream shattered when she actually experienced what was going on in Louise and David’s house.
First red flag: gambling
When David and Louise picked up Elizabeth from West Virginia to take her back to Texas with them the first sign that there was trouble was when they stopped at a casino. David made good money as a computer engineer, but part of the reason why the family always struggled with money was because a lot of what he earned was gambled away.
Elizabeth was shocked because growing up Louise and David had both been strict Christians who associated gambling with going to hell. Still, here they were, and they asked Elizabeth to watch their children in the car while they spent time in the casino. When Elizabeth questioned Louise about gambling, Louise told her that she had changed a lot and didn’t go to church anymore.
While they were gone, Elizabeth got scared as it got darker and darker. Louise and David didn’t come back until the next morning after spending all night playing slots. At that point, Elizabeth felt trapped. She had nowhere to go and hadn’t even made it to their home in Texas yet.
The house was already a mess
When they got to the house, Elizabeth found it was in chaos. Elizabeth offered to help clean up the house, and they worked on it for several days. The children, however, were isolated from the adults and Elizabeth didn’t get to know them. The baby was also left alone all day. Elizabeth was told not to give the baby attention. Louise told her that she was keeping her away from the children because she didn’t want Elizabeth to introduce them to their childhood beliefs.
The isolation deepens for the children
The adults would always eat without the children too. Elizabeth told her that the kids would eat separately after the adults were done. After dinner, she would call the kids down one-by-one, starting with the oldest. The girl would wait for permission from Louise before she took one bite. The children also kept silent and wouldn’t talk to anyone.
Louise and David turned on Elizabeth as well
Louise had been Elizabeth’s protector as a child, but as adults, Louise turned on her. A week into her stay, Louise laid down a set of strict rules to Elizabeth: don’t have any friends, don’t give anyone their address or phone number, don’t have phone calls, and don’t date. Elizabeth said that she and David were really private people. Still, Louise wanted Elizabeth to get a job.
Louise would take her to and from work and monitored her closely. She threatened to kick her out if she made friends.
Elizabeth didn’t feel safe around David
Elizabeth’s brother-in-law would watch her while she showered and would make sexually inappropriate comments to her. One day while she was showering, both David and Louise walked in and started laughing at her and making sexually charged comments. David said he was just trying to “get a good look at that body.” He’d comment that he thought Elizabeth would be good in bed, and Louise would agree.
Elizabeth felt trapped
When it was time for Elizabeth to return to school, Louise made it impossible for her to do so. She made Elizabeth tell their mom that she didn’t have money to go back and that Louise needed help with the kids. At this point, Elizabeth felt imprisoned and didn’t see a way out.
Elizabeth broke a rule
At work, Elizabeth broke one of Louise’s rules by getting a boyfriend named Jonathan. Louise caught them one day in the parking lot and told her that she couldn’t come back home. Jonathan offered her a place to stay, and nine months later they got mattered. At the time, Elizabeth said she was just so relieved to get out of the house herself that she didn’t think much about rescuing the children.
Louise continued to have more and more kids
Elizabeth and Louise remained disconnected for 14 years. By the time they reconnected, Louise had 12 children. Elizabeth noticed that the children still didn’t talk, and they were shockingly skinny. Louise said they were thin because they had “good genes.” She also revealed that she was going to pull the children from school.
Elizabeth was shocked to hear that, but Louise told her that they’d made up their minds and that they were moving to California. A major reason they were moving from Texas to California was because California had more lenient laws when it came to homeschooling. At this time they were living in complete squalor in rural Texas where they kept the kids locked in a back shed. The oldest child Jennifer had unsuccessfully tried to escape.
Maintaining an illusion
For a while, Elizabeth thought things were getting better because of the photos Louise would share on social media of the entire family out at Disneyland and on various family outings. They were usually dressed the same, but Elizabeth thought they were looking healthier. Of course, it was all an illusion.
One day Elizabeth skyped with her oldest niece Jennifer, who was in her 20s but looked like a young teen. She had her hands behind her back and Louise was sitting really close to her. She seemed afraid to answer questions.
One day people started sending Elizabeth Facebook messages when news broke that David and Louise Turpin had been charged for child abuse for imprisoning, torturing, and starving their children.
17-year-old Jordan Turpin had escaped in the middle of the night with an unactivated cellphone that was still able to call 911. The terrified emaciated teen had waited in the middle of the road hoping that police would come to rescue her.
Two of Jordan’s sisters were chained up at home, and David and Louise didn’t know to untie them before they were swarmed by police officers that morning. The children had only been allowed to shower once a year and they were severely malnourished and underweight. They had been isolated, beaten, and tortured.
Elizabeth now thinks her brother-in-law looks like a serial killer and her sister looks evil in their mugshots. She reflected that her parents had trusted David Turpin because his family was so religious in their small community.
To get some closure, Elizabeth went to the Turpin family home to see for herself what was going on. Just by looking in the windows, Elizabeth could see the filth and squalor that the children had lived in.
Elizabeth went to see Louise in prison, where her older sister apologized to her. She also asked her sister to not believe everything she read in the news but never denied anything. She also never admitted to anything.
Louise and David pleaded guilty to 14 counts of torture and imprisonment of their children. They were sentenced to 25 years in prison in April 2019. Elizabeth thinks her sister Louise deserves this, and even more. She thinks she deserved life in prison instead of 25 years. Elizabeth wants her nieces and nephews to heal from this and live a normal life. She also wants them to know that they have family who care for them and who aren’t like their parents.