‘8 Passengers’ mom arrested for child abuse


YouTuber incarcerated due to abusing children. Photo Courtesy of HD Wallpapers

Olivia Heilemann
Copy Editor

Popular YouTube star Ruby Franke was arrested on Aug. 30 for two counts of aggravated child abuse after a neighbor called the police regarding a malnourished child. She was arrested along with her colleague Jodi Hildebrandt, founder of ConneXions, an online life counseling channel.

Franke gained fame after documenting the lives of her family daily on the popular video-sharing website YouTube. Franke was known to post about her conservative Christian parenting styles on the channel along with her husband Kevin and their six children.

The oldest daughter, Shari, often posed as a third caretaker for her younger siblings and was known to be compared to her mother, so it was surprising to viewers when she left the family channel over a year ago. At the time of the arrest, Shari posted a picture to her Instagram story of what looks like Franke being handcuffed by police. She captioned it “finally.”

In the past few years, viewers have made notable arguments on potential abuse from Ruby Franke, and many pulled clips from her YouTube channel that suggest trauma on her children. Some of these clips include inhumane punishments all the way down to their youngest daughter at only four years old. It was noted that Child Protective Services had been called a number of times before, but no evidence was found until the two youngest children were found malnourished and bound by duct tape. The channel was deleted not long after the arrest. 

Shortly after Ruby Franke discontinued her family vlogging channel, she joined Jodi Hildebrandt at ConneXions. With ConneXions, the two posted podcast-like videos of them giving life advice about how to discipline their children. Many viewers found their advice to be alarming and were not surprised by the arrest of the two women.  

Hours after Shari Franke, the oldest daughter, posted the news of the arrest, she followed up with another post informing fans of what was going on.

“We’ve been trying to tell the police and CPS for years about this, and so glad they finally decided to step up,” Shari wrote. “Kids are safe, but there is a long road ahead.”

Following the first court hearing on Sept. 8, Ruby Franke will be held without bail along with Jodi Hildebrandt. Both were charged with six felony counts of aggravated child abuse.