The Student News Site of Los Osos High School

The Grizzly Gazette

The Grizzly Gazette

The Grizzly Gazette

8 Passengers

The 8 Passengers was a family vlog channel on YouTube that began uploading videos in 2015. They became very popular but over time, watchers of the channel began to have speculations about the mother, Ruby Franke. 

Last month, Ruby Franke and her business partner Jodi Hildebrant were arrested on child abuse charges. 

One of the 6 children escaped the home they were currently living in, and ran to the neighbor’s house for help. The child was visibly neglected, and malnourished with open wounds. 

“The condition of the juvenile was so severe that they were seen by Santa Clara-Ivins EMS and transported to a local area hospital,” said the press release.

Jodi Hildebrant is also just as guilty, but hasn’t been talked about as much. She had been found “using cayenne pepper and honey to “dress wounds” on the bodies of two of Ruby Franke’s children where they had allegedly been bound with duct tape – a medically dangerous, and potentially painful – use of the herb.” said Brian Schnee in an article about Hildebrant

Shari Franke, who is 20 years old and the oldest of the children made a story post about the arrest on Instagram. It was an image of the police with a caption that said “Finally”. 

Shari also posted another Instagram story that said, “Hi all. Today has been a big day. Me and my family are so glad justice is being served. We’ve been trying to tell the police and CPS for years about this, and so glad they finally decided to step up.”

Shari was the one child who had independence from Ruby, and was aware of the things that were happening.

It is unclear why Shari and other family members did not try and put an end to this sooner, but there are still a lot of details the public is not aware of yet. 

Many watchers of the channel weren’t shocked by this news, seeing the abusive behavior displayed by Franke in past videos. 

In one video, Franke’s youngest daughter Eve forgot her lunch at school and her teacher called home to inform Franke. 

Franke refused to bring Eve’s lunch, who was 6 at the time, as she claimed it was Eve’s responsibility. 

This was one of the many events that sparked concern among watchers. 

In 2020, viewers actually reported the Franke parents to CPS after a video upload. 

In the video, the second to oldest child Chad, describes the punishment he faced after playing a harmless prank on his youngest brother Russel. 

He stated that he no longer had a room, and was forced to sleep on a bean bag. This wasn’t for just a couple days but months. 

After this video was published, “concerned fans started a petition which got over 17,800 signatures prompting child protective services to make an unexpected and unannounced visit.” said Disha Kandpal in an article about Chad Franke. 

This case has just started, and only more information is coming out. It’s a terrible situation, but there are many determined people that are going to get the justice they deserve. 

Donate to The Grizzly Gazette

Your donation will support the student journalists of Los Osos High School. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

Donate to The Grizzly Gazette