The student news site of Millbrook High School

Cat Talk

The student news site of Millbrook High School

Cat Talk

The student news site of Millbrook High School

Cat Talk

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Ruby Franke’s Recent Arrest and Trial

How Ruby Franke went from a beloved family name to a criminal case that will never be forgotten.
How Ruby Franke went from a beloved family name to a criminal case that will never be forgotten.

  Many people may be familiar with the family YouTube channel that was created in June 2015, 8Passengers. The YouTube channel amassed nearly 2.3 million subscribers by the time of the channel’s death. The eight-person family consisted of the parents, Ruby and Kevin Franke, and their six children, Shari, Chad, Abby, Julie, Russel, and Eve. The family were active attendees of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in their hometown of Springville, Utah.

  The mother, Ruby Franke, would post frequently over the week about what she and her family were up to. Many viewers of the channel believed that in their day-to-day, Ruby’s parenting techniques were a bit peculiar. An example of these behaviors is when teenager Chad played a prank on the youngest boy, Russel, and in turn, lost his bed. Chad was forced to sleep on a beanbag for seven months. 

  Another suspicious punishment that Ruby inflicted on her children was for her youngest, Eve. Ruby had casually mentioned in one of her vlogs that Eve, four at the time, had peed in her bed. To not have to change the sheets on the bed, her mother told her to sleep on the floor of the bathroom. 

  Near the end of 2018, Ruby Franke started to work with Jodi Hildebrandt. Hildebrandt started to work as Ruby’s therapist and then later transitioned to the family’s therapist. Hildebrandt was the owner of a coaching curriculum called, “ConneXions Classroom”  frequently referred to as “ConneXions.”

  In 2022, the 8Passengers channel was deleted and Ruby moved to Ivins, Utah with her two youngest to become business partners with Hildebrandt. Ivins is nearly a four-hour drive from Springville where the family is originally from. Ruby and Jodi led ConneXions for nearly a year. 

  On August 30, 2023, Ruby and Jodi were arrested. The local police officers were called by a neighbor of Jodi Hildebrandt when twelve-year-old Russell Franke approached the neighbors house asking to bring him to the nearest police station. The phone call then led to officers coming and taking Jodi and Ruby into custody. Eve Franke was found in a closet of Hildebrandt’s house and for a long time was too frightened to communicate with law enforcement. Once the children were safe, they were immediately given medical attention for the wounds that were inflicted on them by the business partners. 

  The only other children who were still minors by this time were Abby and Julie Franke. They were found, not in their home in Springville but safe in another ConneXions employee home. 

  When Ruby Franke and Jodi Hildebrandt were arrested they refused to talk to the officers until they were given the chance to speak to their lawyers.

  On February 20 both Ruby and Jodi pleaded guilty to four counts of child abuse. These women will receive fifteen years of prison each. Sophomore Brantley Helbig said, “I think she deserves a life sentence so her children can grow up in peace.”

  All of the Franke children are believed to be cared for in the custody of the state as their father, Kevin Franke, is working to receive custody of his children. 

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About the Contributor
Reagan Chapman
Reagan Chapman, Writer
Hey everyone! My name is Reagan and I am super excited for my first year on the newspaper staff. I love to write and I am involved with many clubs and programs around Millbrook. I am the Sophomore class President and former Freshman class President, I am a stage manager for the Millbrook theatre program, and I am a member of WHOA, as well as playing softball.

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