What was in disgraced YouTuber Ruby Franke’s journal? The momfluencer’s justification for abusing her children in her own words SuperNayr

Content Warning: This article documents instances of child abuse that may be triggering, particularly to those with some form of religious trauma. Please take care while reading.

Early on in the case, we knew the now-obsolete YouTube channel 8 Passengers’ matriarch Ruby Franke’s abuse of her two youngest children was a nightmare. However, her recently released diary entries shed additional light on just how much suffering the kids had to endure.

Although there are whole pages blackened out, what we can see from those few months of entries proves just how twisted the mother’s psyche was to justify her abominable actions and how deluded by religious fanatism her thought process was.

Ruby thought her children, a girl and a boy, ages 9 and 12, were “out of control,” but they weren’t the ones who needed to find the consciousness to be decent caring human beings with parental responsibilities.

There are, as the lead prosecutor details, real harrowing reasons why “everybody who has worked on this case has gone home and cried.” Ruby’s journal illustrates those reasons.

When did it start?

Ruby Franke court and children
Screengrabs via Law&Crime Network

41-year-old Ruby Franke’s 2023 diary was about 60 pages long and was uncovered by detectives shortly after she and her “business partner” Jodi Hildebrandt were taken into custody. The entries started in mid-May 2023, around the same time that Franke brought her two children to live in Hildebrandt’s generously sized but remote house in an affluent neighborhood in Ivins, Utah. They document a handful of months of the ongoing abuse, ending only 5 days before Ruby’s arrest in August. The last entry dates from August 25.

The diary offers some insight into the kind of “training” Ruby was putting her children through during those 3 excruciating months.

“An intervention for the possessed”

Ruby Franke 8 Passengers child abuse Utah case
Screengrabs via Law&Crime Network

Ruby believed her abused children’s behavior was “satanic”, that they were evil “spawns of Satan,” and “possessed by demons.” At one point, she even compares her little boy to a slithering snake – like the treacherous one as portrayed in the Bible – who was always “looking for opportunities when no one is watching & then he scurries.” Therefore, to her mind, these two “selfish children who desire only to take and lie and attack […]” needed to be reformed.

And such a reform involved deplorable things like food and water deprivation – she euphemized it as “fasting” – locking them up in closets for long periods, binding their ankles and wrists with duct tape until they bore wounds, or even, monstrously absurd, running into cactuses. Their diets consisted mostly of beans and rice – which sounds like they lived in poverty with no other nutritious options rather than an upper-middle-class Utah neighborhood – and they needed to do hard labor in order to have the evil exorcised from them – you can note, in the montage above, the 12-year-old boy cleaning up a cemetery by hand under the glaring sun.

It is a stroke of luck that neither of her children died due to the abuse. Their mother forced them to stand for hours under the unremitting Utah summer sun and then used a “cactus poker” to force them back every time they tried to get some shade, as in her mind, “only demons stay in the shade.” Still, Mrs. Franke thought the heat they had to endure was nothing compared to “the heat in hell.”

Knowing how even something as essential as water was deprived to them, it’s not too difficult to believe the story that, at one point, the oldest child turned to Ruby and told her he’d rather have a glass of water than have her as a mother. He may have been the one unfairly tormented by the sun, but, clearly, Ruby’s the one who got roasted.

“He admits to stealing water three times yesterday. He lies and feels no remorse.” Ruby wrote upon discovering that her eldest was trying to keep himself alive by secretly retrieving some refreshments. The deluded parent went as far as believing her abused child was nothing but a “sinful” liar.

To her 9-year-old, who turned 10 during this period, Franke would shave her hair as punishment for disobeying. “All her long hair is gone. No more distracting with hair.” This is why, when law enforcement rescued her, they first mistook the frightened mute skinny child for a boy.

The children’s abuse in their mother’s words

Ruby Franke's journal entries
Screengrabs via Law&Crime Network

Let’s get to some actual full paragraphs written in Ruby Franke’s diary during the month of July (“E” is the 9-year-old and “R” is the 12-year-old):

“Big day for evil. E manipulates me. She won’t scream when Jodi is around, but with me she wails all night. E screamed, cried, and would hit her head on the tile floor. Today, Jodi confronted her. E admits to putting on a show for her mother. E says she wants to be pitiful. R was told to stand in the Sun with his sun hat. He is defiant. I tell him a couple more times. R or I should say his demon stays in the shade. I push R into the Sun, but R comes back. I come back with a cactus poker when I poke his back to get his attention. R doesn’t even flinch. I poke him on the neck, he is in a trance. And doesn’t appear to feel anything. Jodie slaps him on the cheeks to wake him up.

The devil doesn’t like when you get your subject to anger to truth.”


The very next day’s entry read:

“Took the kids on a 4 hour car ride. We stopped at Gun Lock Lake & I shared my love for them. We watched a baby cow get loose & walk into the road in front of us. I made the analogy of the not-so-wise calf to them. I was keeping them safe when they want to run in the road. We drove up to Vego. I bought a volcano pie. I told the kids the pie was to thank Jodi for her home, care, time. R appeared engaged. E was manipulative. This is the day E anticipates breaking her 2 day fast.

When we get home to Jodie’s, I let R know E has hardened her heart and will do one more day of fasting to invite her to be humble, she flips out and begins ranting. She refuses to get up. She lies on the floor all day speaking dishonest chants because Jodi is on the phone with clients. […] She makes rhymes about me.
“My mom starves me and calls it fasting. “
“My mom won’t lift a finger and bring me food. Because all she does is lie on the bed and eat brownies.”
“My mom says she is the most loving mom in the world. Blah blah blah!”
“If I can’t ever go home. Then what’s the point in being obedient? I’m going to run away.”

Jodie helped me intervene after work. Allowing lies to be spewed gives the devil a platform. Articulating lies reinforces possession. The longer the lies are allowed to be spewed, the larger the intervention and physical the intervention needs to be.

I cut more hair off E’s head. We doused her with the dog wash. E said she wanted to run away. Jodie told her she has no idea what is waiting for her.”


A shorter entry later the same month:

“Sunday. The next day we put E in the closet & contemplate what to do. She screams much of the day. She doesn’t get water if she screams. She refuses to eat.”


It goes without saying: the children’s abnormal behaviors and reactions were the result of prolonged abuse from a parent (plus a stranger), not satanic, demonic, or any sort of possession. Judging by Ruby’s entries, both children were bright enough to understand that their mother was the problem. And, thankfully, R never gave up on escaping until he succeeded.

If you want to fully grasp the horrifying reality of life at that residence, the full transcript of Ruby Franke’s monomaniacal diary entries is available to read online.

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