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The award-winning student news site of Olympic Heights High School

The Torch

The Fall of a YouTuber: Ruby Franke

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The Fall of a YouTuber: Ruby Franke

Ruby Franke, a family vlogger known for her former YouTube channel, 8 Passengers, was arrested on August 30th for abusing two out of the six of her children. Since then, eyes have been opened to her continuous abuse that has shown over the last 8 years of her YouTube channel. 

On the night of August 30th, a bone-chilling phone call was made to emergency services by the Franke’s neighbor after 12-year-old Russell Franke made a daring escape from his abusive household to save his life. In the 911 transcript, the neighbor says, “He’s emaciated, he’s got tape around his legs. He’s hungry and he’s thirsty.” Olympic Heights Sophomore, Nialy Dasilva expresses, “That woman is a nut-case. I can’t believe the police didn’t do something about it before. I hope she gets everything she deserves.”

Speculation of Ruby and her now ex-husband, Kevin’s abuse has been going on as early as they started their YouTube channel. Back in 2019, the youngest child in the family, Eve, was just starting kindergarten. One day, she forgot her lunchbox, and Ruby Franke not only refused to bring it to her but told the school to not provide Eve with lunch to teach her a lesson. In May 2020, the YouTube channel posted a video where their eldest son said he had been sleeping in a beanbag chair since October, which was seven months. This raised a lot of concern for the children, and viewers started blowing the family up on platforms such as TikTok. It caused the police to visit the home that June, in which they found nothing. “I remember being so alarmed after seeing these clips back in 2020. I always knew something was wrong,” speaks Adyson Schwalb, Olympic Heights Sophomore.

Prior to all of this, about three years ago, Ruby Franke cut all contact with her family members. This caused so much pain in her family’s lives and even caused her mother to have a heart attack and kidney failure. Ruby claimed they were a distraction for her, but it has come out that she joined a “cult life” from a relevant coaching group she used for guidance called “ConneXions.”

Although Ruby Franke is the face of this abuse, we can’t forget about her accomplices, Kevin Franke and Jodi Hildebrandt. Kevin Franke, Ruby’s now ex-husband and the father of all six children, has not been charged with any abuse as of now, but there is no doubt he could’ve been involved. Kevin moved out of the Franke home in July 2022, but most of the abusive stories were from before then. Ruby’s sister, Bonnie Hoellein, has come out to say this about Kevin: “One person that could’ve done something within his legal right was Kevin. We had zero contact with him. It was Kevin’s job to check in on things and he did not.”

Jodi Hildebrandt was also arrested with Ruby Franke and is also being charged with six counts of child abuse. Hildebrandt is the founder and creator of the formerly reference life coaching company, ConneXions. The company was for people in “distortion,” meaning people with addictions, people who were manipulative, people with relationship issues, etc. She also, ironically, had a parenting class.

 After Ruby joined ConneXions in 2022, she formed a close bond with Hildebrandt. After deleting her family YouTube channel, she became a regular on Jodi’s “ConneXions podcast.” Past clients of Jodi’s have come out to say the group made them feel “more evil” and that it turned their partner against them. You might be wondering, how is Jodi, a life coach, involved in the abuse? At the time that Russell made his braving escape, Eve was found in the same condition as him at  Hildebrandt’s home. 

While new information pertaining to Ruby’s case, sentence, and children is still coming out, we have no doubt that she will be locked up for a very long time. Let’s pray for a healthy recovery for her children, especially the ones who still lived with her at the time of the arrest. 

 

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  • A

    Ayleen GalantiniApr 12, 2024 at 11:39 am

    It’s not surprising she got arrested because unfortunately, many parents exploit their children online for money and views. They don’t see the harm and possible trauma their children can endure from social media, especially from the nasty people online. I hope the children can recover safely.

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  • J

    Julia Andrade XavierSep 26, 2023 at 11:28 am

    Ruby has always treated her children in a questionable and frowned upon manner, so I’m not surprised with her arrest. Hopefully the kids can move past this and recover.

    Reply
  • A

    Angelina MagnayeSep 26, 2023 at 11:24 am

    Good job! Provides clear understanding on the topic, and identifies all points and perspectives on the events that occured.

    Reply