Table of Contents
- Quick Bio
- Who is Ruby Franke?
- The Early Life of Ruby Franke
- Kevin Franke: Ruby Franke’s Husband
- Ruby Franke and Kevin Franke are Getting Divorced?
- The Children of Ruby Franke
- Ruby Franke’s YouTube Channel: 8 Passengers
- Ruby Franke’s Problematic Parenting Style
- Ruby’s Other Channel: ConneXions
- Child Abuse Accusations
- Response from Ruby Franke’s Family
- Where is Ruby Franke Now?
Ruby Franke was once a beloved family vlogger and a prominent figure on the YouTube channel “8 Passengers.” She became a household name for documenting her family’s everyday adventures, which included her husband, Kevin, and their six kids.
Fans tuned in regularly to witness the joys and challenges of a large, loving family. However, in a shocking turn of events in August 2023, Ruby Franke found herself at the center of a disturbing controversy.
Authorities arrested her on child abuse charges, citing the discovery of a malnourished child with alarming wounds and duct tape restraining their extremities.
This heartbreaking incident shocked her fanbase, dramatically altering her public image. In this article, we will explore Ruby’s personal life, examining the details surrounding her child abuse case and its profound implications.
|Date of Birth
|Place of Birth
|United States of America
|Content Creator on YouTube
|Shari, Chad, Abby, Julie, Russell, and Eve
|Elle Mechem, Julie Griffiths Deru, and Bonnie Hoellein
Who is Ruby Franke?
Ruby Franke, a former Utah-based YouTuber and mother of six rose to fame as a prominent figure on the YouTube channel “8 Passengers.”
The channel offered a window into the daily life of the Franke family, featuring Ruby, her husband Kevin, and their six children. Ruby’s content blended family adventures, invaluable parenting insights, and relatable moments.
However, August 2023 brought a devastating twist to her public persona as she faced a harrowing arrest on two counts of aggravated child abuse.
This heart-wrenching incident shattered her image as a beloved family vlogger and parenting influencer, marking a profound shift in her life and career.
The Early Life of Ruby Franke
Ruby Franke is primarily recognized for her online presence, with limited information about her early upbringing and education. Details regarding her parents are also scarce in the public domain.
It has been reported that Elle Mechem, Julie Griffiths Deru, and Bonnie Hoellein are her sisters, further highlighting her connections within the family influencer community.
Ruby Franke has maintained a relatively private personal background, keeping many aspects of her life from the public eye.
Kevin Franke: Ruby Franke’s Husband
Kevin Franke is the husband of Ruby Franke, the creator of the YouTube channel “8 Passengers.” He has recently found himself in the spotlight due to his wife’s legal troubles.
With Ruby Franke facing legal issues and subsequent arrest, Kevin has taken on the responsibility of caring for their children during this challenging period. His primary focus is keeping their family together and supporting their children amidst the turmoil.
This turn of events has thrust Kevin Franke into a new role as he navigates the situation’s complexities alongside his family. Kevin Franke’s professional background includes a role as an associate professor at Brigham Young University.
However, it was reported earlier this spring that his employment at the university ended. The university’s spokesperson did not disclose why he departed from the job.
Ruby Franke and Kevin Franke are Getting Divorced?
Ruby and Kevin Franke have maintained a conspicuous about their potential divorce, leaving their relationship status in question. According to sources, Kevin has moved out and separated from Ruby.
Amid this unconfirmed divorce, Ruby reportedly resided with her business partner, Jodi Hildebrandt, at Hildebrandt’s residence. It is the same house where Ruby stayed during her arrest.
The Franke family’s matters continue to be a subject of interest and speculation among their followers and the public.
The Children of Ruby Franke
Ruby and Kevin Franke, a Mormon couple, are the proud parents of six children: Shari, Chad, Abby, Julie, Russell, and Eve. They were frequently featured in the 8 Passengers series, but since the channel went dark, they have chosen to step away from the public eye.
While details about the Franke kids are currently unclear, their mother, Ruby, has described them as “amazing” and admired their strength.
In the face of adversity and backlash, Ruby highlighted their resilience and their capacity for forgiveness, revealing that her children even prayed for those who criticized them.
The eldest son, Chad, aged 17, has reportedly moved out, potentially due to family issues. Shari, the oldest daughter and a student at BYU, has allegedly severed contact with her immediate family.
Ruby Franke’s YouTube Channel: 8 Passengers
In 2015, Ruby and Kevin Franke launched their family YouTube channel, “8 Passengers.” It documented their daily lives with their six children: Shari, Chad, Abby, Julie, Russell, and Eve.
The channel amassed nearly 2.3 million subscribers, focusing on Franke’s parenting style, the children’s upbringing, and homeschooling. It was all within the context of their Utah home.
However, one day, the channel mysteriously disappeared from YouTube, with no official explanation from the platform. Forbes reported its removal earlier this year.
Kevin Franke directed inquiries to his attorney, Randy Kester, who has yet to respond to requests for comment. Meanwhile, attempts to contact the adult children, Shari and Chad Franke, for comment have failed.
Ruby Franke’s Problematic Parenting Style
In June 2020, child protective services were alerted following a Change.org petition triggered by a video in which their then-15-year-old son, Chad, spoke about a seven-month punishment.
The case was eventually closed due to unsupported claims. The Frankes faced additional criticism for denying personal space, withholding lunch for a forgetful child, and their strict adherence to certain principles alongside life coach Jodi Hildebrandt.
Ruby Franke’s role as a “certified mental fitness trainer” for ConneXions has also drawn attention to these controversial parenting teachings.
Ruby’s Other Channel: ConneXions
In June 2022, Ruby Franke started a new YouTube channel named ConneXions, where she partnered with Jodi Nan Hildebrandt.
Hildebrandt, a therapist, had previously faced disciplinary action from the Utah Clinical Mental Health Counselor Licensing Board in January 2012.
Her license was placed on probation for 18 months due to a controversial incident where she discussed a patient’s “porn addiction” without obtaining the patient’s permission.
It led to significant backlash. The Franke-Hildebrandt channel immediately raised concerns among viewers due to its controversial content.
In one video, Hildebrandt seemed to suggest that women who experienced rape had made a “choice.” In another, Ruby Franke indicated that children didn’t deserve privacy or unconditional love, sparking widespread criticism.
Child Abuse Accusations
Ruby Franke and Jodi Hildebrandt were in legal trouble when they were arrested in Utah on aggravated child abuse charges. These grave charges were filed after authorities discovered malnourished childbearing open wounds and duct tape on their extremities.
In Utah, aggravated child abuse pertains to actions causing serious physical harm to a child or permitting others to inflict such harm. Further investigation led law enforcement to a nearby residence where another child was found in a similar state.
Both children were promptly hospitalized, while four other minors were placed under the care of the Division of Child and Family Services.
Response from Ruby Franke’s Family
Shari Franke, the eldest of the Franke children, took to Instagram, declaring it a “big day” as justice was served. She revealed their long-standing attempts to alert the authorities, expressing gratitude that they had finally taken action.
Shari had previously distanced herself from her family due to her disagreement with the “extreme” beliefs. In addition, Elle Mechem, Julie Griffiths Deru, and Bonnie Hoellein, Ruby Franke’s sisters and fellow family influencers, confirmed the necessity of Ruby’s arrest.
They disclosed their behind-the-scenes efforts to ensure the children’s welfare over the past three years.
Where is Ruby Franke Now?
On August 30, Ruby and Jodi found themselves in legal trouble, as the Santa Clara-Ivins Public Safety agency arrested them and are currently in custody with the Washington County Sheriff’s Office.
They are facing two counts of aggravated child abuse, intentionally or knowingly. While viewers had raised concerns about Ruby’s behavior for years, this marks the first time law enforcement has intervened.
The substantial presence of over 20 officers during the arrest, typically unusual for a Child Protective Services case, suggests significant evidence against Ruby. The hope is that justice will prevail and Ruby will be held accountable for her abusive actions.