Why Ruby Franke’s Estranged Husband Says He Became a “Resident Exorcist” for Her Former Business Partner

Ruby Franke’s estranged husband explained in an interview with prosecutors why her former business partner Jodi Hildebrandt’s arrival in their home turned it into a “crazy house.”

By Olivia Evans Mar 29, 2024 2:07 PMTags
Watch: Ruby Franke’s Estranged Husband Says He Became a “Resident Exorcist”

Ruby Franke's estranged husband is coming forward with more details on her case. 

During an interview released last week by Washington County prosecutors, Kevin Franke—who filed for divorce from his wife in November—alleged that he acted as the "resident exorcist" for her business partner Jodi Hildebrandt

Kevin claimed that when Jodi moved in with the couple in 2021 after they had separated but were living under the same roof, strange things—like lights flickering, stuff floating and random loud noises—began to occur, calling his home a "crazy house."

"It was weird, and I hated it," he explained to authorities. "I became the resident exorcist, that was the title I came up with myself—I thought was kind of funny." 

When Jodi began going into a "trance," Kevin alleged that he would take care of it by giving her "blessings."

As he put it, "It was my job." 

Eventually, Kevin claimed that Jodi's issues—which would occur at night—became so frequent that Ruby began sleeping in her room with her. 

Kevin—who shares six children with Ruby—added, "It continued like that until I wanted to move on with my life."

Troubling YouTube Star Tragedies

E! News previously reached out to attorneys for Kevin, Jodi, and Ruby for comment but has not yet heard back. 

Elsewhere in his confessional interview, Kevin also explained his wife's entrance into Jodi's religious "cult" called ConneXions (former clients of the service told NBC News that its ideals were based on The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints). 

"My impression at that time was this is absolute craziness," Kevin recalled. "This is a bunch of man-hating women that are just looking for excuses to tear down their husbands."


In August, Jodi and Ruby were both arrested after Ruby and Kevin's 12-year-old son ran to a neighbor's home for help, and was found looking emaciated with duct tape on his wrists and ankles, according to the Washington County's Attorneys Office. Later, the boy's 9-year-old sister, who was referred to in documents as E., was found in the home also looking emaciated, and "petrified," according to authorities

In February, Jodi and Ruby, who both pled guilty, each received four consecutive one to 15 year sentences, totaling to four to 60 years in prison on four counts of child abuse. 

During their trial, Ruby claimed that she had "chosen to follow counsel and guidance" that led her to a "dark delusion."

Meanwhile, Jodi expressed her reasoning for not bringing her case to trial. 

"I did not want them to emotionally relive the experience, which would have been detrimental to them." Jodi said of Ruby's children in a statement. "My hope and prayer is that they will heal and move forward to have beautiful lives."

Read on for all the details on Ruby's case. 

(E! News and NBC News are a part of the NBCUniversal family).

Aug. 30, 2023: Children Found Malnourished

Utah police received a call about a starved child being found, they shared in a press release. The minor—who appeared "emaciated and malnourished" with "open wounds and duct tape around the extremities"—was taken to the hospital in "severe" condition.

He was later identified as YouTuber Ruby Franke's 12-year-old son, according to a probable cause affidavit obtained by NBC News. He had been at the home of Ruby's business partner Jodi Hildebrant and had climbed out of a window before going to a neighbor's house to ask for help, per the document.

Police then searched a nearby home, where another child was found "in a similar physical condition of malnourishment" and was also hospitalized, per the press release.

Authorities later explained that they discovered Ruby's 9-year-old daughter "petrified" while sitting by herself in an empty closet in Jodi's house, per evidence released by the Washington County Attorney's Office.

Aug. 30, 2023: Arrest 

Ruby was arrested for aggravated child abuse charges in Utah along with Jodi, who in 2007 established a life coaching service called ConneXions, which former clients described to NBC News as a "cult-like" program based on principles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Aug. 31, 2023: Ruby's Daughter Speaks Out

On Aug. 31, E! reported that Shari Franke, Ruby's estranged adult daughter, reacted to the news on her Instagram Story.

"Me and my family are so glad justice is being served," wrote Shari, who was born in 2003. "We've been trying to tell the police and CPS for years about this, and so glad they finally decided to step up. Kids are safe, but there's a long road ahead."

Aug. 31, 2023: Ruby's Sisters React to Arrest

Ruby's sisters Ellie Mecham, Bonnie Hoellein and Julie Deru spoke out as well, saying the YouTuber's arrest "needed to happen."

"For the last 3 years we have kept quiet on the subject of Ruby Franke for the sake of her children," they wrote in a joint Instagram statement. "Behind the public scene, we have done everything to try and make sure the kids were safe. We wouldn't feel right about moving forward with regular content without addressing the most recent events. Once we do, we will not be commenting on it any further."

The siblings said Ruby's kids are "now safe, which is the number one priority."

Sept. 6, 2023: Charges Filed

The former 8 Passengers YouTuber and her business partner Jodi were each formally charged with six counts of felony child abuse by the Washington County Attorney in Utah.

Sept. 6, 2023: Kevin Franke Breaks Silence

Ruby's husband Kevin Franke came forward to deny involvement in her alleged crimes. His lawyer Randy Kester told Good Morning America the spouses had been living apart for 13 months before the arrest.

"He is a good person, he's very gentle," the attorney said. "He's a very gentle guy. And no one has ever made any allegations that he's physically abused those kids or anyone else." 

Nov. 29, 2023: Kevin Files for Divorce

Kevin officially filed for divorce from the Utah influencer, according to a domestic relations injunction obtained by NBC News.

Dec. 18: Guilty Pleas

E! confirmed Dec. 18 that Ruby had entered a guilty plea for four of her charges. At the time, per the Associated Press, she stated, "With my deepest regret and sorrow for my family and my children, guilty."

Jodi would also plead guilty to four counts of second-degree felony aggravated child abuse.

Feb. 20, 2024: Prison Sentencing

Both women were sentenced to four consecutive one to 15 year sentences, which will be capped at the 30-year max in Utah.

Feb. 20, 2024: Ruby Apologizes

The parent vlogger apologized during her sentencing to her six kids and estranged husband.

"For the past four years, I've chosen to follow counsel and guidance that has led me into a dark delusion," she said in court. "My distorted version of reality went largely unchecked as I would isolate from anyone who challenged me."

She continued, "To my babies, you are a part of me. I believed dark was light and right was wrong. I would do anything in this world for you. I took from you all that was soft, and safe, and good."

March 25, 2024: Ruby's Diary Revealed

Prosecutors released her chilling journal entries, in which she wrote about her mistreatment of her children, including her "Satanic" tween son.

"He slithers & sneaks around looking for opportunities when no one is watching & then he scurries," she wrote in an entry from July 10, 2023, which was her son's 12th birthday. "If he wants to emulate the savior, he needs to be 100% obedient with exactness. No wavering, no hiding."

She wrote about punishing her children by beating them and withholding food and water.

March 25, 2024: Kevin's Interview With Authorities Becomes Public

Prosecutors released audio footage of Kevin talking with investigators after Ruby was arrested, in which he spoke about alleged restrictions he faced in their house.

"There were all these rules now placed on me, like I can leave when I want but I couldn't come back until Ruby gave me permission," Kevin said in an audio clip obtained by E!. "I couldn't come into the kitchen to eat until Ruby gave me permission and the upstairs where Jodi was was completely offline. I couldn't go upstairs anymore in my own house. And Ruby would dictate all of the terms of how our interactions would be, when we would talk. And that was hard."

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