Abused son of Ruby Franke got help from neighbor after daring escape, doorbell video shows


Home security video released by Utah prosecutors showed the moment Ruby Franke’s “emaciated” and abused son asked neighbors for help last summer following his daring escape from her business partner’s home.

The 42-year-old mommy vlogger had beaten, starved and tortured the unnamed boy and his 9-year-old sister while forcing them to exercise and do manual labor in the hot son, authorities said.

They were also denied water, beds, any forms of entertainment and prohibited from interacting with guests as they were hidden in a room when anyone came over.

The abused 12-year-old son of Ruby Franke (seated) is seen asking a neighbor to help after escaping from her business partner’s alleged chamber of torture. Washington County Attorney

Doorbell video from a neighbor’s home last August 30 showed what happened in the moments after her son made his escape.

“Hi, I was just wondering if you could do two favors,” asked the skinny boy, whose face was blurred in the footage.

“Well, what are they?” the male resident was heard replying.

“Taking me to the nearest police station,” he politely asked, before offering that it was a matter of “personal business.”

After giving the boy a seat on the porch, the man called 911.

“I just had a 12-year-old boy show up here at my front door asking for help. And he’s, uh, said he had just come from a neighbor’s house. He’s emaciated, he’s got tape around his legs, he’s hungry and he’s thirsty.”

“We need someone immediately,” a woman interjected.

“He has duct tape around each ankle,” the man said.

“There’s sores around them. I think there’s a good chance he’s been… Oh and he has them around his ankles and his wrists as well. Ok, this boy has been…,” the man trailed off.

The woman, who was comforting the child, finished his sentence by saying, “needs immediate assistance.”

When paramedics arrived, they found the starved and dehydrated child to be in poor physical condition and showing signs of physical abuse, with duct tape around his extremities. Washington County Attorney
The abused boy was also “emaciated” and dangerously thin. Washington County Attorney

Paramedics and authorities were then seen pulling up to the home to examine the skinny child where they found him to have ankle and wrist injuries, extremely thin limbs and cuts to his arms, according to a trove of publicly released documents.

Police gave the boy a pizza and soft drink, which he tentatively started eating before taking additional bites, according to another video of the response.

Authorities also released heavily redacted copies of Franke’s diary entries from last summer, which gave a chilling inside look at the abuse she allegedly inflicted on the boy and his sister, as she accused them of being possessed by Satan.

The horrifying abuse was allegedly carried out in tandem with licensed therapist Jodi Hildebrandt, and motivated by “religious extremism,” prosecutors said.

Ruby Franke pleaded guilty to four counts of aggravated child abuse and is serving a four to 30 year prison sentence. Washington County Attorney

It occurred while Franke, a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, ran an online self-improvement program with Hildebrandt and a popular “8 Passengers” YouTube channel that detailed her approach to parenting her six children.

“I never envisioned him being 12 and still pooping and peeing himself. Satanic choices lead one to becoming destitute – even in the most affluential [sic] homes,” one diary entry from July 9 read.

“It’s [redacted] birthday and he doesn’t even know what month it is. [The children] have been in so much deviant behavior that they won’t control their bodily functions. They are both furious their selfish sinful lifestyle is being intervened upon,” the mom wrote the next day.

An entry in Franke’s diary recounts a conversation she had with her son weeks before he escaped and got help. Washington County Attorney

In another entry she wrote that the child said he “would rather have a glass of water than me as his mother,” and recounted a conversation with him where she accused him of praying to Satan when he asked for “foods and a soft bed.”

“It’s been about 90 min since [the child] ate. I warned him that food would either energize him to truth or defiance. He is defiant again. He pooped his pants and is telling me “no.” His poop is too watery to have been fasting. [He] admits to stealing water three times yesterday. [He] lies and feels no remorse.”

At one point she also wrote that she had asked him to stand on one leg to improve his balance, but he fell and bloodied his face, and when he blew his nose he got blood on his shirt, to her disgust.

Therapist Jodi Hildebrandt, 54, pleaded guilty in connection with the sadistic child abuse. Washington County Attorney

“The easiest exercises he is asked to do he refuses, w/ the decrepit stature you would expect of a 90 year old. He plays completely helpless,” Franke allegedly wrote.

Franke and Hildebrandt have pleaded guilty to four counts of aggravated child abuse and were sentenced to four to 30 years in prison.

Hildebrandt had been described by Franke’s husband Kevin as a “cult leader” who separated him from his family under the guise of therapy for a pornography addiction, ABC4 reported last week.

Kevin told investigators he had been “completely cut off” from Ruby and their children for about a year before the arrests, and was unaware of any abuse.

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