Inside Ruby Franke's Diaries: Disturbing Details of Child Abuse Police Say Was Rooted in 'Religious Extremism'

The diary, released by authorities with a trove of evidence, reveals what Ruby Franke's children were forced to go through

<p>Ron Chaffin/St. George News via AP</p> Ruby Franke, left

Ron Chaffin/St. George News via AP

Ruby Franke, left

A diary kept by Ruby Franke that was recently released by authorities reveals disturbing details of the abuse she inflicted on her youngest two children, including denying them food for days at a time, hitting them and forcing them to spend hours outside in the hot sun. The abuse was seemingly motivated by what authorities referred to in a release as "religious extremism," with Ruby making multiple references to her belief that her children were possessed by a demon.

The diary was released by the Washington County Attorney along with a slew of other evidence related to Franke’s case after she was sentenced to up to 30 years in prison, along with her podcasting partner, Jodi Hildebrandt. The pair both pleaded guilty to multiple counts of aggravated child abuse.

Franke, the mother of eight whose parenting YouTube channel once had millions of subscribers, kept her 12-year-old son and 9-year-old daughter in what prosecutors called “work-camp like” conditions in Hildebrandt’s home in Ivins, Utah. In her diary, Franke reveals in-depth what her children were forced to go through.

Related: Video Shows Moment Ruby Franke’s Son, 12, Showed Up 'Emaciated' at Neighbor’s House, Asking for '2 Favors'

The diary entries are dated from July 9 to Aug. 27, 2023, three days before she was arrested after her son escaped the home and went to a neighbor’s home, who then called the police after seeing what he described as the boy’s “emaciated” body.

In her diary, Franke says she shaved her daughter's head on several occasions, in response to her crying and screaming. The girl, identified as “E” in a redacted version of the diary, was denied food for three days at one point, due to Franke’s claim that her daughter was being “manipulative."

<p>Sheldon Demke/St. George News via AP, Pool; Ron Chaffin/St. George News via AP, Pool)</p> Jodi Hildebrandt, left and Ruby Franke

Sheldon Demke/St. George News via AP, Pool; Ron Chaffin/St. George News via AP, Pool)

Jodi Hildebrandt, left and Ruby Franke

In response to not being allowed food for a third day, E began chanting, according to Franke.

“My mom starves me, calls it fasting,” the girl said according to the diary. “My mom won’t lift two fingers and bring me food because all she does is lie on the bed and eat brownies.”

Franke would also deny R food, at one point writing in her diary that she told her son, “I will not feed a demon.” The children were doused with water, made to stay outside and forced to do labor, such as moving boxes.

Related: Former Family Vlogger Ruby Franke Pleads Guilty to Child Abuse: Reports

During this period, Franke seemed to have a deep-held belief that her children were controlled by the devil and that she was teaching them how to repent, at one point looking into the face of her son, identified as “R,” and yelling “Get out now! Go!”

Before his escape in August, R previously tried to run away in July, on a night when he was forced to sleep outside on the patio. He left a message for his mother and Hildebrandt scrawled out of pebbles that read, “Jail will call when I get there.” The 12-year-old was found by Franke later that night.

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Previously, Franke had written that R had told her he belonged in jail, which she dismissed, writing that he only wanted the “air-conditioned car ride to juvie.”

<p>MOMS OF TRUTH/ INSTAGRAM</p> Jodi Hildebrand, left, and Ruby Franke


Jodi Hildebrand, left, and Ruby Franke

Franke wrote that Hildebrandt had traveled to Arizona several times that month to look for land. She wrote that her podcast partner, a family therapist, intended to sell her house in order to buy property with more acreage. Franke also expressed a desire to start a ranch so the children could do more hard labor, which she referred to as “good.”

“Satan cannot be where there is good,” Franke wrote.

Related: Ruby Franke's 'Petrified' Daughter Wouldn't Leave Closet for 4 Hours Before Rescuing Police Coaxed Her Out

Other incidents chronicled by Franke include when she brought her children to a Native American cemetery and had them pick weeds and pick up broken glass, before a woman told them they were trespassing and had to leave . Franke also mentioned a time when she kicked R while wearing boots after he acted out.

When R escaped to the neighbor's house, he asked the man who answered the door to take him to a police station, and said what had happened was his fault, according to video footage released by authorities.

When police searched Hildebrandt's home and found E in a closet, the girl was "petrified" and spent nearly four hours sitting on the floor before first responders were finally able to coax her out.

If you suspect child abuse, call the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-Child or 1-800-422-4453, or go to All calls are toll-free and confidential. The hotline is available 24/7 in more than 170 languages.

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