McHenry High School's student-written and -edited newspaper

The McHenry Messenger

McHenry High School's student-written and -edited newspaper

The McHenry Messenger

McHenry High School's student-written and -edited newspaper

The McHenry Messenger

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Not so “ideal family”

Youtube star and mother of six, Ruby Franke is convicted of aggravated child abuse
Screenshot from KSL News / YouTube
Ruby Franke, known for her parenting YouTube channel “8passengers”, plead guilty to four counts of aggravated child abuse in court on December 18, 2023.

Ruby Franke, 42 year old mom of six children Sheri 20, Chad 18, Abby 16, Julie 14, Russell 12, and Eve 9 also a youtuber that was a family channel portrayed as an “Ideal family”.

The family channel had two million subscribers. They had an influence on people who watched them hoping they could live the life they do, or using them as an example of how they want their future family or family to be.

Many people who watched them had started to notice irregular behavior in the videos of how the mom treated her children. For example most families would discipline with grounding, no electronics, not allowed to go out, etc, but Ruby Franke disciplined her children by using extreme measures. On one occasion Ruby Franke took her son Chad’s Bedroom, and he had been sleeping on a bean bag in the family room for seven months. Simply because Chad told his little brother Russell that they were going to Disneyland and Russell packed his stuff and was excited, then Chad told him they were not actually going.

Ruby Franke would go to extreme measures to discipline her children. For example, she would not feed them when they would behave poorly in any way. On one occasion she did not let them eat until they all did their chores.

Russell, Franke’s 12 year old son, was at Franke’s business partner Jodi Hildebrant’s home when he managed to escape and ran to a neighbors house to ask for food and water. He looked malnourished and he had signs that he had been restrained with duct tape. The home looked like a psychiatric hospital. Russell and Eve were held there sometimes, they withheld food and water and the home also had restraints for wrists and ankles.

Mrs. Franke’s home was raided by police with guns drawn looking for the rest of the children. She was then arrested on August 30th 2023.

Ruby Franke sentencing was on February 20th 2024. Her two oldest children Sheri and Chad, as well as Husband Kevin Franke, were present at court.

Ruby Franke and Jodi Hilderbrant were sentenced to four counts of aggravated child abuse of 1-15 in court.

The prosecutor felt it was needed to say everything she had done to the children, “Ms. Franke and her business partner Jodi Hilderbrant held the children in a concentration camp like setting, The children were regularly denied food, water, beds to sleep in, isolated from others and were hidden when people went to visit the house, they were forced to do physical punishments like wall sits for hours at a time or carry a box up and down the stairs for hours, manual labor, they were beaten, bound hand and foot, the children also had physical injuries from physical abuse as well as suffered from emotional abuse.”

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