The seven adult Turpin siblings are turning to music therapy to heal nearly a month-and-a-half after they were first discovered living in a California house where they’d allegedly been abused and held captive by their parents, David Allen Turpin and Louise Anna Turpin.
Corona Regional Medical Center CEO Mark Uffer told CNN that the siblings, who were allegedly tortured and deprived of basic necessities for years, were even treated to a private concert by world-renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma on March 2nd.
“They were just amazed, awestruck by the level of talent,” Uffer said. “They really enjoyed it.” Ma, who was in Corona for another event, heard about the siblings’ “interest in music” and offered to play an impromptu 30-minute concert. (He is, perhaps unbeknownst to the Turpin siblings, one of the world’s most celebrated cellists, having performed for eight American presidents and being the recipient of the National Medal of the Arts and Presidential Medal of Freedom, among other honors).
The six younger children, who are all minors, are currently being cared for at a different Riverside County facility.
The older siblings are also learning to play guitar and have been singing Tom Petty’s “Learning to Fly” and John Denver’s “Take Me Home, Country Roads” as part of their therapy, Uffer said.
“For the first time in their lives, they have choices that they can make, from the mundane, like what to eat, what to wear or whether they should kick the soccer ball around,” he said. “They are getting into all sorts of activities like that. It’s just great to see them enjoying the freedom to make choices.”
In addition to music, the seven adult siblings have also been familiarizing themselves with other tidbits of pop culture, watching the Star Wars and Harry Potter films.
“They immediately identify with characters and our female clients love female characters in movies,” Jack Osborn, their attorney, told the Palm Springs Desert Sun. “They’ve really embraced those kinds of things. My impression is a lot of the stuff is new to them.” Osborn’s firm is representing the older Turpin siblings, who range in age from 18 to 29. He explained that the long-term plan is to keep them all together in Riverside County.
The siblings also enjoy playing basketball and soccer outside, as well as reading books about nature and insects. Lasagne has turned out to be a favorite food, though burritos have not proven popular.
“Most of all, they’re looking forward to being independent and coming up with a game plan for their life,” Osborn said. “They want to finish school; they want to have careers. They look forward to going out to movies and shopping and everything else people their age are doing.”
In January, authorities discovered all 13 Turpin children, ranging in age from two to 29, living in squalor at their Perris, California home with “several children shackled to their beds with chains and padlocks in dark and foul-smelling surroundings,” according to the Riverside Country Sheriff’s Department. Louise and David have since been charged with multiple counts of felony torture, child abuse, abuse of dependent adults and false imprisonment.