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Student Run School News Website

Viper Times

Student Run School News Website

Viper Times

8 Passengers, A YouTube Family Facing Unreal Struggles

Caleb Balos
Graphic of 8-passengers family drawing

Body camera videos have emerged on all social media platforms from the day that YouTube channel family vlogger mom, Ruby Franke, was arrested on 4 counts of child abuse.

8 Passengers was a family vlogging channel that started in early 2015. They gain popularity because they have so many kids and parenting advice. She posted about 5 times a week up until June of 2020. They had 2.5 million followers, with over 1 billion total views.

Many people enjoyed watching their videos because they were raw. They showed their kids growing up, and their life experiences, and sometimes their videos were a little too much for public knowledge. They showed their kids going through puberty and showed how the parents were disciplining them.

Viewers started to realize that some of these things should never be shared with over 2 million strangers on a very public platform. At that time, YouTube was the only app where long videos were uploaded and it was extremely popular.

Their videos were clipped and posted on TikTok in late 2020 with many people concerned about how she treated her kids and all the horrific things she put her kids through. After that, the family deleted their channel.

Ruby Franke came back in 2022 with a new business partner, Jodi Hildebrandt, a new YouTube channel, and Instagram.

Jodi Hildebrandt is the owner of Connexions. This is a parental advice program that was known for splitting up families and ruining people’s lives.

8 Passengers seemed like a normal family, but that wasn’t the case at all. In August of 2023, Ruby Franke and Jodi Hildebrandt were both arrested under 4 counts of child abuse.

Ruby Franke’s son escaped the house that Jodi and Ruby were holding him and his sister in and he walked to a neighbor’s house bruised, beaten, starved, and dehydrated. The neighbor immediately called the police.

Their two oldest children, Shari, and Chad, had already been living separately from their mom. Shari was off to college and Chad was with Kevin (their dad).

The two middle children, Abby and Julie, were at a member of the Connexion’s house helping with cleaning. From what sources say, Ruby dropped off the two on her way to Jodi’s house after she was notified police were there.

The two youngest children, Russel and Eve, were the two children in the house when Ruby and Jodi were arrested.

The two children had rope wounds on their hands and ankles with a chili mixture with different red seasonings with saran wrap and duct tape to keep the mixture on the wounds. The children were severely starved, malnourished, hadn’t showered, and were scared.

The police found Eve in a closet and when they would try and talk to her she wouldn’t respond. They brought her pizza and she ate the whole thing. It took them 4 hours to get her to speak and leave the closet.

They found multiple pieces of evidence in the house such as Ruby’s journals. There are pictures of a large stack of notebooks and 1 one with Ruby confessing everything she has done to her children.

Ruby documented in her journal that she poked her children with cactus needles, poured cold water on them, whipped them with a towel or belt, forced them to stand on hot pavement, restricted food and water, forced them to sleep on the ground and dunking her son Russel in the pool over and over.

She talks about Satin and demonic things in her journal when she describes why she was doing these things to her children and says that her children are satanic and crazy.

Jodi and Ruby both had different plea agreements. Jodis was that she “admitted to knowingly inflicting and allowing another adult to inflict serious physical injuries upon two young children living at her home.”

Rubys’ plea agreement stated that she pleaded guilty to child abuse on her children and is testifying against Jodi.

In an article from CBS News, Ruby admitted to the horrible acts that she committed against her children. Such as hitting them with boots on, holding them underwater, and holding their mouth and nose

Hearing all of this information is incredibly sad. Knowing that when they started YouTube 10 years ago they were a normal family from Utah that just shared their daily life turned into the mother being arrested for child abuse on her four youngest children and doing the unimaginable to them shocked the nation.

This also shows what people are truly like. Influencers, YouTubers, TikTokers, and everyone on social media only show exactly what they want to show.

8 Passengers was just a family from Utah that shared daily life that a lot of people found relatable, but there are deeper darker secrets than just what their videos show you.

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