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YouTube mom Ruby Franke’s journal detailing ‘horrific’ child abuse released

YouTube mom Ruby Franke's journal detailing 'horrific' child abuse released
Excerpts from a journal belonging to mom influencer Ruby Franke detailing instances of child abuse were released by authorities Friday, one month after the YouTuber was sentenced to four to 30 years in prison on child abuse charges.

Records from the Washington County Attorney’s Office released March 22 included police reports, photographs, audio interviews, witness statements, Franke’s journal and body camera footage from the August 2023 arrest of the influencer and Jodi Hildebrandt, a mental health counselor with whom she made parenting advice videos. Franke and Hildebrandt both pleaded guilty to four counts of second-degree aggravated child abuse in December 2023.

The entries in Franke’s journal, which redact the children’s names to one letter, mainly focus on two out of her six kids, referred to in the timeline as son “R” and daughter “E.”

Franke, who called her children the “spawns of Satan,” detailed restricting food, water and beds from her kids, as well as forcing them into manual labor.

Franke told her son, whom she described as “Satanic,” of her justification for withholding food and water, writing, “I will not feed a demon.”

In an entry dated July 2023, Franke called it a “big day for evil” and described holding her son’s head under water and covering up his nose and mouth with her hands.

The documents also detailed several instances where Franke shaved her daughter’s head as punishment, at one point writing, “If she is going to act sick, she can look sick.”

If either of her kids complained, Franke wrote that she would tell them that “whining is the devil’s voice. Whining is always a demon.”

The Washington County Attorney’s Office said in a case summary that the evidence shows that Franke and Hildebrandt were motivated by “religious extremism.”

“The women appeared to fully believe that the abuse they inflicted was necessary to teach the children how to properly repent for imagined ‘sins’ and to cast the evil spirits out of their bodies,” the release states. has reached out to Franke and Hildebrandt’s attorneys for comment on the release of the evidence but did not hear back at the time of publication.

In 2015, Franke and her husband, Kevin Franke, launched their YouTube channel, “8 Passengers,” when their youngest was about 10 months old. At one point, the account had more than 2 million subscribers. Franke’s parenting methods and punishments, which included limiting food, forcing exercise and taking their bed away, raised concerns from viewers. Franke also made videos with Hildebrandt for the counselor’s YouTube channel ConneXions.

Franke and Hildebrandt were arrested on Aug. 30, 2023, after the Santa Clara-Ivins Public Safety Department dispatch center received a call about a child with “open wounds” who “appeared to be emaciated and malnourished.”

Both women pleaded guilty to four counts of second-degree aggravated child abuse in December 2023 and were sentenced to four to 30 years in prison on Feb. 20, the maximum sentence per Utah guidelines.

Franke apologized to her six children during her sentencing.

“I was so disoriented that I believed dark was light and right was wrong. I would do anything in this world for you. My willingness to sacrifice all for you was masterfully manipulated … I took from you all that was soft, and safe, and good. I took from you, your mother,” she said through tears. “How terrifying this must have been for you. I will never stop crying for hurting your tender souls. You’re so precious to me. I’m sorry.”

Hildebrandt also spoke about Franke’s kids, telling the court, “I sincerely love these children.”

“I desire for them to heal physically and emotionally,” she said. “One of the reasons I did not go to trial is that I did not want them to emotionally relive the experience which had been detrimental for them. My hope and prayer is that they will heal and move forward to have beautiful lives.”

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