Ruby Franke’s sister broke down in a video in which she accused the YouTube influencer of causing their mother’s heart attack – and revealed how she “destroyed” their offline lives.
Bonnie Hoellein cried as she recounted how their mother’s health rapidly deteriorated when Ruby cut ties with her family – before her sister was sensationally arrested for child abuse.
Franke gained millions of YouTube subscribers and online followers through her parenting channel 8 Passengers, but viewers repeatedly complained about the way she treated her children.
The 41-year-old was charged with six counts of abuse, alongside his business partner Jodi Hildebrandt, after being arrested on August 30.
Hoellein, also a Utah-based YouTuber, posted a nearly 10-minute video titled “I’m Not My Sister.” I am not my sisters (sic) Crimes.
A tearful Bonnie Hoellein said her sister Ruby Franke “destroyed” their family’s life offline before she was sensationally arrested for child abuse. The Utah-based YouTuber posted a nearly 10-minute video titled “I’m Not My Sister.” I’m not my sisters (sic) Crimes’
Mormon YouTuber Franke (pictured with her daughters) was taken into custody on suspicion of two counts of aggravated child abuse earlier this week.
Franke’s sister told the camera: “I’m angry at what happened, I’m beyond disgusted and I feel like it’s making me shake.”
“It makes me tremble because it’s unheard of, it’s truly incredible. One thing I pride myself on, something I like to do, is being transparent and I can’t be completely transparent about certain aspects of this.
“And if you don’t understand that, then you don’t understand how the system works. The first thing I want to say is that we stayed silent for three years about our sister Ruby, Jodi and Kevin.
“We didn’t know what they were doing because, as we said, we were cut off from the world. We didn’t have access to anyone.
“When I say that Ruby, Kevin, Jodi and ConneXions have destroyed our offline lives over the last three years, that’s exactly what they’ve done.
“Causing trouble within our family.”
She added: “Three years ago, Ruby and Kevin cut off our family’s livelihood and ultimately they cut off Kevin’s family’s life as well.
“I thought it was going to end my mother, she literally had a heart attack, she had kidney failure, her body was shutting down because it broke her.
“So you can only imagine what she’s going through now, what we’re all feeling now.
“I won’t let Ruby, Kevin, ConneXions and Jodi take one more thing away from me.
“I’m going to keep posting because if that’s the little bit of control I have left, I’m going to take it.”
Franke’s husband, Kevin Franke, with whom she shares six children – Shari, Chad, Abby, Julie, Russell and Eve – said he was “trying to keep his kids together” following the arrests.
The video came after her three sisters – who are all YouTubers – released a joint statement on Instagram which read: ‘For the past three years we have remained silent about our sister Ruby Franke for the sake of their children. “
Ruby Franke, (left) who ran the now-defunct 8 Passengers channel, was arrested with her business partner Jodi Hildebrandt (right)
Kevin Franke (right) said his “urgent goal” is to keep his six children, whom he shares with former YouTuber Ruby Franke (left), together in his care.
The sisters are also YouTubers and said they “wouldn’t feel right moving forward with regular content without addressing the most recent events.”
“Once we have done so, we will not make any further comments on this matter,” the statement said.
“Ruby was arrested, which was bound to happen. Jodi was arrested, which was bound to happen. The children are now safe, which is priority number one.
Franke was taken into custody after the two children were found starving with open wounds and duct tape on their “extremities.”
Police were called after a child climbed out of the window of Hildebrandt’s home and ran to a neighbor to ask for food and water. The neighbor saw the child’s injuries and immediately called 911, before another child was also found “in a similar physical state of malnutrition.”
Since the arrests, an online form has been set up which documents examples of disturbing statements made by Franke and Hildebrandt in their videos.
His estranged daughter, Shari, has since said police were warned for years about the allegations before “finally” acting.
Her daughter, Shari, now says her loved ones “have been trying to talk to the police and CPS for years,” adding that she was “so happy they finally decided to step in” and that the children were safe. She posted the message on Instagram with a photo of police outside the house captioned “finally”.
Franke’s eldest daughter Shari, 20, posted on Instagram about her mother’s arrest, sharing an image of police outside the house captioned “Finally”
It comes after someone close to Franke said news of his child abuse case was “disgusting” but the problem was “bigger than people think”.
Franke’s unnamed cousin claimed this was not the first time his family had encountered this behavior. Other members also duct-taped, handcuffed and starved children.
They described the abuse and unprovoked slapping that took place in their home when they were children – and said that after briefly watching Ruby’s YouTube channel 8 Passengers, they said they noticed Ruby’s same mannerisms .
Child abuse, being physical and refusing to eat is a “multi-generational” problem in the Franke family, the cousin claimed.
The full statement from Franke’s three sisters, posted on their Instagram pages
Franke (seen with her husband) is well known for her strict parenting style on the channel, which she stopped uploading footage of in January 2022. She was removed earlier this year.
The family member – who called the child abuse accusations “disgusting” – said their entire family tree, “from roots to branches”, was “destroyed”.
Franke’s cousin, whose identity has been withheld, told Law & Crime: “I’m not shocked. This isn’t a shock at all. The direction he went wasn’t what I thought it would be, but that was to be expected.
“I didn’t expect that some of the details of this story would match details of my own family history.
“My mother handcuffed my sisters when they were young, and lack of food was not uncommon, but it was not due to lack of money and there was a time when it could have been avoided, but it wasn’t was not the case. »
“All I can say is my mom duct-taped my siblings. I’m not shocked.
When asked when they last saw Ruby, they replied: “When I was very young, it was a long time ago. More than 15 years ago.