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Ruby Franke’s estranged husband details haunting phenomena inside accomplice’s $5.3m fortress: ‘Crazy s–t’

FILE VIDEOâÂÂâ Ruby Franke and Jodi Hildebrandt have been sentenced to up to 60 years for aggravated child abuse on their momfluencer blog and social channels.

In a 2023 audio interview with Utah police conducted after Ruby Franke’s arrest for child abuse, her estranged husband, Kevin Franke, detailed his wife’s “bats–t crazy” relationship with her accomplice, Jodi Hildebrandt.

Ruby, a 41-year-old mother of six, and Hildebrandt, a 54-year-old mother of two, ran a joint parenting and lifestyle YouTube channel called ConneXions Classrooms. In December, both pleaded guilty to four of six counts of second-degree aggravated child abuse inflicted upon two of the Frankes’ children in a St. George courtroom.

In February, Ruby and Hildebrandt were each sentenced to serve four consecutive terms between one and 15 years in prison.

The interview began with Kevin telling Santa Clara-Ivins police officers about a journal that he and his wife gifted to Hildebrandt in 2022 called “The Pen Papers,” where “Ruby wrote detailed notes of everything — all interactions with Jodi… from August 2021 until I don’t know when.”

“The stuff she wrote in The Pen Papers is not stuff she would write in her journals. The stuff she wrote in The Pen Papers was not intended to be read by anybody until God would decree them to be written in scripture for the whole world,” Kevin told police. “It described all of the visions and trances and everything that Jodi and Ruby went into. … There were hundreds of pages of written documents that Ruby had.”

“It’s something Jodi would not want found, but she wouldn’t want to destroy it,” he added.

The interview goes on to highlight Kevin’s account of his wife’s bizarre relationship with Hildebrandt, a formerly licensed therapist, before and after the pair decided to start their ConneXions Classrooms vlog on YouTube and host conferences throughout the country.

In 2023, the two pals and business partners were arrested for abusing Ruby’s two youngest children, a 9-year-old girl and a 12-year-old boy. Some of the abuse occurred in Hildebrandt’s home. The allegations against Ruby and Hildebrandt only came to light after Ruby’s son fled Hildebrandt’s Ivins home and ran to a neighbor, who called 911 after seeing the malnourished boy with duct tape on his wrists and ankles.

Ruby and Hildebrandt initially became close around 2019 due to their similar lifestyle and parenting views, Kevin said in the police interview. Hildebrandt also encouraged Kevin to attend her men’s group in which men talked about their struggles with different addictions.

“There were probably 10 men in there. It was on Zoom. All of them were working through various stages of sex addiction, porn addiction, and drug addiction. It was like a 12-step group for general addiction recovery,” he told police.

Between 2020 and about 2022, Ruby, who was already a successful blogger at the time with a YouTube channel called 8Passengers, yearned for a closer relationship with Hildebrandt, Kevin told police in the video. So when Hildebrandt apparently found herself in a cult-like situation with other women and escaped, Ruby jumped at the chance to help her, Kevin said.

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Ruby and Kevin both traveled to Hildebrandt’s $5.3 million modern mountain fortress in Ivins.

“It blew my mind,” Kevin told police of her home, adding that he thought, “How does a therapist live like this?”

He went on to describe strange happenings that occurred inside Hildebrandt’s home while they were all there together.

“I’m a smart guy. I’m an engineer. I’ve designed, I’ve helped build some really big stuff. I’m a college professor. I can’t explain some of the stuff that happened while we were there, like crashes in the basement while we were talking upstairs, and plates in the kitchen just flying off by themselves, like, full-speed smashing off the wall and falling to the floor by themselves,” he told police. “I can’t explain it, but I saw it with my own eyes, and I don’t have any way to explain it other than there was some crazy s–t going on.”

Ruby felt she could help Hildebrandt, and eventually invited the therapist to stay in her family’s Springville home.

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