Secrets, Scandals, and Shocking Twists: The Ruby Franke Family’s Dark and Twisted Tale Exposed


In the realm of digital media and family-oriented content, few figures have garnered as much attention, both positive and negative, as Ruby Franke, the driving force behind the now-defunct YouTube channel, 8 Passengers. Recent events have thrust her into the spotlight, as she faces two charges of aggravated child maltreatment. But to truly understand this unfolding narrative, we must delve deeper into the complex web of controversies, family dynamics, and legal implications that surround Ruby Franke and 8 Passengers.

The Arrest That Shook the Online World

Ruby Franke’s recent arrest on charges of aggravated child maltreatment sent shockwaves throughout the digital landscape. It all began when authorities made a distressing discovery – a malnourished child bearing severe injuries, with their extremities painfully bound by duct tape. This horrifying revelation raised numerous questions about the family’s dynamics and the content they shared on their YouTube channel.

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The Collaborative Controversy with Jodi Hildebrandt

Ruby Franke’s partnership with Jodi Hildebrandt, her business partner and the founder of ConneXions, adds another layer of complexity to this narrative. ConneXions is an organization that specializes in life counseling, with a particular focus on parenting and relationships. However, their advice has been met with significant criticism, with many arguing that it promotes an unduly harsh approach to child-rearing.

Unveiling 8 Passengers: A Digital Journey into Family Life

In early 2015, Ruby Franke and her husband embarked on a digital journey by launching the family YouTube channel, 8 Passengers. This channel provided an intimate look into their lives as a family of eight, with children named Shari, Chad, Abby, Julie, Russell, and Eve. The Franke family quickly gained popularity, amassing nearly 2.3 million subscribers who eagerly followed their day-to-day experiences.

The Mysterious Disappearance of 8 Passengers

Despite its popularity, 8 Passengers suddenly vanished from YouTube, leaving viewers perplexed and curious about the reasons behind its removal. Unfortunately, no official explanation has been provided by the platform, adding an air of mystery to the situation.

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Allegations and Investigations: Unearthing the Truth

The Franke family’s journey reflects the broader debate surrounding family-centric YouTube channels. In June 2020, a petition prompted local child protective services to investigate the family’s actions. The allegations range from accusations of child maltreatment to concerns about their parenting style.

One noteworthy incident from a since-deleted video featured Chad, one of the Franke children, revealing that he had spent seven months confined to a bean bag as a punishment for behavioral issues. This revelation stirred controversy and led to further scrutiny of the family’s actions.

Insider, a prominent news outlet, reported on Utah’s Division of Child and Family Services’ involvement in investigating the Franke household. However, their inquiry concluded without substantiating the allegations, leaving many baffled by the outcome.

A spokesperson for the division cited confidentiality and privacy reasons for their inability to disclose information about the case, both past and present. The Franke family also faced criticism for their decision not to deliver lunch to their then-six-year-old daughter at school, threats to dispose of cherished possessions, and reluctance to grant their children personal space.

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ConneXions: Extreme or Enlightening?

ConneXions, led by Jodi Hildebrandt, offers life counseling services, with a primary focus on parenting and relationships. While some clients have found the guidance enlightening, others have decried it as extreme.

One video, in particular, gained notoriety, featuring Ruby Franke and Hildebrandt discussing the notion that a child who refuses to adhere to their “principles of truth” may not truly love unconditionally and could face estrangement from their family. This controversial perspective intensified the scrutiny surrounding their counseling services.

Ruby Franke plays an active role in ConneXions and is listed as a key member of the organization’s business team, holding the title of a “certified mental fitness trainer.”

Legal Implications: Facing the Consequences

Ruby Franke’s arrest on charges of aggravated child maltreatment signifies a significant legal ordeal. In the legal context of Utah, aggravated child maltreatment encompasses acts that either “inflict upon a child serious physical injury” or “cause or permit another to inflict serious physical injury upon a child.”

The Santa Clara-Ivins Public Safety Department, in a statement issued on Thursday, detailed their discovery of evidence leading to a nearby residence. Within this residence, they found a second child in a similar condition to the first. Both of these distressed juveniles were promptly transported to a medical facility, while an additional four minors were placed under the protective care of the Division of Child and Family Services.

The Family’s Response: A Voice from Within

Shari Franke, the eldest of the Franke children, took to Instagram to share her perspective on these momentous events. Her message expressed relief that justice is being served and provided reassurance regarding the well-being of her siblings. However, she tempered this relief with a sober acknowledgment of the challenging road ahead.

Prior to these developments, Shari Franke had distanced herself from her immediate family, citing concerns about the purportedly “extreme” tenets espoused by ConneXions, as reported by Insider. In a surprising turn of events, Elle Mechem, Julie Griffiths Deru, and Bonnie Hoellein, individuals who claim kinship with Ruby Franke and are also prominent family influencers, released a joint statement via Instagram. Their statement underlines the importance of this reckoning for the safety and well-being of the children.

The Ongoing Saga: A Complex and Perplexing Narrative

As this complex narrative continues to evolve, it immerses us in a world of intricate human relationships and the labyrinthine corridors of the justice system. Numerous questions linger, and the ultimate resolution of this perplexing saga remains shrouded in uncertainty.

In conclusion, the story of Ruby Franke and 8 Passengers is a cautionary tale of the challenges and controversies that can arise in the world of family-oriented content creation. It serves as a reminder of the importance of ethical and responsible content production and parenting, prompting us all to reflect on our roles as creators and consumers of digital media.

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