David and Louise Turpin renewed their wedding vows at least three times at the Elvis Chapel in Las Vegas, complete with an Elvis impersonator. Now that impersonator is as shocked as the rest of the world to hear that sheriff’s officials in Riverside County, California are accusing the couple of chaining some of their 13 children to beds and torturing them.
You can watch the wedding video from one of their vow renewals below, courtesy of the Elvis Chapel.
Sheriff’s officials on January 15, 2018 painted the couple’s home in Perris, California as a house of horrors, alleging that the couple tortured and endangered their 13 children between the ages of 2 and 29 and maintaining that some of the adult children were so emaciated and starved that deputies initially thought they were also children. The horrific sequence of events was exposed when a teenage child inside the home escaped and used a cell phone to report that her siblings were being held captive, authorities alleged.
Once at the home, the officials encountered the Turpins and discovered some of the children chained to beds, according to a news release from the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department. The children also reported that they were starving, authorities said.
The bizarre scene – in which one neighbor even said that Louise Turpin, a homemaker, was allegedly spitting and smirking – stood in stark contrast to the scene at the wedding chapel, where the Elvis impersonator who handled the vow renewal tells Heavy.com that the family seemed happy and nothing seemed awry.
According to Kent Ripley, the Las Vegas entertainer and Elvis impersonator who was present when the Turpins renewed their vows, there seemed to be nothing amiss. He said the couple renewed their vows at the Elvis Chapel at least three times, including for their 30th wedding anniversary. He has not seen the family since 2016, he said.
He described the allegations as “shocking. Through the years, I actually remember them every well,” Ripley said in an interview with Heavy.com. “It’s not every day you meet a family with 12, 13 kids.” He said the couple had 11 children the first time he met them, but the family kept growing.
“They were unique because of the size of the family, the Brady Bunch times 2 plus 1,” he said of the first time he met them. “They seemed to enjoy themselves as a family, they seemed to get along, and the children were well-behaved.”
He said the children “definitely were skinny but seemed to be active and always going places and doing stuff. I do remember they were taught at home; they were home schooled. David had a fairly decent job. To support the family, he was a hard worker.”
According to Ripley, the children “all dressed alike,” and the boys had the same bowl-like haircut as their father. “I joked to him about being a Beatles fan and having a Beatles haircut,” said Ripley. “They seemed to enjoy each other,” he said of the family. “I’m speechless. I hope the kids are okay…David seemed to be very much caring for the kids and his wife.”
The family had gone through financial struggles throughout the years, although David Turpin made good money as an engineer for a defense contractor at least through 2011.
Read more about David and Louise Turpin here: