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All You Need to Know About the 8 Passengers Situation

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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at CWU chapter.

I’m sure virtually everyone has heard about the recent court case brought against Ruby Frankie, the mother and main videographer for the 8 Passengers and ConneXtions YouTube Channels, and her business partner Jodi Hildebrandt. This horrendous case hit us all like a ton of bricks, despite some people being able to have seen this coming from a mile away. If you have no idea what all of this is, here’s all you need to know about 8 Passengers and Ruby and Jodi’s recent court case.

What is the 8 Passengers YouTube Channel?

Created back in 2015, 8 Passengers is a Family Vlogging channel featuring Ruby and Kevin Frankie and their 6 kids, Shari, Chad, Abby, Julie, Russell, and Eve. The channel gained about 2.5 million subscribers in its time on the platform. In their time on the platform, Ruby and Kevin showed off their unusual parenting skills and everyday events that happened within the home. The channel’s description read, “Things can get crazy with six active kids, but we can find the true joy in the journey if we love and support each other!” 

This is highly ironic considering that 8 years later, Ruby Frankie is in jail for child abuse…but how did we get here?

The Viral Controversial Moments Surrounding the Channel

In 2020, the channel gained immense traction after an online petition was created, asking for CPS (Child Protective Services) to look into the well-being of the children. Viewers of the channel had started to notice some questionable moments in their daily vlogs, citing incidents such as Ruby refusing to bring a lunch to her 6-year-old daughter because she forgot one, stating that it was Eve’s job to pack her own lunch. Or the various times that Ruby threatened to take away “meal privileges.” 

The main catalyst that led to the creation of the petition was a video posted showing Frankie’s oldest son, Chad, explaining why he got in trouble and didn’t have a bedroom for 7 months. No, that’s not a typo, the parents made their son sleep on the living room floor for more than half a year. 

There are countless clips online of their terrible parenting, with viewers making compilation videos of all of the incidents. Unfortunately, the channel was deleted recently, making it difficult to find all of the questionable clips online. 

What is ConneXtions?

By 2022, the 8 Passengers channel had completely halted uploads. It seemed that Ruby had switched over to a different platform, a company called ConnXtions, also known as Moms of Truth. The website for ConneXtions describes the services of the company as “a different modality of healing that psychotherapy cannot offer you.” Ruby joined Jodi Hildebrabdt, a mental health professional working in Utah, specifically with members of the Mormon Church. Sources say that Ruby and Kevin were referred to Jodi for marriage counseling before the 8 Passengers channel was deleted. This led to Jodi and Ruby working very closely together and eventually becoming business partners. 

The Moms of Truth segment, hosted by Jodi and Ruby, focused on mothers in the Mormon church and the extreme moral mindset to strive for, based on three basic ideas: Honesty, Responsibility, and Humility. This all sounds alright in theory, but the actual recommendations made by the pair are far from that. 

Another idea that the group stresses is something called Distortion. According to the ConneXtions website, “Shame (Distortion) is the (false) realization that “I am wrong—I am a mistake.” However, it seems that this definition has been thrown around and has quite literally done immense damage, such as destroying marriages. 

Who is Jodi Hildebrandt?

As previously stated, Jodi Hildebrandt is a mental health professional and the founder of ConneXtions. She was highly regarded in the Mormon Church and many church leaders often recommended her for counseling. According to a KUTV article, “Hildebrandt said that her methodology is based on three core principles which she claims are a pathway to healing any and all destructive behaviors, including addictions of any sort: impeccable honesty, rigorous personal responsibility and humility.”

In 2012, Jodi’s license was put on probation for 18 months due to a “series of violations.” Most notably, Hildebrandt was cited as revealing “sensitive private information” about clients of hers, such as their sexual interests and activity, things that they had confessed in sessions, and more all without the consent of her patients. Jodi was responsible for a man separating from his wife and being excommunicated from the Mormon church for a “Porn addiction” he claims he never had. This same man stated that Jodi was taking one small detail that was revealed to her and twisting it into so much more than it ever was, and therefore gaslighting him and his wife into believing that the husband was a bad person in regards to the ideals held within the Mormon church. As of 2023, five different men have come forward claiming that Jodi accused them of having Porn or Sex addictions; all of the men claim that this is nowhere near the truth.

Why were the two women Arrested?

On August 31st, 2023, 911 operators received a call from a neighbor of Jodi Hildebrandt’s, detailing how a young boy had come up to his house requesting food and water. The man elaborated on the child’s condition, saying “I just had a 12-year-old boy show up here at my front door asking for help. And he’s said he just came from a neighbor’s house, and we know there’s been problems at this neighbor’s house. He’s emaciated, he’s got tape around his legs. He’s hungry and he’s thirsty.” When the child was asked about his parents, he said that his mom’s name was Ruby Frankie. 

Police arrived at the location of the call and confirmed that the child had been in some sort of bad situation, detailing how the child had wounds all over his body and had been detained in some way. Duct tape was also found around both of his ankles. Upon further investigation, police discovered that not only had the 12-year-old been held in the basement of Jodi Hildebrandt’s, but also that Frankie’s 10-year-old daughter was trapped in the house as well in a similar condition. According to testimony from first responders, Jodi had used cayenne pepper and honey to treat the children’s wounds and both children were clearly emaciated. 

It did not take long for police to locate Ruby, who was in a completely different city, but also Jodi, and arrest them both for causing or permitting serious injury. Frankie’s oldest daughter, Shari, who is now 20, made an Instagram story post about the arrest, titling it, “Finally.”

So where are they now?

The charges being held against both Jodi and Ruby are three alleged forms of abuse against each of the two children, totaling six counts of aggravated child abuse. An initial hearing was held on Zoom, however, it was rescheduled for a different date due to the Zoom link being leaked to the general public. We have yet to find out the result of this heinous crime, however, based on the copious amounts of evidence presented in addition to the sketchy vlogs posted by Ruby herself, I do not doubt that this case will end with justice being brought upon both women. 

I encourage everyone who reads this article to go investigate for yourself on this topic. There is so much more to this case than I have detailed. It is so important to realize just how messed up this case is and I believe we all can benefit from this learning opportunity. 

It doesn’t take a genius to know that our children deserve to be treated with kindness, not with torture. 

Hi there! My name is Anna and this is my first year on the CWU Her Campus team! I am extremely interested in all things social media, theater/broadway, and criminal law! I'm from the beautiful Tri-Cities, Washington, and have 3 dogs back at home (I know, I'm a dog mom which automatically makes me THAT cool). I've always had a passion for all things theater and entertainment. I also dance here at Central for a dance company, so you might just catch me in a few productions! I'm so excited to take you along with me on my journey through college as I attempt to navigate this big ol' scary world! So excited to see what Her Campus has to offer, and I hope you enjoy my work!