New theories are beginning to emerge about the state of mind of David and Louise Turpin.
The husband and wife were arrested and charged with torture and child endangerment last week after their 17-year-old child escaped and fled their California home.
And now, several news sources are starting to suggest that David, 56 was a self-appointed cult leader.
According to The Australian, both David and Louise, 49 were from “deeply Christian backgrounds”
A sister of Louise served with the missionary group Pioneers for Christ, while David was brought up in the Pentecostal faith.
His parents confessed said their children were made to memorise long passages from the Bible.
The Independent also notes that parents convicted in similar cases “exerted control over their children though intimidation, psychological and physical coercion, and frequently possessed their own belief system.”
Attorney Ambrosio Rodriguez who spoke to the publication also noted: “They develop a kind of cultish doomsday type of religion where the father becomes this mythical leader and the mother and children's duty is to serve the father.”
Following David and Louise’s arrest, their thirteen children, aged from two to twenty-nine, were taken to hospital immediately.
Police have since revealed that all siblings were desperately malnourished and pleaded with officers for food and water. It is not known how long their parents kept them chained and shackled in the home.
Wendy Martinez, 41, who lives in a home behind the couple's property, told Daily Mail she saw four of the children kneeling in the front yard late at night at the end of October.
She also revealed that when she called out to the four children it appeared as though they had been instructed not to respond.
Police found that some of the children had been shackled to their beds and were being held in 'a foul-smelling room'.
State records reveal that David Turpin home-schooled his six children at their address, calling it Sandcastle Day School.
The couple are being held at Robert Presley Detention Center east of Los Angeles and their bail has been set at $9million. Earlier this week they both pled not guilty to all charges against them.