8 Passengers: Abuse on Display

Six children have finally been able to share the truth about their mother’s constant neglect and abuse.
The childrens lives were broadcasted, but their abuse was not.
The childrens’ lives were broadcasted, but their abuse was not.
Photography, Jaci Bethel

Ruby Franke was arrested on August 30th of this year and charged with six counts of child abuse in Washington County, Utah. 


For years, the Franke family has shared their lives with an invasive social media presence known as “8 Passengers.”


One weird sign of neglect was shown when her then 5-year old daughter did not have lunch; her mother refused to give it to her and blamed her daughter for not getting up early enough to prepare herself a lunch. 


On top of the weird instances of neglect, she would publicize private moments within her children’s lives such as going bra shopping with one of her younger daughters. 


However, nothing compares to what was found by the police on Wednesday. 


On Wednesday morning of August 30th at 10:50 am, Santa Clara-Ivins Public Safety Department received a report about a malnourished and emaciated 12-year old child who had open wounds and duct tape around their extremities. 


This led officers to the house where another child was found in the same condition. Four children were reported to have been taken into custody following the incident. 


Currently, Ruby Franke and her alleged business partner Jodi Hildebrandt are still on trial to finalize the case. 


Ava Capregeco commented on how she was not shocked but was “more surprised they could get out in the first place”. 


The situation has been publicized to young people now through Tiktok and Instagram. Students have now been made aware of these situations and continue to spread the word through their own means. 


Young adults also used to be fans of the Youtube account including sophomore Cooper Christ who was “shocked that the Youtube channel was shut down.” While he agrees that their ‌fame is not valid, he also is glad that situations of abuse and neglect such as these are becoming more publicized. 


Even with the surge of popularity with this case, some students including Tanner Hall (9) had no idea of what was going on. After informing him of the story, he agreed that there should be more publicization of this situation in order to help “kids who might be going through the same thing at our school.” 


As the trials continue, everyone is developing their own ideas of what would bring the appropriate amount of justice- from “some jail time” to “10 years of prison per kid without parole.” However, one thing that everyone agrees on is the fact that Ruby Franke deserves to pay for her actions.

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