In a shocking turn of events, popular mommy blogger Ruby Franke, known for her YouTube channels "8 Passengers" and "ConneXions," has been arrested on charges of child abuse. Franke, a 41-year-old Mormon mother of six, was taken into custody last Wednesday after police received a distress call from a youth in her care. Responding officers discovered two malnourished and emaciated children with open wounds and duct tape around their extremities.
Months before Franke's arrest, concerned social media influencers and users had been voicing their suspicions about her alleged abusive behavior. One YouTuber, known as "Swoop," even made a video back in March, detailing Franke's videos and the alleged abuse she inflicted on her children. Swoop, who makes documentaries on true crime and social media influencers who manipulate audiences, emphasized the danger posed by such individuals.
Franke's arrest has sent shockwaves through the online community, with many expressing relief that the children are now safe. Franke's own daughter, Shari Franke, took to Instagram to share her family's gratitude for justice being served. She also asked for prayers and privacy during this difficult time.
Franke's channels, "8 Passengers" and "ConneXions," had amassed a massive following, with a combined total of 2.5 million subscribers. However, as allegations of abuse came to light, more and more internet sleuths began to scrutinize Franke's content. They pointed out instances where Franke recorded vulnerable moments of her children, even when they expressed discomfort or asked her to stop. Some social media users questioned the appropriateness and legality of Franke's actions, such as cutting a stuffed animal's head off as a form of punishment.
Franke's neighbors also expressed concerns about her treatment of the children. One neighbor, who wished to remain anonymous, revealed that they had feared the worst and thought the children might not survive their ordeal. They also mentioned instances where Franke inserted herself into their lives, criticizing their choices and even taking away their Christmas celebrations.
The arrest has shed light on Franke and her business partner Jodi Hildebrandt's disciplinary style, known as "parenting in truth." The duo made hundreds of videos giving advice on this controversial method, which some viewers considered abusive. In these videos, Franke and Hildebrandt discussed withholding food from their children, exploiting them for content, and even punishing them by denying them Christmas gifts from Santa. They justified their actions by claiming to combat selfishness and instill discipline in their children.
As the news of Franke's arrest broke, more and more troubling statements made by the influencers on their public platforms came to light. They discussed the benefits of pain for children and the necessity for parents to have complete knowledge of their children's lives, invading their privacy.
Franke and Hildebrandt now face six counts each of aggravated child abuse, with allegations including physical injuries, starvation, malnutrition, and severe emotional harm. Both influencers are currently in custody at the Washington County Jail in Hurricane, Utah. The court appearance date has yet to be determined.
The arrest of Ruby Franke has sent shockwaves through the online community, raising important questions about the responsibility of social media influencers and the potential dangers of their influence on vulnerable audiences. The case serves as a reminder that behind the curated image of perfection, there may be hidden darkness and abuse that must be uncovered and addressed to protect the well-being of innocent children.
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