Ruby Franke's jailhouse phone calls revealed

NEWS: Ruby Franke’s jailhouse phone calls revealed

Disgraced YouTube mommy vlogger Ruby Frank asked if “we made the news” one day after she was arrested for the brutal abuse of her two young children, newly released audio of her jailhouse calls revealed.

Franke, 42, also appeared to blame her children for their own torture, claiming that “adults have a really hard time understanding that children can be full of evil, and what that takes to fight it,” according to newly released phone records obtained by ABC 4.

Franke, who ran the popular “8 Passengers” YouTube channel that focused on her tough approach to parenting, detailed her sadistic abuse of her two youngest children  — which included shaving their heads, starving them, dousing them with dirty mop water, making them stand outside barefoot in the brutal desert heat for hours and forcing them to wear adult diapers  — in recently-released diary entries.

The mom-of-six, who once whipped her children with a belt, was sentenced to up to 60 years in prison last month after admitting that she abused the very children who helped make her famous online.

During the jailhouse call, an unidentified man told Franke new stories about her abuse were making headlines.

Ruby Franke asked if “we made the news” a day after her August arrest for child abuse. Washington County Attorney

“Are we in the news,” Franke asked.

“It sounds like at least you’re in the news,” he responded, adding that he was “going dark.”

“This is a witch hunt,” Franke added. “The devil’s been after me for years.”

In other phone calls, which took place between August 2023 and December 2023, Franke defends her abuse as well as the choices made by her former business partner Jodi Hildebrandt, comparing them to Joseph Smith, the founder of the Mormon church.

“The most upsetting thing is that I am completely misunderstood,” Franke told her husband, whom she separated from in 2022, during a Sept. 1, 2023 call.

“That is the most horrible feeling. Like, my own family misunderstands me, they misinterpret me,” she added.

Franke ran the popular “8 Passengers” YouTube channel and abused the children who made her famous. @abbyfranke_8passengers / Instagram
Jodi Hildebrant was Franke’s business partner. Washington County Attorney

Following her separation from her husband, Franke began spending much of her time in Ivins, Utah with Hildebrant, who was a controversial mental health coach. There, they launched a video channel featuring Ruby’s two youngest children, a 12-year-old boy and a 9-year-old girl.

Franke and Hildebrandt were arrested on Aug. 30 when her son managed to escape from their house of horrors and rang a neighbor’s doorbell asking for help. He was covered in wounds, with duct tape around his wrists and ankles.

During the call, Franke said Hildebrandt was also misunderstood and misinterpreted.

“Joseph Smith — every wonderful man of God has had to be misunderstood,” she said, her voice cracking with emotion..

“God told me I’m done,” Franke said. “Satan has taken everything away from me that I love. And I’m a good woman. I don’t do naughty things.”

However by December Franke’s views on Hildebrandt had drastically changed, according to records of a Dec. 2, 2023 phone call.

Franke’s son escaped and rang a neighbor’s doorbell to ask for help. Washington County Attorney

“I could not come out of this without … without His grace, without His mercy, without His help,” Franke said. “This has been the strangest, and the most miraculous intervention. It put everyone where they needed to be.”

Franke said being separated from Hildebrandt “cleared a lot of things up” for her.

During a nearly 20-minute phone call on Dec. 28, 2023, an unidentified woman asked Franke if she saw that Hildebrandt pleaded guilty, to which Franke replied, “Yeah, it’s a big relief.”

Franke then conceded that if Hildebrandt hadn’t pled guilty, she could have been convicted and sentenced to life in prison.

Franke and her husband, Kevin, separated in 2022. Instagram

The woman then asked Franke if she and Hildebrandt would face the same amount of jail time, to which Franke seems to indicate she thinks her former partner should receive a longer sentence because she’s “mentally ill.”

“I’m also hiring a professional to do a mental health evaluation just to say, ‘She’s good, like, there’s no mental health problems at all,’” Franke said, noting she thinks HIldebrant would lie about her mental wellbeing.

“I don’t think she’s going to give them her history,” Franke added. “I think, in the interview, it’s going to be apparent that she’s mentally ill.”

Franke also said she thought Hildebrandt only pleaded guilty “because she didn’t want to do life.”

Ruby Franke and her business partner Jodi Hildebrandt pleaded guilty to four counts each of child abuse. Washington County Attorney

During the call, Franke also revealed that the last time she spoke with Hildebrandt was the morning of their arrest.

Franke, who had been at a medical appointment at the time cops were called, said her home “looked like the movies” when she returned.

“I pulled up and found a spot to park … I walked up and the driveway was just full of cops,” she recalled.

She and Hildebrandt didn’t say much to each other when they were “in the back” as her children were rushed away in ambulances, but they did hum some hymns, Franke said.

Franke admitted to child abuse in a plea deal, but has claimed she was influenced by Hildebrandt. Washington County Attorney

“I’m glad I didn’t say anything,” Franke told the woman on the other end of the call. “If you ever get arrested, don’t say anything.”

Franke said her attorney told her Hildebrant was denying everything, which is how she knew she was lying from the beginning.

While Franke admitted to child abuse in a plea deal, she also claimed she was influenced by Hildebrandt.

“You get a six-year-old who knows they’re supposed to pee in the toilet, and they’re peeing down the heater vent, they’re gonna try to hide it,” Franke said.

“And that’s when I realized, she knew. She knew all along. And she’s hiding it.”

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